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Britain’s Greatest Invention (BBC-2 2017, Trevor McDonald, David Harewood)



Britain's Greatest Invention

Sir Trevor McDonald, Angela Rippon, Giles Coren, Len Goodman, David Harewood, Nick Knowles and Angela Scanlon will each champion one object in their bid to persuade the BBC Two audience to vote for the invention they are endorsing and see it win the title of Britain’s Greatest Invention.

The programme, which is produced in partnership with The Open University, will be broadcast live on BBC Two on 15 June from the Science Museum Group’s vast stores; a treasure trove of eight aircraft hangers near Swindon containing some of the UK’s most cherished inventions.

Presented by Dr Hannah Fry and automotive engineer Ant Anstead, the winning invention will be revealed at the end of the live programme and will go on to be celebrated in the Science Museum itself.

Food critic and journalist Giles Coren will champion the humble fridge, an invention that plays a crucial role in how healthy we are.

Train enthusiast and presenter Len Goodman will be an ambassador for the stream engine following his passion for trains since childhood, and will explore how steam turbines still generate 80per cent of the world’s power.

Having had TB when she was a child, Angela Rippon will be an ambassador for antibiotics, which has saved more than 200 million lives since its invention, whilst for actor David Harewood the jet engine, that keeps almost one million people in the air at any one time, is the most significant revelation of modern technology.

For Robot Wars presenter Angela Scanlon, the mobile phone is the winning invention because it uses a fantastic collaboration of multiple technologies, many of which are British, and sees us all on average spend 305 minutes of our day using it.

And for Nick Knowles, concrete is the most used material on earth and therefore deserves to win the title.

Sir Trevor McDonald is backing the television as the winning invention; when growing up in Trinidad it inspired him to pursue a career in broadcasting that has spanned four decades.

Battling it out in front of a live studio audience and surrounded by incredible objects from the Science Museum Group’s collections, each ambassador will champion their invention as the most influential, inviting the BBC Two audience to vote for their favourite during the live show.

We will also delve behind the scenes in the amazing Science Museum Group’s stores to discover a treasure trove of inventions, asking the viewer to help solve mysteries of some these objects, and even invite them to bring forward vital lost artefacts the Science Museum Group wants to add to its national collection.

Discovering items big and small, epic and seemingly humble, Britain’s Greatest Invention will be a celebration of our inventing past, asking the public to vote on which item they feel has most shaped our lives today.

Sir Trevor McDonald
Angela Rippon
Giles Coren
Len Goodman
David Harewood
Nick Knowles
Angela Scanlon
Dr Hannah Fry
Ant Anstead

key behind the scenes crew
Jay Taylor as Executive Producer

show type

broadcast from
15 June 2017 from 8.30pm-10.00pm

network and production companies
BBC Two – Thoroughly Modern Media – The Open University