Rory presents story of how our landscape was 'tamed'

The story of how Cambridgeshire and the Fens developed over the last 1,500 years is to be told on TV.

A Great British Story – Taming Cambridgeshire is on BBC One on Tuesday, hosted by Rory McGrath.

The documentary, linked to the BBC Two landmark series, The Great British Story – A People’s History, looks at how the people of the East contributed to the present day England.

Writer/broadcaster Rory embarks on a journey of discovery through Cambridgeshire – his adopted home county – to trace the changes that have taken place over the last 1,500 years.

Rory discovers how land drainage shaped the landscape and how the people of Cambridgeshire transformed their own, and the nation’s, health from the simple provision of clean water to the accidental discovery of quinine.

A spokesman for the BBC said: “Rory’s journey begins in the Fens, explaining what life was like all those years ago.

“He then travels towards Cambridge, finding out how one of medieval Britain’s most disease-infested regions rose to become one of the nation’s jewels.

“Along the way, Rory, cycling from Wicken Fen along the Lodes Way, finds out how the Fen folk triumphed over their harsh surroundings.

“He uses objects, pictures and the landscape to reveal how Cambridge grew out of the marshy fens to become today’s beautiful city and powerhouse of learning.”

Rory is best-known for his roles in Who Dares Wins, Chelmsford 123, Three Men in a Boat and its successors.  He was also a regular panellist on They Think It’s All Over.

The documentary is being shown at 10.35pm.

For more information about the documentary and the series as a whole, visit

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