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Historian contributes to new TV programme on Churchill

A University of Exeter historian is part of a brand new TV programme about Sir Winston Churchill on the Discovery Channel. The Churchill & Me with Hugh Dennis premieres this Friday 15 May at 9pm and follows the comedian, actor and writer Hugh Dennis, on his journey to discover what Sir Winston Churchill means to people today and explore the legacy he left behind across the globe.

Hugh Dennis meets people and visits places upon which Churchill left his indelible mark. He uncovers information from historians like the University of Exeter’s Churchill expert, Professor Richard Toye who has written extensively about the great statesman, to family members, and employees including former Personal Secretary Lady Jane Williams.

The story journey starts with Hugh Dennis’s own recollections of Churchill's funeral, as a young boy watching the flypast from the garden of his father's vicarage. The piece goes on to describe growing awareness of the influence and personal style of an Englishman who dominated the 20th Century political and cultural landscape.  

Professor Toye said:"As a fan of the BBC hit comedy Outnumbered it was a great pleasure to meet Hugh and talk about our joint interest in Churchill. We discussed my research on Churchill's oratory, which was published as The Roar of The Lion: The Untold Story of Churchill's World War II Speeches (Oxford University Press 2013).”

He added:“Hugh asked about how far Churchill was a natural rhetorician, about the reception of the speeches. I argued that although Churchill was undoubtedly a great orator, the war speeches attracted more controversy and criticism at the time than we are generally led to believe."

There will also be famous faces such as Robert Hardy CBE who won a BAFTA for his portrayal as Churchill in Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years. Each contributor gives their personal insight into the incredible man behind the public image.

Date: 11 May 2015

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