June 2019

The Thames: Britain’s Great River with Tony Robinson – Episode 4

Series 1 – Episode 4

In the true tradition of gung-ho television presenters, Tony Robinson can’t resist having a go at operating a crane – this one is at the huge Tate and Lyle sugar refinery on the banks of the River Thames in London.

As this cheery and informative series ends, Robinson is in his native East End, where he encounters not just giant pyramids of unrefined sugar (some of which he tries to pour into massive hoppers with said crane) but also box after box of fish, of every type, from across the world at the Billingsgate fish market.

And there’s cause for optimism at the end of the trip at the five-mile river mouth, where Robinson spots some returning wildlife – seals.


The actor visits the East End of London, going on patrol with the Metropolitan Police Marine Unit and attending an emergency call-out to an unexploded bomb. At Billingsgate fish market, Tony reflects on his teenage years working on the docks, before ending his journey in the Thames Estuary. He discovers that the river is now cleaner than it has been for 500 years, which is encouraging seals to once again claim the waters as their home.

Source: Radio Times

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