Big Fish, Small Ponds

David McKie escapes from the beaten track to explore some of Britain's most evocative spots and unveil their formidable - and extraordinary - local heroes.

Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
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20050606

David McKie escapes from the beaten track to explore some of Britain's most evocative spots and unveil their formidable - and extraordinary - local heroes.

1/5. Whiteley Village and William Whiteley

The model village of Whiteley was built for deserving pensioners by the merchant William Whiteley. David McKie reveals the extraordinary life and death of the philanthropist whose murderer believed he was Whiteley's illegitimate son.

20050607

David McKie escapes from the beaten track to explore some of Britain's most evocative spots and unveil their formidable - and extraordinary - local heroes.

2/5. Irthlingborough and Charles Weston

In the early 20th century American movie director Charles Weston based his studios in Irthlingborough and made seven gory war films, all featuring the locals as extras. David McKie arrives there in time for a regular public screening of Weston's 1913 film about the Battle of Waterloo, with a piano accompaniment.

20050608

David McKie escapes from the beaten track to explore some of Britain's most evocative spots and unveil their formidable - and extraordinary - local heroes.

3/5. Witley and Whitaker Wright

Witley in Surrey laboured under the rule of the wealthy fraudster Whitaker Wright. He built a mansion so extravagantly furnished that the local road levels had to be lowered to enable chunks of Italian marble to pass under the bridges. David McKie charts the rise and fall of this controversial local hero.

20050609

David McKie escapes from the beaten track to explore some of Britain's most evocative spots and unveil their formidable - and extraordinary - local heroes.

4/5. Spaxton and the Prince of Love

This idyllic Somerset village was home to the 19th century Agapemone community. David McKie unearths the curious story of a lost utopia presided over by a charismatic but deranged clergyman called Prince.

20061008

David McKie explores some of Britain's most evocative spots and their local heroes.

1/4. Whiteley Village and William Whiteley

David visits the model village of Whiteley in Surrey, built for deserving pensioners by merchant William Whiteley. David tells the extraordinary story of both the village and its philanthropists.

20061015

David McKie explores some of Britain's most evocative spots and their local heroes.

2/4. Irthlingborough and Charles Weston

In the early 20th Century, American movie director Charles Weston based his studios in Irthlingborough and made seven gory war films, all featuring the locals as extras. David McKie arrives in time for a regular public screening of Weston's 1913 film about the Battle of Waterloo, with a piano accompaniment.

20061022

David McKie explores some of Britain's most evocative spots and their local heroes. 3/4. Witley and Whitaker Wright.

20061029

David McKie explores some of Britain's most evocative spots and their local heroes.

5.5 Nevern and the Showgirl

A visit to a village pub in Pembrokeshire unearths the story of its former landlady, the extraordinary Pamela Cushla le Poer Davidson. Her colourful adventures included performing as a nude trapeze artist in Soho to fleeing the unwelcome ardour of Joseph Goebbels in Germany.

20080802

David McKie explores some of Britain's most evocative spots and their local heroes.

1/4. Whiteley Village and William Whiteley

The village was built for deserving pensioners by the merchant William Whiteley. David reveals the extraordinary life and death of the philanthropist whose murderer believed he was Whiteley's illegitimate son.

20080809

David McKie explores some of Britain's most evocative spots and their local heroes.

2/4: Irthlingborough and Charles Weston

In the early 20th century, American movie director Charles Weston based his studios in Irthlingborough and made seven gory war films, all featuring the locals as extras. David arrives for a regular public screening of Weston's 1913 film about the Battle of Waterloo, with a piano accompaniment.

20080816

David McKie explores some of Britain's most evocative spots and their local heroes.

4/4: Spaxton and the Prince of Love

This idyllic Somerset village was home to the 19th-century Agapemone community. David unearths the curious story of a lost Utopia presided over by a charismatic but deranged clergyman called Prince.

20080823

David McKie explores some of Britain's most evocative spots and their local heroes.

5/5. Nevern and the Showgirl

A visit to a village pub in Pembrokeshire unearths the story of its former landlady, the extraordinary Pamela Cushla le Poer Davidson. Her colourful adventures included performing as a nude trapeze artist in Soho and fleeing from the unwelcome advances of Hitler's Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels.

01Whiteley Village And William Whiteley2005060620061008
20080802 (R4)

The model village of Whiteley was built for deserving pensioners by the merchant William Whiteley.

David McKie reveals the extraordinary life and death of the philanthropist whose murderer believed he was Whiteley's illegitimate son.

02Irthlingborough And Charles Weston2005060720061015
20080809 (R4)

In the early 20th century American movie director Charles Weston based his studios in Irthlingborough and made seven gory war films, all featuring the locals as extras.

David McKie arrives there in time for a regular public screening of Weston's 1913 film about the Battle of Waterloo, with a piano accompaniment.

03Witley And Whitaker Wright20050608

Witley in Surrey laboured under the rule of the wealthy fraudster Whitaker Wright.

He built a mansion so extravagantly furnished that the local road levels had to be lowered to enable chunks of Italian marble to pass under the bridges.

David McKie charts the rise and fall of this controversial local hero.

04Spaxton And The Prince Of Love2005060920061022
20080816 (R4)

This idyllic Somerset village was home to the 19th century Agapemone community.

David McKie unearths the curious story of a lost utopia presided over by a charismatic but deranged clergyman called Prince.

0101Whiteley Village And William Whiteley2005060620061008
0102Irthlingborough And Charles Weston2005060720061015
0103Witley And Whitaker Wright20050608
0104Spaxton And The Prince Of Love2005060920061022
0105 LASTNevern And The Showgirl2005061020061029
20080823 (R4)

David makes a pilgrimage to a village pub in Pembrokeshire to unearth the story of the late pub landlady, the extraordinary Pamela Cushla le Poer Davidson.

Her colourful adventures included performing as a nude trapeze artist in Soho and fleeing the unwelcome ardour of Joseph Goebbels in Germany.