TV REVIEW: At Home With The Georgians
Keep a diary? Don't. Not if you don't fancy your gloomiest or randiest thoughts being served up to the nation one day as prime-time entertainment. That's the moral of At Home With The Georgians (9pm, BBC2), which delved into the private diaries and letters of a clutch of figures from the 18th century.
Take poor old Dudley Ryder. He'd have been mortified to know his secret scrawls would eventually be decoded and that the country he served as Attorney General would later get to smirk at his hopeless romantic yearnings.
Or how about Westmoreland squire George Hilton? He would surely have burned with shame to know his drunken rutting with whores would be laid bare for the public, complete with a re-enactment which portrayed him as a fat-head with an eye for a barmaid's tremulous bosom.
Happily for Amanda Vickery, they scribbled on, their intimate musings forming the foundations of her new series, which combines two of British TV's greatest loves – history and property.
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Get some cooking in there and finish off with a kangaroo penis-eating contest and it's a magic bullet for the ratings.
Anyway, she's quite a find, is Professor Vickery. She wears her learning lightly, too. Yes she's wise and observant but she's also gossipy and down-to-earth, and awash with enthusiasm.
And she has a vivid imagination. It's not hard to picture her as a girl, having animated conversations with dolls.
At the outset, she found herself swept up in the private correspondence of a chap called George Gibbs, which was full of kindly, devoted sentiments to his fiancee.
Vickery was enchanted and determined to find a portrait of him, half-expecting something along the lines of Colin Firth emerging dripping wet from a lake.
She came face to face with him in the home of one of Gibbs's descendants. "Oh how disappointing," she sighed. "It's absolutely tragic. He's a bit jowly."
Pssst: Professor Vickery ... he's also the spitting image of the bloke standing right beside you.
* In July last year, Rifleman Craig Wood proposed to his girlfriend Vicky. Three weeks later he was posted to Afghanistan.
On his first patrol in Helmand he was blown up and lost both legs and half his left arm. Vicky was 16. They hadn't been together long. Remarkably, she stuck by him.
My Boyfriend the War Hero (9pm, BBC3) followed the teenage couple as they were plunged into an unforgiving adulthood, with Vicky man-handling Craig up to bed at night, stair by stair by stair.
They didn't last. Few do at that age. But all the same, this was a stark story of selfless devotion which should be required viewing for any old curmudgeons that bellyache about the kids of today.