Friday, 1 February 2013

Series 2 of "Britain’s Secret Treasures" is on the way

ITV has reportedly re-commissioned Britain’s Secret Treasures ("last summer’s hit series"). The second series will be produced by ITV Studios, and like the last one will be presented by Michael Buerk, and Bettany Hughes.
Britain’s Secret Treasures proved popular with viewers and critics alike in 2012. This new series (8×30) will again be made in partnership with the British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme, which lent its expertise and guidance to the first run in 2012. Each episode will focus on fascinating historical finds by members of the public in specific parts of the country, and will culminate with a reveal of the most important discovery ever made in that area, as determined by the British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme. The first series really engaged the treasure-loving public, with more than 1000 new items sent in by ITV viewers – from Bronze Age weapons to silver rings, World War Two pistols to Victorian toy soldiers, the experts were amazed at the sheer variety. This series will also unravel some of their tales. 
Among the questions this raises are these four, after the damage the first series demonstrably did to the public image of archaeology and attitudes towards the archaeological resource, whether any professional organization organization is ever going to speak out about this, secondly whether the CBA will allow themselves to be dragged in a second time and thirdly whether Minelab, Timeline Auctions or the Searcher magazine are in any way involved. Finally, is there any intention on the part of the programme's producers to actively consult the format and message of the programme with anyone other than the artefact-hunter-partnering Portable Antiquities Scheme and pay heed to what they say?

The experts were reportedly "amazed" at  the sheer variety of "new things" the treasure-loving public, sent in – "from Bronze Age weapons to silver rings, World War Two pistols to Victorian toy soldiers". the silver rings no doubt entered the Treasure process, any illegally held World War Two weapons surrendered to the authorities and the PAS chose an object which had NOT been sent in by a programme viewer in the allotted period as the "winner" - in other words the PAS took part in judging a fixed competition. It may be a "vexatious" question, but I think the public have a right to know, will the British Museum be involved in fiddling the results this time too?

 ITV Press Centre, 'History comes home with two new ITV series', Wed 30 Jan 2013


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