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OU on the BBC: Empire - Making Ourselves At Home

Updated Monday 5th March 2012

 From India to Leicester, Jeremy Paxman presents his view of how the British home adapated to the corners of Empire.

A London bus on the streets of Mumbai Creative commons image Icon James Cridland under CC-BY-NC-SA licence under Creative-Commons license A 'London' bus on the streets of Mumbai Jeremy Paxman traces the story of the greatest empire the world has ever known: the British Empire. He continues his personal account of Britain's empire by looking at how traders, conquerors and settlers spread the British way of doing things around the world - in particular how they created a very British idea of home.

He begins in India, where early traders wore Indian costume and took Indian wives. Their descendants still cherish their mixed heritage. Victorian values put a stop to that as inter racial mixing became taboo.

In Singapore he visits a club where British colonials gathered together, in Canada he finds a town whose inhabitants are still fiercely proud of the traditions of their Scottish ancestors, in Kenya he meets the descendants of the first white settlers - men whose presence came to be bitterly resented as pressure for African independence grew.

And he traces the story of an Indian family in Leicester whose migrations have been determined by the changing fortunes of the British empire.

Making Ourselves At Home is shown first on BBC One in England and Northern Ireland on Monday, 5th March 2012 at 9.00pm; and in Wales on BBC Two at 9.00pm on Tuesday 6th. For further broadcast details, visit

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