Surely Britain’s greatest unknown international revolutionary, best-selling author and hobbyist bridge builder, Norfolk born corset-maker’s son Thomas Paine wrote the Rights of Man and helped inspire the American War of Independence.
Thereafter he became the Secretary for Foreign Affairs in a government that hated his country of birth. He then went to France and escaped the guillotine by accident, after having failed to sell a bridge he built over a field in London.
One of Mark Steel’s great unsung radical heroes, this comedy lecture series shines a light on a little known (in Britain) hero on two continents.
Filmed on British and French soil.
First broadcast: Tuesday 7 Oct 2003 on BBC Four