Looking For Middle England

Ian Hislop casts a wary eye over the historical, social and moral landscape of that oft quoted but rarely defined part of our society, Middle England.

Last year alone, 746 references were made to Middle England in the British press.

We all seem to know what sends it 'up in arms' and politicians are regularly accused of 'pandering to it', but just what is Middle England?

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Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
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01Castles2006070120061112
20100719 (BBC7)
20110308 (BBC7)
20140301 (BBC7)

Ian Hislop casts a wary eye over the historical, social and moral landscape of that oft quoted but rarely defined part of our society, Middle England.

Last year alone, 746 references were made to Middle England in the British press.

We all seem to know what sends it 'up in arms' and politicians are regularly accused of 'pandering to it', but just what is Middle England?

Dubbed exclusive, defensive and resistant, Ian Hislop arrives in Ludlow to test cliche against reality. With Jeremy Paxman.

Dubbed exclusive, defensive and resistant, Ian Hislop arrives in Ludlow to test cliche against reality.

With Jeremy Paxman.

Exclusive, defensive and resistant - Ian Hislop tests cliche against reality in Ludlow.

One of the main observations about Middle England is that it is exclusive, defensive and resistant to change, so Ian arrives in Ludlow to test cliché against reality.

Contributors include Jeremy Paxman and Polly Toynbee

Ian Hislop casts a wary eye over the historical, social and moral landscape of that oft quoted but rarely defined part of our society, Middle England.

1/3.

Castles

We all seem to know what sends it 'up in arms' and politicians are regularly accused of 'pandering to it', but just what is Middle England?

02Clubs2006070820061119
20100720 (BBC7)
20110315 (BBC7)

Ian Hislop goes to Guildford in search of clubs and civic engagement - and brushes up his golf swing.

Ian Hislop goes in search of clubs and civic engagement - and brushes up his golf swing.

Ian Hislop looks at the history of civic engagement and asks how exclusive and self-serving club members really are.

Ian Hislop asks how exclusive and self-serving club members really are.

Is one of the key criticisms levelled at Middle England - that it is exclusive and self-serving - valid? To find out, Ian visits Guildford to look at the clubs, explicit and implicit, that sustain Middle England.

As well as improving his golf swing and jam-making skills, he discovers a long history of civic engagement that defines Middle Englanders and the world they inhabit.

03 LASTCulture2006071520061126
20100721 (BBC7)
20110322 (BBC7)

Ian Hislop is in Lincoln to gauge the Middle English attitude to broadening the mind and heightening the spirit.

With AA Gill.

Ian Hislop on Middle English attitudes to broadening the mind and heightening the spirit.

Arts institutions, performers, directors and critics all have a pretty good idea what will or will not go down well with that audience which is forever 'Middle England'.

But is it true that Middle English tastes are intensely conservative, narrow, comfy and unchallenging?

With help from A A Gill, Lynn Truss and John Carey, Ian travels to Lincoln to gauge the Middle English attitude to the broadening of the mind and the heightening of the spirit.