Channel 5 has commissioned DSP (a Banijay UK company) to produce a four-part series Britain By Steam in which journalist and presenter John Sergeant, actor Peter Davison and Paul ‘Piglet’ Middleton (star of Channel 5’s The Yorkshire Steam Railway: All Aboard) will travel from London to Scotland using only the power of steam.

The trio will use any steam-means possible to get across the country – from paddle boats to barges, steam cars to trains and traction engines.

As they go on their journey, they’ll discover the history and engineering genius of the machines they’re travelling on, as well as how steam engineering changed life in the UK forever. En route they’ll meet the steam enthusiasts who are keeping the steam tradition going, as well as visiting some iconic historic landmarks.

Lucy Willis, Commissioning Editor, Unscripted, Channel 5 and Paramount+ said: “John, Peter and Piglet take us on an entertaining romp as they make their way from London to Scotland by steam. There’s lots of fun, the odd squabble or two and plenty of beautiful countryside, as the three of them face all sorts of trials and tribulations en route.”

Donna Clark, Managing Director for DSP, commented: “John, Peter and Piglet are a charming combination whose warm repartee makes this beautiful journey engaging and fun. They’ve loved getting their hands on these incredible steam machines.”

John Sergeant added: “This was one of the happiest assignments of my career: it was funny, fast and furious – great company and marvellous machines. If the viewers enjoy this programme as much as we did making it, this could be one of the highlights of my career. Letting off steam, with a group of friends, and a real sense of adventure – this was an unforgettable delight.”

Britain By Steam (4×60’) is a DSP (a Banijay UK company) commission for Channel 5. It was commissioned by Lucy Willis, Commissioning Editor. It will be broadcast on Channel 5 this spring.


Pippa Considine

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