“This mix of wonder, backed up with actual knowledge, is all I ever want from a documentary”


Building the Ancient City: Athens and Rome, BBC2

“An exuberant [Andrew] Wallace-Hadrill made the first of this two-part documentary watchable thanks to his passion for the subject. It was hard to feel anything but warmth for the antithesis of the typical Oxbridge academic presenter.”
Daisy Wyatt. The Independent

“A programme on ancient history and the founding of democracy might sound like it would be heavy going, but Wallace-Hadrill managed to keep things light but informed. He may not look like one of life’s natural TV presenters (tweed jackets, badly cut grey hair, lived-in face) but he was quietly engaging, even if the story jumped around at times.”
Terry Ramsey, The Telegraph

“The contemporary resonances in Building the Ancient City were unmistakeable, yet presenter Andrew Wallace-Hadrill mentioned the anguish of modern-day Greece not once. Fair enough, you might argue – this was historical documentary, not political tract. But in giving Boris Johnson a soapbox on which to enthuse eloquently but irrelevantly about how the egalitarian, inclusive ideals of ancient Athens inform, present-day London (don’t mention the water cannons), the show highlighted its own blind spot.”
Gabriel Tate, The Times

“This mix of wonder, backed up with actual knowledge, is all I ever want from a documentary, but so many rely on the gaping awe of a Rada graduate and background the information.”
Julia Raeside, The Guardian

Who Do You Think You Are?, BBC1

“It was another remarkable story that found the universal in the personal, its wider implications noted but not labored – a reminder that there can never be too many reminders about the Holocaust.”
Gabriel Tate, The Times

“As usual with this series, while the subject is going on a family journey, we get fascinating peeks into the details of history: the section on the Warsaw courthouse, for example, with one door into the Jewish ghetto and another onto the Aryan side – through which Jadwiga made an amazing escape – was fascinating.”
Terry Ramsey, The Telegraph

“This episode of Who Do You Think You Are? Should be required viewing in all schools to bring home the fact that this is not some faraway tragedy.”
Virginia Blackburn, Daily Express

“This episode had none of the flavor of an academic detective story that usually makes the show pleasantly engrossing. It was as raw and painful as a Polish winter.”
Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail

Trapped in a Cult?, Channel 5

“It looked set to be a promising ‘shock doc’, but Trapped in a Cult? wasn’t the Thursday night psychological rollercoaster it should have been. The elements to a mind-boggling insight into the ways vulnerable people become lured into cults were there, but the question mark in the show’s title suggested a bit too much nuance for a Channel 5 show.”
Daisy Wyatt. The Independent