“It feels like television has brought its games in on the last day of term whenever Miriam’s around.”

Matron, Medicine and Me: 70 Years of the NHS

Matron, Medicine and Me: 70 Years of the NHS, BBC1

“The producers hit a seam of pure gold with the septuagenarian actress Miriam Margolyes. If we must have this constant stream of famous types on a ‘journey’ accompanied by touching piano music, then let it always be Margolyes. It feels like television has brought its games in on the last day of term whenever she’s around.”
Julia Raeside, The Guardian

“This informative series has been running every morning, with guests including TV presenter Myleene Klass and singer Oritse Williams. It’s well worth watching on catch-up, though don’t expect to see the madcap, eccentric Miriam who wreaked havoc in India earlier this year in BBC2’s The Real Marigold Hotel. She’s much better behaved here.”
Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail

“It’s been easy to overlook this series, tucked away in an unpopular slot. It was enlightening to hear from people whose lives spanned the era, from paying ‘board doctors’ a weekly fee, to free healthcare for all. Behind the gags, of course, there was an important reminder. We’re lucky to be living now.”
Matt Baylis, Daily Express

What Britain Buys, Channel 4

“It was all frothily distracting — and fronted by Portas with her customary savviness and wit — but it also left a weird taste in the mouth. I appreciate that a shopping programme, by its nature, needs to feature things that people buy. Yet the succession of plugs felt at times like a souped-up version of a QVC show.”
Ed Potton, The Times

“This one-off programme was packed with snippets of offbeat information. Mary riffled through them as though she was flicking along a rail of clothes. You couldn’t call it in-depth analysis, but it was frothy and entertaining, and it provided a jigsaw impression of how trends are changing.”
Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail

“Since rescue-cum-makeover shows fell out of fashion, Channel 4 has struggled to find a suitable format for Mary Portas. This scattergun series, entertaining enough but ultimately shallow, wasn’t it: 10 featherlight items stuck together to fill an hour.”
Michael Hogan, The Telegraph

“The half-hour of news-related banter all too often looks like a carefully scripted and painstakingly rehearsed set-piece. You laugh but you wonder if you’re the real butt of the joke.”
Matt Baylis, Daily Express