Portillo’s Hidden History of Britain – Channel 5

Michael Portillo is back on the road 
for a second series and begins with uncovering the secret past of a former military hospital

Travel lover and former politician Michael Portillo is back rooting around more abandoned locations, while delving into their intriguing pasts, from a disused cinema 
to a
long-forgotten submarine.

Tonight’s episode sees Michael visit the Cambridge Military Hospital in Aldershot, Hampshire where, in 1916, a young surgeon named Harold Gillies developed a pioneering skin graft procedure called the tubed pedicle.

The now disused Cambridge Military Hospital in Aldershot

Not only did Gillies’ trailblazing technique rebuild the shattered faces of hundreds of badly injured World War One soldiers, but 
it paved the way for him to perform the first ever sex-change operation.

Portillo's Hidden HIstory of Britain. Shows Michael holiding a surgical ool

Michael inspects a surgical tool

Fascinating viewing.

TV Times rating: *****