Michael’s last chance at Georgian servant bootcamp

18 Oct
Costumed servant Ruth oversees Michael in the kitchen

Cookery lesson: Costumed servant Ruth oversees Michael in the kitchen

Those of you who’ve watched the first two episodes of the new TV series Inside the National Trust will have realised that presenter Michael Buerk hasn’t been shaping up too well as an 18th-century manservant.

For those who haven’t yet caught the behind-the-scenes ITV programme focussing on six National Trust properties, my home, Wordsworth House and Garden, is one of the stars.

In each episode, Michael attempts a new skill in the house or garden. So far, he has been trying to learn the ropes in Georgian servant bootcamp – with less than impressive results.

The 20-part series is showing on ITV1 on Sundays, usually at around 12.25pm, over the autumn and winter.

My friend Alex, who looks after our team of costumed servants, has been doing her level best to train him, but with limited time and Michael’s tendency to see himself more in the role of master than servant, it has been far from easy for her.

After warnings for wearing his watch while in costume, making up facts, begging the visitors for applause and – worst of all – calling one a “bloody know all” (we’re really sorry, Mrs Morris), he’s very definitely on his last chance.

In this Sunday’s episode, Alex takes the risk of letting him loose on an unsuspecting audience who have come to listen to a talk about 18th-century dining. Tune in to find out how she rates his performance and whether he gets the sack.

If you missed the initial episodes, you can catch up on ITV Player. Each programme is available for about three weeks after broadcast, so don’t wait too long though, or you might miss them altogether.

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