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Gregg Wallace and Cherry Healey get exclusive access to some of the largest food factories in Britain to reveal the secrets behind food production on an epic scale.

Genres: Cooking/Food | Discovery/Science
Station: BBC Two (UK)
Rating: 0/10 from 0 users
Status: To Be Determined
Start: 2015-05-05

Inside the Factory Air Dates


S02E04 - Bicycles Air Date: 16 August 2016 20:00 -

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Brompton's bicycle factory in West London is the largest in Britain, producing 150 of its distinctive folding bicycles every 24 hours.

In the fourth episode of Inside the Factory Gregg joins a multi-stage manual production line to make his very own bike. He'll learn how to put together 1200 individual parts. He'll also attempt to braze a bike frame together using extreme heat of a thousand degrees, a skill that takes years to master. He'll visit a leather saddle maker in Birmingham that's been making saddles for 150 years and discover how they use cowhide from UK and Ireland cows because the cold weather means they have thicker skins.

Meanwhile, Cherry Healey gets some tips from Cycling Team GB to help us all improve our pedal power. She also learns how to paint a bike frame fit for the British weather using an electro-static charge and a 180 degree hot oven. Cherry also investigates why cyclists and trucks are such a deadly combination: in London alone there have been 66 fatalities since 2011 and half of them were collisions with a truck.

And historian Ruth Goodman reveals that folding bikes date back to the 1870's, and how 70,000 folding 'parabikes' were manufactured during World War II, some of which played a role in the D-Day landings. She'll also find out how the invention of the safety bicycle in the late 1880's was used by Suffragettes to ride to rallies and spread the word in their fight for equality.


S02E05 - Sweets Air Date: 23 August 2016 20:00 -

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Gregg Wallace helps to unload a tanker full of sugar from Norfolk and follows it through one of the oldest sweet factories in Britain to see how over 500 workers, as well as some mind-boggling machines, transform it into over a hundred million individual sweets within just 24 hours. He discovers how the factory that produces Lovehearts could be the most romantic in the world because one in four of the people who work there are in a relationship with each other, how they make 5,000 Fizzers a minute using a tablet-pressing machine that uses 3 tonnes of pressure to create each sweet, and meets the man in charge of making three quarters of a million Fruity Pop lollies every day.

Meanwhile, Cherry Healey is let inside the research and development department and experiences for herself how hard it is to come up with a new product, as she attempts to invent her own version of sherbet using citric acid and sodium bicarbonate. She also finds out how they put the letters in seaside rock by making a giant version and then stretching it to the right size, and is given special access to the Fisherman's Friend factory in Lancashire to discover how a local family turned a niche product into a worldwide success.

And historian Ruth Goodman investigates how sweets were first invented and discovers that, in the Middle Ages, they were used as a medicine and thought to reduce flatulence. She also finds out about the human cost of Britain's sweet tooth in the 18th century and how an abolition movement instigated a sugar boycott which helped to end the slave trade.


S02E06 - Shoes Air Date: 30 August 2016 20:00 -

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Documentary series. Gregg Wallace joins a human production line in the largest sports shoe factory in the UK to see how they produce three and a half thousand pairs of trainers every 24 hours by sewing 32 million individual stiches and using 140 miles of thread. Meanwhile, Cherry Healey gets hands on in a tannery to help them process thousands of rawhides into finished leather for the nation's shoes, and finds out how a ballet shoe company painstakingly turns 37,000 square meters of satin into a quarter of a million ballet shoes - some of which only last for one performance. She also gets to design her own court shoes at Cordwainers College in London. And historian Ruth Goodman reveals how, when the sewing machine was first introduced into shoe factories in the mid 19th century, traditional shoemakers went on strike, rebelling against joining a restrictive production line. She also traces the surprising origins of the humble trainer.


S03E01 - Tea Bags Air Date: 18 July 2017 20:00 -

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Gregg Wallace receives some tea leaves from Kenya and follows them through the factory that produces one quarter of all the tea drunk in Britain.


S03E02 - Pasta Air Date: 25 July 2017 20:00 -

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Gregg Wallace is in Italy, hitching a lift on a train carrying over a thousand tonnes of wheat to the largest dried pasta factory in the world. It produces 60% of all pasta made in Italy and supplies 3,000 tonnes to the UK each year. Gregg traces the journey the wheat takes through a seven-storey mill and into the production zone where it is mixed with water, pushed through moulds and turned into spaghetti. Meanwhile, Cherry Healey is discovering why the best pasta is made with durum wheat. This is a hard wheat that, when it is milled, turns into the granular yellow flour known as semolina, which translates as semi-milled. This is the essential basis of pasta as it retains its shape and texture when cooked. She also helps to harvest 15 tonnes of tomatoes, turning them into 3,000 litres of pasta sauce. Historian Ruth Goodman discovers that pasta arrived in Britain much earlier than we imagined. She heads to the British Library to look at a manuscript from 1390.

Inside the Factory Actors

Gregg Wallace(Gregg Wallace)

Ruth Goodman(Ruth Goodman)

Cherry Healey(Cherry Healey)



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Next Episode of Inside the Factory is

Season 3 / Episode 2 and airs on 25 July 2017 20:00

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