UK's interest in China boosted by latest BBC TV series

Updated: 2016-01-22 20:40

By Samantha Vadas(China Daily Europe)

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UK's interest in China boosted by latest BBC TV series

UK Historian Professor Michael Wood (sits on the right) on location for his new six-part BBC2 series 'The Story of China'. [Photo by Gerry Branigan/ Provided to China Daily]

It also created a three-week long social media frenzy about varying education systems in both Britain and China.

Associate Producer of 'The Story of China', Tina Li, says that while Wood's documentary has already created a huge buzz in China online, the reaction will be somewhat different to 'Chinese School'.

"It's very spontaneous, there's no staging and it's very real and it's done with a lot of heart, not for shock value and it's not sensationalized."

Producer and Director of the program, Rebecca Dobbs, says they've tried to see things from the perspective of the Chinese.

"There's no point in us giving the history of China from the perspective of the West."

Wood, who made 12 trips to China for the series, is also a member of history's teaching staff within the Faculty of Humanities at The University of Manchester – one of President Xi Jinping's stops on his state visit to the UK last October.

"Manchester University has rich Chinese connections - as we all saw when President Xi came up here in the autumn on his unprecedented visit - and I have been so grateful for the university's support during the two years or so of making this series," Wood says.

In episodes four and five, Wood is joined by his colleague from Manchester, Professor Yangwen Zheng, as they trace the birth of modern China from the 1700's.

Zheng, an expert in Chinese history, is one of many academics from various universities interviewed throughout the series.

'The Story of China' has been produced in cooperation between BBC Two and PBS in the US.

There are no plans for it to be aired in China yet, although it can be accessed online.

"There are things in it that most Chinese people will probably not have seen," Wood says.

"We'd love to see it in China."

Samantha Vada is a freelance writer. She contributed this to China Daily