Transparent Television, part of Argonon Group, has today announced an ambitious new series, Empire with Portillo, for Channel 5.

Ordered by Guy Davies, Commissioning Editor, Factual, at Channel 5, Empire with Portillo is a four-part series, revealing the astonishing story of Britain’s Empire through the legacy of the now decaying, huge and fascinating buildings that survive in hidden corners of the globe. Michael Portillo charts the evolution of a superpower and a legacy that changed the world.

Jazz Gowans, CEO of Transparent TV says: “At a time when the breadth of our programming is continually expanding, we’re thrilled that Transparent is building on Michael Portillo’s slate, who most recently presented his impactful and insightful series on the Tory Party. Michael is such a respected talent. He brings gravitas and energy to this exciting new series, opening up Britain’s colonial past.

Guy Davies says: “We’re excited to be working with Michael again on this extraordinary project. It’s a new and innovative way of bringing the hidden story of Britain’s Empire to life, not just through the people he meets on his journey but through the stories that these historic, crumbling, ancient buildings can tell us.”

A century ago, Britain dominated a quarter of the planet, ruling over a staggering 400 million people, with an empire that stretched across five continents – the largest the world has ever seen. From India to the Caribbean, Africa to the Australia, British colonial rule stamped its mark on every corner of the globe with extraordinary buildings that embodied the nature and awesome reach of British power. Today, Michael Portillo will visit many people, palaces, prisons and plantations, where the intrigues of empire were played out – telling the story through the buildings which now lie crumbling, boarded up or forgotten.

Empire with Portillo is a 4 x 60’ series made by Transparent Television, part of Argonon Group, and is executive produced by Jazz Gowans and Ruairi Fallon.