Type=image;ImageID=3203;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=Michael Portillo outside Bantock House Museum;TitleClass=strong;
The politician turned TV presenter visited Wolverhampton last spring to film a new series of his popular BBC Two show - and followed his "Bradshaw's Guide" to call in at 4 local landmarks.
And viewers can see the outcome of his exploits when Great British Railway Journeys airs next Friday 24 January, 2014.
In the show, Michael uses George Bradshaw's 1863 Railway Handbook to "take to the tracks" and see how the nation has changed over the last 150 years. His interest in Wolverhampton was sparked by Bradshaw's comment that "all kinds of articles in iron, brass, tin-plate, japan work" were made in the area.
During his time in Wolverhampton, he visited Bantock House Museum to inspect its renowned collection of Japanware and speak to Yvonne Jones who recently published a book on the subject.
Japanning is a method of applying a thick varnish to protect and decorate a variety of materials such as tin and papier mache, a technique that was developed to imitate more expensive imports of Indian and oriental lacquerware.
Wolverhampton was one of the leading centres for its production in the 18th and 19th centuries and the city has a large collection, much of which is displayed at Bantock House.
Michael also visited the old Low Level Station, which has been given a new lease of life following a multi-million pound restoration, and inspected the Prince Albert memorial which was unveiled by Queen Victoria on 30 November, 1866 - her first public engagement since Albert's death.
He concluded his tour by visiting West Park where he recorded his thoughts about his week-long journey from Southampton to Wolverhampton.
Bantock House Museum manager Helen Steatham, who accompanied Michael and the production team during their time in the city, said: "Being involved in the filming was a great experience and I hope it will show Wolverhampton in a very positive light."
Great British Railway Journeys in on BBC Two and BBC Two HD weeknights at 6.30pm, with the Wolverhampton episode scheduled for 24 January.
- released: Thursday 16 January, 2014