LONDON – British stars Helen Mirren, Russell Brand and singer Jessie J are among the names from the worlds of worlds of entertainment, politics, sport, science and history lined up to look into the U.K.'s history as part of a TV series entitled The British.
The trio will be joined by other familiar British faces to mull the story of Great Britain and Ireland in the from the Roman invasion to the birth of TV and the Coronation of Elizabeth II in 1953.
The documentary series, spanning 2000 years of British history, will air on BSkyB's Sky Atlantic in the U.K. from Sept. 6.
Mirren will look at the topic of William Shakespeare.
She said: "If you wanted to teach someone who knew absolutely nothing about the British people, it would be very good to guide them to Shakespeare – you could see the foolishness, the humor, the brutality; it’s all in almost every play.”
Comedian, writer and actor Brand noted: "It’s nice to be able to reach back into the past and feel that you have an identity that’s built on an oceanic, rolling history."
Sky Atlantic is the U.K. satellite operator's lavish entertainment channel with much content sourced via the company's $150 million content and archive deal with HBO.
That deal means Sky Atlantic's schedule, free to Sky subscribers, contains myriad US shows including Boardwalk Empire, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Game Of Thrones.