University of Northampton history expert to feature in ITV primetime TV history documentary

News Page 16th November 2015

Dr Drew Gray, Senior Lecturer in History of Crime within the School of Social Sciences, will feature in ITV’s Secrets from The Clink airing on August 13.

The programme follows what was, during Victorian times, a well-trodden path – from poverty to prison.

Following on from its predecessor Secrets From the Workhouse, the programme is similar in format to Who Do You Think You Are?, where celebrities learn about their ancestors with the help of history experts.

Historian Dr Gray assisted Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman as he examined the sad life of his great-great-grandfather, who was assaulted by his own son. His ancestor was convicted and subjected to hard labour, building docks and quarrying for stone.

With the help of historians, Len explored the horrific prison conditions that 22-year-old Harry would have endured during his nine months in solitary confinement at Pentonville prison.

Dr Gray explained: “I had the opportunity to tell Len about his ancestor’s experience on release from prison, which helped to redeem him somewhat.

“Len was brilliant to work with, very interested in his family history and good company. I didn’t dare show him any of my dance moves though, I’m best sticking to history!”

The first episode of the two part Secrets from The Clink will air on Wednesday 6 August at 9pm on ITV, and episode 2, featuring Dr Gray, will air at the same time on Wednesday 13 August. For further information, visit

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