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About Brandon Robshaw

I have published 26 children’s novels and over 60 educational books. My last children’s novel, The Big Wish, was published by Chicken House on 2nd April 2015. It was shortlisted for the James Reckitt Hull Children’s Book Award 2016.  My collection of children’s poems, These Are a Few of my Scariest Things, was published by the King’s England Press in 2017.  My YA novel, The Infinite Powers of Adam Gowers, was published by Unbound in 2018.

My latest book is an academic monograph on the philosophy of Martha Nussbaum: Martha Nussbaum and Politics, published by Edinburgh University Press in January 2023. This joins my previous work in the field of political philosophy, Should a Liberal State Ban the Burqa? (Bloomsbury 2020).

I am also a freelance journalist. I lecture in Creative Writing, Children’s Literature, and Philosophy for the Open University, and Writing for Children for Westminster University. I have a degree in English Literature and a PhD in Philosophy. I enjoy running; I sing in a pub choir, play the ukulele a little bit and the piano an even littler bit. I live in Walthamstow, East London, with my wife, three children and dog. My agent is Joanna Devereux, and her website is:

My family and I were the subjects of the BBC television programme, Back in Time for Dinner, a 6-part series about the history of food in Britain from the 1950s to the present-day. The series ran from 17th March to 21 April 2015 on BBC2. The follow-up series, Back in Time for Christmas, went out in December 2015. Our third series for BBC2, Further Back in Time for Dinner, was broadcast in January/February 2017.

  1. Adiba permalink

    Dear Brandon,

    Having just read through some of the links I found on the search engine with your name, I now understood how it is that you employ some very inspirational techniques to bring out the writer in others – so I feel very fortunate to be attending your Creative Writing class; you deliver very positive feed back to exercises in writing you set every week. I do hope that when this course ends in February, you will continue with a follow up course.

    Thank you.


  2. ilayne permalink

    hi was watching you and your family in tv program and was just wandering if your wife was from newbury park – grants hill – ilford essex as she reminds me of a friend i had before i moved to sunny Blackpool

    • Yes – she was from Gants Hill!

      • graham permalink

        Brandon, loved the way your wife said i am Jewish and shouldn’t be doing this, whilst cooking the bacon. Can you ask her if she can make chicken soup with kneidlach? 🙂

  3. Karl de la Mare. permalink

    Really enjoying watching your tv experience. The 70s episode brought back a lot of good memories.

    • Barbara Compton permalink

      I think the food series has been superb – really good viewing – two things missing

      The introduction of instant coffee – 1950s or 1960s? Probably the greatest impact in Greece as a saleperson invented the frappe as the Greeks refused to believe it was real coffee!

      Also I though Mateus Rose and the dreaded Blue Nun might have made an appearance

  4. Carmel permalink

    Dear Brandon (and Rochelle too)
    As an SEN teacher who has spent much of today working on compiling ideas on inspiring reading in special needs children, I have just stopped work to enjoy the 1980s episode of my new fave programme.
    By the end I felt the need to work out why you were quoting Henry V and your children have Shakespearian names hence a brief but productive (and somewhat embarrassing) google-stalking session.
    So I am going to indulge myself by taking the opportunity to congratulate and thank you. Your and Rochelle’s insights have turned a fun populist bit of TV into a truly analytical piece of social history. I have also grinned stupidly at iPlayer every night this week reliving the styles and food history of my lifetime (plus a fascinating insight into the experiences my mother must have been through in the 50s and 60s). My evening is complete now that my instincts regarding your day jobs have been confirmed. Though you’d already pretty much made my evening already by managing to sneak in your views on the miners’ strike.
    I do apologise for being stalky and polluting your blog comments. I promise to now go and persuade the school librarian to buy some of your books. Be very glad they blanked out your street name; I fear you’d be inundated by people like me wanting to be your new best friend.

  5. Kate Posener permalink

    just wanted to say really enjoying the programme and what a lovely family you are!

  6. Hi Brandon
    I wanted to check as your name rang a bell, was your father Peter who lived in Wanstead? If so I have fond memories of your late father and my late father sharing their office in the Civic Trust and becoming good friends for many years and he helped me with a project.

    • Hi, Leonard. Yes, my dad was Peter of Wanstead – and yours of course was Edgar of Loughton. Let’s raise a glass to our dads.


  7. Liz permalink

    Hi Brandon

    I write this with trepidation now that I know you are an English lecturer…..

    I hadn’t watched the Back in Time for Dinner programme and have just had a bit of a binge on iplayer. It is both illuminating and nostalgic for me as I am also aged between 50 and 60, although not a prime number! However, what has really impressed me is your family. Not only are they delightfull but I have been impressed by your intelligent way of dealing with this and I love Rochelle’s insightful reflections on the role of women and how it changes, and indeed your children. It is this that actually made me see if I could find out more about you and I find myself unsurprised that you are Oxford educated.

    Rochelle’s frustrations reflect my mum’s. This was a woman from a poor family who had ‘got the scholarship ‘ young, had worked during the war and had then been relegated to the kitchen when she became the local doctor’s wife. She cooked and cleaned ( terribly, I hasten to add) and had to get my Dad’s permission to train as a teacher, which he denied, despite always getting As in the essays she was writing for the A level she had to get. Like Rochelle in the programme she went to work in 1973, but only because Dad died and she had to so she was unprepared and unqualified for working life. That is why I have a professional qualification.

    Anyway, looking forward now to the 80s and am hoping that your outfits get better



  8. Really loved the show and appreciated its honesty. Will miss stepping back in time with you all each Tuesday.

    Look forward to another fly on the wall doc featuring the wonderful Robshaw gang!

  9. Dear Brandon
    I enjoyed reading your recent article in the Guardian: Which children’s books sum up the decade they were published?

    I would like to send you some information and wonder if you could forward a postal address? I work for the Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust and we are restoring the ‘enchanted land’ where JM Barrie played as a child. He later said that his games of adventure here were ‘the genesis of that nefarious work (Peter Pan)’.
    Our aim is to create a National Centre for Children’s Literature and Storytelling at Moat Brae and to provide an inspiring place to play where children can explore imagination and stories in all their forms.
    Our Patron is Joanna Lumley and we have raised over £4m towards the £5.5m needed to start the final phase of works. We are also planning the activities, interpretation and programming for the new Centre.
    I hope you will be interested in finding out more.
    Best wishes

    • Dear Catherine – thanks for getting in touch. This sounds interesting. I’d better not give out my address on this open forum; but if you were to follow me on Twitter you could send me a direct message. I’m @BrandonRobshaw

      Best wishes

  10. Clare Thomas permalink

    Absolutely brilliant series ‘back in time for dinner’…..thanks to you and your family for making it so entertaining……been watching it on the iplayer and am going to show it to my kids as I feel its such a great way to educate them on modern history! Should show this series to all school kids as part of the curriculum!
    Thanks again… are all TV naturals!

  11. Joanne Weir permalink

    I absolutely loved the programme and have read they are making another one but without you and your family? im sorry to hear this as I feel it was your family who made this programme so successful ..thanks for a lovely journey through time xx

    • Dear Joanne – nice to hear from you and I am glad you loved the programme! Yes, it is true that they are making a follow-up with a different family, only with a different focus this time. The reason they went for a new family was because they are doing the same experiment of making the family live in the home and style and manner of the period, and it would be a bit stale if we were pretending to be surprised by that all over again!

      However, you may be glad to know that the production company are also making a short, 2-episode series using the Robshaw family again. I can’t say too much about it but you will we seeing us on your screen in the next few months!

      Best wishes

      • joanne weir permalink

        i am very glad to hear this brandon..thank you for replying..looking forward to seeing what surprises you and your wonderful family have in store!! loved the humour you all had rochelle made me laugh out loud a lot!!! she is a quick witted lovely lady xxx

  12. Suzanne Wilson permalink

    I’ve just discovered your programme late on BBC2 and, not only finding it a trip down memory lane as I was born in the ’60s, but I’ve played it back for my teenage children as it’s a great piece of social history. You and your family have shown some great insight into the developments over the years of not only food but family life. .

    I’ve just watched the ’80s which reminded me of the job I had after uni in a ‘chill factory’ in 1984. I was making pizzas on a production line for Marks and Spencer for the new chilled rather than frozen ready meal market. It was a new development and as your programme explained, it depended on being able to keep food chilled at every stage. It was also important to chill the prepared pizzas very rapidly. Shortly after that I started work in the City so memories of wine bars too!

    What an interesting experiment for you and your family to have taken part in!

  13. Dear Brandon and Rochelle,

    I can’t find your address which I did have, once. This would be a letter, otherwise.

    It was a real delight to happen on the programmes you and your family have been doing with Giles Coren. Another OU colleague said to me: “They seem such a nice family”. Absolutely.

    When we were in touch, some years ago, I was trying to illustrate your Book of Spells but I really wasn’t quite up to the task – a case of quite serious hubris on my part perhaps ! There was, though one illustration, to the poem about the skeleton haunting the suburbs, which ended up, with the poem, framed for a young nephew of mine, and was much appreciated. And I’ve kept all the drawings. I am sorry it all didn’t quite work out to be published. The poems were really good and I hope they might have found the light of day – or might even do so at some future date? I remember it all, even if it didn’t turn into a success, with a great deal of pleasure and affection.

    There was just Miranda when I used to come to Walthamstow. Years later, now, it’s so very nice to see how your whole family flourishing.

    All the best wishes to you all

    • Oh, Toni – how nice to hear from you! I remember your illustrations to that Book of Spells well. It never got published but I’m glad your nephew appreciated ‘Boney was a Skeleton’ and your picture of the skeleton in his wellies.

      All the best


  14. Delighted to hear theres going to be a back in time for christmas! Goose no doubt will play a role…

  15. Margaret Beatty permalink

    We are watching your programme in Sydney Australia and love it. You’re all delightful but Rochele is hilarious and the star of the show. Hope we get to see the Christmas series!

  16. matt permalink

    I agree Margaret i also live in Australia.. good for me to as i work as a chef/cook interesting..cheers matt

  17. Mike W permalink

    Hi Brandon

    Excellent blog – really enjoy it!

    A question for you:

    As an employee of a large, American, corporate, business I am constantly intrigued by the new words seemingly created out of thin air (my current favourites being: Impactful, Densification and Findability!).

    However, there is one word that I know is not new, yet I am unable to read correctly despite it being a regular occurence and that’s: coworker…

    I see it as cow orker – someone who “orks” cows – which in my mildly warped mind is probably an unsavoury activity and possibly immoral if not illegal!

    Why do I see it like that?

    Is it because I expect a hyphen? i.e.: co-worker (this looks much better!)

    Why does my brain insist on reading it in that way (which results in me losing about 10 minutes of concentration as my mind drifts off imagining my “colleague” orking cows…)?

    Kind regards

    Mike W

    • Yes, I must say that ‘coworker’ looks odd to me too. And anyway what is wrong with ‘colleague’?

    • I have long wondered how you ork a cow. Here’s why I think we see it that way:

      The reading process is optimised for speed, which means we make a lot of assumptions as we scan text. Most of the time we get it right because the more familiar syllables are the more common. And few are more familiar than ‘cow’, which we learn very early in life, so it is very difficult to ‘un-see’ that syllable as we continue along the word.

      Once we have finished searching our minds for any possible meaning of ‘orker’ (which has the unfortunate quality of resembling an actor of a verb) we eventually determine that we must re-parse the word. This sudden hold-up is what irks us, and makes the writer an irker, I suppose.

      • Oh – you’re writing about ‘coworker’? Took me a while to get that!

      • Spiritman permalink

        Sorry Brandon! I clicked reply under the other chap’s comment, but it ended up out of sequence.
        Anyway, while I’m here, I’d like to repeat what I tweeted you earlier today: I really think you and your family were perfect for those shows, bringing those decades to life for us, with your genuine and honest approach to the task. So I say congrats, and here’s hoping we see you all again sometime.
        Best regards,
        Alec (aka Spiritman)

      • Thanks very much, Alec – I appreciate your appreciation!


  18. ADAM HEWETT permalink

    Dear Brandon.
    I very much enjoyed Back in time for dinner. So excited about the follow up series due in December.
    Also very interested in what you have written above. Have sent you a follow request on Twitter so hopefully you’ll except.
    Kind regards, Adam.

  19. Nick Bowman permalink

    Greetings Brandon…it’s at least 20, maybe 25 years since we last spoke. Very much enjoyed the Back in Time for Dinner series…what a fabulous family you have! Looking forward to Back in Time for Christmas. By coincidence I work in the old Guardian building…next to The Eagle. My partner is Anne Fitzpatrick, sister of your old friend Paul. If they knew I was dropping you a line, they would send you their regards. All the best. Nick Bowman

  20. Dawn Aitken permalink

    (Dawn) I loved the original series and really enjoyed the Christmas programmes….I’m from the same decade as yourself and as we’ve lived in the same house since 1985 have a lot of what we’ve seen in the programmes still in our attic including most of our Sons’ toys! Tonight’s programme brought back so many memories :-). May you, Rochelle and family have yourselves a very Merry Christmas and hope to see you all on something next year 😉

  21. Hi Brandon – Thank you to you and your Family for inviting us all over for Dinner over the years and, of course, more recently for the Christmas fare. Hope to see you all again in 2016 perhaps for some other occasion. Mazel Tov!

  22. Sean Laffey permalink

    Brandon, You seem a good egg, play the uke and have a bit of an in with the BBC. Can you use your influence to halt the overuse of the word ENTIRE in the media. I wear a shirt, no need to say the entire shirt, I play the banjo, no need to say I play the entire banjo. Rain will fall on London on Sunday, I do not need to know therefore that rain will fall on the entire city of London on Sunday. The word is everywhere and once it’s on your ear (and yours must be a god one given your prowess on the ukulele) , it will drive you mad.

    Sean L

    • I will watch out for “entire”. And if I get the chance to combat its overuse, I will.

      Best wishes

  23. joanne weir permalink

    Brandon im overjoyed at the christmas specials!! Loved them!! Once again i will say how much i love watching you needs to give you more programmes!! Many thanks joanne x

  24. Brandon – Where on earth does ‘train station’ come from?! In British English it is ‘railway station’ and, I thought, in American English ‘rail-road station’. This really grates, and it is so over used on the TV – horrible!

  25. Brandon, I was rather expecting a Chanukah through the ages for your wife as well?

  26. Braden Rissél permalink


    Enjoyed Back in time for Christmas. Great stuff.

    Next time you’re in the QA reading Beano while I’m nursing a Classic Car magazine I’ll buy you a pint.


    Braden Rissél.

  27. David Haworth permalink

    Dear Brandon
    I would also like to add my appreciation and thanks to some of the commentators above. I watched and enjoyed the dinner shows but the Christmas ones have been superb.
    As I am now ageing (53 yesterday) I can remember some of the 60s stuff but the 70s was almost bob on.
    In a way this programme and some programme on Channel 4 – “its so last century” were almost perfect snapshots of how things have changed.
    You and your lovely family should be very proud of the xmas programmes they will have raised many a smile on peoples faces. I would buy you a “johnny 7 ” to show my appreciation !
    Best wishes to you and yours

  28. kathie robson permalink

    O my Brandon you didn’t tell us this on the money mentoring course in Sleaford !! Hope I passed….

  29. Heidi Kolb-Zimmermann permalink

    Dear Brandon
    I’m a Swiss EAFL-teacher trainee and mum of two teenagers (16 & 19). While doing some internet research for my methodology paper which I’m due to hand in by the end of February I came across the series ‘Back in Time for Dinner’ in which you and your wonderful family took part last year. Thanks a lot for this great documentary. It actually helps me a lot to plan and create my teaching sequence about ‘British food’.and about how British food as well as eating habits (not just in Britain 😉 have changed in no less than half a century. The most astonishing thing for me was to discover that although rationing in Switzerland finished right after the end of WWII in 1945 eating habits in Switzerland have developed quite similar to what you experienced in your experiment.
    I’ve had to smile when I saw the part with you and your family eating Fondue. Fondue is actually a very traditional Swiss winter dish. I hope you enjoyed it as we do in Switzerland. I bet my Swiss students will be quite surprised that Fondue was sort of an exotic dish in Britain in the seventies.
    As a mum of teenagers I was particularely touched by the role your wife had in your time travelling experiment. I’ve got to admit that her role as a 60s-wife has still been reality for most women in Switzerland in the 70s and 80s, especially when not living in one of our bigger towns like Zurich or Geneva.
    Wishing you and your family a great 2016 and thanks again for your and your family’s courage to take part in ‘Back in Time for Dinner’.
    Best wishes,

  30. Hi, loved the series and your family were fantastic. As I was born in 1979, our area was quite behind I think (former industrial area) so like other areas, most meals my mom cooked, were quite wholesome. There was Mcdonald’s but I saw it as a treat around 1985, they used to have Mcdonald’s Birthday parties. There was sweet shops still then a carry on from the 1970s which there isn’t much now (not very healthy and very sugary but we didn’t think much of it). Microwaves and ready meals we got much later. Microwave first and then we started ready meals in the 1990s I think. BMX were huge in 1985 and so was playing out more, more so than now. Family shows as I recall were all the rage with 4 channels, I suppose it has a lot to do with how rich the family was. I do remember school meals and as my mom was a dinner lady, she only did part time but also I had packed lunches as it was too expensive etc Maggie Thatcher the milk snatcher I seem to recall, but always had a well done healthy packed lunch meal. What I have come to realise being a kid was fantastic at that time, I had to walk to school and cook my own food from an early age, there were tonnes of board games, action figure especially Transformers, Christmases very family orientated. Looking back not everything was great and I can see by the programme not all change has been good but many things have been too, really enjoyed watching. My mom being 76 she has gone through quite a few decades, and even ready meals its nice to eat together as a family (not too many takeaways though). Freedom is great as long as there is balance. Btw I think we may have tried a fully microwaveable meal but realised like so many, use it more for reheating even the ready meals lol Cheers Mike

  31. Btw I did notice the more work people did the less leisure and time they had as a family, it may have something to do with the need of convenience food, what came first I am not sure.

  32. sqc33 permalink

    Loved the TV show first time round and am now enjoying the Christmas one again: a real trip down memory lane. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  33. Elliott permalink

    Lovred watching the series, watching a repeat of Episode 1 the Christmas editions. Looking forward to another show in 2017EE

  34. Joan permalink

    Hi Brandon and family. We have just watched the Christmas programmes, very enjoyable. I have to say some of the stuff in the years, I don’t remember!

    Your family are enchanting and you are all so together.

    We are glad you will be coming back for more programmes.

    lol the best for 2017

    • Glenn poole permalink

      Hi Brandon & family.
      Love the show and hope you’ll be back in 2017.

      Best wishes.

  35. Wendy permalink

    Hi Brandon,
    I love the Back in time series and I’m sure I’ve met your wife years ago. I used to work at Frances Dee in Ilford then later at Bernetta Newbury Park in the late 1970s. Was she connected or related to either of the families that owned them?
    Looking forward to the rest of the new shows!
    Best wishes Wendy

    • Hi Wendy – nice to hear from you. Rochelle isn’t related (as far as she knows) to Frances Dee or Bernetta; but she did grow up in Ilford so it’s quite possible that you did meet her. Glad you like the show!

      Best wishes

  36. Laura Clark permalink

    Hi Brandon,

    Lovely to meet you all last year. Thought episode one was fab! I’m excited to see how our episode turns out but may have to watch from behind a cushion! I have a favour to ask… Would love to ask you and Rochelle some questions to form a new blog post to put up on my website. Just about your thoughts on nutrition in today’s world and how your experience on the shows and series has shaped your thoughts on the way we do things these days etc. Please let me know and I could email some questions or even chat if you could spare the time?

    Best Regards,
    Laura (dietitian)

    • Hi Laura – great to hear from you, and so glad you liked episode 1! Rochelle and I would be happy to answer any questions about nutrition. Could you send me your email address and we can take it from there?


  37. joanne weir permalink

    Brandon you are backkkkkkkk!!!! Im sooooooo happy i couldnt watch the series with the other family i am so happy you and all the family are back on my tv screen!!!! Xxxxx

  38. That’s very nice to hear. Thanks Joanne!

    • joanne weir permalink

      I am just loving life watching the episodes !! Love your wee family thank you so much for entertaining us!! Xxxx

  39. Sçutot permalink

    Why not go the future?

  40. Sara permalink

    I’m really enjoying this new series Brandon, you and your family are great, it’s lovely to see such grounded children, you must be so proud of them, and I can certainly relate to Rochelle in the kitchen!

  41. Really enjoying the programme but not too sure about some of the food you eat 😳

  42. Hello Brandon (if I may be so bold),

    The one thing which stands out hugely from you and your family’s presence in the ‘Back in Time’ programmes is your family dynamic. This is obviously at the heart of why the further series have been created and you’re now not just the subjects of someone else’s creative idea, but the centre/stars of further and new series since the original.

    You and Rochelle are both doing excellent work in your own fields – but it seems that you have found something hugely important for our (flailing) society: the way to create a completely functional family.

    Do you know how you’ve done what you’ve done? Do you know why your offspring, as against the majority, are intelligent, responsive, emotionally mature, and healthy in body and mind? Do you know how it is, despite the current societal fragmentation of family and social life, you have a family unit which is united and yet flexible?

    If so – we REALLY need to know how you’ve done it and how to replicate it! Please give some thought to sharing this, writing about it, talking about it, advising about it. If the family unit is to have any future (personally I don’t think it has, but if you have the answer, then – excellent), for heaven’s sake get it out there! We’ve had so much theory about the family over the past decades (Bettelheim, Spock, Laing/Esterson), but what have we ended up with?… At every level of society we have malfunctioning families and the ramifications and fallout from them are disastrous, replicative, and enduring.

    What did you do right?!?

    • Very kind of you to say so. I’m afraid there is no plan or method or strategy or philosophy involved: just good luck!

  43. Margaret duffy permalink

    Hello I have been watching your programme and I am really enjoying it I wondered which decade did you all enjoy the best ?

  44. Bernard Glossop permalink

    Look forward to ‘Back to the Dawn of Time for Dinner’! Brontosaurus ribs anyone?

  45. Sharon permalink

    Hello Brandon, I love the latest (Further) Back in Time series and I wondered whether the subject title of your latest book…Adam Gowers, had any relevance to your family. My Walthamstow Gower family moved out to Ilford in the 1910-30’s.

    • Hi Sharon – glad you like the show. No, ‘Gowers’ was a name I picked because it rhymes with ‘powers’, that’s all!

  46. Lesley Robinson permalink

    Hi Brandon – absolutely love your programmes. The latest one is particularly fascinating for me with regard to the poor maid of all work. I did a history course at the OU and we focused on social change in relation to both world wars. The difference in middle class life before WW1 and afterwards is staggering and the shortage of female maids had long reaching effects – something that the programme illustrated beautifully with the arrival of convenience food in the 1920’s to help struggling women in the kitchen! I was so worried that Rochelle would hurt herself with that awful tin opener! These programmes should be used in history curricula in secondary schools – they bring the past to life so vividly and they are entertaining in equal measure. thank you. Please make more!

    • Hi Lesley. I’m so glad you like the show. Yes, it’s historically informative as well as entertaining. Nice to hear from a former OU student – I work at the OU as an Associate Lecturer in my normal life!

      Best wishes

  47. Anne Morrison permalink

    Hi Brandon i really love watching back in time for dinner and christmas and now further back in time. They are very interesting and love watching them. I only wish it would come out on dvd to keep forever so i can keep watching.. Are you all doing another back in time? I hope so. How bout Easter..

    • Thank you Anne. There are no plans as yet for us to do another series. However if we were asked again we would not say no!

      Best wishes

  48. Brian Wheeldon permalink

    Hello Mr Robshaw and family.
    I’d just like to say I’ve loved watching you and your family on Further back in time for dinner.
    Some of the facts and the foods themselves are really surprising.
    It’s going to be sad when the series ends.
    Anyway I’d just like to say thanks for the entertainment and good health.
    Thanks Brian.

  49. Still love the programme and great sense of humour!

  50. Barbara Fisher permalink

    It’s an absolute pleasure to see you and your lovely family on ‘Further Back in Time for Dinner’. Your joie de vivre is infectious as is the fun amd laughter you all share. You’re all too lovely to be jealous of (not a great emotion!) but I’ll bet thousands would love to have you guys living next door! Wishing you all much happiness going forward once the series is finished. Take care! Do come back on our screens again please..

    • Dear Barbara – thank you so much for these kind words! So glad you’ve enjoyed the programme. Best wishes

  51. Steven permalink

    Hello Brandon,
    Is your wife really as comical in the kitchen in real life as she is in the tv programmes? Her tin opener action was an absolute treat!

    • In real life I do most of the cooking – but Rochelle can actually cook. It’s just that when presented with unfamiliar equipment in an unfamiliar kitchen and told to cook on camera, it’s not always easy to perform!

  52. Bernard Glossop permalink

    Are you still in touch with Debbie? I think that we may be seeing more of her, with her cookery skills, in the future.

  53. Yes, we are in touch with Debbie. She came down to stay with us in London just before Christmas, and she and the girls went to see Les Miserables. I’m sure you are right that we will see more of her on TV!

    Best wishes

    • Bernard Glossop permalink

      Brandon – Further to the above, my wife asks was the house owned by the production company or leased for the duration.

  54. Veronika permalink


    I have to say your family seems absolutely delightful. My 6 year old son loves watching Further back in time for Dinner too! But he has a question – were your bedrooms upstairs changed too or were they kept modern?

    It was lovely to have a programme on TV that was insightful and interesting with a decent well-spoken family, I wish there were more like it.

    V & J

    • Dear Veronika – thanks for this – I am so glad that you and your son like the show! In answer to your question, the upstairs rooms were kept modern, so we had hot and cold water and electric light. But we were not allowed phones or laptops.

      Best wishes

  55. Linda Carsberg-Davis permalink

    We’ll miss you all! All the series have been brilliant – and I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that I feel I know your family – and Debbie, too! Many thanks to everyone. Regards, Linda

    • Thanks Linda – glad you enjoyed it! There is one more episode to go, though, so make sure you don’t miss that next week. Brandon

  56. Ziggy F.C permalink

    What schools did you work in? You look like someone from Gunnersbury School

    • No, I never worked at Gunnersbury. I taught at a school in Charlton for a while. I taught at a 6th form college, WestminsterKingsway, for many years, and I also taught at my local primary school for a bit. I mainly teach in Higher Education now.

  57. Linda permalink

    It would be interesting to follow a working class family throughout the decades. Following a middle class family is difficult to relate to sometimes for me. I love, love, love it though!!!

    • I believe Wall to Wall are working on a new series called ‘Back in Time for Tea’, which will feature a family from the north of England and will focus more on the working-class experience.

  58. Michael lewis permalink

    I love this show. I was born in 1949, and can remember a lot of things from those days. I was not sure if this was a real family, or was made up. I thought the young chap Fred ,was Giles’s son, as they look similar. I hope there will be some more of these shows, as they are very interesting, and make you realise how much easier life is today. Very well presented and performed.

    • Hello Michael. Glad you like the show. We are a real family, and Fred is my son, not Giles’s (unless there is something Rochelle has not told me!).

      Best wishes

      • michael lewis permalink

        Ha Ha ! Yes I had forgotten what it is like to have a family around you. I did feel sorry for the young lady doing all the housework, I believe some of them worked a 100 hour week. I would be quite proud to have gone through the years the way you and the family have done so. It was quite convincing. I did laugh at Rochelle cooking food in the paper bag ! Thank you.

  59. Ian White permalink

    An outstanding show with an outstanding family. Your son and daughters are amazing in the way that they fully embrace the situations with every bit as much enthusiasm as you and Rochelle. You must be the proudest of parents. Thank you all for your part in such important program making.

  60. Elizabeth permalink

    Hi Brandon, I thoroughly enjoyed the tr recent program on BBC 2. It was fascinating and realistic. It is something that can be shared with the age of children I teach. Thank you

  61. Rachel Perkin permalink

    Hi all Family and maid
    Wonderful series and wondered if they would be making a programme about how they created the Series. Is the Christmas one coming up or has it been shown already

    • Hi Rachel. So glad you enjoyed the series. The Christmas one (which is two episodes) was shown in December 2015 and repeated in December 2016. I hope they will repeat it in December 2017, too!


  62. maddison permalink

    amazing production. my sister has crush on fred lol!

  63. Annie permalink

    Just re-watching the last episode of the most recent BITFD with my youngest son. He thinks Fred is a legend. Loves the fact he loves chocolate too!!
    We have loved all the episodes -want to watch everything again now- a gap in our Tuesdays . There has been so much to learn, history of fashion is my thing and this made the whole social aspect more relevant.
    Thank you so much your all such good sports and look at ease with anything presented to you.

  64. sqc33 permalink

    Hi Brandon, loved watching you and the family on FBITFD and the other two series, please do another one!

  65. Anne Morrison permalink

    Hi Brandon and Rochelle, i loved it when Fred tasted the chocolate with Debbie.. That was my job at mintcake factory for nearly 13yrs. I had to taste to see if there was enough mint in chocolate and see if there was enough rum brandy whisky and champagne in chocolate truffles….down side is you put on too much wait…i had a go at making Miranda’s vegetable pie that she mafe in 1940s my family loved it. So big thankyou.. Ive always been interested in 1900s to 1960s and the food you ate and cooked. Love to you and your family. Hope to see you all on bbc 2 again very soon. Anne

  66. Kay Roberts permalink

    Hi Brandon
    I have fond memories of Peter, your Dad as lived opposite in Wanstead.
    Thought the name sounded familiar as I believe your sisters had quite unusual names as well.
    He was a very dapper chap and such a gentleman.
    Thoroughly enjoyed the programmes and sorry they have finished, such a great family.

    • Hi Kay – how very nice to hear from you! So glad you have fond memories of my dad. Yes, my sisters were (and still are) called Bronwen and Glynis; Bronwen lives in South Woodford now and Glynis is in Norwich. Actually Glynis made a brief appearance in the 1940s episode in the party scene, but if you’d blinked you’d have missed her! Glad to hear you enjoyed the show.

      Best wishes

  67. Clifford Jury permalink

    Just finished watching last episode of Further Back in Time which was a joy, as was the whole series. The idea of the programme, its presentation and development were all handled really well, but it is you and your lovely family who make it work. It has been a pleasure to spend time in your company again and the addition of Debbie was a great bonus. I wish you all well and hope it’s not the last time we see you all on tv.

  68. Luc permalink

    Dear Brandon

    I have a question that I need to ask this way since I do not have a Twitter account.

    First of all, I’m a Flemish speaking Belgian so I learned English via Auntie Beeb and I do not master the finesses of the English language.

    I have always pronounced the abbreviation hi-fi (and wi-fi) as high-fi (whith a short “i”) and not as hai-fai (as it apparently is pronounced in the UK).

    The abbreviation derives from high-fidelity and fidelity is not pronounced faidelity?

    So why is it pronounced hai-fai ?

    Best Regards


  69. Spiritman permalink

    I can think of two answers:
    1) It rhymes, so it’s classier (at least to our ears).
    2) The i in ‘fidelity’ has been freed from the syllable ‘fid’ and is now in a final position, just like the i in ‘hi’.

    En als je een nederlands antwoord wil:
    1) Het rijmt, dus is het meer stijlvol (althans voor onze ooren).
    2) De i in ‘fidelity’ is bevrijd van de lettergreep ‘fid’ en is nu in een eindpositie, net als de i in ‘hi’.

    • Spiritman permalink

      Luc, dit had je beter op kunnen vragen. 🙂

  70. Angus Sprott permalink

    Dear Brandon

    I would just like to say what a treat the second TV series has been (as well as the first) right down to your dodgy (1920’s ?) hat. It has been so lovely to observe you and your family. You are all unsung national treasures.

    Kind Regards

    Angus Sprott

    PS No need to reply as I am sure you are a very busy man.

  71. Daniel Davis permalink

    My wife and I have watched all three of your shows. We really enjoyed then. We especially enjoyed the Further back in time for dinner shows. We hope to see your family and Debbie in future television projects. We live in America and find this type of British tv to be much more enjoyable than american tv.

    • Nice to hear from you, Daniel. I’m very glad you and your wife enjoyed the series. I don’t know if we – or Debbie – will be in anything else but we will not say no if asked! Best wishes Brandon

  72. Hello Brandon,
    Thanks to YouTube, those of us here in the US have been able to enjoy your series, which we otherwise would never know about. The authenticity of your family shines through in every episode. Much success to you in the future!
    P.S. Please tell Rochelle that I totally ‘get’ her. She is beautifully hilarious.

    • Dear Nicolle – thank you so much. We are really pleased that you enjoyed the show. I passed your kind words on to Rochelle and she was delighted! Best wishes Brandon

  73. weefoldingbike permalink

    Is there another TV show on the way?

    I’ve been known to play uke to kids in school. It’s all good. Well… they like Back in Black anyway.

    • Always nice to meet another uke player! No new series involving us are planned as far as I know – but if we are asked we would certainly be up for it.

  74. alan Hodge permalink

    Hi Brandon. Just been watching the re-runs of further back in time…… as I had missed the first few episodes first time around. I think your whole family has tremendous spirit to take this on – particularly the children as we all know what a “snowflake” generation they are today.
    Can you please lobby the BBC to repeat the first series as I never say any of those!

  75. Gillian jamieson permalink

    I absolutely Adore this programme love it … can’t wait until it comes on .. yous are very very good in wat yous do within the programme. .. why don’t yous all go even FURTHER BACK IN TIME TOO THE 18th century. ?

  76. Jo Clifford permalink

    Hi Brandon,

    What thoroughly lovely comments from everyone to complement, and indeed compliment, the thoroughly lovely tv shows! I came across ‘Further Back’ rather inadvertently, yesterday, channel hopping while laid up poorly, and have been iplayer-ing like mad, ever since.

    A wonderful social history experiment to which you’ve all seemed incredibly open-minded, I take my hat off to you all.

    Can I ask the age gap between the kids? I notice that not both of the girls seem to drink…

    Is there a book in the offing of the family’s experience of these shows?

    Best wishes


    • I’m very glad you enjoyed it, Jo. When we filmed Further Back in Time for Dinner, Miranda was 19, and so allowed to drink by the BBC, but Ros was only 17, and so she wasn’t. Ros is now 18 and at university, where I believe she enjoys the occasional drink.

      No book in the offing, I’m afraid. But one never knows…

  77. Darren watson permalink

    Hello Brandon

    I’ve very much loved all of the back in time for dinner just wonting to ask if there going to be an Further Back in Time for Dinner, christmas this year

  78. Brendon Walker. permalink

    Hi Brandon
    What I like about you and your lovely family is that although you know you are on camera all of you manage to be yourselves. There is this Warm and genuine feeling that you all bring to the viewers. My wife loves to watch you all ,well done and I certainly agree with your comment on valuing the time the children are at home, my two girls are older than yours and have moved out .I miss them every day.
    Good luck to you all and well done to the BBC for choosing THE ROBSHAWS.


  79. Roy Wayne permalink

    Dear Robshaw Family,
    I love your BBC series Further Back in Time for Dinner and I’ve several of Brandon’s excellent books. I recently requested as autographed photograph of you all and was delighted to receive it today. It’s lovely. You are now “framed” and alongside Richard Wilson and Professor Noel Fitzpatrick on our shelves. Thank you so much.

  80. Anne Edwards permalink

    Hi Brandon
    I’ve just rewatched the Further Back in Time series and I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed it. You all really threw yourselves into it which made it such a fantastic show. You have a lovely family. Your children are clearly as smart as you are. My daughter who is 15 thinks that Ros and Miranda should be models 🙂
    Thanks for a great series. Please make some more!

  81. Camilla permalink

    Hi Brandon and Rochelle, Absolutely loved all the series of Back in Time for Dinner, just come out of hospital after fracturing my hip and I am sat on the sofa with my husband and dog enjoying the repeat series again this week, at the moment it is the 90’s on BBC2. You are a lovely family, wonder if you will be on our screens again perhaps in a food history programme? Thanks for a wonderful series.

  82. Julie Cartledge permalink

    Thoroughly enjoyed watching the repeats of Back in time for dinner and further back in time for dinner. I felt a great kinship with Mrs Robshaw when she said ‘why am I in the kitchen when there is a drinks trolley in the lounge’. I wondered if the Back in time for Christmas episodes would be repeated also as I would love to watch those again. Are these shows available on DVD at all ?

    • Thanks for your message. I am glad you enjoyed it! I hope they will repeat Back in Time for Christmas in December but we haven’t been told yet. I don’t know if the episodes are available on dvd but I do know they are available to download from the BBC. Best wishes

  83. Jane Sheehan permalink

    Hi Brandon. I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed seeing you and your family in the 2 TV series. I haven’t read any of your many books but I wish you continued success and happiness in the future.

    Best wishes for the Festive Season and 2018 whatever that will bring!

    Jane Sheehan

    • Thank you, Jane. I’m so glad you enjoyed the show. Best wishes for the festive season to you too. If you are looking for presents to buy for any young people this Christmas, might I recommend my book of children’s poetry, These Are a Few of my Scariest Things? Available on Amazon and orderable at all good bookshops!


  84. Craig permalink

    Great to watch the repeats of Back In Time for Christmas, it will be a sad day when they stop showing them. Watching your fantastic family makes me cherish every moment my children are still at home (no matter how trying), so thank you and all the best for 2019.

  85. Ann permalink

    Lovely family

  86. Fred Kerswill permalink

    Thank you Brandon and your lovely family. Rochelle always makes us laugh. You have provided much pleasure.

  87. Anji Perkins permalink

    Hi Brandon- loved the show first time round and re watching it in lockdown- particularly love when Rochelle is in the kitchen- you have a lovely family- can I ask one question? Does Rochelle have a sister called Amanda- I also grew up in Ilford so I may have seen her there.

    • Hi Anji – so glad you enjoyed the show. We had a lot of fun making it. In answer to your question, Rochelle does have a sister, but she’s not called Amanda.

      Best wishes

      • David Abbott permalink

        Brandom, you remember me, David Abbott? We played cricket oppsite Wanstead station and Bronwyn sang in my mum’ choir. Are you on facebook Brandon?

      • Dear David – yes, I remember you very well indeed! Great to hear from you after all this time. And I am indeed on Facebook, so let us befriend each other.

        Best wishes

      • David Abbott permalink

        best way to get to my facebook, as I have a weird welsh middle name is to key – I now live in Sicily. Worked in Palermo opera house for 26 years. My mum was pleased for the music, my dad for the language learning. Ironically now my only paid work is English lessons! Our cricket practice meant I bowled out every batsman in the City of London Junior school in my first summer there. Our maths teacher was Mike Brearley’s dad, so I got to meet Mike Brearley and bowl against him. Great guy. Best wishes . David. PS. My mum still sings and teaches at age 85

  88. Craig permalink

    You quit twitter Brandon! I knew you were thinking about it.

    Sad that I couldn’t find your Christmas Back in Time For this year. I looked for it everywhere.

    Stay safe, hoping for a better year (but not a great start).

    • Yes, I quit Twitter. I was spending too much time on it. Thanks for your good wishes, Craig, and a Happy New Year to you too.

  89. Simon Grantham permalink

    Lovely family with a broad-minded approach to the past and highly intelligent but also great sense of humour.

  90. Kim O’Connor permalink

    Dear Brandon
    I have enjoyed watching (again) the fab series that you and your family took part in. I was struck by just how delightful, unspoilt and ‘game on’ your children were. I took a shine to Fred who was always so positive about his experiences, especially the food and he lapped to the rabbit! I can’t say the nettles appealed much.
    So lovely to witness such a fun, intelligent and interesting family. I am sure your three have gone on to do great things – I hope so.
    Warm wishes

    Kim – Bath

  91. Jim Duffy permalink

    Hello Brandon,
    My wife and I are watching the repeat run of your Further back in time for dinner on BBC 2.
    We enjoyed it the first time and your other series as well.
    Wish you and your family would do another series as you and your family have been the best of all the back in time series.
    Kind regards,
    Jim & Carole

  92. Not sure how we missed it first time around, but we caught FBITFD (Feb 2022) and loved the series. Your family has a wonderful ‘togetherness’ and it was a joy to watch. It was great to see Fred joining in with everything and not being camera shy. Would love to see you all in more series like these!

    • So glad you enjoyed it. Sadly I don’t think we’ll do another series. FBITFD was filmed 6 years ago; the girls have grown up and left home and Fred is 18 now! But we had huge fun doing it and will always have fond memories of the experience.

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