Portillo’s State Secrets

Discover the historic documents featured in the BBC Two TV series here

The first documentary of its kind to explore the many historic documents held at The National Archives.

From spies and celebrities through to tyrants and famous kings and queens, Michael Portillo walks you through some of the most fascinating stories in history which are all open for you to discover.

Image of Portillo's State Secrets BBC
Starts Monday 23 March 18:30
Watch on the BBC iPlayer

Episode 1: Crime and punishment

Monday 23 March
Some of the world’s most famous detectives and criminal cases can be found in The National Archives...

Crime and punishment

Episode 2: Tyrants

Tuesday 24 March
Discover the secrets of some of the world's most notorious dictators with official records held by The National Archives...


Episode 3: Celebrity and scandals

Wednesday 25 March
Whether new or old, the actions of celebrity writers, royals and rock stars will always be of public interest...

Celebrity and scandals

Episode 4: Mysteries

Thursday 26 March
The last letter from Jack the Ripper, thousands of UFO reports, hoax claims of finding Lord Kitchener’s body...


Episode 5: Sport and politics

Friday 27 March
Did you know that King Edward III tried to ban football?

Sport and politics
Episode 6: Traitors and spies
Monday 30 March
Traitors and spies
Episode 7: Monarchy
Tuesday 31 March
Episode 8: Banned
Wednesday 1 April
Episode 9: On trial
Thursday 2 April
On trial
Episode 10: National security
Friday 3 April
National security