New series starting on 7 March on Channel 4:
Gok Wan is travelling back to his ancestral home to explore the largely unseen world of Chinese mass production, and meet the people working in the factories that supply the West.
China is a manufacturing colossus and Britons are surrounded by products “Made in China” every day – from cotton bed sheets to toothbrushes, mobile phones and even London black cabs. The Chinese manage to produce goods cheaply yet they are well made – how are they able to manufacture such enormous volumes of products the UK is now so dependent on?
Gok heads to China to find out more about the people and places behind those three little words “Made in China”. His journey is both personal, as he visits the village his father grew up in for the first time, and a journey of discovery into how the country now produces one in every four man-made objects on the planet.
He visits Xintang, also known as ‘Jeans Town’, an entire town dedicated to making 260 million pairs of jeans every year; ‘Bra Town’ where millions of bras up to 52DD size are churned out for women in Britain and the rest of the world; and he makes a trip to the factory that now makes that most iconic of British products – the London Taxi.
Gok also discovers the surreal side of China’s obsession with copying, with a trip to Thames Town, a perfect replica of an entire English market town complete with its own Oxford Street, Georgian terraces and village green. His journey ends in the ultra-modern city of Shanghai where he meets a stylist pushing the boundaries in Chinese fashion.
(Thanks to Kate Pickering for the tip