Many British viewers and 30,000,000 viewers worldwide became familiar with obscure pictures from Greece through ITV Channel on which the documentary is showed.
Following in the footsteps of the Ancient Greeks, she visited some of the most significant sites of the empire, exploring the history, gods, beliefs, myths and legends which hail from this profoundly significant chapter in European history.
Joanna began her Greek odyssey at the Parthenon in Athens, which was created by the Ancient Greeks two and a half thousand years ago. This was the dawn of Western civilisation, which saw the birth of democracy, language, science, and medicine.
On her odyssey, Joanna met one of the most famous singers in the world, Nana Mouskouri, at Epidaurus, one of the best surviving amphitheatres, where, in order to demonstrate the perfect acoustics, Nana gave a rare performance of “Ave Maria” to Joanna.
Joanna also took part in a Bouzoukia, a hugely popular singing club where, in a modern twist on an old tradition, the audience spends a fortune on flowers that they throw in appreciation.
Actually, she said, the series “had been planned before Greece hit the skids quite as badly as it has. Athens these days is in a state. Graffiti everywhere, stray dogs sprawling in the streets.”
“Athens did look strangely down at heel,” concludes Lumley. “It was so odd to see places where Socrates had taught – just a sort of car park with a broken gate and old bits of crumbling pillars. And you think, ‘Here on this very land, where these great men who changed the shape of the world have been…’”