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The Real Tom Thumb: History's Smallest Superstar

Format: 1 x 90 / 2 x 45
Broadcaster(s):  BBC
Available in HD

The extraordinary story of General Tom Thumb -  the world’s first global show business celebrity. Just 64cm tall, he went from humble beginnings in America to international superstardom, eventually performing on stage to over 50 million people, including President Lincoln and Queen Victoria. His stardom truly reflected the age of the time, exploding amidst the advent of the railroad and flash photography.

Discovered at the age of four, Stratton was truly a child prodigy, but he was framed as a freak by his domineering patron P.T. Barnum. The shrewd entrepreneur Barnum dressed the young Stratton in costumes and trained him to sing, dance and do impersonations, before pushing him into the limelight as 'The Real Tom Thumb'.

Stratton set America alight before crossing the Atlantic to Europe. His talents eventually took him out of the freak-show and into a world of fame and fortune. But was his career built on exploitation?

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