Sir Joseph William Bazalgette (1819-1891) was chief engineer of London's Metropolitan Board of Works. His great and lasting achievement was the creation of a sewer network for Central London.

This was in response to the Great Stink of 1858, when the rapidly increasing population and the use of water closets, rather than cesspits, saw raw sewage enter the Thames.

The hot weather of July and August exacerbated the smell of untreated human waste and industrial effluent.

The smell emanating from the Thames was so overpowering that the curtains of the House of Commons were soaked in chloride of lime in a vain attempt to protect the sensitivities of MPs.

Peter Bazalgette is the great-great-grandson of Sir Joseph Bazalgette. His TV company Bazal pioneered the creation of formats that could be sold internationally, including early forays into reality TV.

He was behind hit shows such as 'Food And Drink', 'Ready Steady Cook', 'Can't Cook, Won't Cook', 'Ground Force' and 'Changing Rooms'.

Bazalgette joined Endemol in 1998 when he sold Bazal to the Dutch group. He took a small Dutch reality show called 'Big Brother' and turned it into a worldwide phenomenon.

He also created 'Deal Or No Deal', earning him a place in Quentin Letts's '50 People Who Buggered Up Britain'. Thus arose the joke that, where Joseph Bazalette was responsible for removing crap from Londoners' homes, his descendant was responsible for bringing it back in.

Found in the Daily Mail's "Answer to Correspondents" column, Wednesday, 31st October, 2018, contributed by Jo Graham of York.