05/07/2012 The One Show


Ed Byrne joins Matt Baker and Alex Jones in the studio. Lucy Siegle goes slug hunting in Chester, and Anita Rani discovers the cottage industry of the 21st century.

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Tonight on the The One Show, why Welsh farmers started cross-


dressing. We ask if it is ever possible to love slugs.


Hello! Welcome to The One Show with Alex Jones and Matt Baker.


Tonight's guest is not just a stand-up comedian. He is a Star


Trek nerd, explorer and a budding volcanologist.


But, above all of that, he is a father for the second time. Massive


congratulations for the second time. What did you call him? He is called


Magnus. So, two children under two, so my wife and I have not said a


pleasant word yet! It is bound to get better.


It nice to be here, anywhere but my house.


Well, missing bath and bedtime. Assuming neither of you start


crying! Well, we are having bad weather, the summer is awful, but


it is nothing compared to you and Andy driving across Siberia. How


cold was it? That was the latest project? Yes, it was, with World's


Most Dangerous Roads. The coldest it got with minus 52 Celsius.


To be honest with you, when you know it is going to be that cold,


it is dry cold, you are wrapped up against it, I have been in Glasgow,


Dublin, where it has been about one Celsius and felt colder.


You are miserable. Is there a story of farmers wrapping their cows?


the cows have to wear bras. What? It stops the udders from


freezing. They freeze and break off when you try to milk them.


So they clip them around the back of the cow? Yes. Where a cow's


teats are, it is more like you are wearing a thong. It makes you


realise, as Andy says, all of the cows here are wandering around


topless! I think it would take up in the north-east, for the cows,


that is. Well, all of this weather is great


for one things, slugs. The numbers have reportedly doubled in the damp


spring, but do you like them or loath them? Let's find out once and


for all. Now, pro-slugs is George McGavin,


he is going to explain why we should all hug a shrub. Hup against


him, the man's whose first job was as a gardener, and studied


horticultural, slide forward, Ed Byrne! Look at that, but before


they slug it out, Lucy goes slug- hunting in Chester.


Slugs have to be one of the least popular creatures in the UK. They


are up there with cockroaches, leeches aprats, but I cannot recall


anyone being hurt by a slug, so why do they have such a bad press? Are


you a fan of the slug? I hate them! I couldn't eat a whole one! They


make me feel sick! How does it feel? Slimey and Minging. Oh!


can get a good idea how much we hate slugs by taking a quick look


in a hardware store. We wage war against slugs in this country, look


at this weaponry here, there is everything, contraptions, traps,


jars for the parasites, but mainly we love slug pellets. British


gardeners buy about 400 million every year. This year, the sales


are going through the roof with the wet garden. It is mass slug icide,


but is it really fair? To find out, I'm heading for a late-night slug


safari with Britain's top slug export. If anyone has a soft spot


for them, it is this man. This is the perfect time to go


looking for slugs it is raining and moist. Also, the dauk s -- the dogs


like to find them. Here is one.


He is curled into a ball. Is that the light? That's right. When you


shine the light on them, the top two tentacles are pulled in. The


amazing thing about these guys is that the birds peck at the


tentacles, then that tentacle, will regenerate within a week or two


complete with a new eye. It is not just the eye, it is also the smell


of these animals as well. If he were a snail that would be worth --


where the shell would be. These are big ones? These are some


of the larger ones in the UK, but we have extremely large ones, up to


over a foot shrong. They are black slugs that dlrb up to a foot long,


but they are black ones that can be found in ancient woods. There is a


slippery customer. It is the Spanish stealth slug. It


came into the UK in the easterlyy 1970s.


So this is an invasive species and it is causing havoc? It is. It


seems to wipe out the native species. That is having a knock-on


effect to the rest of them. Does your love for slugs extend to this


one? My love of slugs extends to those in the right place at the


right time, this is an invaders. I am almost starting to feel


sympathy for the home-grown British slug. The weather is not their


fault. Looks are not everything. The guys have to eat, perhaps they


are the good guys, afrl? So, are the slugs the good guys as Lucy


said? We want to know what you say, but not before we have presented


you with both sides of the argument. This is the general feeling in the


studio. Peace, not pellets. We are excited


about this. It is time to... "Slug It Out"! Yes, "Slug It Out"! George


and Ed you have 30 seconds each to put your arguments across.


George, you are up first. Slugs are not bad guys, they are


good. They are snails without a shell and a bad PR agentment the


majority of slugs are useful if the in the garden. They eat decaying


matter, dead animal matter, dog dung. They are really not that bad.


They are the food for countless animals, hedgehogs, birds, you name


it, they eat it. The slime is amazing. It is used in creams, all


sorts of things, bioengineering... Wait! What a fifpbish! What a


finish! -- what a finish! What a absolute finish! Alright, Ed,


you're up next. Let's go. Are you set to "Slug It Out"?


Slugs eat salad, which is basically, I don't even like people who do


that. Don't you think salad, your salad, if you were in a restaurant


and someone got up from the table and started to eat your salad, you


would be outraged! Why tolerate is a stomach that is a foot? The


others that are underground are nibbling away at your bugs. The


French don't even eat them. What does it say about an animal when


the French don't even eat them. I'm with you.


Just look at Luke's face there, munching on the lettuce! That is


great. But whose side are you on, lettuce


know! There we go! Now, if you have children and they move back to save


a little bit of money it does not necessarily mean they are going to


eat you out of house and home. Amongst the bags of laundry, there


may be a very good business plan. There is a new kind of business


that is booming. It does not have a High Street presence, it does not


have a shop you can browse in, nor a massive workforce. It is the 21st


version of the cottage industry, the boomerang kids. Right now about


3 million young adults are returning home to live their


parents. Many have returned from travelling or working, some have


come back as they cannot afford to stay away, but many others are


setting up businesses, the entrepreneurs of the future. Meet


Lex. She is 24 and has started her first business, but with student


debts of over �30,000, she's been forced to move back in with dad.


The only way I cowl set up my business was to do it from home it


would have been too expensive to rent and do this.


Had you explored other options? banks basically would not come


anywhere near me. I had no collateral.


So what is the business? It is basically a catering company that


we are starting at the moment, running supper club events.


want to run the supper clubs from here? That's the plan. How are you


going to do that? I'm knocking that wall down.


So you have moved in and you want to knock the walls down? Yes.


Lex and John has decided to help accommodate his daughter with her


business. She has big plans of knocking the


walls through, building a conservatory, you are funding this,


do you mind? Not at all. Do you think you will get the


return? Not in terms of money, but that is not that important.


What is sn it? That she gets a good start in life. I always maintained


once you have finished university, don't go tor a job for job's sake.


You have 45 plus years of doing that. If you don't enjoy it from


day one, life would be a bit of a grind.


60% of new businesses are started from people's own homes. More and


more young people under the age of 25 are becoming their own boss, but


not all kids return home to start businesses. Some have little choice.


Lex's friend Martha has debts and has now given up her flat in London.


You are sacrificing so much. It will be difficult? It is. Giving up


my independence will be difficult. I have been living away from home


on and off for five years. So having my own personal space and


giving it up will be a challenge. I have a lot of debt that I really


need to get out of it. How much? My student loan is


nearing �30,000. It is a heck of a lot of money to


pay off? It is a really horrible burden to have.


Almost a quarter of all parents report that children return home at


some point in later life. Readjusting to living together can


be a challenge. What about your independence? That


is the one thing that young people crave? I really want to make a go


of this. I don't think it is a sacrifice to go home and have a few


rules in place it is general courtesy.


So dad is not cramping your style and Lex is not cramping yours?


Could you pull the plug and say enough is enough? I'm prepared to


give this 12 to 18 months, assess where we are up to, if it is


clearly not working, then, sorry, Lex, you have to work.


Until the kitschen is ready, Lex is running the supper club from her


dad's house and it is proving a big hit.


The plan is to run the supper club. Then to get the produce into the


shops and after that developing the catering business. I would like to


move out of dad es in twoeers -- I would like to move out of dad's in


two years, then return the favour. If you are lucky to have a


supportive family and the entrepreneurial spirit, this seems


like the perfect stepping stone for something bigger and better.


There we go. Ed, you are part of the new series,


World's Most Dangerous Roads. Every time I see this, I wonder why you


put yourself in that position. You are not a a with a professional


driver? No. No. We were driving. I am far from a professional driver.


Well, you've only been driving for three years, so that's it in


context. So you are not experienced, are you? No, and I failed my test


the first time. So why set out on World's Most


Dangerous Roads? Well, it is really interesting.


At first we thought that they should be called the world's most


incredible roads! We saw a part of Russia that even Russians don't see.


It was built by slave labour. It is fascinating. It is right through


the far wilderness of outer far reach of Russia.


So, when somebody asks you to do that, you ask where do you sign in


Well, as well as fascinating, it was dangerous, wasn't it? It was a


bit. Here is a clip from Sunday's


episode. You don't want to meet a lorry


coming at you at the same time, do you?! Wow! What is horrible, when


you get a wipe out, you want to stop completely, but then there is


the chance that somebody will crash into you from the back. So you have


to keep going, even though you can't see anything. We have a taste


of how horrible this place can be, even on the widest, maintained part


of the road. A lot of the road is a single lane.


There was the last day of filming. We had gone on to a final stretch,


a proper highway. We thought it would be plain sail, then the


weather came in and the director was delighted! Yes, this likes


dangerous! This is the coldest inhabited place on Earth? Yes, it


was minus 72 Celsius, so the coldest ever reported there.


So you have to think, it is also the place that is inhabited by the


most bloody minded people! You did this trip with a good friend of


yours, Andy? Andy, yes. How is the relationship now. It


probably tested you to the limits? There is a bit where we get testy


with each other, I start to finish his sentences, he does not like


that. The most annoying thing about the show, the biggest hardship, you


are driving eight to ten hours a day, and putting on the stereo on,


well, we could not do it! To me, eating rain tear, sleeping in tents


at minus 52 Celsius, but not being eight to put on a bit of AC/DC,


that was a crime. Well, that is on Sunday the 8th


June on BBC Two. Now, if you entered the garden of


the Fawlty Towers, you would expect to find at least a little bit of


Basil! Basil?! Get it, oh, goodness me. Well, there is so much more to


Prunella Scales's garden, as Christine Walkden found out. She


has a bit of a thing for a certain colour scheme.


I can't think of a more homely welcome at this time of year than


the curtain of wisteria framing the front door.


This particular homely welcome belongs to actors, Prunella Scales


and Timothy West. They have been crossing the threshold for more


than 40 years. It was a tall plain house. There


was not a creeper over it. I'm a freak for cladding, you know.


I said I would love to grow wisteria. I don't like mauve, so I


had white wisteria and the yellow and wait house. You can't sit out


front. It is a busy road, so I used to grow the vegetables there, but


people would nick the beans from the bus-stop. So that did not work


very well. Now it is just herbs. I don't mind the oing sprig of mint.


We are -- mind the odd sprig of mint.


We are sitting in the conservatory. Surrounding by pictures of their


many character roles, including the Queen and the legendary lady, the


Queen of Fawlty Towers. I think that people are surprised


when they meet me, I am not a bit like Sybil Faulty, you know what I


mean? Do you enjoy gardening? much so. I love it.


Does Tim help you? Oh, yes, his main job is fertilising the plum


blossom. He uses a make-up brush of mine and he goes, "Buzz, buzz,


buzz." I don't know where he read about this, but the first time I


said he was rubbish. That, almost, we had a crop of plums after that,


the like of which, you know, so he has done it every year, ever since.


You have a lovely secluded secret corner there.


Through there is the Prunella Rose. It is not even my favourite colour,


but it was very kind of them. The one we have had here has been in


for many years, it is doing so well now.


This is an established and personal garden, much of it planted by


Prunella herself. Including this tree, now so high it towers over


the house. What do you think that the garden


says about your personality? don't know.


I like quite a... I have no idea what I am about. I am employed to


play other people and find out what they are about.


I think it reflects a person of terrific calmness and an undertone


of serenity, is that you? No, I think I am probably quite agitated,


but I think that the garden is therapeutic in that way.


There is nothing blue about this garden, and I mean nothing blue.


The colour scheme from the front of the house is continued with the odd


splash of rogue pink. I was warned before I came that you were very


much a white and yellow person. So I have brought you a little present.


A special present. This is Prunella Albert. It is a ground cover plant.


Thank you very much. That is lovely. I didn't know it was a plant and it


was white. This is a white form, there is a


purple form, but we didn't choose that.


Lovely. To grow plants and see the results


is very creative, and also very medicinal.


Absolutely. Lovely. That is alright that garden.


I like it. What would your garden reveal about you, Ed? That I have a


gardener! You have a gardener? look at my garden and you think,


there is no way he did this. Now, we are seeing you a bit of --


more on telly this week? You are going to be on Volcano Live? Yes.


Yes, I get to go to Bristol! Well, Bristol was still exciting, here is


you recreating a supervolcanic eruption.


First, put the gear on. I like the idea of taking my glasses off and


putting on glasses that are own just slightly more nerdy.


I am pouring the liquid nitrogen in. It is bog to cause an explosion.


Let's retreat to a safe distance. Wow! Now, there's a supervolcanic


eruption! That was beautiful! APPLAUSE


Wow! I love the way she jumped! She knew what was going to happen, she


leapt! So, what have you learn bad volcanos? Well, the most


interesting thing, without being too technical is the fact the


reason why some of them explode is that there is gas dissolved in the


magma and it literally is like taking the top off a fizzy drink. I


didn't realise it was part of the reason for the explosiveness.


everybody can learn more, Volcano Live starts Monday at 8.00pm on BBC


Two. Now, what do you say would be scarer? An angry group of men or an


angry group of women? As a stand-up comedian, I would say the women.


Well, in the 19 hundreds, Welsh farmers found a way to vent their


anger over toll roads. They did it all wearing frocks.


These days, travelling freely on country roads is En for granted,


but in Wales during the 1830s, it was a very different story. One


that features men in women's clothing.


Back then, many Welsh roads were controlled by private companies,


with toll houses like these. To use the roads you had to pay.


Corruption was rife. So this here is a typical toll


house? It is. There would have been hundreds of houses like this, all


across south and west Wales. And the tariffs are clearly spelt


out? No choice. For every horse six pennies. That was a substantial


amount of money. The farmers, the land holders would not have that.


Look, for things even like lime, two whole pennies. They desperately


needed lime to fertilise the land. Without that there was no crops. So


they knew where to hit it was real exploitation. It really was.


did people feel about this? they hated it. They absolutely


hated it. These gates, this was the turnpike gate. This was a symbol of


oppression. To the ordinary farmer, this was hated. People despised


them with a vengence, they really did.


Pushed to breaking point by poverty and bad harvest, a gang of men


eventually snapped in an unusual way.


In 1839 they destroyed a toll gate, dressed as women.


It sparked a blaze of cross- dressing attacks in West Wales,


called the Rebecca Riots. Phil, I understand the hate red


towards the toll gates, but I'm not sure about the cross-dressing


thing? It is unusual. If you examine it goes back to the days of


rural Wales, when if people had transgressed, committed crimes, the


villagers dealt with this themselves. They put the


transgressor on it a wooden horse, then they dressed up in women's


clothes and paraded them. The idea being to humiliate them. It was


meant to symbolise that the world had turned upside down and the


other thing, of course, it is a great disguise.


There is something unnerving about seeing grown men heavily armed in


dresses. I would not mess with them! Rebecca! The raids took on a


symbolic nature, with mobs chanting Rebecca as they attacked the toll


gates. What is the significance of


Rebecca? Well, we think it is biblical. This is a Bible. It is a


typical Welsh family Bible. If you look in Genesis, it says, "And they


blessed rebeba and they said to her -- Rebecca, thou art her sister, by


thou the mother and let thy seed possess the gates that hate them."


So there it is in print, God's omission to break the gates. God is


on their side. Over the next four years, the mobs led hundreds of


attacks with the authorities powerless to prevent them. The


plight of the Welsh farmers reached the London press. The Government


was forced to make reforms, tolls were halved. Victory for the


Rebeccas. People power helped to beat an


unfair system. It is amazing what a man can do when he stands up for


himself, in a dress. CHEERING AND APPLAUSE.


You were over the moon that story was on today? We did a musical


based on the Rebecca Riots in our school. Did you play a gate?


but I was a crowd member! Just as bad.


OK yes had a huge response to the slugs. Lots of people are against


them. Mali says that theyate her plant that she bought with her


pocket money, she is aged ten. But I'm on the good slug side, this


one say says here, because they eat dog pooh.


Ed Byrne joins Matt Baker and Alex Jones in the One Show studio. Lucy Siegle goes slug hunting in Chester, Anita Rani discovers the cottage industry of the 21st century, Angellica Bell finds out how cross-dressing Welsh farmers rebelled against toll charges and we have a nose through Prunella Scales's garden.

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