Historical sketch show. Barmy Roman emperor Caligula fails to invade Britain, King Henry VIII plays tennis while Anne Boleyn is executed, and some Saxon monks throw a party.
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Some of our Roman Emperors were a bit, well, loopy,
and none were loopier than Caligula.
All hail the Emperor of Rome, Caligula.
Legions of Rome,
today is a great day in the history of the Empire, for today we shall
sail across the Channel and finally conquer Britain. What say you?
-Army looks a little thin on the ground today, General.
Erm, did you actually tell the other garrisons about the invasion?
Of course I did. Or did I just tell Mr Hand?
Mr Hand, did I tell the other garrisons about the invasion?
No, you didn't, you only told me.
Yes, it turns out I just told Mr Hand.
Well, to successfully invade Britain we'd need thousands of men.
And how many men do we have?
Well, including you, me, Jeremy, who frankly is
more of a lover than a fighter...
To invade Britain with this many men you'd have to be mad.
Oh, well, I certainly don't want people to think I'm mad, do I,
Mr Hand? No, you certainly wouldn't.
Well, I can't come all this way without fighting anyone,
it would be too embarrassing.
We must return to Rome in victory.
But we're on a deserted beach in a country we've already conquered.
-There's no-one here to fight.
-I think you're forgetting my greatest
and most valiant enemy - Poseidon, god of the sea!
Let us wage war on the sea.
Look, General, it's retreating.
It's attacking again.
-It's retreating again.
-That's just the tide going out.
Take that, you big, wet wuss.
See how I whip Poseidon into surrender.
It's true, Caligula did indeed
forget to tell his armies to invade Britain with him.
He ordered his troops to collect
seashells, then whipped the sea so he wouldn't look so foolish.
He really was one prawn short of a cocktail, wasn't he?
So why did his legionaries go along with it?
Well, they were trained to do exactly as they were told.
My name's Stuffus Maximus and I'm a legionary in the Roman army.
'I joined the army because I liked swords and fighting,
'and because I was made to, of course.
'But it's not all work, work, work, you know.'
What do you think you're doing, you horrible little man?
You're supposed to be doing stabbing practice, so start stabbing.
'Actually, thinking about it, it is all work, work, work.
'We train harder than any other army in history. We march 20 miles a day,
'build a whole fort and then take it down again the next morning.'
Can't complain, though.
Get your knees up, you horrible little man!
They hit you if you complain.
Left, right! Left, right! Left, right!
I suppose the food's not bad, but you do have to pay for it.
'In fact, you have to pay for everything in the Roman army -
'your food, your uniform, your weapons...
'even your own funeral.'
Course, if you decide the army's not for you, you can always leave.
'Well, the army tends to look down on deserters.
'About 500 feet down, to be precise. So I'd recommend staying to fight.'
Gentlemen, victory is ours.
-Let us gather the spoils of war.
The shells the sea left when it was running away.
Legionaries, gather every seashell on the seashore.
We'll show that watery halfwit who the daddy is.
You're the daddy. Yes, I am the daddy.
You're the daddy. Look, I'm agreeing with you here, Mr Hand.
So are you ready to return to Rome now, Emperor?
Yes, with my head held high.
No-one can accuse me of looking silly now. Come along, Jeremy.
You didn't want to live in England in 1349 because there was a nasty
outbreak of the plague - not that there's ever been a nice one.
We're expecting severe outbreaks of the Plague this year.
Sweeping over on ships from Europe, it's expected to spread right across
England. Towns and cities will be
the worst affected, with people dying in vast numbers here,
here and indeed here.
Better news up in Scotland, though.
No plague whatsoever.
So in summary, if you live in England,
expect a nasty outbreak of coughing
and weeping sores that ooze blood, followed by almost certain death.
On a more positive note, tomorrow should be bright and sunny,
perfect for that mass burial in a big stinky pit.
Have a lovely year.
Sons of Scotland, the Plague has been killing off
the English in their thousands, and those that are left are sick
and weak, whereas we are strong, for there is no plague in Scotland.
With their defences down, now is the time for us to invade.
Let the arrogant English taste some Scottish steel.
-Go get 'em, laddies.
-So are you all ready?
-Have you all had your porridge?
Have you all sharpened
And have you all put on some nice warm underwear?
Of course not, you big Jessie.
-Now let's go and slaughter some English.
Kill them, kill them all, butcher the lot of them and don't stop till
the soil of England is stained red with their blood.
Oh, you're back already, MacDonald? You dinnae look so well.
Think I may have caught a wee dose of that English plague, no?
It's possible I didn't really think this
whole invasion thing through, did I?
Quick, lads, back over the border.
Retreat, run home to your villages.
But won't that bring the Plague back?
-You'll infect the whole of Scotland.
I didn't really think that bit through too well either, did I?
That is exactly what happened.
The Scottish army invaded England, caught the Plague and took it back
to their families in Scotland.
-IN SCOTTISH ACCENT:
-Ooh, my husband went to England
and all he brought me back was this lousy plague.
And Scottish families in the Middle Ages had some
pretty unusual customs.
Alan is a Middle Ages man from England.
He's met Scottish beauty Doileag and wants to marry her. So they've
travelled back to Scotland to meet Doileag's devoted mother and father.
-But what will they think of him?
-This is Alan.
I don't think they like me.
No, no, we're just throwing herring fat at a wall to see
if you're an honest man or no'.
That's how we like to do things in Medieval Scotland.
Aye, the herring fat runs straight, father.
-Is that a good thing?
-If it were crooked that would mean you were dishonest.
Now allow me to wash your feet in a mixture of oil, soot and cinders.
This will bring you luck for your marriage.
It's how we like to do things in Medieval Scotland!
It's the morning of the wedding
-and Alan's beginning to have some doubts.
Look, all these weird Scottish customs have got me thinking.
You don't think we're rushing into things, do you?
-Aye, ready for a creeling.
-Ooh, what's a creeling?
It's just a test to see if you're man enough to be my husband.
All you have to do is carry this basket of stones around the village.
-Off you go.
-Argh, it'll be all right.
Aye, it's how we like to do things in Medieval Scotland!
-Did you go all around the village?
Aye, he's still an honest man. He's telling the truth.
Let's get to the church.
Coming up in the next series of My Big Fat Medieval Scottish Wedding,
Doileag and Alan's baby is christened.
Aye, it's how we like to do things in Medieval Scotland!
# Saxon monks had very strict rules
# But we didn't always obey them
# Welcome to our monastery Please have a chair
# Good to see you monks so deep in prayer
# Once the praying's finished Your chores must be done
# The main rule of a good monk's life is no fun
# We have to pray eight times a day Seven days a week
# And copy all these manuscripts in writing so antique
# I'll finish off this letter A Once I've ploughed our field
# Milked the cows, mucked the sows Vegetables peeled
# I'll be doing that and praying too
# Very well, gents I'll bid you, adieu
# Adveniat regnum tuum
# OK, brothers, I think he's gone...
# Now the bishop's not around Throw off these religious gowns
-# Hunky... Chunky... Funky Monk-y
# It's not all hymns and praying It's not all work and no playing
# So let's start misbehaving
# And get with the funk
# We love to have a party Eat food that is hearty
-# Let's get the boozing started
-Drunk like a monk
# Play that monk-y music, funk boy
# Just wanted to check that during my absence
# You're honouring your meal time vow of silence...
# Although we didn't oughtta We like to hunt and slaughter
# Don't need no bread and water
# Just fun, fun, fun
# Monastery is jumping Party beat is thumping
# Just lacks a certain something
# A funky nun!
# Get in the party habit Girlfriend...
# It's true that life is tough here
# But you obey the rules That is clear
# That's why we're a place of great repute
# What's this? I see we have a new recruit
# Welcome to our monastery What's your name?
# She... He can't talk And his name is...Wayne
# Amen. #
The answer is C - they had it...
Oh, no, sorry, my mistake.
It's A, they polished it with a stone called a pumice stone,
which is a sort of volcanic rock.
Hello, welcome to Ready Steady Feast.
My first guest today has travelled all the way from ancient Egypt.
Please welcome Cheops.
Now, you're an Egyptian peasant, so what horrible peasanty food have
you brought with you today?
I've brought some bread.
Bread. That's pretty normal.
Argh, it's rock hard. Could lose a tooth on that.
Yes, I know.
It's the Egyptian sun, you see.
It dries everything out.
Makes the fish quite chewy as well.
I am not touching that.
Fair enough. How about some nice, soft dates?
Oh, yes. Now these are more like it.
-They're hand picked...
SHE COUGHS AND SPLUTTERS
Yes, pet baboons, specially trained to
climb up trees and pick the fruits.
-But not specially trained to ever wash their hands.
Let's see if I have more luck with my next guest.
He is an ancient Egyptian pyramid builder.
Oh, you know how builders are paid in radishes and garlic, don't you?
Shut it, baboon boy.
They eat a lot of radishes and garlic, is all I'm saying.
Please welcome Menez.
I did try to warn her.
-Oh, thank you very much.
Little bit of baboon dropping on there.
-Yeah, I like the dates.
-Yeah, grub's up.
And it took a lot of radishes and garlic
to pay all the builders we needed to make a pyramid, I can tell you.
-'Ever wanted to build your own pyramid?'
-You bet I do.
'Well, now you can, with Pyramid Weekly.
'Every issue of Pyramid Weekly brings you a free gift.
-'A large stone weighing two-and-a-half tonnes.'
-Wow, a big stone. Great!
How many do I need to build a pyramid?
-'Just 2.3 million.'
'Yes, buy Pyramid Weekly every week and in just 442,000 years
'you will have enough stones to build your own pyramid.'
Hey, Harry, what did you get in Pyramid Weekly this week?
Another big stone. That's 34 so far.
I'll have 2.3 million in no time.
Then all you'll have to do is build it.
'Read how it took 70,000 labourers five years to build each pyramid.'
Do you think Dad'll help me?
Of course he will.
'Order today and get a second free issue completely free.
'Pyramid Weekly. Pick one up today, if you can.
'70,000 labourers not included.'
The 19th century iron-clad ship used in the American Civil War.
This ship was covered entirely in metal, meaning enemy fire bounced
right off it.
Plus it could destroy wooden ships by ramming them.
The iron-clad ship was indestructible,
but there was one small problem.
The other side had one, too,
so the battle went on for hours...
How about we just call it a draw?
In the 1860s, the United States of America wasn't quite so united.
Civil war broke out, with the Northern States doing
battle against the Southern States.
One of the Southern Confederate generals was a really unusual
character, to say the least.
I cannot believe that General Stonewall Jackson himself
-is going to be giving us our battle orders.
-Yes, brilliant and fearless.
No matter how heavy the enemy
fire, he just stands there, unmoving like a stone wall.
He's one of our finest Confederate leaders.
I hope it's going to be a surprise attack,
-he is famous for his...
General Jackson, may I say what an honour it is to serve under you?
You have to speak up, son. Little deaf in that ear.
Oh, just saying it's a great honour to serve under you.
No, I'm a bit deaf in that one, too.
(Must be all the cannon fire.)
Cannon fire? Where? Where? Huh, huh, huh.
-You have a map of the battlefield?
-I do, sir, yes.
-This indicates the current location of the enemy and...
-I believe he has fallen asleep.
Right, we shall attack the enemy this way, huh, huh, huh.
-From the air, with balloons?
I'm just balancing out my arms, keeping the circulation going.
My right arm is longer than the left one.
Anyway, sir, this map shows the current position of the enemy.
Huh, huh, huh.
I cannot believe this is Stonewall Jackson.
(Shh, he'll hear you.)
No, he won't. This man is not a legend.
This man is some crazy, arm-waving idiot who falls asleep all the time.
Ah! So the enemy guns face to the west.
We'll outflank them to the right and attack them from the east.
Our troops will then approach them silently using the long grass as cover,
-we will surprise the enemy and capture them before a shot is fired.
Yes, I suppose he does have his moments.
Sir, he is dribbling on my tunic.
Ancient Greece was divided into a number of different states.
There was my home, the warrior state, Sparta.
And, well, lots of other rubbish ones. Go, Sparta!
-And you must be?
-Linda and Nigel.
We're Archelaus' parents.
Archelaus? I see.
-Well, I've been meaning to speak
-to you about your son's behaviour for some time.
-Is he in trouble?
Well, I have a list here of what he's been up to in the last week alone.
-fighting with other pupils, attacking the teachers.
Bringing weapons into school, cheating, lying, stealing, bullying.
I mean, the list goes on and on.
Mr and Mrs Archelaus, your son...
..is the perfect Spartan child.
He is going to make a fantastic Spartan warrior.
-You must be very proud.
-I'm very proud.
Yeah, he's very proud.
All right, it is a Spartan school so don't cry.
Although sometimes they were whipped so hard and so often that they died.
And if you think that's a stupid way to die, check out what happened
to the Athenian ruler Draco.
# Stupid deaths, stupid deaths They're funny cos they're true
# Stupid deaths, stupid deaths Hope next time it's not you. #
Next. So whom might you be?
Draco, Greek lawmaker and ruler of Athens.
Ooh. Greek lawmaker.
Not THE Draco, the one who made pretty much
any criminal offence punishable by death, even stealing an apple?
-The very same.
Can I have an autograph, please?
-Yes, of course.
-Just here, thank you.
Oh, any chance of a kissy?
Oh, two kissies! Lovely.
Right, now tell me about your stupid death, come on.
Well, you see I was a very cruel ruler, but also a popular one.
Cruel but popular. Me too.
So a special show was put on in the Athenian arena in my honour,
and I stepped out to soak up the praise of the crowd.
Anyway, the crowd, to show
-their admiration, began to shower me with their hats and cloaks.
And then more hats and cloaks.
-And then more cloaks... and more hats...and more cloaks.
And more hats and cloaks, and more hats and cloaks, until eventually,
I had so many hats and cloaks piled up on top of me, I suffocated.
That's so funny, I'm gasping for air.
Like you were!
Oh, because of the hats and cloaks thing, yes.
Oh, good news, Draco, you're through to the afterlife.
Thank you, thank you so much.
Oh, dear. I love my job sometimes, I really do.
# Stupid deaths, stupid deaths Hope next time it's not you. #
Hello and welcome to the News At When.
When? Tudor times, when England broke with Rome and got its own church,
which really pleased Henry VIII and really upset the Pope.
Here with more details is Bob Hale
with the Catholic report. Bob.
Thank you, Sam. Well, there it is - Tudor England, that's Henry VIII
right there, and as you can tell, it's wall-to-wall Catholics as far
as the eye can see, much as it has been for, ooh, let's say 900 years.
But Henry's got a bit of a problem because he wants a divorce,
which is exactly the sort of thing the Catholic Church doesn't like.
So he asks the Pope if he can have a divorce and he says "No way, Jose",
which is weird because his name's Henry.
So what does Henry do? He breaks away from the Pope, there he goes,
and he starts up his own church here in England called, unsurprisingly,
the Church of England.
And since he's in charge of it, he grants himself a divorce
and marries Anne Boleyn, who's a Protestant - she believes
in the Bible but not in the Pope.
Since the country's turning Protestant, Henry starts being
a bit mean to the Catholics. By that, I mean he executes them,
closes their monasteries and takes all their money.
Then he gets married another four times and he dies.
That's what six wives will do to you. And that, believe it or not,
was the easy bit, as we can see if we look at the religion-o-meter.
So, the next king after Henry is...
someone from your school. No, not really.
It's Edward VI, who's only nine years old, and he is a Protestant.
And he's the king for ages and ages
and ages until he finally dies at the ripe old age of 15.
Yep, 15, when he hands over to Lady Jane Grey, another
Protestant, who gets to enjoy ruling the country for a whopping nine days
before she's overthrown by Queen Mary, a Catholic this time,
so Catholic, in fact, that she burns 300 Protestants at the stake.
Although, that's not being Catholic, that's just being horrid.
So England is Catholic again and everyone can just sit down and get used to it.
But not for long! Because here comes
Queen Elizabeth and, you've guessed it, she's a Protestant.
She even fights off a Catholic invasion, the Spanish Armada,
and Elizabeth is followed by James I, who's a Scottish Protestant
- or is it a Prottish Scotestant?
Either way, he's a Protestant but he likes Catholics.
He does until one tries to blow him up.
Naughty, naughty, Guy Fawkes!
And after James comes Charles I,
who acts like a Catholic but basically doesn't care, he just
wants to be in charge, which he is, until he's overthrown by that chap,
who's not a Catholic or a Protestant. He's not even a king!
Seriously. He's Oliver Cromwell,
a Puritan, which is like a really strict Protestant.
So strict he chops Charlie's head off and then he
bans music, theatre, dancing, Christmas, hedgehogs and fun.
Except not hedgehogs. Then he dies - hurray!
And we get the monarchs back. Woo-hoo!
It's Charles II, who is loads of fun.
He's also a Protestant, but he converts to Catholicism
on his death bed, so he's a Catholic, but only for a couple of minutes.
Then comes his brother James II, who
is a Catholic, always has been, not just for a couple of minutes.
He doesn't like Parliament so they bring in
his daughter and her husband from Holland, William and Mary.
They decide England is definitely Protestant, as it is today,
but only after 185 years of going Catholic, Protestant, Catholic,
Protestant, Catholic, Protestant, Catholic, Protestant.
You're getting sleepy, you're getting very sleepy...
Hand back to Sam, Sam, Sam...
Sam... Sam... Sam...
Yes, the whole Catholic-Protestant
thing started with Henry VIII's doomed marriage to Anne Boleyn.
When marriages come to an end, things have to be divided up,
and in this case Henry divided up Anne.
Oh, I'm sorry, have I gone too far?
You join us here today on this sad occasion.
Queen Anne Boleyn is about to be beheaded.
I am joined here by her husband, King Henry VIII.
Your Majesty, how do you feel on this tragic day?
So you're not attending the execution, then?
Oh, no. I would have loved to have
been there but I had this game of Tudor tennis booked in the diary.
You know how it is. Busy king, countries to rule, volleys to hit.
-30-love. Look at his face.
-That was out, Your Majesty.
Are you absolutely sure?
My mistake. Good shot.
Isn't playing tennis while your wife's being beheaded a little...
Heartless? I have gone out of my way to make things nice for her.
Yes. I ordered the best swordsman
in France to lop her head off. Got him in from Calais.
Sharp sword, spared no expense, good clean blow, boo-boom! Head off.
And she had a fair trial, despite what people said.
Is it my fault that woman was a witch?
-Forgive me, Your Majesty, but to get
the executioner from Calais to London in time, didn't you have
to order him before Anne's trial?
Oh, details, details.
Game, set and match!
Look at that - King wins, King wins! Hello.
Sire, Anne has now been beheaded.
Oh, dear, oh, dear.
I suppose I should go and see the missus.
You're going to pay your respects to your late wife?
Oh, no, not her.
The new missus, Jane Seymour.
She's a real fox! Goodbye.
Oh, by the way, if the whole
Jane thing doesn't work out, do you fancy being Queen for a little bit?
Tempting... Back to you in the studio.
# Tall tales, atrocious acts
# We gave you all the fearsome facts... #
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