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# Terrible Tudors, gorgeous Georgians Slimy Stuarts, vile Victorians
# Woeful wars, ferocious fights Dingy castles, daring knights
# Horrors that defy description Cut-throat Celts, awful Egyptians
# Vicious Vikings, cruel crimes Punishment from ancient times
# Romans, rotten, rank and ruthless
# Cavemen, savage, fierce and toothless
# Groovy Greeks, brainy sages Mean and measly Middle Ages
# Gory stories we supply And your host, it's Stephen Fry.
# The past is no longer a mystery. Welcome to... #
Hello, and welcome to Horrible Histories -
the show that brings the past back to life
and then laughs at its quirks and foibles, like a playground bully.
Though, admittedly, a rather well-read one.
So, my idea is, we write everything backwards,
so to the enemy it will look like complete gobbledegook.
For example, if we were to write the word "eye"
we would do it backwards, like so.
Oh... Bad example.
If we were writing the word "madam", we'd do it backwards like this.
...A - D - A - M. Ma-... Oh.
Um, if we were writing the word "racecar"
then we'd spell it backwards, which would be...
Yes, it might be back to the drawing board with that one, old bean.
Yes, perhaps you're right.
This secret code lark is a darn tricky business.
Isn't it just?
Well, thanks for nothing!
My word! Agent Saunders?
We thought you were in that prison camp at Drancy.
No. I escaped! No thanks to you idiots.
-Steady on now, chap.
I've crossed occupied France with no money and no map.
Did you even GET my letter?
Some time ago. It didn't make a great deal of sense.
Well, I used Sergeant Hall's code, just like you said.
"Escape. Planned. January. 2nd. Send. Map. And. Money.
You read every word after the punctuation,
just like we discussed.
Ah! Every word AFTER the punctuation!
We were reading every word BEFORE the punctuation.
Please. Prepare. The. Old. Goat. For. Wedding.
Why on Earth would I say that?
Well, we were rather confused.
-As was the goat.
So, it turns out you're better at this secret code lark than WE are!
Mind helping us with this one?
We got this letter from Agent Blenkinsopp about three weeks ago.
We've been unable to work out the code.
"Trapped in Paris, please send help."
-Now, what IS he trying to tell us?
-There's a message in there somewhere.
Oh... I'm going for a bath.
You don't actually think he's trapped in Paris, do you?
Bletchley Park was home to Britain's codebreakers.
Experts in maths, languages and science,
obviously a lot smarter than those two,
and the Army made use of all sorts of creative minds.
Hello, and welcome to World War II Art Show.
Today, we're joined by General Peregrine Thorogood
from the British Army.
Right. I was going to.
This week, we're going to be making models of Allied tanks,
the kind that Peregrine actually used during the Second World War.
In fact, here's one I made earlier.
-Ours were just like this, except bigger.
Yes, and not made of cardboard, obviously!
No, no. Ours were made of cardboard.
-Cardboard, rubber, bits of wood, all sorts of things.
Why would you make tanks out of cardboard and rubber and things?
I thought you might ask me that.
Allow me to introduce my top military advisor, the amazing
Jasper Maskelyne, master of illusion, at your service.
Mr Maskelyne was the Army's official magician.
Why did the Army need a magician?
Who better to fool the Germans than a master of illusion?
-Yes, you see the Germans were spying on us from their planes.
-They could see our guns and tanks and work out our next move.
What if the tanks and guns they saw weren't tanks and guns at all?
What if it was just an illusion?
Fly, Cornelius, be free!
Oh, I see! So, you built cardboard tanks to fool the German planes?
Precisely. We put tanks on top of Jeeps and drove them around to make
it look like the tanks were moving.
-So it was all just...
-An illusion. Is this your card?
-Well, I didn't actually choose...
-Take the card.
Yes, these sorts of tactics helped us win the war.
On D-Day, to make Hitler think we were invading France from Dover,
we built an entire fake Army.
-We even had fake wooden planes, like this.
It doesn't look much like a plane from here.
Not from the ground, maybe, but from the air!
-Oh, I see. Very clever.
-The Americans brought an entire inflatable army.
You could say I was the first general to blow up his own army.
I don't really get the joke.
Well, there we have it. It turns out that cardboard tanks
and wooden planes could really be used to help win a war.
That's all we have time for this week,
so a big thanks to my guests - General Peregrine Thorogood...
And me, Jasper Maskelyne,
Master of Illusion!
Good Heavens! Where has he gone?
-Well, he's clearly just down there, isn't he?
-Why would you do that?
-Why would you?
-It's not magic.
-You've clearly just gone down below the desk.
-You've ruined it.
Every brilliant man has his Nemesis. Hector had Achilles.
Napoleon had Wellington. Elmer Fudd had Bugs Bunny.
Well, Julius Caesar's arch-enemy was the Gallic Chieftain, Vercingetorix.
Rome - an Empire born through fear, fire, good plumbing and war!
Julius Caesar - an invincible Roman general with the greatest army
and nose the world has ever seen.
And the one man who could stand in his way -
leader of the Gaulish hordes.
So deadly, he could wear pigtails and still look hard.
I will not have this impudent Gaul defy the might of Rome.
We will crush him in his capital city of Avaricum.
Well, you get the idea.
Is mighty Caesar set for his first-ever defeat?
The Battle of Avaricum - coming soon.
The ending might be a bit of a wash-out.
After 25 days of intense resistance,
the Gauls ran away from their sentry posts, because of a storm.
They thought that the rain was a bad omen from the gods
and that the sky was going to fall on their heads.
Caesar used his triumph over the Gauls and the Britons
as a pretext to make himself ruler of Rome.
But his ego expanded as fast as his empire
and he made some dangerous enemies.
Hello, and welcome to another Crimewatch BC.
We start this week with a murder which took place
right in the centre of Ancient Rome.
The victim was this man - Julius Caesar,
a soldier and politician who was recently made
dictator of Rome for life.
It seems Mr Caesar may have known he was a possible target.
On the morning that my husband Caesar was murdered,
I had warned him not to go the Senate.
All the omens were bad, they were really bad.
Don't go, Caesar! I don't want you to go!
A few weeks ago,
a bird flew into the Senate House with a laurel leaf in its beak.
-Well, it's a warning!
What, a warning that it might poo on someone's head?
No, it's a warning that someone's going to get killed.
Someone wearing a crown of laurel leaves on their head.
That is just superstitious nonsense!
I don't want you to go!
I've got a feeling something really bad's going to happen.
Oh, yeah. Maybe you're right.
Maybe something really, really bad is going to happen. Yes.
It just did! Brilliant. See you later.
Caesar ignored the bad omens and went to the Senate House anyway.
He was murdered there in broad daylight, on the 15th March.
-Take that, Caesar!
-Ow, that's me you're stabbing!
Well, I don't know - all I can see is togas!
-Ow, you did it again!
I have with me in the studio a man who saw the whole thing happen.
So, why do you think so many people stabbed Caesar?
The murderers thought if lots of them stabbed him,
it would be everyone's responsibility,
we'd be in it together.
Sorry - They! They'd all be in it together.
Any idea why they did it?
Well, I'm told because they thought Caesar had too much power
and wanted to be a king, so Caesar had to die!
Or, that's what some people thought, anyway.
Must remember to do the washing up.
Also with me in the studio is the man leading the hunt
for Caesar's murderers - Senator Mark Antony.
Now, Senator, what do we know about the murderers?
Well, Kirsty, one thing we do know is their identities.
There's Casca and Cimber, and there's the ringleaders,
-Brutus and Cassius.
-So, you know who did it?
Well, we'd very much like to speak to them - just a little chat,
-see if they can assist us in our enquiries.
No, we want to kill them and burn down their houses,
but I don't want to say that in public, in case they run away.
Me and my big mouth. I should probably run after him.
The Georgian era actually covered four King Georges
and one King William, who sadly didn't get his own Williamian era.
The famous madness of King George III is now thought to have been
manic depression - bipolar disorder.
A condition which was helped and managed by his doctors
in no way, whatsoever.
The Royal Doctor, Your Majesty.
Doctor? I don't need a doctor.
I was just telling the Prussian Ambassador here...
That is a pot plant, Your Majesty.
Oh, yes. So it is.
Well, as I was just telling this pot plant here,
I feel as fit as a pig in Sweden. SNORT.
Seize the patient!
What are you doing?
Unhand me, you knaves!
I'm afraid His Majesty is quite mad!
Mad? I'm absolutely furious.
Please, His Majesty must see that he's not well.
I suppose I have been a bit off-colour.
As has his wee-wee.
Yes, thank you.
I think we'll leave the diagnosis and treatment
to those of us trained in the medical profession.
Only science can provide the solution.
Science and mustard!
Mustard! What a good idea!
I'm a sausage! Sizzle, sizzle, sizzle!
That's clearly not working. We'll try another Georgian cure.
Splendid, what's that?
I'm not going to blind you with science,
just assault you with this red-hot poker.
It's quite simple, really. We just wait
for a blister to appear and then pop!
Is this really supposed to cure him?
Yes, that and shouting at him.
Stop being mad!
We Georgian doctors have made great strides
in the treatment of this affliction. Get better!
-Shouldn't we be giving him some sort of medicine?
-I already have.
He's on a spoonful of arsenic, twice a day.
Yes, mixed in with some other stuff.
But arsenic is highly poisonous,
-you're going to make him worse!
Are you trying to tell me that I, the King's own physician,
am making the King worse?
Are you insane?
Because if you are insane, I shall have to treat you, too.
Why don't I help you treat him!
-Stop being mad!
Don't act weird all the time!
Just stop it!
When George III's illness worsened, he could no longer rule
and so his son was made Regent, or acting King.
But the Prince of Wales hated living in his father's shadow.
# I'm George IV, the Regent King Which means I was just standing in
# Acting King because my dad George III, had gone barking mad... #
# Great palaces I did design Buckingham was one of mine
-# Art and fashion, I so rated... #
# That's more complicated
# Actresses and duchesses The great loves of my life
# I loved more girls than I ate pies but I couldn't stand my wife
-# He couldn't stand his wife... #
# I only married Queen Caroline when my debts began to climb
# Because if I agreed to tie the knot
# I said I'd pay off the lot
# But the wedding caused all sorts of strife
# Because I already had a wife... #
A divorced Catholic?
# Dad did sigh
# But the mad old goat just wouldn't die... #
Still here! Oh, spoke too soon!
At last, I can go solo!
# As true King, my reign began
# Though I was now older than your nan
# And as the ruler of our nation
# I banned my wife from my coronation
# And knowing now that I did hate her
# She promptly died just three weeks later
# But all those pies that I got through
# Meant ten years later I died, too... #
Hello, have we met? I'm a kangaroo!
# Actresses, duchesses The great loves of my life
# I loved more girls than I ate pies
# But I couldn't stand my wife
# I had just ten years on the throne
# Do you remember that?
# No, all that you remember is...
# ..I was really fat. #
Most people think of Alexander the Great as a Greek,
but, technically, he was Macedonian.
In fact, he should really be called Alexander the Third of Macedon.
But that simply isn't as memorable
and Alexander definitely wanted to be remembered.
So, what shall we call this new city, Oh, Alexander?
-Oh, sorry. Oh, Alexander the Great.
I think we should call it...
Ba, ba, ba, ba, ba...
Alexandria - after our great and powerful leader.
Where is he? Where is he? Where is he?
There he is!
Well, you have founded a whole chain of cities,
-from Greece to India.
-Indeed, I have.
And you named this one Alexandria.
-You named this one Alexandria, didn't you?
-Then there's Alexandria...
-Yeah, OK. Let's not forget Alexandria.
No. Well, that's the thing,
I think it might be getting a bit confusing, don't you?
-Could we perhaps name this new one after someone else?
I am the greatest military commander that ever lived.
I have conquered the known world
and I am barely 26 years old.
Perhaps when you found your own city,
you can name it after yourself.
You can call it, hmm... Skinny Mandria.
But since I'm founding them,
I'd like to call it...
-No, actually, do you know what? Perhaps you're right.
A great military ruler also listens to his advisers.
It is getting a bit confusing. I think we should call it Iskenderun.
Is it Turkish for Alexandria?
Alexander's conquests took him deep into India,
where he came up against Indian armies that could deploy
3,000 war elephants in a single battle.
Imagine, 3,000 elephants charging at you -
Like the opening day of the Dallas All-You-Can-Eat Rib Shack.
Very much the tanks of their day, only a tad more eco-friendly,
the use of war elephants became more commonplace
and in 275 BC, the Greek army
used them when facing the Romans.
In ancient times,
King Pyrrhus of Greece went to battle with the Romans
and brought with him a secret weapon -
Greek war elephants were brilliant,
because once they started charging, they didn't stop
and trampled anything in their way.
Particularly, the enemy troops.
It was brilliant, but unfortunately
there was one small problem.
Elephants are scared of fire...
So the Romans set fire to some pigs
and sent them charging at the charging elephants...
..making King Pyrrhus really wish...
..he'd left his secret weapon at home.
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We Tudors were all terrified of Henry VIII.
No-one wanted to give him bad news.
In fact, there was only one person who could get away with it.
The rumours are true, I'm afraid.
It would seem the Queen is seeing other men behind the King's back.
Then it is as we feared. We should inform His Majesty.
-Yes, of course, but you know how his moods are.
He does tend to behead the messenger.
-Then there is only one man for the job.
Only one man who could break such terrible news
to His Majesty, King Henry VIII.
-You don't mean...?
(BOTH) Will Sommers.
# Bom, bom, bom bom, bom! #
Prrt! Bonk! Haw-hee, haw-hee!
So, what seems to be the problem, gentlemen?
-Ah, another man?
-Oh dear, that is a pickle.
and we need to tell the King
so he can arrange a divorce or a beheading or something.
And you are his favourite jester. Who better to break the bad news?
Yes, this is true, but how?
This is obviously hugely important, so what do we think?
Shall I do it as a joke? Or a song?
Or blurt it out while I'm doing the juggling?
-You're the expert.
-Yes, I am good at this.
I shall use tact, diplomacy
and one of these...
HE BLOWS RASPBERRY
Stand aside, gentlemen.
# Pom, pom, pom, pom! #
Squee, squee, hu-u-um!
No, not today, Will. I'm not in the right mood.
I don't know, you seem to be in a right mood to me!
Stop it! Seriously, I need a wee.
Would that be the Royal We?
No, seriously, seriously, I will wet my breeches.
Don't get any on the seat, or you'll have to be THRONE out!
Oh no! There's a couple of drips right there.
I wouldn't worry.
Been a few drips on that throne through the years!
Yes! Drips! Hasn't there just?
More than a few, I should think.
Yes, almost as many as your wife has boyfriends!
She's had a few, then, has she?
Yeah, loads of them! Good day, Sire!
Look at you, you silly man!
Well, well, how did he take it?
It's too early to say.
Should sink in about
-There it is.
Nicholas! Fetch me my executioner!
At once, Sire!
And a clean pair of pants, please.
Well, actually, TBH, we don't know if it was Will Sommers
who had to break that particular bit of bad news.
Another story is that a secret note was left on Henry's pew
in the chapel at Hampton Court
to inform him of Catherine's infidelities.
On one occasion, for a bet, Will tried to make a joke
about Princess Elizabeth and Henry nearly had him killed.
You really didn't want to cross Henry,
because Henry was prepared to do anything to get his own way.
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 Hail, with the Catholic report. Bob?
Thank you, Sam. Well, here's Tudor England.
That's Henry VII 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... Oh, let's say, 900 years.
But Henry's got a problem, because he wants a divorce,
which is exactly what the Catholic Church doesn't like.
So, he asks the Pope if he can have a divorce and he says,
"No way, Jose!"
Weird, because his name's Henry. So what does Henry do?
He breaks away from the Pope!
He starts up his own church here in England called,
unsurprisingly, the Church of England.
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 mean to Catholics. He executes them,
closes their monasteries and takes all their money.
Then he gets married four times and dies.
That's what six wives will do.
Believe it or not, that was the easy bit.
If we look at the Religionometer.
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's a Protestant. He's the King for 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 enjoys 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 horrid.
So, England is Catholic again
and everyone sits down and gets used to it.
But not for long! Here comes Queen Elizabeth and, you've guessed it, she's Protestant.
She fights off a Catholic invasion, the Spanish Armada.
Elizabeth is followed by James I,
who's a Scottish Protestant... or Prottish Scotestant?
Anyway, he's Protestant, but likes Catholics.
At least until one tries to blow him up.
Naughty, naughty Guy Fawkes! And after James comes Charles I,
who acts like a Catholic but really doesn't care.
He just wants to be in charge, until he is overthrown by that chap.
Who's not Catholic or Protestant, not even a King!
Seriously! He's Oliver Cromwell, a Puritan,
which is like a really strict Protestant. So strict in fact,
he chops Charlie's head off and bans music, theatre,
dancing, Christmas, hedgehogs and fun, except not hedgehogs.
Then he dies, hooray! 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 deathbed, so he's Catholic, but only for a few minutes.
Then comes his brother James II, who is a Catholic,
always has been, but he doesn't like Parliament, so they chuck him out
and bring in his daughter and her husband from Holland,
William and Mary, and they decide England is definitely Protestant.
As it is today, after 185 years of going
Catholic, Protestant, Catholic, Protestant, Catholic, Protestant,
Catholic, Protestant, Catholic, Protestant. You're getting sleepy.
You're getting very sleepy. Hand back to Sam.
Well, that's all for this hike along the hilarious highways of history.
I leave you with the final words of 17th-Century French grammarian,
Dominique Bouhours, who even on his deathbed, couldn't resist
an act of linguistic pedantry, uttering,
"I am about to, or I am going to, die.
"Either expression is correct."
With that, goodbye.
# Tall tales, atrocious acts, We gave you all the fearsome facts
# The ugly truth, no glam or glitz, We showed you all the juicy bits
# Gory, ghastly, cruel and mean
# Bursting out your TV screen
# The past is no longer a mystery
# Hope you enjoyed Horrible Histories. #