Inequality QI


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Inequality

Stephen Fry addresses inequality and injustice with Sandi Toksvig, Clive Anderson, Henning Wehn and Alan Davies.


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APPLAUSE

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Goo-o-o-o-d evening!

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Good evening, good evening, good evening!

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Goo-o-d evening and welcome to QI,

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where the composition of our panel, is intentionally international.

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From Denmark, Sandi Toksvig...

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APPLAUSE

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From Germany, Henning Wehn...

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APPLAUSE AND CHEERING

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From Scotland, Clive Anderson...

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APPLAUSE

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And from God knows where, Alan Davies!

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Tonight's show is all about inattention and ineptitude.

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Alan, what is tonight's show about?

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Inattention and ineptitude.

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-(SIREN SOUNDS)

-Oh-h-h!

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AUDIENCE LAUGHS

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That's ten points off for a start, because tonight's show

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-is all about inequality and injustice.

-Oh, of course!

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And so we unjustly took 10 points away from you,

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because this is a show in which nothing will be fair,

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from top to bottom,

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so let's get it over with and go straight to the scores!

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In first place, with -54,

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it's Sandi Toksvig!

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APPLAUSE

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(BUZZER) 'Whay-hay!'

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Congratulations!

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In second place with +7, is Clive Anderson!

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(BUZZER) 'Objection, m'lud!'

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In third place with minus sechzig, is Henning Wehn...

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(BUZZER) 'Don't mention za var!'

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And lastly, obviously, with minus one gazillion, is Alan Davies!

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(BUZZER) 'Boooo!'

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LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE

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So that's it, you've done the scores already?

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The scores are already done, but we've still got questions to ask.

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And don't forget your nobody knows joker.

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BUGLE CALL

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There's a question, maybe two, or three,

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to which the correct answer is, "nobody knows".

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If you wave your nobody knows joker you get extra points,

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or maybe you lose them,

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or maybe you don't, because the scores have already been given.

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It's an unjust game tonight. The first question is easy,

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so I'll give it randomly to my old friend, Sandi.

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What can you tell me about this chap behind you?

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Ooh! Er, well, do you think that the words give it away,

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or is that going to be unfair?

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Er, the fact that it says, "The Puritan."

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Well...

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SIREN SOUNDS

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-That seems unfair!

-It does, doesn't it?

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Because what it is, is the 19th century IDEA of a Puritan,

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and in fact the 19th century idea of a Puritan,

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which we retain to this day, is completely inaccurate.

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The steeple hat, the clothing, no evidence

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they ever wore...

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They wore a beanie hat, did they?

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They wore ordinary clothes, but having their portraits taken,

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they usually wore their Sunday best,

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which tended to be black.

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-So he's not a Puritan at all?

-He's a 19th century idea of a Puritan.

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-You were right to say he was a Puritan...

-I was merely reading!

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..and I was unjust, you lost 10 points.

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-But it doesn't matter because you've already won!

-Yes!

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-Do you know, I'm quite relaxed about the whole show?

-Exactly!

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Now, what can you tell me about the Puritans, in America?

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Er, they went over on the Mayflower?

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-No...

-I keep expecting the thing to go off again!

-Yeah!

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They didn't go on the Mayflower?

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No. The great American myth, if you like,

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is the Puritans arrived on the Mayflower,

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and they came to avoid religious persecution.

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In fact, they came in order to be able to persecute.

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-Yeah, but they hated the Quakers.

-They objected to religious freedom in England,

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that meant you could have all kinds of, ranges of religion.

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In 1660 they hanged a woman just for being a Quaker.

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-Mary Dyer.

-That's right, the very one.

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Obviously many people did come to America to avoid persecution,

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but the idea the Puritans came to avoid persecution,

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they came to persecute,

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they wanted to build a country

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in which there could be no dissent from Puritanism.

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Puritans, they regarded luxury as sinful, didn't they?

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Some of them set off to America and the others opened B&Bs in Britain!

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-Hey!

-Yeah...

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B&Bs, breakfast until seven,

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don't call it B&B, just call it B!

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If you've got no intention of serving breakfast, don't call it B&B.

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Do you know, I once sailed all the way round Britain,

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and we finally got to Northumbria, and on the coastline,

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there was a house with paint saying,

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"Bed and breakfast, hot and cold water."

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I thought, "Only in this country, would you feel you must advertise you have both."

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Oh yes. Pride!

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It used to be hot and cold running water.

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Not just a bucket lying there, there's pipes and everything!

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In this painting, did the native there, on the left,

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did he bring that tree to hide behind, because he looks...

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LAUGHTER

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He doesn't look happy!

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-See which way the wind is blowing...

-I think he knows what's coming!

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It's true, Stephen, the Puritans went on the Mayflower.

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They say they landed at Plymouth Rock, but it was Provincetown, so none of it is true.

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I'm afraid, yeah, it's a myth.

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Every country likes to build up a legend of its own foundation.

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Really ugly baby!

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LAUGHTER

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It IS a rather ugly baby!

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Like a tiny person standing behind the woman...

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It's not any use... don't learn that expression, "really ugly baby".

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There's never an opportunity to use that in real life.

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Little tiny... I'm really enjoying this painting...

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They come all the way over, brought one pickaxe and a hat!

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LAUGHTER

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It's no basis on which to build a country, is it?

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The guy on the right brought a girl.

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And 300 years later it was the mightiest nation on earth!

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-Extraordinary! No offence!

-I don't think the man in the hat had much to do with it!

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Anyway that was our first unfair question.

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Puritans didn't really dress like that. What key role

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did a Puritan pig play

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in the trial of George Spencer in 1641?

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-Is that the actual pig we're looking at?

-No, that is not the actual pig!

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Because that's a photograph of a modern pig posing as a 1641 pig.

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A rather similar picture of myself at a spa!

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LAUGHTER

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Oh, now! You've got two fewer nipples!

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Well certainly, the nipples were a surprise!

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-But that look of contentment!

-Yes.

-Absolutely!

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-One happy pig.

-It's a pig in clover!

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A pig in clover, absolutely!

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-George... when did you say, what year did you say?

-1641.

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Are we talking about witchcraft?

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We're in New Haven, Connecticut, centre of the Puritan...

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-Is this a bit like that monkey they hanged in Hartlepool?

-Well...

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Because they thought he was French, didn't they?

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The monkey was hanged because they thought him a French spy.

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They knew French people spoke a different language and were small,

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and cartoonists had made them look diminutive and nasty,

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so they see a little monkey, they buy the propaganda!

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-When the monkey was in the dock it was thoroughly evasive!

-Yes!

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It didn't give a straight answer to any question!

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This, on the other hand, is a Puritan world and I would remind you of Leviticus 20:15...

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Not eating pork, presumably?

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No, "If a man lie with a beast,

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"he shall surely be put to death, and ye shall slay the beast."

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-He laid with a pig!

-Did George have his end away with a piece of pork?

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He just fancied a bit of crackling, that's all!

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It's even unfairer than that.

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It so happened that George was a rather ugly fellow,

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who was bald and had one eye,

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and one day a sow farrowed, I think is the word, a litter of piglets,

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one of whom was strikingly similar to George,

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and had one eye, and so George was immediately

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put in front of the Puritan court, accused of having lain with the pig.

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He didn't have the chance to get a super injunction.

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Disgraceful!

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He denied it strenuously, as you might!

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Typically, Puritans then said, "There shall be mercy shown,

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"should you be open and honest."

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So he thought, "If I say yes they'll let me off",

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so he said, "I laid with the pig",

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and they said, "The mercy will be shown by the Lord, but not by us."

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For there to be a capital offence there had to be two witnesses,

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so they included the pig.

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So they brought the pig into the trial to speak against itself,

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or squeak against itself, and both George and the pig were executed.

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-Both got the chop.

-Both got the chop!

-Did the pig shyly look at George,

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in a kind of I-remember-that-night way...

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I think the whole thing was just...

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The pig came in and said, "That bastard, he never rang...

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LAUGHTER

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"..he just used me!"

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Some 50 years later, there was the famous mass hysteria in Salem...

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-Salem witch trials...

-the witch trials, but this was before them,

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there were the bestiality obsessions as well.

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-Who's the other witness, though?

-George. George said yes.

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-So his confession...

-His tricked confession was counted.

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If you'd been there he'd have got off, Clive.

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Of course, I'd like to think so,

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but these days, you convict people on a confession,

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you don't even need the pig!

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It seems very unfair to execute the pig.

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-Totally!

-If his sin is lying with the beast...

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No, Leviticus, I remind you,

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"If a man lie with the beast he shall surely be put to death,

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"and ye shall slay the beast."

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-Ah!

-Does anyone know,

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why did the New Haven Puritans abolish trial by jury?

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Well, the Bible has stuff about, "Judge not, that ye be not judged."

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I think it's in the gospels.

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Does that go on to say, "..and don't be on a jury, either."

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Oddly enough, you're in the right area.

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It's simply that juries are not mentioned in the Bible.

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They thought they had no place in life

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because they didn't have them in biblical times.

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What about a propelling pencil? They wouldn't have that either.

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Well, quite. There are Amish communities and various other Brethren who don't.

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-It's a sin to use a propelling pencil?

-Well, it's very hard. I agree.

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It's a very peculiar world, the world of the Puritan.

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Royal unfairness, now.

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Who got the blame when the Prince of Wales misbehaved?

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Seeing we're in Britain, usually the Germans.

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Well, they are Germans, so... LAUGHTER

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-Is it this Prince?

-It's not actually this one.

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-Is it another Charles?

-It's not, actually.

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-All princes of blood.

-Edward VIII was always in trouble.

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Queen Victoria said, "If I get the right..."

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And, indeed, earlier ones were often in trouble.

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What I'm really talking about here, I suppose,

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is the business of corporal punishment.

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Until very, very, very recently

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in human history has it become unfashionable

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and indeed considered wrong to strike a child for a misdeed.

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-It's now illegal to do so.

-Is it?

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-I believe so.

-LAUGHTER

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Just on the way here, a small urchin annoyed me!

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It used to be considered,

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it used to be considered

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not only empirically but in every other sense a good thing to do.

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How is he holding that child up? He's got his thumb wedged in his...

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It's the only way of holding him up. It's like a bowling ball.

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LAUGHTER

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I don't know whether that's Dotheboys Hall from Nicholas Nickleby or similar.

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Generally speaking, everybody agreed it was good for children to be beaten.

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There was the Bible, "He who spareth the rod hateth his son.

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"Withhold not correction from your child.

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"Beat him with the rod and thou shall deliver his soul from Hell." Apparently.

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Children were always beaten. We are the first generation... I'm not.

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I was beaten a huge amount when I was a child at prep school.

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-Were you?

-God, yes. From the age of seven to 13 at least twice a week.

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I was a bad boy and I was always being thrashed.

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-What for?

-Oh, stealing, lying, cheating, being cheeky, being a nuisance.

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-Evading games.

-Being a smart arse?

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-Being a smart arse.

-Bit too clever for your own good, that sort of thing?

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Always telling people what was going on?

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Well, they certainly beat that out of you, didn't they?

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And I was beaten a great deal and it did me no harm...

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HE GROANS

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It was common practice.

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It was outlawed in state schools when?

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When was it actually made law that you were not allowed to strike a child?

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-Later than you think.

-I'd guess under New Labour.

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-Er, no.

-No?

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-Seventies?

-It was 1986.

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1986?

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1986 when it was made illegal in state schools to beat children,

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and it was a very close vote.

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-Under Margaret Thatcher?

-231 to 230.

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-In state schools?

-By just one.

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And do you know whom state school children have to thank

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for the fact they were not beaten from that day forward? It's odd.

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-Michael Howard or something?

-No. It's even weirder.

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-Ann Widdecombe?

-No, it's just too weird to be believed.

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Fergie, Fergie, Fergie. Dear Duchess of York, Fergie.

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The manager of Manchester United?

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No, the Duchess of York, Fergie, as I just said.

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Black Eyed Peas?

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That, I will repeat, Duchess of York, Fergie.

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I hadn't finished my Fergie material.

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A tractor? LAUGHTER

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A massive Fergie, yes, you could say.

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-Why?

-That Fergie.

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Well, it so happened the vote was on that day that she was marrowing...

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-Marrowing? Marrowing Prince Andrew.

-LAUGHTER

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She loved to marrow Prince Andrew.

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I think marrowing the prince is illegal.

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What a great expression. "Have you time for some marrowing?"

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I'm going to Google that when I get in.

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Apparently, the traffic held-up enough Tory MPs,

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who were likely to have voted to keep beating,

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for the anti-beating measure to go through.

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-Was this a whipped vote?

-Wa-hey!

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I thought you meant she campaigned for it?

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No, no. It just so happened the vote, no, happened.

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Entirely inadvertent, she did something useful.

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By mistake. By mistake, she helped.

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When was it, or is it, indeed, illegal in private schools?

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You have to pay extra, though. LAUGHTER

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-I think it isn't, now.

-It isn't.

-It's very recent.

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-Under the Human Rights Act, it must.

-Yes. In 1999, basically, is when that stopped being legal.

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Until then, children were beaten.

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They were beaten for making mistakes,

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they were beaten for all kinds of reasons.

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But there was this idea also that you learned better,

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that things could literally be beaten into you, knowledge could be beaten into you.

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What happened when it came to a prince?

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You can't have a commoner, even a tutor, beating a prince

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because he made a mistake in his algebra.

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-You beat his teddy?

-Well, you appointed someone.

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A child, a friend of the prince, who,

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when the prince made a mistake, you whipped him.

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And that phrase, which is in common currency, is whipping boy.

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They become peer then, later on, don't they?

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Yes. That's the point.

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It was actually a much sought-after post.

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Fathers would want their sons to be whipping boy.

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They were close to the Royal Family. Charles I, for example, had a whipping boy when he was a prince

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and he raised him to the Earl of Dysart, a title that still exists.

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They became quite powerful people.

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The idea was, of course, they would be friends,

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that the prince would like his whipping boy,

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so that he would try hard.

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Obviously sometimes they might think, "I don't bloody care!"

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It's a most peculiar idea,

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but that's where whipping boy comes from.

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Is there an official title? There are titles like Silver Stick-in-Waiting.

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This could be Crimson Bottom.

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Gentleman of the stool was an existing one, as you know.

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It was the one who had to wipe the King's bottom under Henry VIII.

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Can't they do anything themselves?

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They seem not to be able to.

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Um, erm, yes... There is a part of...

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LAUGHTER

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-I presume he'd have a long stick.

-Yes, I'd assume they would.

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A stick with a rag, do it from a distance.

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LAUGHTER

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-There's a part of Germany...

-Oops!

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-LAUGHTER

-Sorry for all the mime.

0:16:330:16:37

-I've always wanted to be a mime.

-LAUGHTER

0:16:370:16:39

This is the only opportunity I get.

0:16:390:16:42

It's more fun than walking into the wind.

0:16:420:16:44

I suppose you might be, I don't know!

0:16:440:16:46

In the Isle of Man, they had corporal punishment until 1976.

0:16:470:16:52

What type of wood did they administer it with?

0:16:520:16:56

Well, I know I'm going to get a buzz on this

0:16:560:16:58

because it's normally called birching.

0:16:580:17:00

KLAXON

0:17:000:17:02

It doesn't matter anyway!

0:17:020:17:04

So did it depend on how bad you'd been?

0:17:040:17:08

If you were really bad, it was holly, and they left the leaves on,

0:17:080:17:12

but if you weren't so bad, it would be like willow fronds.

0:17:120:17:15

-Balsa wood.

-Or balsa wood.

0:17:150:17:18

-Hazel. Yeah, they used hazel.

-Hazel.

0:17:180:17:21

In Britain, birching, as it was known,

0:17:210:17:24

was banned in 1948,

0:17:240:17:26

but they didn't stop it until the 1970s in the Isle of Man.

0:17:260:17:29

They tried to keep it by saying, "OK, what about if we let them keep their trousers on?"

0:17:290:17:34

In America there is still the tradition

0:17:340:17:36

in some parts of birthday spanking.

0:17:360:17:38

Really?

0:17:380:17:40

Yeah, where you go to school and because it's your special day,

0:17:400:17:43

as a special treat, the teacher takes the paddle out and you get a few.

0:17:430:17:49

Some people say, "We have to ban it. It's cruel."

0:17:490:17:53

Others say, "No, we can't. It's a tradition."

0:17:530:17:56

So they have to carry on thrashing the kids.

0:17:560:17:59

Weird.

0:17:590:18:01

It's like family Christmas, no-one likes it,

0:18:010:18:04

still, because it's a tradition, everyone has to go through it.

0:18:040:18:07

LAUGHTER

0:18:070:18:09

We get the idea of bringing a tree in for Christmas, that's a German idea.

0:18:090:18:13

Yeah, I don't know. Did we invent Christmas?

0:18:130:18:16

A lot of elements of it.

0:18:160:18:18

I say, come on. Either we invented it or we didn't.

0:18:180:18:21

It's like that terrible joke, I'm sure you must have been told,

0:18:210:18:24

about the couple who adopt a German baby.

0:18:240:18:28

-HENNING LAUGHS

-You know it. You must know it.

0:18:280:18:30

Is there only one joke that involves a German baby?

0:18:300:18:33

LAUGHTER

0:18:330:18:35

It doesn't speak. Is that the one where he doesn't speak until he's about five?

0:18:350:18:39

They take him to be tested.

0:18:390:18:42

-Want me to say the punchline?

-They think, "Is he stupid? Deaf and dumb?"

0:18:420:18:45

Everything functioning normally. He's fine.

0:18:450:18:47

ALAN AND HENNING TOGETHER: Then one day...

0:18:470:18:50

-We're all going to say it together!

-LAUGHTER

0:18:500:18:52

Go on, Alan.

0:18:520:18:54

Then they give him, he has some apple strudel.

0:18:540:18:57

-And he says...

-"This apfelstrudel is a bit tepid."

0:18:570:19:01

And they say, "Wolfgang! You've never spoken before!

0:19:010:19:05

"After all these years, why haven't you spoken before?" And he says...

0:19:050:19:10

"Up until now, everything had been satisfactory."

0:19:100:19:13

LAUGHTER

0:19:130:19:15

APPLAUSE

0:19:150:19:18

It's a great joke.

0:19:180:19:20

-Very pleasing.

-Like a relay joke.

0:19:220:19:24

It was.

0:19:240:19:26

This is the most fun a Danish person has had with a German since 1945.

0:19:260:19:31

LAUGHTER

0:19:310:19:33

DON'T MENTION THE WAR BUZZER

0:19:330:19:34

Oh, dear. There we go...

0:19:360:19:38

The war. I mean, I have to chip in now. The war.

0:19:380:19:41

The war.

0:19:410:19:42

It's always World War II, it's never any of the more current ones.

0:19:420:19:46

And everyone in Britain takes personal credit for Britain winning it.

0:19:460:19:51

Even people that weren't born at the time of World War II,

0:19:530:19:55

they still take personal credit for Britain winning it.

0:19:550:20:00

I'm personally a lot more annoyed by Brits that are now in their 70s

0:20:000:20:03

and they bang on about how they helped win the war.

0:20:030:20:06

Let's do the maths. If you're in your 70s now, how old were you at the end of World War II?

0:20:060:20:11

-That's true.

-10 years old?

0:20:110:20:13

How did you help win the war when you were just 10 years old?

0:20:130:20:17

-You did not help win the war.

-By not eating bananas.

0:20:170:20:20

Yeah, yeah.

0:20:200:20:22

You were nothing but a drain on British resources.

0:20:220:20:25

LAUGHTER

0:20:250:20:27

You've got to admire his guts, haven't you?

0:20:270:20:29

Effectively, effectively,

0:20:300:20:32

every 70-year-old Brit effectively fought on the side of Nazi Germany...

0:20:320:20:37

LAUGHTER

0:20:370:20:39

..and lost the war every little bit as much as we did!

0:20:390:20:42

-LAUGHTER

-Yes, well. Moving on.

0:20:420:20:46

Manx birches were actually made from hazel wands.

0:20:460:20:49

Back home to Britain, now.

0:20:490:20:51

From 1875 to 1956,

0:20:510:20:54

what was the next best thing to a first-class train ticket?

0:20:540:20:58

-Second-class train ticket.

-KLAXON

0:20:580:21:02

That's the problem.

0:21:020:21:03

You weren't to know, being a cursed foreigner and all.

0:21:030:21:07

-They went from first to third.

-There was no second-class.

0:21:070:21:10

But there were ladies only carriages.

0:21:100:21:12

-There were ladies only carriages.

-That would be quite nice.

0:21:120:21:15

-Yes.

-LAUGHTER

0:21:150:21:17

And there were no smoking carriages, but mostly there were smoking ones.

0:21:170:21:21

-She's got no idea where she's going.

-She hasn't!

0:21:210:21:24

LAUGHTER

0:21:240:21:26

How it came about was that Gladstone insisted there be

0:21:260:21:29

a third-class service for poorer people and train companies hated it.

0:21:290:21:33

They ran these useless services that were

0:21:330:21:36

third-class only, known as Parliamentary trains.

0:21:360:21:38

They were no good to anybody, just to apply the law.

0:21:380:21:41

Then they had a smarter idea and they said,

0:21:410:21:45

"We'll upgrade the third-class to second-class

0:21:450:21:49

but call it third-class and get rid of the second-class.

0:21:490:21:52

So we're obeying the law by having a third-class,

0:21:520:21:55

but it'll cost what second-class used to cost.

0:21:550:21:57

It's a very bizarre British solution.

0:21:570:22:00

They had clever ways. How do you think they used chimney sweeps?

0:22:000:22:03

-On the railway?

-Yes.

0:22:030:22:05

Strapped to the front of the train, keeping the rails clean.

0:22:050:22:08

No, it was a very naughty trick.

0:22:080:22:10

They'd sit in third-class.

0:22:100:22:12

Yeah, what train companies hated were the genteel people, clerks,

0:22:120:22:16

who didn't have much money but had to be well-dressed.

0:22:160:22:21

What they would do is they would put chimney sweeps in

0:22:210:22:25

and put soot over them so third-class carriages

0:22:250:22:27

were so dirty, these people thought, "Oh, God. I've got to pay the first-class fare."

0:22:270:22:32

Don't say this out loud. I'm sure Ryanair will get ideas.

0:22:320:22:36

LAUGHTER

0:22:360:22:38

-IRISH ACCENT:

-Brilliant! We'll do the same thing!

0:22:380:22:41

Or easyJet, since you're in easyJet colours.

0:22:410:22:44

I'm sure it didn't happen all over,

0:22:440:22:46

but these were some of the tricks they resorted to, apparently.

0:22:460:22:51

-Which one's Dick Van Dyke?

-They're really happy, aren't they?

0:22:510:22:54

They do look happy. Happy, lucky sweeps.

0:22:540:22:57

Now for some sporting iniquity.

0:22:570:23:00

What did cricketer Thomas White invent in 1771?

0:23:000:23:03

The Yorker.

0:23:030:23:05

The Yorker. To hear a German say, "the Yorker" gives me great pleasure.

0:23:050:23:09

-I don't know what it means.

-It's a fully pitched-up ball.

0:23:090:23:12

-Great to hear a German say it.

-What's a googly, then?

0:23:120:23:16

-A googly is a...

-LAUGHTER

0:23:160:23:18

KLAXON

0:23:180:23:20

A googly is a leg spinner's off-spin. It's disguised.

0:23:240:23:28

-Comes out the back of your hand.

-How does the Duckworth-Lewis method work?

0:23:280:23:32

Nobody knows that! Far too complicated.

0:23:320:23:35

No, he didn't invent any particular type of bowling or batting,

0:23:350:23:37

but he looked at the laws of cricket

0:23:370:23:40

and noted that there was a glaring omission and he thought, "Splendid."

0:23:400:23:45

-Oh, the big bat!

-Yes, he came up with a bat that was wider than the wicket.

0:23:450:23:49

-LAUGHTER

-This enormous bat.

0:23:490:23:53

It was Chertsey Vs Hambledon, which is the equivalent of Surrey Vs Hampshire.

0:23:540:23:59

After 1774, they incorporated a law that said a bat must be

0:23:590:24:03

no wider than four and-a-half inches.

0:24:030:24:06

This fellow, Thomas White, I suppose you could call him a cheat,

0:24:060:24:09

but he was within the laws of the game.

0:24:090:24:11

There was an American footballer, Lester Hayes.

0:24:110:24:14

Does that ring any bells? Of the Oakland Raiders.

0:24:140:24:17

He had such success as a catcher in the late '70s

0:24:170:24:19

that he was the defensive player of the year.

0:24:190:24:21

The reason was that he covered his hands

0:24:210:24:24

and gloves with an adhesive called Stickum.

0:24:240:24:26

LAUGHTER

0:24:260:24:29

He actually admitted, he said,

0:24:290:24:31

"Without Stickum I couldn't catch a cold in Antarctica."

0:24:310:24:34

That's so clearly cheating. They must've spotted that.

0:24:340:24:36

There wasn't a rule against it. They had to introduce one, which there now is.

0:24:360:24:41

There was a jockey at Belmont in New York who, in 1923,

0:24:410:24:46

died of a heart attack when on a horse and won.

0:24:460:24:48

The horse won.

0:24:480:24:50

Of course, the bookies didn't want to pay out.

0:24:500:24:53

There was a rule that said a jockey had to be in the saddle

0:24:530:24:55

but there was no rule to say he had to be alive!

0:24:550:24:57

LAUGHTER

0:24:570:24:59

He was a brilliant jockey if he clung on even though he was dead!

0:24:590:25:03

-Exactly! Pretty amazing.

-Keep going!

0:25:030:25:06

The lucky punters were paid out.

0:25:060:25:08

And so to that part of the show that's always

0:25:080:25:11

unfair at the very best of times, General Ignorance.

0:25:110:25:13

Fingers on buzzers, if you would. Here is the Old Bailey.

0:25:130:25:17

What is the statue of Justice on top looking at?

0:25:170:25:20

BUZZER Nothing.

0:25:220:25:24

-Why's that?

-She's blindfolded.

0:25:240:25:27

KLAXON

0:25:270:25:29

-No, she's not.

-She's not?

0:25:290:25:31

No, you can see, there. No blindfold.

0:25:310:25:34

That particular statue is not blindfolded, but sometimes it is.

0:25:340:25:37

People often at the Old Bailey would say,

0:25:370:25:39

"Members of the jury, if you look up...

0:25:390:25:41

"Blindfolded..."

0:25:410:25:43

People would go, "He wasn't even telling the truth about that!"

0:25:430:25:47

There are many statues of Lady Justice,

0:25:470:25:49

some of which are blindfolded and some of which aren't.

0:25:490:25:53

Why did lepers start carrying bells?

0:25:530:25:56

-DON'T MENTION THE WAR BUZZER

-I forgot about that.

0:25:570:26:01

LAUGHTER We haven't!

0:26:010:26:03

LAUGHTER

0:26:030:26:05

I don't know. Probably it wasn't their choice to wear the bells.

0:26:060:26:10

Probably it was more the other people telling them

0:26:100:26:12

to wear bells so they could escape.

0:26:120:26:15

-KLAXON

-As a warning, you mean.

0:26:150:26:17

No, to keep people away.

0:26:170:26:19

It was to attract people to give them alms.

0:26:190:26:22

Not arms in that sense. To give them money.

0:26:220:26:25

"I've lost my arms, please give me some alms."

0:26:250:26:27

-No, to give them money.

-Come here and give me money.

0:26:270:26:30

After the Black Death and the extraordinary decimation of the population in Europe,

0:26:300:26:35

sickness become something people were much more worried about.

0:26:350:26:39

Then the bells were used as a warning, but they were originally used to attract people.

0:26:390:26:43

People were not that frightened of lepers, and for good reason.

0:26:430:26:46

Leprosy is nothing like as infectious as people think it is.

0:26:460:26:49

For a start, 90% of the human race is immune to it.

0:26:490:26:53

Most of us are unlikely to catch it, even if we were to lick a leper.

0:26:530:26:58

LAUGHTER Now, there's a game show!

0:26:580:27:02

Why do I see Noel Edmonds presenting that?

0:27:040:27:08

Wish is father of the thought.

0:27:100:27:13

It's quite hard to catch, it's nothing like the jokes of bits falling off and so on.

0:27:130:27:17

You can get nerve damage which, if not attended to,

0:27:170:27:20

can lead to necrosis of the ends of the fingers,

0:27:200:27:23

but the idea that bits fall off you is good for jokes but not true.

0:27:230:27:27

Unpleasant jokes.

0:27:270:27:29

Never let the truth stand in the way of a mediocre joke.

0:27:290:27:32

Exactly. A mediocre joke, exactly right.

0:27:320:27:36

Which of you has the fewest hairs on your head?

0:27:360:27:39

Well, may I just volunteer myself?

0:27:400:27:43

So it's me. I'm going to lose 10 points.

0:27:430:27:46

KLAXON

0:27:460:27:48

And even more hair, being annoyed about that.

0:27:480:27:50

It's one of the strange things.

0:27:500:27:53

There's a splendid man called Dr George Cotsarelis

0:27:530:27:55

at the department of dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania.

0:27:550:27:59

He has determined that actually, you have the same number of hairs on the scalp as everyone else.

0:27:590:28:04

It's just some of them are only visible under a microscope.

0:28:040:28:08

So that's roughly like not having them, really.

0:28:080:28:11

-LAUGHTER

-No!

0:28:110:28:12

By the same token, humans may look less hairy than chimpanzees,

0:28:120:28:16

but we've the same number of hair follicles, about five million,

0:28:160:28:20

on our bodies as chimpanzees.

0:28:200:28:23

And so we come to the scores.

0:28:230:28:25

These are very interesting, and it would be very unfair of me not to share them with you.

0:28:250:28:30

-So, that's all from Sandi, Henning, Clive, Alan and me.

-LAUGHTER

0:28:300:28:33

Because, as William Goldman said,

0:28:330:28:35

"Life isn't fair, it's just fairer than death."

0:28:350:28:38

That's all. Goodnight.

0:28:380:28:40

APPLAUSE

0:28:400:28:42

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:28:420:28:44

E-mail [email protected]

0:28:440:28:46