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Dan Thomas

Dan Thomas sy'n sôn am straeon teuluol a'i gysylltiadau â'r Free Wales Army mewn sioe lwyfan. Comic Dan Thomas tells family stories and tales of the Free Wales Army in his stand...


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-Please welcome

-the amazing Dan Thomas.

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-It's lovely to be here.

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-I've been on tour around Wales

-for what feels like six months.

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-I've done the show in Swansea,

-where I'm from originally.

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-I live here now.

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-Are you familiar with Swansea?

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-Where else have I been?

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-Is there anyone here

-from West Wales?

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-Good, because...

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-..the people are so nice...

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-..but sometimes,

-they're just a bit...

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-I was in a cafe there,

-looking at the menu.

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-I asked the woman,

-"What's the soup?"

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-She said,

-"It's sort of like liquid food."

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-Like many small towns...

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-..there was a war memorial

-in the town centre.

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-On one side was a list of locals

-who died in the First World War.

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-It was a long list

-of those who had died...

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-..along with their ranks.

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-Jones, Private, Watkins, Sergeant.

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-Halfway down,

-I saw something a bit weird.

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-Smith, civilian.

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-What on earth was a civilian doing

-in the middle of World War One?

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-Did he think

-it was a cheap holiday to France?

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-Running across no man's land...

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-..thinking,

-"This wasn't in the brochure."

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-An Englishman shouting in

-the trenches, "You there, get down!"

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-"I don't work for you, piss off!"

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-As I said,

-I was in West Wales on tour.

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-A couple of months ago,

-I was in Cross Hands.

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-Genuinely,

-I heard someone say this.

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-Something bad had been on the news.

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-Another terror attack.

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-This old lady in Cross Hands went,

-"It's not safe to leave the house."

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-In Cross Hands?

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-You're still OK, love.

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-I'm fairly sure there's no terrorist

-in a cave somewhere going...

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-.."OK, your list of targets -

-New York, Chicago, Paris...

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-"Yeah,

-you're not going to like this.

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-"Cross Hands."

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-That's a pretty good place

-for a terror bombing.

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-Have you been to Cross Hands?

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-If you were a suicide bomber,

-it wouldn't feel like work.

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-After ten minutes, you'd be...

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-.."I don't care about the virgins,

-I just want to get out of here."

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-I've been driving around

-the country in the countryside.

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-I've only been driving

-for a year or two.

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-I'm still a novice, really,

-and parking can be hard.

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-I had a gig in a pub last weekend.

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-There was no car park, but there

-was one at the nearby prison.

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-I thought, "I'll just park there."

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-I saw a bizarre sign

-at the prison car park.

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-"Warning. Parking is for staff

-and visitors only."

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-So I thought, "Obviously."

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-Only three groups use a prison.

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-Staff, visitors and prisoners.

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-What would it be like

-if they had a parking space?

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-Looking out of the cell window.

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-"Oh, mate, you've blocked me in!

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-"You'd better have left

-in 20 years."

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-My wife's a vegan.

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-That's hard, because we often

-holiday in Portugal.

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-In Europe, especially the south,

-they haven't sussed veganism yet.

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-They're not au fait with it yet.

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-On holiday, we drive around,

-stopping everywhere for a look.

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-"Let's have a look.

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-"There's a lot of steak."

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-"It's a steak house, it would have."

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-Late one night,

-about ten o'clock...

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-..we drove up to this place.

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-"Love, we are going there.

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-"I don't care if it's a restaurant

-that specializes in live kittens...

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-"..that have been bred to weep..."

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-Coincidentally, that's what it was.

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-A Portuguese

-weeping kitten restaurant.

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-"So, this is

-a weeping kitten restaurant, is it?"

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-The man said, "Yes."

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-My wife started to cry.

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-"Don't cry, you'll confuse the cats,

-they'll think they're one of you.

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-"Don't be sad. When we go abroad,

-you like to eat authentically.

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-"Is weeping kittens

-authentic Algarvean cuisine?

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-He went,

-"No, it's only me doing this."

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-"Screw it, table for two. It's late.

-What's the wine? Tears? Two."

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-There are some things

-I really want to talk about tonight.

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-Does everyone

-have one of those dodgy friends?

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-I think everyone

-has one dodgy friend.

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-The kind of person...

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-Someone broke into our house

-about a year ago.

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-One of my friends said,

-"Someone broke into your house?"

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-"Don't worry, don't worry.

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-"I know someone

-who can find out who did it."

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-I was like,

-"OK, I know someone too.

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-"They're called the police.

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-"You don't mean them, do you?"

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-"No."

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-They stole our television.

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-I told him, "They took our TV."

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-My friend said,

-"How much was it? 700?

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-"I can get you the same TV

-for 50 off my mate Jimmy Onions.

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-"Jimmy Onions, yeah."

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-Forgive me, but he doesn't sound

-like a licensed Sony dealer.

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-The point is,

-everyone has a dodgy friend.

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-Mine is my mother.

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-It'll make sense

-when I tell you this.

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-I realized something

-when I was in my twenties.

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-My childhood was stranger...

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-..than the childhood

-of literally everyone in this room.

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-Definitely.

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-I don't even have to ask.

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-You know when you meet new people

-at university or work...

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-..and you discuss your childhood?

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-"I had such a weird childhood.

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-"My mother considered

-having dreadlocks at one point."

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-Yes, mental.

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-Then I tell stories

-about my childhood.

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-They all stop and say,

-"Mate, that's fucked."

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-And they're right.

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-My childhood was nuts.

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-I'll prove it to you tonight.

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-There were clues that something

-funny was going on when I was small.

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-I grew up in Marloes,

-near Haverfordwest.

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-I didn't think about this

-until I was a bit older.

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-There was always a van

-parked outside our house in Marloes.

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-Always, all day, every day.

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-I eventually found out that

-our house was being bugged by MI5.

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-This is all true.

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-Our house was bugged by MI5.

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-Memories come back.

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-I liked jokes when I was young.

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-I heard new jokes at school...

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-..and phoned my grandmother

-in Swansea to tell them to her.

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-I phoned her one day.

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-"I've heard a new joke.

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-"What do witches learn in school?

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-"Spelling!"

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-Then I'd hear a voice,

-and it wasn't my grandmother's.

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-"That was crud."

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-That was my first review, from

-a constipated MI5 bloke in a van.

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-Our phone was bugged,

-our house was bugged.

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-Obviously,

-there was a reason for that.

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-More stories. I'll build up to it.

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-You've all gone through

-your parents' cupboard as a child...

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-..just to see what's there,

-and that's fine.

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-Usually, you find

-something relatively innocent...

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-..like porn.

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-That's what all my mates found

-in their parents' cupboards.

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-One of my mates

-found a bin bag full of porn.

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-That's fantastic when you're ten.

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-Why was there

-a bin bag full of porn?

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-My mate Paul's father

-was a teacher.

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-"Why does your father

-have a bin bag full of porn?"

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-Paul just said, "He confiscates it

-from the naughty boys."

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-I believed him at the time.

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-I thought about this recently.

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-That doesn't scan, that's bullshit.

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-A teacher who confiscates porn

-would just throw it away.

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-He took it home, and God knows

-what excuse he'd tell his wife.

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-"No, I have to keep this.

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-"That's Razzle, a first edition.

-It'll be worth something one day."

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-The same bloke, what a player...

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-..his wife found a G-string

-in the car's glove compartment.

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-He managed to convince her

-that it was a shammy.

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-How thick was she?

-"It's the best thing for the job."

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-This was about 20 years ago.

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-He's still out there every Sunday.

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-"Only thing for the job,

-really gets in the cracks."

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-But I didn't find porn

-in my parents' cupboard.

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-I found a gun...

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-..a landmine...

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-..and my parents' divorce papers,

-and I didn't know they had split up.

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-I should also say,

-this was on my ninth birthday.

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-Happy birthday, me.

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-Obviously, something was up,

-landmines and guns.

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-Fortunately, around that time,

-my grandmother had Alzheimer's.

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-That was poorly phrased.

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-She said things that she shouldn't.

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-One day, she just said...

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-.."Do you know your parents were

-in the Free Wales Army in the '70s?"

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-I was like, "OK."

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-Then she said,

-"And Santa Claus doesn't exist."

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-"You're on a roll,

-aren't you, Gran?"

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-Why tell me this? I'm nine.

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-"I thought you were 20

-with a growth hormone problem."

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-So, that's what I found out.

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-My parents were members

-of the Free Wales Army.

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-How many of you are familiar

-with the Free Wales Army?

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-That's quite good.

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-I've asked that question

-on my tour of Wales.

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-Usually, if people don't know,

-they'll say so.

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-But if they do, people just go,

-"I'm not saying shit."

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-You were very brave there.

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-A lot of places, people think

-it might be a sting operation...

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-..and don't say anything.

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-The best I've had

-is someone doing this.

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-So, well done.

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-Is anyone unfamiliar

-with the Free Wales Army?

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-Wales, eh?

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-If you don't know,

-are you familiar with the IRA?

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-And the Chuckle Brothers?

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-It's basically...

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-I don't want to take the piss...

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-..but it was a small army

-of which my parents were members...

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-..that wanted freedom for Wales,

-which was fantastic.

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-But it was weird.

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-When I found out,

-after my grandmother told me...

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-..my mother was willing

-to talk about it.

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-Too willing to talk about it.

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-All of you probably had lullabies

-and fairy tales at bedtime.

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-My mother would go...

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-.."Do you want a story?"

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-I'd be, "Oh, God!"

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-"Free Wales Army?"

-"Yes."

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-Every night.

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-I'll give you an example.

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-One story started off like this.

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-"So, we had a load

-of unstable dynamite..."

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-Apparently, dynamite goes off.

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-Not as in kaboom,

-but as in sour milk.

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-"That dynamite's like ripe cheese!"

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-This bloke had a bag

-of unstable dynamite.

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-I've seen photos, red sticks...

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-..like the ones in cartoons,

-with TNT down the side.

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-Free Wales Army or Wile E Coyote?

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-He had to get rid

-of this unstable dynamite.

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-"I know, I'll go for a walk...

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-"..and throw it into

-that dry river bed by the field.

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-"And I'll take the dog with me.

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-He goes for a walk, the bag splits,

-the sticks fall out...

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-..and the dog thinks

-the bloke wants to play catch.

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-He picks up one dynamite stick...

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-..and chases the bloke around

-the field for about an hour...

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-..before eventually biting

-into the stick and exploding.

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-Just woof.

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-Just a reminder.

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-This was the story my mother told me

-to help me get to sleep.

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-"Yes, the dog died. OK, goodnight."

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-If it wasn't stories like that,

-it'd be political polemics.

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-"Just so you know,

-before you go to bed...

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-"..assassination for political ends

-is always morally justifiable.

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-"Mwah, love you."

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-.

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-Subtitles

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-Subtitles

-

-Subtitles

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-It was a small army,

-only 20 members at any one time.

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-All the time, just 20, in an army.

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-To put that in context, there have

-been 20 members of Guns N' Roses.

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-I talk about it with people

-who aren't familiar with the FWA.

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-Some people,

-especially English people, go...

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-.."That sounds amazing,

-they were a crack team!

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-"Like a Welsh Expendables."

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-No, there were very few of them,

-not one was expendable.

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-They were never in a gunfight...

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-..but it would have been terrifying

-for them if they had been.

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-Down!

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-Bang!

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-Oh, crap!

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-"You've shot Llinos.

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-"She was our lift, so, really..."

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-I'd hear more and more stories.

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-The Free Wales Army

-only had one casualty.

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-That was my dad.

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-He'd been shot...

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-Thanks for that, fuck you!

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-He was shot...

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-..when they were on manoeuvres

-on a mountain...

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-..with bayonets and so on.

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-They had to run down a field

-and stab hay bales and stuff.

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-Dad's job was to hold up a gun,

-count to three then shoot.

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-But the Thomases

-lack upper body strength...

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-..and he got tired very quickly.

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-So, he went, "Three, two, one"

-and shot himself in the foot.

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-In a proper army,

-if you shoot yourself in the foot...

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-..you get an honourable discharge.

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-In the Free Wales Army,

-if you shoot yourself in the foot...

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-..all you get is a shit nickname.

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-My dad's nickname was Foot.

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-Dad was Foot.

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-There was a bloke called Hotlips

-because he tried a curry once.

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-Only one of them had a cool nickname

-and that was the Butcher of Blaenau.

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-He was a butcher in Blaenau.

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-That's the Butcher of Blaenau,

-the Milkman of Blaenau...

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-There was a lot of stuff,

-a lot of stuff...

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-They did things like...

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-..exchange schemes with

-other terrorist organizations.

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-We had to go to France

-when we were at school.

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-They went to Palestine.

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-They arranged an exchange scheme

-with the PLO.

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-It's important you know this.

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-The PLO, the Palestinian

-Liberation Organization.

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-Not P&O.

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-That would be a weird exchange.

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-Two FWA blokes just loading...

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-"Screw it, we're the cabaret."

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-A bloke from the PLO

-had come over...

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-..and two blokes from Neath

-went out there.

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-Now, the PLO chap

-had a lot more fun...

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-..than the Neath blokes did

-out in Palestine...

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-..running around for two weeks and

-looking in the Arabic phrasebook.

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-"I can't find

-'Where can I get a pint?'"

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-That happened, the exchange schemes.

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-They were armed to the teeth,

-technically.

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-We had this gun,

-and we had this helmet.

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-I got this when I was small.

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-It was a gift from my parents

-when I was six.

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-Look at it!

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-I wore it today for the first time

-since I was small.

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-Look at this.

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-Hang on.

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-This is really painful.

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-I only realized today

-that this is a child-sized helmet.

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-What the hell

-did they have planned?!

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-They were trying to turn me

-into a child soldier.

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-So, we had those.

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-But we had more than that.

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-As I said, we had one landmine

-and we had that gun.

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-But there was another landmine.

0:19:210:19:24

-We had two landmines in the house.

0:19:240:19:26

-One in the cupboard...

0:19:270:19:29

-..and my grandmother

-had one under the bed.

0:19:290:19:32

-In her words, for home protection.

0:19:340:19:37

-"I can't get rid of it

-in case someone breaks in."

0:19:370:19:42

-What would she do

-if someone broke in?

0:19:420:19:45

-"I'll take us both out, prick."

0:19:450:19:47

-The thing is,

-she used to keep it under her bed...

0:19:480:19:51

-..metal, circular,

-under the bed, next to a bedpan.

0:19:520:19:56

-Now, that's something...

0:19:560:19:58

-..that you don't want to mix up

-at two in the morning.

0:19:590:20:03

-I think she might have, because

-that landmine was quite rusty.

0:20:030:20:07

-She had actually

-got rid of that landmine...

0:20:090:20:12

-..because in 1988, they'd had...

0:20:120:20:17

-..this was in Swansea...

0:20:170:20:19

-..they'd had an arms amnesty

-in Swansea.

0:20:190:20:23

-You could hand in weapons,

-and many people did.

0:20:230:20:27

-Grandad's World War Two revolver,

-that sort of thing.

0:20:270:20:32

-Then my grandmother

-turns up with a landmine.

0:20:330:20:36

-She'd walked from Brynmill

-to Cockett police station...

0:20:360:20:40

-..ideally situated

-for an arms amnesty.

0:20:400:20:44

-She walked, even though

-she could have taken the bus.

0:20:440:20:48

-But she thought,

-"I don't want to kill everyone."

0:20:480:20:52

-She said that to the duty sergeant

-when she handed it in...

0:20:520:20:56

-..ironically in a Spar bag for life.

0:20:560:20:59

-She just went, boom.

0:20:590:21:01

-"I've walked here with this.

0:21:020:21:04

-"I didn't want to kill

-everyone on the bus."

0:21:040:21:07

-He said, "You're a saint.

0:21:070:21:09

-That's a fairly low level

-for sainthood.

0:21:090:21:12

-She could have killed

-a busload of people, but she didn't.

0:21:120:21:16

-People still talked about that

-at her funeral.

0:21:180:21:21

-We'd written stuff down

-for the poor priest...

0:21:210:21:24

-..but he hadn't read through it

-before starting the eulogy.

0:21:240:21:28

-"Gladys was a good woman

-beloved by all..."

0:21:290:21:31

-Fairly standard stuff.

0:21:310:21:33

-"She was very involved

-in Labour politics.

0:21:340:21:37

-"I'm sorry, I can't read that.

0:21:380:21:40

-"It looks like nearly killed

-a busload of people but didn't."

0:21:410:21:44

-Late arrivals were asking,

-"Is this Gladys?"

0:21:450:21:47

-That was the first time

-I went to a funeral.

0:21:480:21:51

-But it wasn't the first time

-I had to deal with death.

0:21:510:21:55

-Most people learn about death

-with the loss of a pet or something.

0:21:560:22:01

-I found out aged nine,

-when my mother came up and said...

0:22:010:22:05

-.."Do you know when I die?

0:22:050:22:06

-"I want to show you the package

-I want from the undertaker's."

0:22:070:22:12

-Genuinely, she had a brochure!

0:22:120:22:14

-I was nine, and she thought,

-"Now's the time, he needs to know."

0:22:140:22:18

-"I want to be cremated and scattered

-in the field by Aberglasney.

0:22:190:22:23

-"Just remember, OK?"

0:22:230:22:25

-"OK."

0:22:250:22:26

-"Goodnight!" again.

0:22:270:22:28

-About a year ago, she asked...

0:22:310:22:33

-.."Do you remember where I want

-my ashes spread? Aberglasney?"

0:22:330:22:37

-"Yes, I still think about it.

0:22:370:22:39

-"I've spoken

-to my psychiatrist about it."

0:22:400:22:42

-"I've changed my mind now because

-they've got a new toilet block...

0:22:430:22:47

-"..and it's very vulgar,

-so I don't want to go there now."

0:22:470:22:51

-I thought, "You're not going

-to use it, you mad bat.

0:22:510:22:55

-"Why do you care? You're insane."

0:22:560:22:58

-I told her last weekend...

0:22:580:23:00

-..that I'd be talking about

-her change of heart about her ashes.

0:23:000:23:05

-She said, "Oh, no, don't say that,

-people will think I'm weird."

0:23:050:23:09

-An hour later, she revealed...

0:23:120:23:15

-..that she was considering

-putting AstroTurf in the bath.

0:23:150:23:19

-She's eccentric,

-I think that's the word.

0:23:190:23:22

-If I use the word mental,

-people say it's a bit much.

0:23:220:23:25

-Then I tell the stories,

-and it's, "Fair enough."

0:23:260:23:29

-I prefer the word eccentric.

0:23:300:23:32

-By the mid-1980s...

0:23:320:23:34

-..she was a single parent raising me

-and my sister, and it was hard.

0:23:350:23:39

-I've got much more sympathy now

-for her eccentricities.

0:23:390:23:43

-I'm a parent myself now,

-we have two young daughters.

0:23:430:23:47

-Cheers.

0:23:470:23:48

-Who here has children?

0:23:520:23:54

-Yes, full of joy.

0:23:550:23:57

-Who doesn't have children?

0:23:580:24:00

-It's lovely, don't get me wrong.

0:24:020:24:04

-Children are lovely.

0:24:040:24:06

-Children are the best things

-I've ever created with my penis.

0:24:060:24:12

-It's not a long list,

-babies and one IKEA bookshelf.

0:24:150:24:19

-After I finished,

-I found the Allen key.

0:24:220:24:24

-"That would have been handy

-an hour ago. I need Savlon!"

0:24:250:24:29

-Everything changes

-when you have a baby.

0:24:300:24:33

-Your house changes and now we have

-two, there are toys everywhere.

0:24:350:24:40

-Choking hazards everywhere,

-and they don't work.

0:24:400:24:43

-The first thing we bought

-was a baby monitor.

0:24:460:24:50

-When I was young, baby monitors

-were a microphone and a speaker.

0:24:500:24:56

-That's all.

0:24:560:24:57

-These days, they have a camera

-pointing at the baby...

0:24:570:25:00

-..and you have a screen

-in the room where you are.

0:25:010:25:04

-You can look at the baby all day.

0:25:050:25:07

-We had one of those.

0:25:070:25:09

-We watched the baby on the screen

-all day, just looking at her face.

0:25:090:25:14

-Her nose.

0:25:150:25:16

-Her cheeks.

0:25:180:25:19

-Her lips.

0:25:200:25:21

-Her chin.

0:25:210:25:22

-I said to my wife,

-"We made that with our love."

0:25:240:25:28

-We did that all day, every day.

0:25:280:25:31

-But in the dark,

-it goes into night vision...

0:25:330:25:35

-..and the baby looks

-like the fucking exorcist.

0:25:360:25:39

-Everything changes.

0:25:410:25:42

-In the day, she's just cute.

0:25:430:25:45

-Six o'clock, it's dark,

-and it's horrific.

0:25:480:25:52

-I remember the first time

-the baby cried at 3.00am.

0:25:520:25:56

-My wife asked me to go.

0:25:560:25:58

-I looked at the screen and said...

0:25:590:26:01

-.."No, I'm not going in there

-by myself, not without a shotgun...

0:26:010:26:05

-"..and a priest."

0:26:070:26:08

-That's the only time

-when it's OK...

0:26:080:26:10

-..to take a priest

-into your child's room.

0:26:110:26:13

-That joke went down better than it

-did in Dublin, so thanks for that.

0:26:180:26:23

-.

0:26:240:26:25

-Subtitles

0:26:270:26:27

-Subtitles

-

-Subtitles

0:26:270:26:29

-Has anyone seen The Omen?

0:26:310:26:33

-Basically, if you haven't seen it,

-it's about the spawn of Satan...

0:26:350:26:40

-..born of a jackal...

0:26:420:26:43

-..pure evil.

0:26:430:26:45

-The fact is...

0:26:460:26:48

-..in that film,

-the kid doesn't do anything...

0:26:480:26:51

-..I don't have to deal with

-five times every freaking day.

0:26:510:26:55

-It's horseshit.

0:26:550:26:56

-The worst thing he does...

0:26:570:26:58

-..is almost hit his nursery nurse

-down the stairs with a tricycle.

0:26:590:27:03

-Keyword, almost.

0:27:040:27:05

-He doesn't actually do it.

0:27:050:27:07

-My children set up tripwires

-at the top of the stairs.

0:27:070:27:11

-There's one scene in The Omen

-where they take the kid...

0:27:110:27:15

-..to one of those

-drive-through wildlife parks.

0:27:150:27:18

-When they pass the baboons, the

-baboons all sense evil in the car.

0:27:190:27:24

-They start to attack the car.

0:27:240:27:26

-They just go nuts, right.

0:27:260:27:28

-I took my kids to Whipsnade Zoo.

0:27:290:27:31

-In the baboon bit,

-it was exactly the same.

0:27:310:27:34

-The baboons began

-to throw shit at our car.

0:27:340:27:37

-But my kids were in the car

-matching them turd for turd.

0:27:370:27:42

-That was in my car.

0:27:430:27:45

-The head baboon looked right at me.

0:27:450:27:49

-"Leave this guy alone,

-he's having a bad day.

0:27:490:27:52

-"Guys, remember,

-we are above all entertainers.

0:27:520:27:56

-"Move on, mate, go to the gift shop.

0:27:560:27:59

-When I was growing up,

-it was really hard...

0:27:590:28:02

-When I was growing up, it was

-a lot harder to make children cry.

0:28:030:28:08

-You really had to hit them.

0:28:090:28:11

-The father of one of my friends

-broke his rotator cuff...

0:28:120:28:16

-..just by whacking him one evening,

-and he cried a little bit.

0:28:160:28:20

-My kids cried this morning because

-I'd bought them a blind bag...

0:28:210:28:25

-Do you know what a blind bag is?

0:28:260:28:28

-It's a swindle.

0:28:280:28:29

-You'll know it's a con

-if you have kids.

0:28:290:28:32

-It's a toy in a vacuum-packed bag.

0:28:330:28:36

-But you can't see what's in it

-until you've bought it.

0:28:370:28:40

-Then the kids freak out

-if they've already got it.

0:28:400:28:45

-Tough. We've bought it now.

0:28:450:28:47

-She started to cry this morning.

0:28:470:28:50

-My child cried this morning...

0:28:500:28:52

-..essentially because Dadi doesn't

-have X-ray freaking vision.

0:28:520:28:56

-"Dad's not clairvoyant. Boohoo!"

0:28:570:29:00

-As a parent, I used to think

-that 9/11 was something really bad.

0:29:030:29:09

-Then I found out that

-Osama Bin Laden had 24 children...

0:29:130:29:16

-..and I'm much more sympathetic now.

0:29:170:29:19

-I've only got two,

-and I've never blown anything up.

0:29:200:29:24

-The worst I've done is walk

-into a giant Jenga in a pub.

0:29:240:29:29

-"Death to the West!

0:29:290:29:30

-"Sorry, they're teething,

-I'm in a terrible mood."

0:29:310:29:34

-It's like being a hostage.

0:29:350:29:37

-I feel like a hostage, right.

0:29:370:29:39

-I'm giving you mixed messages,

-but I do feel like a hostage.

0:29:390:29:43

-There are two of them, and I look

-after them in the day sometimes.

0:29:440:29:48

-Just me and two little kids,

-and I feel like Terry Waite.

0:29:480:29:52

-Some of you know.

-Who remembers Terry Waite?

0:29:520:29:55

-If you don't,

-he was taken hostage...

0:29:570:29:59

-What an amazing reaction.

0:29:590:30:01

-Someone went, "Hooray!

0:30:010:30:04

-"Finally, someone's doing

-Terry Waite material!"

0:30:040:30:09

-If you don't remember Terry Waite...

0:30:090:30:12

-..in the 1980s, he was an assistant

-to the Archbishop of Canterbury...

0:30:120:30:17

-..who was taken hostage in Beirut.

0:30:170:30:19

-The job title assistant

-to the Archbishop of Canterbury...

0:30:190:30:23

-..doesn't sound as if you'd be

-at risk of kidnap in Beirut.

0:30:240:30:27

-"What's the job? Stuff around the

-office, teas and coffees and so on.

0:30:280:30:32

-"And you might have to broker peace

-in the Middle East."

0:30:320:30:36

-"What was that?"

0:30:360:30:37

-"Don't worry about it."

0:30:380:30:39

-He went to Beirut

-and was held hostage for five years.

0:30:390:30:43

-Five years tied to a radiator,

-and that's how I feel.

0:30:430:30:47

-But at least he was able

-to spend five years thinking...

0:30:490:30:52

-.."If I get out of this alive,

-I'm getting a book deal."

0:30:530:30:56

-At least he had that option,

-but I don't.

0:30:570:30:59

-That actually happened.

0:30:590:31:01

-He was released, wrote a book

-and sold half a million copies.

0:31:020:31:07

-The person I feel sorry for

-is his publisher.

0:31:070:31:11

-He was probably going,

-"Hey, Terry, great book.

0:31:110:31:14

-"Sold half a million copies,

-it's a hit.

0:31:150:31:18

-"What have you got next?"

0:31:180:31:20

-And Terry's just,

-"Um, well, that was the bulk of it.

0:31:220:31:28

-"That was the interesting bit,

-I've told you the rest.

0:31:280:31:31

-"Teas and coffees and bits

-and pieces around the office.

0:31:310:31:35

-"I'm not sure

-there's a book in that."

0:31:350:31:38

-The publisher would go...

0:31:380:31:40

-.."Don't worry, I've got a plan,

-but you're not going to like it.

0:31:400:31:44

-"Basically, I've booked you in for

-a two-week speaking tour of Nigeria.

0:31:450:31:50

-"I've put the word around...

0:31:500:31:52

-"..that you called Boko Haram

-a bunch of knobheads...

0:31:520:31:56

-"..and we'll see what happens."

0:31:560:31:58

-You know, I do...

0:32:000:32:03

-Children.

0:32:030:32:05

-I try to be a good parent.

0:32:060:32:08

-It's hard, but I try.

0:32:080:32:10

-I try to be at least

-as good a parent as mine were.

0:32:100:32:13

-Again, Free Wales Army members.

0:32:140:32:16

-I remember my parents' friends

-coming over.

0:32:160:32:19

-I'd sit on someone's lap,

-not knowing they were in the FWA.

0:32:200:32:26

-They'd say things like...

0:32:260:32:28

-.."Do you know anything

-about the Clywedog bomb in 1966?"

0:32:280:32:32

-And I'd be, "No!"

0:32:320:32:33

-"I'm nine."

0:32:350:32:36

-And he'd go, "No, me neither."

0:32:360:32:39

-It's weird talking about it.

0:32:440:32:46

-I've discussed the FWA in gigs,

-and I remember one in Barry.

0:32:460:32:50

-Someone came up to me,

-and he was only about 20.

0:32:500:32:53

-Very young. He came up to me.

0:32:540:32:56

-"You mentioned the Free Wales Army.

-Can I show you something?"

0:32:560:33:00

-He just unzipped his top and went...

0:33:000:33:03

-He had a tattoo,

-Free Wales Army For Ever.

0:33:050:33:08

-I thought, "Well, OK."

0:33:090:33:13

-But if you're a member

-of a terrorist organization...

0:33:130:33:16

-..it's important to have

-what I'd call plausible deniability.

0:33:180:33:22

-If you get arrested...

0:33:230:33:24

-No-one in the Mafia gets arrested,

-"We think you're a Mafia member."

0:33:240:33:29

-"You can't prove it."

-"OK, unzip."

0:33:300:33:32

-"Goddammit. Knew I shouldn't

-have got the tattoo that says....

0:33:320:33:36

-.."'I love the Mafia,

-of which I am a part.'

0:33:360:33:40

-"Shoulda got the dolphin tattoo,

-that would have been cute."

0:33:400:33:43

-I'll say a couple of other things.

0:33:440:33:47

-I've heard these stories

-since I was small.

0:33:470:33:51

-My favourite story

-concerns my father being arrested.

0:33:510:33:56

-Actually, he hadn't.

-He'd been jailed.

0:33:560:33:59

-Some of his friends

-had been arrested...

0:34:010:34:04

-..for conspiracy

-to commit acts of terror.

0:34:040:34:07

-Dad had decided to go

-to give a speech during the trial...

0:34:070:34:12

-..just to put everyone off.

0:34:120:34:14

-"This'll confuse 'em!"

0:34:170:34:18

-He started to make a speech.

0:34:190:34:21

-You know this was in Swansea

-because the judge said to him...

0:34:210:34:25

-..I swear to God, this is the quote,

-"Oi, dickhead, come over here!"

0:34:260:34:30

-My father said, "What?"

0:34:300:34:33

-"Are you going to shut up?"

-"No."

0:34:330:34:35

-"In that case, I'm putting you

-in jail until the end of the trial.

0:34:350:34:39

-"It should be about a fortnight.

-Take him away."

0:34:400:34:43

-So he had to go to jail.

0:34:430:34:44

-This happened on a Friday.

0:34:450:34:47

-On the Monday,

-he was meant to be in work.

0:34:470:34:50

-In those days,

-the boss came around with a list...

0:34:500:34:53

-..and ticked names off

-to make sure you were there.

0:34:530:34:57

-Off he went.

-"Thomas? Where's Thomas?"

0:34:570:35:00

-His friend just said,

-"Oh, he's in jail!"

0:35:010:35:05

-The boss said, "Jail, is it?

-Right. I don't know what to do.

0:35:060:35:11

-"I can't put him down as sick.

0:35:130:35:15

-"I'll put him down as holiday.

0:35:150:35:17

-"That way,

-he gets paid for the time."

0:35:180:35:20

-That actually happened.

0:35:220:35:24

-I'll tell you something else.

0:35:250:35:27

-My mother's just had

-her first mobile phone.

0:35:270:35:30

-It was six months ago.

0:35:310:35:32

-She let my kids play with it.

0:35:320:35:36

-This irritated me,

-it's just a segue now.

0:35:360:35:39

-My kids broke her phone.

0:35:390:35:41

-Who has an iPhone?

0:35:420:35:43

-Yes, everyone.

0:35:440:35:45

-If you break it,

-you have to take it...

0:35:480:35:50

-..to somewhere called the Genius Bar

-in an Apple store.

0:35:500:35:54

-That's not progress if it takes

-a genius to repair something.

0:35:540:35:58

-When I was growing up,

-if anything electrical broke down...

0:35:580:36:02

-..we'd take it

-to someone called Stupid Clive.

0:36:020:36:06

-We'd wheel the TV over to him.

0:36:060:36:09

-"The telly's broken."

0:36:100:36:11

-"I'll sort it out."

0:36:120:36:13

-He'd wheel it into the back room

-and you'd just hear hammering.

0:36:130:36:18

-"Bastard thing!"

0:36:180:36:19

-He'd wheel it back out

-and it would work fine.

0:36:190:36:22

-So, iPhones aren't progress.

0:36:230:36:25

-Anyway, that's a segue.

0:36:250:36:27

-One more story before I finish.

0:36:270:36:30

-All the FWA stories

-are from the '60s and '70s.

0:36:300:36:35

-But something happened.

0:36:350:36:37

-Actually, I'd asked my mother...

0:36:380:36:40

-..if she had any regrets

-about being a member of the FWA.

0:36:400:36:44

-They were essentially terrorists...

0:36:440:36:47

-..spreading fear, planting bombs,

-causing some damage.

0:36:470:36:50

-Any regrets?

0:36:510:36:52

-This is genuinely what Mam said.

0:36:520:36:54

-"Yes, I never got to kick

-an Englishman in the bollocks."

0:36:540:36:58

-That was my mother's big regret.

0:36:590:37:02

-This was a long time ago,

-but she's still got it.

0:37:040:37:07

-That slight crazy mobster quality.

0:37:070:37:09

-I was going through

-her address book...

0:37:090:37:12

-..about six months ago.

0:37:130:37:14

-I found the number

-for a company called TSU.

0:37:150:37:19

-Then, in brackets...

0:37:200:37:22

-..private South African

-mercenary firm.

0:37:220:37:26

-This woman is 72

-and lives in Brynmill in Swansea.

0:37:270:37:30

-"Why have you got the number

-of a South African mercenary firm?"

0:37:300:37:35

-Genuinely, she said,

-"Because you never know."

0:37:350:37:39

-What the hell could happen?

0:37:390:37:42

-I'm really terrified now because

-she lives next door to students...

0:37:420:37:47

-..and they can be noisy.

0:37:470:37:48

-One night,

-they'll push her over the edge.

0:37:490:37:51

-She'll be straight on the phone.

0:37:520:37:54

-"Hello, is this the private

-South African mercenary firm?

0:37:540:37:58

-"Good, I've got a voucher."

0:37:580:38:01

-Back to bed she goes,

-then 20 minutes later...

0:38:020:38:06

-..black army helicopters

-landing on next door's roof.

0:38:080:38:12

-Then through the wall, you hear,

-"Target down, target down.

0:38:120:38:16

-"Clear, into the second room.

0:38:160:38:18

-"Target down, clear the room.

0:38:190:38:21

-"Upstairs now.

0:38:210:38:22

-"Targets down, clear.

0:38:220:38:24

-"Up to the third level.

0:38:240:38:26

-"Site clear."

0:38:260:38:28

-Silence for a minute,

-then a knock on Mam's door.

0:38:290:38:32

-It's a massive six foot five

-South African in a ski mask...

0:38:320:38:37

-..holding two bags...

0:38:370:38:38

-..full of heads.

0:38:400:38:41

-He hands them over and says,

-"OK, give me the voucher.

0:38:440:38:47

-"The next one is free."

0:38:470:38:50

-.

0:38:520:38:53

-Subtitles

0:38:550:38:55

-Subtitles

-

-Subtitles

0:38:550:38:57

-I had to ask why they were so angry.

0:38:580:39:02

-Why they were members

-of the Free Wales Army?

0:39:020:39:05

-They were angry with the English

-but angrier with the British Empire.

0:39:050:39:10

-The British were the real enemy.

0:39:100:39:13

-I'd tried to find out

-why they were so angry with them.

0:39:130:39:17

-For the show,

-I thought I'd look up...

0:39:170:39:19

-..some of the bad things

-that the British Empire did...

0:39:190:39:23

-..and make a couple of jokes

-about them.

0:39:230:39:26

-But if you look up the top five

-British imperial war atrocities...

0:39:260:39:30

-..not a lot of jokes.

0:39:310:39:33

-This was my face.

0:39:330:39:35

-"Oh, God, straight away."

0:39:360:39:38

-What's this? Inspired the Nazis?

-This isn't funny.

0:39:380:39:41

-The funniest thing I could find...

0:39:430:39:45

-..or the most light-hearted thing

-that the British Empire did...

0:39:460:39:50

-..were the 19th century

-opium wars...

0:39:500:39:53

-..where they sent people to China

-to get all our heroin back.

0:39:530:39:57

-They sent the army and navy...

0:39:580:40:00

-..working class boys,

-all willing to go out to China.

0:40:000:40:05

-"I'm willing to give up my life...

0:40:050:40:08

-"..to make sure that

-my darling Queen, our dear Queen...

0:40:080:40:12

-"..gets her daily dose of smack.

0:40:130:40:15

-"I want to make sure

-there's enough heroin...

0:40:150:40:18

-"..for every man, woman

-and child in my country."

0:40:180:40:21

-Essentially, that's what they said.

0:40:220:40:24

-I went to Swansea University.

0:40:240:40:26

-My university experience

-was very different to theirs.

0:40:270:40:30

-They'd formed an army.

0:40:310:40:33

-The closest I'd got...

0:40:330:40:35

-..was sitting

-on the committee at university...

0:40:350:40:40

-..that ran the tuck shop.

0:40:400:40:42

-In 2002, Nestle was doing something

-slightly immoral in Africa.

0:40:430:40:49

-Overcharging

-for synthetic baby milk.

0:40:500:40:53

-The lefties said, "That's terrible,

-let's do something," so, we did.

0:40:530:40:57

-Thanks to me, you can't buy Rolos

-at Swansea University now.

0:40:580:41:02

-You're welcome, Africa.

0:41:030:41:05

-This is amazing.

0:41:070:41:08

-I was at university in Swansea

-just after 9/11.

0:41:090:41:12

-It's a good uni, it is.

0:41:130:41:14

-But it's not exactly Oxbridge.

0:41:150:41:17

-I saw something

-that was pure optimism.

0:41:170:41:20

-A pub I used to go to,

-Spoonies, Wetherspoons...

0:41:200:41:23

-A lot of students went there.

0:41:240:41:26

-MI6 had started to put beer mats

-in Wetherspoons in Swansea.

0:41:260:41:30

-"Have you considered

-a career in MI6?"

0:41:300:41:33

-Now, that's optimism.

0:41:330:41:35

-What quality of people

-would they get?

0:41:350:41:38

-The best outcome there

-would be that Osama Bin Laden...

0:41:380:41:43

-What did they imagine would happen?

0:41:440:41:47

-Osama running through some

-Afghan terror network tunnels...

0:41:470:41:51

-..being chased by one bloke.

0:41:510:41:54

-Osama would eventually be trapped

-against the back of the cave.

0:41:560:42:01

-"Where did they ever find

-a man of your calibre?"

0:42:010:42:04

-"Wetherspoons, Swansea.

-Bang. He's down, boys!

0:42:040:42:08

-"We're all going to Spoofers!"

0:42:080:42:10

-Before I go, this is a story

-that happened six months ago.

0:42:120:42:17

-I was at a family friend's wedding

-with my mother.

0:42:170:42:23

-My mother was standing over there,

-just ruining the buffet.

0:42:230:42:27

-Shocking!

0:42:280:42:29

-Ever seen anyone eating

-two Scotch eggs at once? Mental!

0:42:300:42:33

-I was talking to a bloke over here.

0:42:360:42:38

-He was a big boy,

-broad shoulders, fit bloke.

0:42:380:42:43

-"So, what do you do?"

0:42:430:42:44

-"I'm actually a member of Special

-Branch's anti-terror unit."

0:42:450:42:49

-"Oh, that's interesting.

0:42:490:42:51

-"I actually...

0:42:510:42:53

-"This might be

-of some interest to you.

0:42:530:42:56

-"That lady over there who's

-currently ruining the buffet...

0:42:570:43:01

-"..with two Scotch eggs

-in her mouth, that's my mum.

0:43:010:43:05

-"She used to be a member

-of the Free Wales Army.

0:43:060:43:09

-"You probably

-haven't heard of them."

0:43:090:43:12

-And he laughed. He laughed.

0:43:120:43:14

-"Oh, we've heard of the FWA.

-We've actually got a running joke.

0:43:150:43:19

-"Every day

-at the start of the day...

0:43:190:43:22

-..we run through a list of

-current terror threats to Britain.

0:43:230:43:27

-"It starts off ISIS, maximum threat.

0:43:270:43:31

-"Al-Qaeda, maximum threat.

0:43:320:43:34

-"Then, an hour and a half later,

-after all the other threats...

0:43:340:43:39

-"..just as a joke, we get to

-Free Wales Army, minimal threat."

0:43:390:43:44

-And he laughed again.

0:43:440:43:46

-"Oh, well, good speaking to you.

0:43:470:43:49

-"Mam, Mam, put the Scotch egg down,

-for Christ's sake.

0:43:530:43:57

-"That bloke over there

-has a running joke about the FWA."

0:43:590:44:04

-She said, "Oh."

0:44:050:44:06

-She took out her phone.

0:44:070:44:08

-Remember the old days

-when the IRA was active?

0:44:110:44:14

-They'd call ahead

-with coded warnings.

0:44:140:44:17

-Mam just picked up her phone.

0:44:170:44:19

-"Hiya. This is Helen

-from the Free Wales Army.

0:44:190:44:23

-"Yes, we're back.

0:44:230:44:24

-"I'd like to claim responsibility

-for an attack. What attack?

0:44:290:44:33

-"A kick to the bollocks one of

-your pricks is about to take."

0:44:330:44:36

-Do you know what?

0:44:380:44:39

-A lot of people have asked me this.

0:44:410:44:43

-"What effect has being the child

-of Free Wales Army members...

0:44:440:44:49

-"..had on your life, Dan?"

0:44:490:44:52

-And I thought...

0:44:520:44:53

-.."Well, this isn't normal!"

0:44:570:44:59

-You've been fantastic.

0:45:000:45:02

-Thanks for coming, it means a lot.

-I've been Dan Thomas, goodnight.

0:45:020:45:07

-S4C Subtitles by Testun Cyf.

0:45:240:45:26

-.

0:45:260:45:27

Dan Thomas sy'n sôn am straeon teuluol a'i gysylltiadau â'r Free Wales Army mewn sioe lwyfan. Comic Dan Thomas tells family stories and tales of the Free Wales Army in his stand up show.