Al Mur­ray: Why Does Ev­ery­one Hate the English?

Co­me­dian AL MUR­RAY goes to bat­tle to find out about his­tor­i­cal griev­ances against the english

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HIS­TORY His­tory HD, 9pm

Al Mur­ray finds out about Eng­land’s feuds with its neigh­bours, start­ing with lessons from An­toine de Caunes in France.

FAC­TUAL Al Mur­ray: Why Does ev­ery­one Hate the english?

Mon­day, His­tory HD, 9pm ALTHOUGH BEST KNOWN for his jin­go­is­tic com­edy cre­ation The Pub Land­lord, co­me­dian Al Mur­ray has al­ways been an avid his­to­rian. In his new light-hearted se­ries, he vis­its Eng­land’s near­est neigh­bours, start­ing with France, to delve into his­toric feuds and sim­mer­ing re­sent­ments to find out why the English seem to be un­pop­u­lar.

Cov­er­ing ev­ery­thing from the Bat­tle of Water­loo to fa­mous in­ven­tions, Mur­ray teams up with Eu­ro­pean co­me­di­ans to en­gage in some lively pa­tri­otic de­bate.

Here, Mur­ray tells us more…

WHERE DOES THE SE­RIES TAKE YOU? As well as France, I go to Scot­land, Wales, Ire­land and Ger­many. I meet Fred Ma­caulay in Scot­land, who is a Scot­tish na­tional trea­sure, Elis James, a very proud Welsh­man, An­drew Maxwell in Dublin and Hen­ning Wehn in Ger­many. We kick about some of the

na­tional

an­tag­o­nisms be­tween our coun­tries. They’re all quite pa­tri­otic but can also see the non­sense in a lot of it.

WHAT DO YOU GET UP TO THIS

WEEK? I meet An­toine de Caunes, who peo­ple may re­mem­ber from Euro­trash. He’s a mas­sive star in France and a huge fan of Napoleon. He’s even made a fea­ture film about him. The French have al­ways been very cross about the way the English treated Napoleon af­ter the Bat­tle of

Water­loo, so we visit Napoleon’s tomb and

An­toine takes me to a French science mu­seum, which is full of in­ven­tions the

French claim are theirs.

DID THAT SPARK A DE­BATE?

Yes, An­toine is ab­so­lutely adamant it was a French­man, René Barthélemy, who in­vented TV, whereas I’m ab­so­lutely adamant that John Lo­gie Baird in­vented it in Lon­don. That’s the An­glofrench re­la­tion­ship for you. Two peo­ple go­ing, ‘No, it was OUR idea, you id­iot!’ to each other. WHAT OTHER HIS­TOR­I­CAL EVENTS HAVE RILED THE FRENCH? An­other huge beef the French have with the English is the Bat­tle of Agin­court, where Henry V had all the French knights he’d cap­tured mur­dered rather than ran­somed. That’s a huge source of griev­ance – it was only 600 years ago, but what­ever! We talk about the archers at Agin­court while hav­ing a go our­selves. I have to say An­toine didn’t seem that fussed about the Bat­tle of Agin­court but he was very bothered that

I beat him at archery.

WHAT ELSE DO YOU GET UP TO? In Scot­land, we did the High­land charge, where you take your kilt off and run down a hill in your shirt. That pro­vided a re­fresh­ing breeze where nor­mally there isn’t one. I also vis­ited the Llyn Ce­lyn reser­voir in Wales, which was a huge bone of con­tention. An en­tire Welsh vil­lage was flooded to cre­ate a reser­voir to pro­vide water for Liver­pool. All the res­i­dents were kicked out and you can now have a fun time white-water raft­ing by the reser­voir, which seems a bit wrong.

AL MUR­RAY HEARS ALL ABOUT NAPOLEON ON HIS TRIP TO FRANCE

MUR­RAY AND AN­TOINE DE CAUNES MEET SOME CAN-CAN DANCERS IN SCOT­LAND WITH FRED MA­CAULAY

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