Why Do the Brits Always Win Wars?, Al Murray, Sky History, review: A refreshingly laddish history lesson

0

Sky History’s Al Murray: Why Do the British Win Every War?, review: A refreshingly laddish history lesson

We didn’t need cries of “they sound like sex-crazed hippies in fancy dress!” because the history is fascinating enough.

In its episode on Vikings, Al Murray’s Why Do the British Win Every War? didn’t bother to answer its own central question, not least because the Vikings invaded and then ruled large parts of England, making it difficult to see how we “beat” them in any meaningful sense.

Murray’s split personality is reflected in the program’s framing: his Pub Landlord persona, who pops up to claim “we’re undefeated World War champions of the world!” and make anti-woke jokes about “(hashtag)notallvikings,” and Murray himself, an Oxford history graduate who appears to have wanted to make a nice programme learning about Britain’s ancestral enemies.

We learned in this episode that the “Viking age” was actually created and popularized by Victorians who were fascinated by Scandinavian mythology.

Murray attempted to make a Viking spear with the help of former Corrie star John Thomson, and discovered that the Vikings were well-groomed.

We probably didn’t need cries of “they sound like sex-crazed hippies in fancy dress!” or Brexit-tinged jokes about immigration – “the occupational hazard of living in the best country in the world is that everyone wants to come here!” – to keep us interested in the history.

On the other hand, it was refreshing to see a slapstick approach to a serious subject – I’m sure Murray drew in some Vikings fans who otherwise wouldn’t care.

Sign up for the i on TV newsletter to receive daily recommendations as well as the latest TV news, opinions, and interviews.

Sky History’s Al Murray: Why Do the British Win Every War?, review: A refreshingly laddish history lesson

wpcc-script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″]

Al Murray: Why Do the Brits Win Every War?, Sky History, review: A refreshingly laddish history lesson

Struggling to find your next favourite TV series?

The i on TV newsletter is a daily email full of suggestions of what to watch as well as the latest TV news, opinions and interviews. Sign up here to stay up to date with the best new TV.

Al Murray: Why Do the Brits Win Every War?, Sky History, review: A refreshingly laddish history lesson

Struggling to find your next favourite TV series?

The i on TV newsletter is a daily email full of suggestions of what to watch as well as the latest TV news, opinions and interviews. Sign up here to stay up to date with the best new TV.

Comments are closed.