Hilarious Histories - What's So Funny About The Past?

Episodes

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20190216Public Historian Greg Jenner embarks on an Arthurian quest to find out how comedy writers make history funny.

Greg is the Historical Consultant to all eight series of CBBC’s Emmy and multiple BAFTA Award-winning Horrible Histories. In short, he is both a nerd and a comedy nerd.

Over the three hours we'll hear a range of comedy from the BBC archives including Pauline Pepys’ Dowry (starring David Mitchell, Olivia Coleman, Katherine Parkinson and Sharon Horgan), Austentatious (Cariad Lloyd, Rachel Parris, Andrew Hunter-Murray) and stand-up from Eddie Izzard.

And, that’s not all; we have also excavated audio of Monty Python discussing the controversy surrounding The Holy Grail and Life of Brian, and a choice selection of shiny trinkets from Horrible Histories.

To help Greg grapple with the big questions over accuracy, ethics, and whether Mr Darcy wore underpants, he’ll be chatting to comedian-turned-Classicist Natalie Haynes, Horrible Histories Head Writer Ben Ward, Austentatious improvisers Cariad Lloyd and Andrew Hunter-Murray, and Stephen Fry, who apparently was in a show called Blackadder.

Public Historian Greg Jenner is on a quest to discover why comedy writers love history.

01A Cad And A Bounder2020093020201001 (BBC7)Public Historian Greg Jenner embarks on an Arthurian quest to find out how comedy writers make history funny.

Greg is the Historical Consultant to all eight series of CBBC’s Emmy and multiple BAFTA award-winning Horrible Histories. In short, he is both a nerd and a comedy nerd.

In the first of three programmes, Greg grapples with the big questions over accuracy and ethics with the help of comedian-turned-classicist Natalie Haynes, ‘Horrible Histories’ Head Writer Ben Ward and ‘Austentatious’ improvisers Cariad Lloyd and Andrew Hunter-Murray.

Featured programme:

‘Austentatious: A Cad and a Bounder’ [R4 18/06/2017]

Produced by Anne-Marie Luff.

Made for BBC Radio 4 Extra and first broadcast in February 2019.

Public Historian Greg Jenner is on a quest to discover why comedy writers love history

Greg Jenner's Arthurian quest to discover why comedy writers love history.

Greg Jenner's Arthurian quest to discover why comedy writers love history.

02Blackadder And Brian2020100720201008 (BBC7)Public Historian Greg Jenner embarks on an Arthurian quest to find out how comedy writers make history funny.

Greg is the Historical Consultant to all eight series of CBBC’s Emmy and multiple BAFTA award-winning Horrible Histories. In short, he is both a nerd and a comedy nerd.

To help Greg grapple with the big questions over accuracy and ethics, he’s joined by Stephen Fry, comedian-turned-classicist Natalie Haynes, ‘Horrible Histories’ Head Writer Ben Ward and ‘Austentatious’ improvisers Cariad Lloyd and Andrew Hunter-Murray.

Featured programmes:

‘Desert Island Discs: Terry Jones’ [R4 1983]
‘Reel Histories: The Life of Brian’ [R4 2004]

Produced by Anne-Marie Luff.

Made for BBC Radio 4 Extra and first broadcast in February 2019.

Public Historian Greg Jenner is on a quest to discover why comedy writers love history

Greg Jenner's Arthurian quest to discover why comedy writers love history.

03Eddie Izzard And Pauline Pepys' Dowry2020101420201015 (BBC7)Public Historian Greg Jenner embarks on an Arthurian quest to find out how comedy writers make history funny.

Greg is the Historical Consultant to all eight series of CBBC’s Emmy and multiple BAFTA award-winning Horrible Histories. In short, he is both a nerd and a comedy nerd.

To help Greg grapple with the big questions over accuracy and ethics, he’s joined by Stephen Fry, comedian-turned-classicist Natalie Haynes, ‘Horrible Histories’ Head Writer Ben Ward and ‘Austentatious’ improvisers Cariad Lloyd and Andrew Hunter-Murray.

Featured programmes:

‘Pauline Pepys’ Dowry’ [R4 2010]
‘That Mitchell and Webb Sound’ [R4 2005]
‘Eddie Izzard: Dressed to Kill’

Produced by Anne-Marie Luff.

Made for BBC Radio 4 Extra and first broadcast in February 2019.

Public Historian Greg Jenner is on a quest to discover why comedy writers love history

Greg Jenner's Arthurian quest to discover why comedy writers love history.