If there was a miniscule chance that I Never Knew That About Britain wasn’t going to annoy you it evaporates the moment you see the three presenters pull up in three Union Jack cars. Not that the flag isn’t a design classic it’s just that the only people who adorn themselves in Union Jacks are Greg Rusedski, Geri Halliwell and that old sex offender who use to follow England around. Nonetheless they are determined to celebrate the unsung heroes of Britain and to this end Paul Martin jams his entitled arse into a World War II Spitfire. It is absolutely vital that he takes the old bird for a spin to explain to us that the pioneering folding wheels mechanism of the plane, work done by Owen McLaren ending up forming the basis for the far more important folding buggy. “It’s incredible” says Paul as he views a modern day space age pushchair “A collapsible thing.”
McLaren’s descendants agree with him and it’s an emotional moment as they circle jerk over this engineering exemplar. The show certainly sets the bar high early on and frankly it’s a mystery where they could possibly go from here.
Suzannah Lipscomb has the answer and it’s in Britain’s fine tradition of invasion, theft, murder and slave trading. Britain has invaded 90% of countries around the world she tells us, smiling as she imagines the chalk quarries full of bodies upon which our wealth was built. Instead of choosing from the scores of British expansions though she zeroes in on a little-known set-to in 1797 when Brits had to repel some foreigns from its own shores. It was Napoleon chancing his arm, sending a small navy of convict pieces of shit towards Bristol to topple the monarchy to further ameliorate his Napoleon complex.
Suzannah smiles as she imagines the chalk quarries full of bodies upon which our wealth was built.
Too bad for him that the jailbirds he put in charge of the fleet couldn’t steer for shit, missed Bristol and wound up in Fishguard, Wales. After getting pissed on farmer’s booze they were ran out of the country by a netball team of Welsh broads disguised as soldiers. Even in the miserable dismal military history of the French it’s an ignominious defeat, one commemorated in Fishguard to this day by some flagcracker chasing around a boy in French soldier’s uniform. Did you know this about Britain? Say yes and you’re a lying sack of shit.
Finally we have Steve Mould excavating the case of Victorian anaesthetics hero James Simpson who wanted to find ways of making it less painful for dames to give birth. After a series of complicated dinner party drug rapes he finally settled on chloroform, which revolutionised childbirth, surgery and abduction forever. Today his propagation of rape culture would be considered problematic but back then he was a hero to every woman with a ruined vagina and husbland who couldn’t keep in his pants. This is what it is to be British. A life lived in denial.
The verdict: I never blew twat without shitting
Marks out of 10: 6