Guilty Pleasures Part 1- Horrible Histories

19 Jul

This is the First in my guilty pleasures series and I’m starting with Horrible Histories.Now before you shout ‘but it’s a kids show!’ I’d say disregard any preconceived ideas you have about this show it is so much more than a kids show.

There seems to be two demographics in which it is acceptable to like Horrible Histories, namely children and parents. Now is this because parents have a more juvenile sense of humour than childless adults? I doubt it but as I don’t have kids I can’t be sure ūüėČ joking! No my theory is that it’s just more likely a parent is going to have their TV on children’s TV shows. As a childless adult I don’t make a habit of watching kids T.V. On the rare occasions I’ve been channel flicking or waiting for another show and I’ve caught a glimpse of kids TV, I find myself thinking I’m sure kids TV was better when I was young. ( I loved knightmare!) .Nevertheless it was through these happy¬†accidents of catching the odd sketch here and there and seeing a bit of the Stephen Fry fronted compilation that I fell in love with this show. The team behind horrible histories have always said that their intention wasn’t to make something children could laugh at but something everyone could laugh at, mission accomplished.

I always loved History at school and I like a good laugh. Although, to be honest most modern comedy leaves me cold. Horrible histories though was a perfect combination. As much as I paid attention to history at school I feel like my historical¬† general knowledge has improved greatly since watching Horrible histories. In fact I’ve probably learnt more from 5 series of Horrible Histories than from 5 years of secondary school history. I had forgotten just how much history fascinated me until this show came into my life; plus any show that can make learning fun and encourage a new generation to take a closer interest in history deserves praise. Learning should be fun and why the heck should the kids get all the fun? So if you are an adult without children don’t let that put you off. The BBC has now moved all it’s kids TV to a dedicated channel and no longer repeats them on terrestrial T.V which is a real shame, not only because the hard working writers get lower royalties because they aren’t on the main BBC channels but it means in the future if anymore great shows like Horrible Histories are produced they are less likely to be discovered accidentally by people like me. Just because a show is written to appeal to and be suitable for children doesn’t mean it should exclusively for children. Just look at Dr Who and Merlin (future guilty pleasure?) They both have a diverse audience. Horrible histories could easily have been (and should be) a Sunday night fixture that everyone can enjoy, especially as much of what’s on TV now is cookery shows and quiz shows. What happened to quality comedy and drama people?

The main cast Mathew Baynton, Ben Willbond, Martha Howe-Douglas, Laurence Rickard, Jim Howick and Simon Farnaby, as anyone who follows them on twitter knows, all get on so well and have a fantastic bond that really translated on screen. They are a¬†joy to watch. In fact they like each other so much they’ve decided to stay together now Horrible Histories has finished and have just recorded a new show for Sky called Yonderland as well as a film called Bill (a comedy about Shakespeare)! The Horrible¬†Histories¬†supporting cast of Dominique Moore, Sarah Hadland, Alice Lowe and Lawry Lewin amongst others¬†are also excellent and very talented people. Thank you Dominique for Rosa Parks! Loved it.

Come on how can you not love Alexander the great singing stadium rock? Or the Vikings belting out their own rock anthem, or Henry VII singing glam rock? Or even Richard III singing about Tudor Propaganda? (Also seeing the ghost of Richard III telling Shakespeare off for ruining his reputation and then demanding to play himself was brilliant.) Empress Matilda vs King Stephen in the style of ABBA anyone? Charles II the King of bling!

You may call me childish but if that means I get to keep watching¬†death judging stupid deaths so be it! I¬† have the DVDs¬†and I’ll keep watching. So I say thank you Horrible Histories for getting me through some really crappy and dark days and making me laugh when nothing else could. I will miss you. (P.S my sister loves it too and she’s older so there ūüėČ )

So there we are my first and most recent guilty pleasure. I hope you won’t judge me too harshly. Also watch savage songs on Tuesday on the CBBC channel!


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