July 25, 2024

Al Murray returns to Sky HISTORY with the new UK commission, Al Murray: Why Does Everyone Hate the British Empire? premiering on 23rd October 2023.

Al Murray: Why Does Everyone Hate the British Empire? marks the third collaboration between Sky HISTORY and historian and writer Al Murray and his comedic alter ego, The Pub Landlord. The series follows in the footsteps of the award-winning Why Does Everyone Hate the English? (2018), which explored the roots of England’s most deep historic enmities, and the ratings success Why Do the British Win Every War? (2020), which discussed whether Britain has been helped or hindered by its military legacy.

Now Murray returns to examine a piece of British history that today is under the microscope like no other – the British Empire. Al Murray will be taking a global history lesson to unpick the legacy of the empire and, importantly, how it’s viewed today by the citizens of these countries.

In each country, Al will pair up with a local comedian, to explore the history of British colonial rule in that country and its legacy. In India, Al will be joined by Anuvab Pal (pictured right); in Jamaica, by Chris Daley; in South Africa by Loyiso Gola; and in Australia, by Aboriginal comedian, Kevin Kropinyeri. Together, they’ll find out about the origins of British rule, its impact upon each country and how its legacy continues to influence governance, culture, and attitudes.

Al Murray said: “This is a debate that is ongoing and becoming more and more heated. The history demands exploration, the legacy assessment. I’ve been lucky enough to go all over the world to take a look for myself, find out what legacy remains and, most importantly, how it figures in the lives of people in Britain’s former colonies. Is this a story with a happy ending or is it not yet over?”

Al Murray: Why Does Everyone Hate the British Empire? premieres on Sky HISTORY in October and on The HISTORY Channel across key European markets in the autumn of 2023. The show airs in the Netherlands and Belgium in 2024.

Produced by Avalon, Al Murray: Why Does Everyone Hate the British Empire? is a series directed by Andrew Fettis (Three Men in a BoatTop Gear) while the Executive Producers for Avalon are Jay Taylor, Jamie Isaacs and Richard Allen Turner. The series is co-produced by Motion Content Group and the Executive Producers for Motion are Martin Oxley and Deep Sehgal.

Programme Descriptions

Episode 1: India (with Anuvab Pal)

Al’s road trip through British Imperial history takes him to the ‘jewel in the Empire’s crown’, India, where he takes to rails to explore the truth behind the railways built by the Empire, dives into the controversy surrounding the Kohinoor diamond, and gets his kit off for reasons of historical accuracy in one of the world’s most polluted rivers.

Episode 2: Jamaica (with Chris Daley)

Al’s Empire exploration takes him to Jamaica, where he uncovers the real story of the pirates of the Caribbean, is put to work on a sugar cane plantation to explore the barbaric realities of the slave trade and delves into the hidden history of Jamaica’s World War II heroes… he also manages to sample a few drops of rum!

Episode 3: South Africa (with Loyiso Gola)

Al travels to South Africa, to explore the Empire’s role in the gold rush, exposes the deals that started apartheid, and the battlefield secrets that Michael Caine’s Zulu doesn’t reveal.

 Episode 4: Australia (with Kevin Kropinyeri)

Al’s Imperial fact finding mission sees him head down under, to uncover the truth about Captain Cook not being a Captain, learn how to snake whistle with a tribal elder, and explore the Empire-led land grabs and massacres that changed the face of Australia forever.

 

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