Brand New and Exclusive Series from HISTORY®



In this brand new and exclusive 5×60 series from HISTORY® UK, comedian and history fanatic, Al Murray will travel to  England’s nearest neighbours to try to find out why everyone seems to hate them so much.

Famous for his comedy alter ego, irrepressible patriot, The Pub Landlord (who, inevitably, makes a fair few appearances in the series), Al travels to France, Wales, Ireland, Scotland and Germany, to explore the ancient roots and festering historic wounds of England’s most relentless enemies.  In each episode and each country, he teams up with a comedic counterpart, with whom he can ‘debate and discuss’ the validity of their nation’s continuing hostility towards the sceptered isle.

In France, he is with Eurotrash legend, Antoine de Caunes, as they explore the catacombs beneath Paris, the mysteries of Napoleon’s tomb and France’s Museum of Inventions, stopping off at the Moulin Rouge along the way, in order to unravel the complexities of Anglo-French hostility.

In Germany, Al parachutes (literally) into Hamburg, to meet up with self-styled German comedy ambassador Henning Wehn, and explore a city which has felt the wrath of the English during World War Two, but has also been the proving ground for one of her most talented exports, in The Beatles, (…and whose greatest complaint appears to be that the English “half-inched” Christmas!)

In Scotland, with comedian and broadcaster Fred MacAulay, Al confronts resentments, ranging from the attempted banning of Tartan (which the English then brought back into fashion in the Victorian era), to the placement of nuclear subs on Scottish shores, making her a sizzling nuclear target, for any disgruntled anti-English adversary….although seeing as you don’t get much more anti-English than Scotland, it may just be a very cunning ploy.

In Wales, with radio presenter, cult podcaster, stand-up and hugely proud South Walian comedian Elis James, Al finds out about the intractable dispute over usage of Welsh language, and provides an entirely new insight into the investiture of the current Prince of Wales.

Over in Ireland, Al meets up with hugely popular Dublin born comedian Andrew Maxwell, no slouch on the history front himself, to discover more about his own heritage, and come face to face with the story of Anglo-Irish relations. Together, they look at their tragic past (Cromwell’s massacres, potato famine and Bloody Sunday) and hopefully towards the future. Includes Irish dancing.

Above and beyond the fire and fury (and hot air) of BREXIT, this is the series which gets under the skin of the real resentments between England and her nearest and (not so) dearest and whether or not the English people really are unrepentant bastards, or just deeply misunderstood…

The five-part series ‘Al Murray: Why Does Everyone Hate The English?’ will premiere on HISTORY® with the first episode airing on Monday 8th October at 9pm.

 Episodic Synopses

 Episode 1: France    Monday 8th October at 9pm

Al and Antoine de Caunes meet in Paris to explore and investigate the brawling that has been the typical form of Anglo-French discourse over the last thousand years. They begin by looking at The Hundred Years War of 1337-1453, in which English soldiers armed with bows and arrows killed French knights at the Battles of Crecy and Agincourt. Before discussing Napoleon and rumours that the English poisoned him and then stole his body, plus the English taking credit for French inventions.  After so much discord across the channel will Al and Antoine find an Entente Cordiale as they discuss a millennium of shared Anglo-French history?


Episode 2: Wales      Monday 15th October at 9pm

Al and Elis James begin their journey around north-west Wales as Al shows Elis his vision of the country. By driving to a rural retreat where the Penrhyn Male Voice Choir perform a rousing anthem: “The Two Patriots”, while a flock of sheep gambols past and children play rugby. As the episode progresses Al and Elis discuss some of the historic gripes that Wales and England’s lengthy shared history has developed including, the history of the Prince of Wales, Welsh clichés and the Lyn Celyn Reservoir. They also discover the efforts undertaken to preserve the Welsh language and why Welshmen historically wanted to be known as sheep shaggers.


Episode 3: Ireland      Monday 22nd October at 9pm

Al drives to meet Andrew Maxwell in Dublin, knowing that Ireland could be his trickiest journey yet. Anglo-Irish relations have been frosty to say the least over the centuries, with England’s seventeenth century dictator, and “Lord Protector”, Oliver Cromwell featuring prominently in this trip. In addition to England’s most infamous roundhead, Al and Andrew reflect on ‘Irishness’ and its popular view across the globe as well as Sectarianism, Independence and The Great Famine. Al then tries his hand at hurling and Irish dancing with the Ni Chearra O’Baolain dance school. Despite the girls’ best efforts to teach them basic steps, it seems both comedians have two left feet.


Episode 4: Scotland      Monday 29th October at 9pm

Al and Fred MacAulay spend three days taking in sites of discord between the English and the Scottish, following the River Clyde from Glasgow to Stirling. The pair visit the location of the Battle of Stirling Bridge, one of Scotland’s greatest military victories over the English in the year 1297. Al and Fred also sample the national dish of Haggis, Neeps and Tatties, and debate the significance of Robert Burns, William Wallace’s Scottishness and Scottish currency. The pair then discuss the controversial decision to base the UK’s nuclear submarines at Faslane, 30 miles outside Glasgow, turning the city into a target in the event of atomic war. The discussion takes place over breakfast in their hotel, with Fred using bread rolls to represent the Vanguard submarine fleet. On their journey the pair also discover how the English came to ban tartan, following the Battle of Culloden in 1745.


Episode 5:  Germany    Monday 5th November at 9pm

Knowing how difficult it is to excite the Germans, Al sets off to impress Henning Wehn by parachuting in to meet him on the landing strip at Hamburg. His effort pays off when Henning claims to be “well impressed”, but he doesn’t realise that Henning has already confided to our crew that Al’s a right wally and should have just flown in like any normal traveller. Through the show, Al and Henning chat about the acrimonious history between the two nations from England stealing Christmas to two World Wars and one World Cup. Given Al’s great interest in the history of World War Two, the pair investigate how much of Hamburg has survived the Allied bombing raids, cover how German engineering has gazumped the once world-beating English car manufacturing industry and discuss who was better: The Beatles or Kraftwerk?


For more information please contact:

Dan Vaughan at tpf on 0207 291 1536 / / 07753 222 064

Andrew Mitchell at tpf on 0207 291 1523 / / 07946 286 586

David Clifton at A+E Networks UK / / 07715 799 967

Chloe Atkins at A+E Networks UK /

Dan Lloyd at Avalon / / 020 7598 7222

Editor’s Notes

  • HISTORY Show page here #HateTheEnglish
  • HISTORY® is available on Sky 130 / Virgin 270 / BT 327 / Talk 327.
  • Clips, viewing materials and images to be provided on request.
  • Interview access available depending on availability.
  • Al Murray’s bio can be accessed here 
  • All information correct at time of writing

About A+E Networks UK

A+E Networks® UK is a joint venture between A+E Networks® and Sky. Its portfolio of quality factual and entertainment channels includes HISTORY®, Lifetime®, Crime + Investigation®, H2® and free-to-air channel BLAZE™. A+E Networks UK launched in November 1995 and now operates 18 channels, broadcasting into 56 million homes across 102 countries in the UK, Scandinavia, Benelux, Central & Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The venture has offices in London, Warsaw and Johannesburg. @AENetworksUK

About Avalon

Avalon is a multi-award winning talent management, live promotion and television production group with offices in the UK and the USA. Avalon and ARG, the talent management arm has discovered and represents many artists which are household names, both in the UK, the USA, and around the world. In 2018 Avalon was again named the number one true independent television production company in the UK and has produced numerous ground-breaking television shows including: Emmy and Peabody award winner Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO), multi-award winning and Emmy-nominated Catastrophe (Channel 4/Amazon Prime), RTS and Rose d’Or winning Not Going Out (the BBC’s longest running sitcom currently on air), BAFTA and RTS-nominated Taskmaster (DAVE/UKTV), multi-BAFTA award winning TV Burp (ITV1), Russell Howard’s Good News (BBC2), Fantasy Football League (BBC/ITV) and Workaholics (Comedy Central USA). Avalon and Topical Television form the television arm of the company and other shows recently in production include: Taskmaster USA (Comedy Central), Man Down (C4), Dave Gorman’s Modern Life is Goodish (Dave/UKTV), The Chris Ramsey Show (Comedy Central), and The Button (BBC One); whilst the catalogue is sold worldwide by Avalon Distribution. Avalon produced Newman and Baddiel: Live at Wembley, the UK’s first arena comedy show; Jerry Springer: The Opera, the first West End show to win all four UK ‘Best New Musical’ awards; and has continued to produce live shows globally, as well as promoting more winners and nominees of the prestigious Edinburgh Comedy Award than any other company. For Avalon news visit: or @avalonent.