Ian Hislop’s Olden Days

10 April 2014 | by John Morrish


It looks like a bank holiday weekend, and Ian Hislop is wandering around in a field full of battle re-enactment enthusiasts, brist­ling with weapons and resplendent in their costumes. “It is clear that many of us in Britain are in love with the past,” he says. “Whether it is swordcraft or Spitfires …” And with that, the sky fills with First World War biplanes. It’s not clear whether this was a joke, or directorial stupidity. Let’s give Ian Hislop’s Olden Days (9 April) the benefit of the doubt, and say that he was illustrating the theme of the series, which is that we love the past: we’re just not very interested in being accurate about it. Instead of a historically verifiable picture of how things were, we prefer the Olden Days:

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