TV times: Lucy Worsley
- Brian Donaldson
- 13 February 2020
TV historian tells us about her small-screen favourites
Lucy Worsley has been producing an addictive form of history broadcasting for the best part of a decade with shows such as Elegance and Decadence, Six Wives and The First Georgians. In her new three-part series, she'll be delving into the lies and deceit which have beset the British monarchy for several ages. In this TV Q&A, we learn how easily scared she gets in front of the box and the children's TV character who was the bane of her childhood.
What is your first memory of watching TV?
On the afternoons that we were allowed to watch TV (which didn't seem to come round very often, because of our parents' slightly hippy values) my brother and I were so excited that we would sit there simply watching the test card for 20 minutes or so until Newsround came on followed by Blue Peter.
Which programme that's no longer on screen would you love to see return?
In my early adulthood there was a programme called One Foot in the Past which was a sort of magazine show about goings-on in the worlds of history and archaeology. It was great, and is much missed by lots of historians around my age.
You're a prime-time chat-show host: what's your ideal line-up of three guests?
I'll have rebarbative Henry VIII, please, to create controversy, the acidic Jane Austen to cut him down to size, and then I'll have Princess Margaret to sing us all a jazzy number at the end.
Which sitcom have you laughed at the most?
Dad's Army. Just this week I rewatched the episode where Corporal Jones gets a hand grenade down his trousers.
When was the last time you felt scared while watching TV?
Ooh, any film with a certificate over 12 is bound to scare me. I can't bear even the mildest horror or violence. I couldn't watch Game of Thrones for that reason. Unfortunately my husband tries to trick me: 'this will be fine,' he says, 'you won't be scared.' And then ten minutes later I insist on turning it off.
What's the best TV theme tune ever?
Black Beauty, obvs.
In an ideal world, which show (past or present) would you have loved a part on?
Well, Daisy Goodwin, the writer of the ITV series Victoria (the one with Jenna Coleman) has actually promised to write me a part as the American Amelia Bloomer (populariser of Bloomers for women) in the next series. So I'm counting on this particular dream coming true.
What was the last show you binge-watched?
Along with a lot of other people, I love Line of Duty massively. I feel that one day a second career awaits me in the employment of Unit AC-12.
Who is your all-time favourite fictional TV character?
I'm not sure, but I have an all-time villain. Because of my surname, the kids at school used to call me Worzel Gummidge, which I hated, not least because on TV I found him so creepy and sinister.
Royal History's Biggest Fibs With Lucy Worsley starts on BBC Four, Tuesday 18 February, 9pm.