Sunday, 1 November 2009

Why I will always love Stephen Fry

Those who tweet will probably be aware that Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) has recently gone through a smallish upset. Without wishing to comment on the rather unmerited outbreak of bullying that was unleashed on the person who (seemingly accidentally) upset him, I thought I would explain why Stephen Fry will always be dear to me*.

Those who know me personally will already know this story. It is the tale of the first broadcast of the "General Hospital" episode of Blackadder Goes Forth, in which Blackadder is sent to the field hospital to find the spy who is leaking details of the British plans to the Germans.

Blackadder eventually returns to HQ having identified the nurse as the spy. Asked why, he offers three pieces of evidence; she speaks German, she asked Blackadder about tank movements, and (crucially) she failed to spot that when Blackadder mentioned the "three great Universities - Oxford, Cambridge, Hull", she failed to spot that only two could be considered great.

The punchline was left to Fry, playing General Melchett. He agrees, saying "Yes, Oxford's a complete dump". Stephen is, of course, a Cambridge man. He was, though, playing the scene with Rowan Atkinson, an Oxford man.

I watched that episode live.

While at University.

In the student common room.

A packed common room.

In my college.

A Cambridge college.

The uproar was unbelievable. I don't think any of us heard the rest of the episode. Stephen was being cheered to the rafters and beyond. Twenty years on, I can still remember the scene perfectly. Thank you, Stephen. Please keep tweeting. Even if the odd one or two are boring.

*not in that way, though....

1 comment:

  1. Great story. Current events that evoke happy memories from years ago are a real bonus in this sometimes stressed, grey world.

    Nice clarification about it not being in 'that way* :)