Stephen Fry's Key to the City

Synopsis: Stephen Fry tours the City of London, discovering the hidden mysteries of this rich and powerful square mile. Along the way, he visits the Bank of England's vaults, witnesses high drama at the London Metal Exchange as dealers buy and sell stocks, and experiences Dead Man's Walk at the Old Bailey, where many condemned criminals trod their final steps. Plus, as a recipient of the Freedom of the City of London, Stephen finds out just what privileges this gives him.
Genre: Documentary
Director(s): Michael Waldman
Actors: Stephen Fry
 
IMDB:
7.4
Year:
2013
11 Views

1

That's the city.

Good Lord!

Good Lord!

Ha-ha!

The Square Mile. The City of London.

It's an extraordinary institution.

Everything is so concentrated here.

It's just amazing.

I love it.

Wow.

From drool-worthy quantities of cash

in the Bank of England vaults...

Oh, my!

Is that what I think it is?

- Hello.

- Is that Doris? - Yes, it's me.

..to sharing an honour with the

lovely Doris...

You can always buy a life's supply

of lavatory paper.

I like it.

(PRISONERS SHOUT)

..to prisoners' cries in the Dead

Man's Walk at the Old Bailey...

- That's the cell that's being

discharged. - Oh, really?

We're processing prisoners now.

..and bewildering ceremonies...

..I'm going to delve into the secrets

of the City.

Well, I was offered some months ago,

the freedom of the City of London.

And I had no idea what that meant.

I don't know what the City is.

Part of me knows it's a square mile

filled with banks.

And banks are... Well, they're the

enemies of society at the moment.

But I also know it is much older

than that.

It goes back to Dick Whittington and

the 12th Century.

It's the Corporation of the City of

London. It's liveries and guilds.

And mansion houses and guildhalls.

I've no idea what 'the freedom'

means.

They say it means I can drive goats

over Tower Bridge.

I'm sure that's nonsense.

The whole thing set me out on a

course of thinking,

"If I'm going to accept this honour,

I want to penetrate the City."

It's one of those very British

things.

It's like a little corner of

the world that is completely hidden.

It's both ancient and modern and

very exciting.

And here I am outside the Guildhall

which is one of the great buildings.

I dare say Richard Whittington

himself walked into it.

Hello. Where am I supposed to be

going?

- You're going this way. I'll take you

up there. - Thank you.

Oh. Oh, my. Already I can see people

in funny costumes.

That's what I was hoping for.

Ladies and gentlemen, would you

please be upstanding

to receive your distinguished

guests.

I wonder what I'll be given? A key?

A pin number.

Or maybe a swipe card.

Stephen Fry, would you please

approach?

This is the declaration of a

Freeman.

I'd like you to read it aloud

beginning with your name.

I, Stephen Fry, do solemnly declare

that I will be good and true to our

lady sovereign

Queen Elizabeth II

and that I will be obedient to the

Mayor of this City.

Now, on behalf of the Chamberlain

of this great and ancient City of

London,

it is a particular pleasure tonight

for me to extend

the right hand of fellowship to you

and to greet you all

as citizens of London.

- Congratulations.

- Thank you very much indeed.

Thank you.

I'm free!

Free.

I live only a couple of miles away

in the West End of London.

But the city seems like a foreign

country.

I intend to use my new freedom as a

passport to explore

its hidden mysteries.

Tracing the outlines of the original

Roman settlement,

the City is a small local authority

that has vastly more wealth and

power

than any other borough in the UK yet

is a mere square mile.

The reason London was founded as a

trading port is this river.

With ships from all over the world

coming to do business.

I'm hoping to get my hands on

the levers of power at Tower Bridge -

that symbol of London that allowed

trading ships

into the heart of the City.

Oh, my goodness. Look at it. There

it is.

It's a sight that not everybody

sees. Even Londoners.

Tower Bridge was built in 1886 and

Eric Sutherns

has the splendid title of Bridge

Master.

It's so funny to see the white lines

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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