Stephen Fry's Key to the City
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That's the city.
The Square Mile. The City of London.
It's an extraordinary institution.
Everything is so concentrated here.
It's just amazing.
I love it.
From drool-worthy quantities of cash
in the Bank of England vaults...
Is that what I think it is?
- Is that Doris? - Yes, it's me.
..to sharing an honour with the
You can always buy a life's supply
of lavatory paper.
I like it.
..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
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'
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
the world that is completely hidden.
It's both ancient and modern and
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
- 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
I wonder what I'll be given? A key?
A pin number.
Stephen Fry, would you please
This is the declaration of a
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
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
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.
- Thank you very much indeed.
I live only a couple of miles away
in the West End of London.
But the city seems like a foreign
I intend to use my new freedom as a
passport to explore
its hidden mysteries.
Tracing the outlines of the original
the City is a small local authority
that has vastly more wealth and
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.
the levers of power at Tower Bridge -
that symbol of London that allowed
into the heart of the City.
Oh, my goodness. Look at it. There
It's a sight that not everybody
sees. Even Londoners.
Tower Bridge was built in 1886 and
has the splendid title of Bridge
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"Stephen Fry's Key to the City" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 2 Apr. 2023. <https://www.scripts.com/script/stephen_fry's_key_to_the_city_18872>.
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