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Ian Hislop's Age Of The Do-Gooders

Streaming Episode Guide
Season 1 | Top 5 Episodes
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Season 1  
Sinful Sex and Demon Drink
Episode 3 - 12-13-2010
The pleasures and perils of booze and sex are the focus for the final episode of Ian Hislop's series about Victorian reformers, campaigners and philanthropists. In attempting to wean Britons off alcohol and away from vice, Ian wonders whether the 'Do-Gooders', despite their extraordinary energy and success in transforming every other aspect of 19th century society, had finally bitten off more than they could chew.
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Suffer The Little Children
Episode 2 - 12-06-2010
Ian Hislop continues his celebration of the dynamic and eccentric Victorian reformers who brought about the most remarkable period of social change in British history. Here Ian looks at the do-gooders' dramatic struggle to give youngsters a proper childhood, sending them to school instead of up chimneys, helping rather than hanging juvenile delinquents and raising the age of consent. Dr Barnardo founded one of the most famous charities of his era. But his methods were decidedly dodgy: he was guilty of misleading advertising, photo-fakery and even child abduction. Yet, we owe our own concept of child protection - that children have rights independently from their parents - to Thomas Barnardo. Indefatigable Bristol spinster Mary Carpenter's radical approach to helping young offenders was years ahead of its time. But even her patience ran out with some of the errant teenage girls at her pioneering reformatory school. Maverick newspaper editor WT Stead shocked the nation with his lurid expose of child prostitution - an exclusive which involved him buying a 13-year-old virgin for five pounds. His style and methods make today's tabloid newspapers seem tame. Stead managed to get the age of consent raised to 16, where it remains to this day. Thanks to the Earl of Shaftesbury, children as young as five stopped being sent down mines. His lifetime's work for children is celebrated in the famous monument at Piccadilly Circus - not actually Eros (sexual love) but Anteros (selfless love).Charles Kingsley's best-selling The Water Babies was crucial in banning the practice of sending small boys up chimneys. To him children were innocent, not tainted with original sin. Yet after him, Victorians sentimentalized children to a degree which we today find hard to stomach. Ian discovers how these Victorian do-gooders' ideas might have something to offer us today, with the help of Kids' Company founder Camila Batmanghelidjh, Barnardo's boss Martin Narey and the current Lord Shaftesbury, 30-year-old former DJ Nicholas Ashley Cooper.
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Britain's Moral Makeover
Episode 1 - 11-29-2010
1h 0m
Ian calls William Wilberforce 'the godfather of the Do-Gooders'. Hedonistic man-about-town turned crusader, Wilberforce kick-started a multi-faceted moral revolution which reverberated throughout the 19th century, of which his successful campaign to abolish slavery was just one element. In this first programme, Ian also tells the story of Robert Owen and his model mill town at New Lanark in Scotland; Thomas Wakley, founder of The Lancet, who exposed the fatal consequences of cronyism in the surgical profession; and George Dawson, inventor of the civic gospel which inspired a generation of Brummies to take responsibility for their city. Ian also looks back on the impact of Charles Trevelyan, who battled to make the civil service a meritocracy and Octavia Hill, a pioneer of social housing, despite her opposition to cash hand-outs or anything that might create a dependency culture. Contributors to the film include Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, author AN Wilson, head of the civil service Sir Gus O'Donnell, and Lancet editor Dr Richard Horton.
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