I WAS watching kids’ TV with my son the other day.

We had planned a bike ride but as it was raining (just for a change) we decided on indoor entertainment instead.

I sat through some god-awful cartoons and an episode of Dani’s Castle, which is also dire; then the boy wandered off upstairs to play with his Lego.

At this point, I could have got some of the sadly neglected housework done.

But 15 minutes later I was still watching children’s television. On my own.

Horrible Histories was on, and I love that show.

As far as I’m concerned, most adults could do a lot worse with their time than to sit down and watch Horrible Histories.

Very few among us can name every one of the monarchs who have worn the crown of England, but lots of children can name them all in the correct order - from William the Conqueror to our Queen today.

They haven’t learned that in school. They’ve learned it from an insanely catchy Horrible Histories song that lists them all, along with a few choice snippets of information about them (“Henry two, killed Thomas Beckett. Richard Lionheart? Always spoiling for a fight. Oh King John, what a disaster. Rule restrained by Magna Carta. Henry three built the abbey. Ed one hated Scots. A red hot poker killed Ed two. That must have hurt him lots.” – you get the picture).

The songs are the best bits – wonderfully silly pastiches of well-known groups and types of music. Much of this is lost on the children, who are unlikely to recognise a parody of The Clash, The Monkees or Monty Python even if they do get Lady Gaga and Jay Z, but it makes it irresistible to parents.

My personal favourite is Charles II: King of Bling, with the Second World War fighter pilots à la Take That coming in a close second.

Ok, so RAF pilots doing a boy band impression isn’t the most serious approach to an undoubtedly serious topic, but that’s why kids will remember it in a way they might not in a classroom.

The lyrics tell them: “We beat the Fuhrer. Without us your lives would be poorer,” which is surely the most important lesson they need to learn.

And it ends with a voiceover of Winston Churchill’s “never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few” line, which is unexpected and all the more poignant for it.

Horrible Histories may be a kids’ programme but it’s extremely well made and makes every effort to blend historical accuracy with a novel approach.

I have a history degree, but I’ve still learned a thing or two from watching it.

So I was delighted to get a press release this week to say the live stage show is coming to the Mayflower in Southampton later this year.

We’ll be there, and no doubt singing all the way home.

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