Stephen Fry's Key to the City (2013) Movie Script

That's the city.
Good Lord!
Good Lord!
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...
Oh, my!
Is that what I think it is?
- Hello.
- Is that Doris? - Yes, it's me. sharing an honour with the
lovely Doris...
You can always buy a life's supply
of lavatory paper.
I like it.
(PRISONERS SHOUT) 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'
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
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
- 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.
Or maybe a swipe card.
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
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
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!
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
Roman settlement,
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.
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
It's so funny to see the white lines
of the road at that angle.
- Here's the warship coming through
now. - Terrific.
They're flying the Union Jack.
I've got a statutory duty to open
the bridge to any vessel
that gives me the required 24 hours
It's like an Escher print. All
staircases in different directions.
I ask Eric if I can see how this
masterpiece of Victorian engineering
actually works.
- the... - It's known as the
Bascule Chamber.
This is the Bascule...
Oh, my God!
Oh, my goodness. It's a theatre.
You could have rows of people on
Except, presumably, when it rises...
You're under the road. Under the
south bascule.
When we do a bridge lift, that
travels down
- and goes up against the wall.
- So if we stood here, we'd be killed.
Not killed. You'll have time to get
You'd have to duck. And if it was a
full one?
- Would I be safe against that wall?
- A full lift.
You would be safe. But it would
touch you before it stopped.
So it would be rubbing up against
your shoulders before it stopped.
Tower Bridge. Christine. We're about
to start your bridge lift now.
Originally operated by completed
it's now all controlled by one man,
and today, Eric allows
that one man to be me.
Stand by bridge staff. Stopping road
- This noise is normal, yes? Good.
- That's normal.
We're now waiting for the traffic to
clear at the bridge.
Now press those two. Now you can
press pedestrian gates.
These is just unbelievable.
Look around to make sure everything
is safe and no-one is on the bridge.
- OK. - Halfway back to creep speed.
Just gently. Watch the centre of the
bridge and you'll see it moving.
- Oh, my heavens. - Now all the way
Oh, my goodness!
- I'm raising the bridge. - Just watch
your guide till it gets to 40.
Nine degrees. Ten degrees.
10.12, 13. This is a miracle.
It's an absolute miracle.
Oh, my goodness me.
Gently back into the centre position
- There we are. - There. You can let that
So are all the buttons
that are pressed need to be pressed?
The river lights. And here comes
The Pfizer Cecilia.
A Swiss boat, I guess, is it?
Oh. Out of Grimsby. So that's not
very Swiss!
Trade is what the city has always
been about
whether on the river or in its many
And just a few minutes north of
Tower Bridge,
I'm given the rare privilege of
a seat in something called The Ring.
The cliche image of the greedy '80s
is of men
in bright coloured blazers shouting.
All but one of the those markets has
gone to computerised heaven.
Now, just the one, the London Metal
remains a live, throbbing market.
I have to say, it's one of the most
dramatic spectacles
I've ever encountered.
Apparently, the guys sitting with me
in the ring are dealers
buying and selling metal futures.
Say 1,000 tons of zinc in three
months time.
The ones standing just outside are
giving them instructions
which they get from
the colleagues in the outer ring
who are on the phones to the clients
who might be, say,
Peugeot cars wanting to buy
aluminium for next year's production.
I'm told that over 80% of
the world's industrial metal prices
are set in this ring and the urgency
is because everyone waits
to buy or sell till seconds before
the market closes.
Tim, you were just...
You were like... Everybody
is standing with their faces...
Veins bulging out on your forehead.
And you've absolutely transformed.
- An animal. - I've lost my voice now.
- I can hear that.
So, did you make money on that?
- You don't know yet. - I don't know
till the end of the day.
- You now have to do the computations.
- Now we work it all out.
- You selling or buying?
- I was selling and lending.
And borrowing. I was doing
Absolutely incomprehensible to me.
But, as theatre, it's one of
the most remarkable things I've seen.
I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Whether you are trading metal
futures or ready cash,
the city is the throbbing heart of
world finance.
And at its centre - the Bank of
On the ground floor, there may be
marbled halls,
but in the basement, the emphasis is
not on show but security.
Oh, my. Is that what I think it is?
Good Lord.
20 in huge...
Oh, my God!
do realise you're mad, Goldfinger.
I'm waiting to meet
the Chief Cashier, Chris Salmon.
This is like a wholesale warehouse
ready to supply the retailers,
in this case the high street banks,
when necessary.
And this is just one of the rooms
full of cash.
There's apparently over 20 billion
in these vaults.
I can't help thinking of Liza
Minnelli and Joel Grey.
A Mark, a Yen, a Buck or a Pound.
It's all that makes the world go
round. Look at it.
It's all here. You think of the Bank
of England,
you think of a noble edifice with
columns in front of it.
The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street.
And here's all this raw cash.
They say in movies, the directors,
that audiences always follow the
Even if it's someone in a cafe
pushing a $20 bill
across to someone else, the human
eye always follows it.
We're obsessed with it. It's kind
Our breath comes in short gasps when
we see so much of it around us.
There's something about the sheer
physical presence of money
that brings out something
very puzzling and dark within us.
Well, in each cage there's about 4
and in the room as a whole, there's
about $2 billion
of new bank notes that haven't yet
been issued.
And ones that you, as Chief Cashier,
have signed.
- Not individually, obviously. - No.
Just the one signature
which has been repeated a few times
- modern technology.
That must be a marvellous feeling to
see your name on these.
- It says it there.
- Yes. Just there.
So you sat down with a piece
of paper and did a few versions
of your signature and...
It was as unsophisticated as that.
You're given an A4 sheet with three
You can do three attempts and then
you tick your best one.
Or, in my case, you print off a
second sheet...
- Until you felt you'd got it right.
- ..and print your best one.
Then it goes off to be photocopied,
I guess. And there it is.
When you go to a cash machine and out
comes this,
and you look at it and you see your
name there, do you get a thrill?
Erm...there's an element of that.
It would be untrue to pretend
But, I mean, there is a more serious
The reason why we have the Chief
Cashier's signature on the note
is to underscore the importance we
place on the institution.
On the fact people can trust their
- It's why we have the signature
there. - It's an elaborate IOU.
It's a promissory note. A lot will be
watching this thinking,
"The weakest point - the point where
we can move in -
is when you're transporting it."
Somebody orders a few of these
Somehow you've got to get them into
a van and on to the street
without anybody following you.
Causing you to crash against a wall.
Doing that Sweeney stuff.
Presumably, you can't tell me
anything about how you do that.
We move the cash safely.
Yeah. That's very well put.
- Try and miss the top if you could,
please. - I'll do my best.
We're so close to the Gherkin I can
almost smell the dill and vinegar.
In the City of London, the Square
Mile that is the financial district,
thrusting new towers jostle with the
most ancient of strange rituals.
I feel a bit like an anthropologist
landing in a foreign country when...
outside the Guildhall, I come across
a group
of those ceremonial symbols of the
City of London Corporation -
- And you? - Candlewick. - Candlewick.
- Farringdon-within.
- Farringdon. Excellent. - Within.
It's not without.
Within and Without. This is like
Punch and Judy.
You've got Farringdon Within and
Farringdon Without.
More Beadles. I've never seen so many
Beadles in my life!
How wonderful to see you.
I must say there's an almost
Dickensian, Pickwickian sense
of good English roast beef and you
all look well fed.
- We've done that just now.
- That'll be why.
A request from the mayor, sir.
Will you get your hair cut?
You're quite right. I'm very sorry.
I'm a shambles.
That's me told. Dear me.
The Beadles tell me they are hear
for the 'Silent Ceremony'.
I don't know quite what they mean.
Whether, literally, we go inside the
Guildhall and not a word is spoken.
I believe it is a solemn occasion.
The whole thing is a mystery
about to be unravelled.
This will be the inauguration of the
new Lord Mayor.
That is the head of the City of
London Corporation.
That's not Boris Johnson's job.
This one is chosen from among the
Aldermen of the City.
And this exact ceremony has
apparently been held every year
since around the time Dick
Whittington became Lord Mayor
over 600 years ago.
Unlike any of the 32 boroughs in
the City of London Corporation is
elected by both residents and
and has unique powers - even its own
police force.
Nice hat!
It's an extraordinary, mysterious 35
minutes of silent ceremony
with the only words spoken those of
the new Lord Mayor's oath.
I, David Hugh Wootton,
do solemnly, sincerely and truly
that I will faithfully perform the
duties of the office of Lord Mayor
of the City of London.
The rest? Schtum.
It's all done by symbols.
And this is the moment when power
You put on the funny hat and the
job's yours.
This year's man in the hat is a City
- How do you do? Congratulations, Lord
Mayor. - Thank you.
It was really wonderful.
One of the conditions of being able
to be a Lord Mayor...
Congratulations too. to be able
to wear that hat without looking
- You pull it off. - Thank you. - There's
genuine dignity in it.
It's a wonderful ceremony.
Is it?
Oh, my goodness! You've been holding
that all afternoon.
And doing the flicking. Yes.
And one final hidden ritual
involving a hat -
the passing of the key to power.
One year ago, you asked me to keep
the key to the City
in Christ's Hospital seal under my
I have done so.
I now return to you that key.
Please keep this key under your hat.
My Lord Mayor, I will do so.
- That's it. - That's it?
I have to say, that's a slightly
disappointing key.
It looks like a student's room key.
Yes, it does, doesn't it?
The Lord Mayor is in office for just
a year.
The job is unpaid and the mayor and
his family traditionally move
into the flat at the top of the
Mansion House.
It's about as grand a shop to live
above as you can get.
A few months since his inauguration,
on a day of special ceremonial,
a visit from the Queen no less,
I've been invited into the inner
sanctum by the Lady Mayoress.
The front door says 'Lady Mayoress
Yes. Oh, my goodness.
- This is our bedroom.
- That's a bit grand.
- Is this what you are wearing today?
- That is what I'm... Yes.
You will look the belle of the ball.
I don't know about that. And
the choice of different handbags.
Yeah. Accessorising is all.
But, of course, what I really want to
see is the closet.
- This is David's dressing room.
- Good Lord!
Which was called the South Gallery
at one point. It's extraordinary.
What shall I wear today?
He has these... These beautiful
- These are his velvets. - And is that
what he is wearing today?
- That's what he's wearing today.
- Absolutely gorgeous. It is velvet.
This was the door to the Egyptian
- And now it's full of...
- Oh, perfect.
A part from a million ties.
- He's one of the few husbands who's
got more frocks than you. - Yes.
- You haven't seen his underpants
but... - Oh, his breeches!
Breeches and tights and...
And that's the mayoral chain.
- Lord lead us or direct us. - Then out
of here... This is the back door.
Right. The proper green baize door.
- Have a look at the breakfast going
on downstairs. - We can get a view.
You can get a view of the breakfast.
Goodness me.
The men and women here are...?
All the ones in their blue bands are
Common Council.
So these are the people
who essentially run the Corporation
of the City of London?
The Aldermen and Common Councilmen
are breakfasting
on the day the Queen is due to visit
the City.
But is the Lord Mayor dressed yet?
Back into the closet.
These are 70 denier tights.
- Very sheer. Do you mind if I finger
your ermine? - No, please.
I've never actually done this.
I've never understood why ermine.
The velvet is even nicer.
It's so beautiful.
And the rosettes on the shoulder.
I wondered because I saw them by the
mirror. I wondered where they'd go.
Good luck, everybody.
Goodbye. Thank you.
Precision timing now. Oh, and they're
Oh, look. It's LMO limo.
Oh, Lord Mayor's Office.
Ha! And they're off to St Paul's to
meet the Queen.
In fact the Lord Mayor isn't just
off to 'meet the Queen'.
As a result of strife and altercation
under King John 900 years ago,
the City, which financed the King's
gained in return the right to govern
with vast powers given to the mayor
but still,
the monarch's overlordship should be
when she visits the City, and it is
the Lord Mayor's job along
with that sword,
to do just that.
The City of London Corporation is a
powerful self-financing fiefdom.
The Lord Mayor at its head is also,
nominally, the Chief Magistrate.
The Old Bailey, a stone's throw away,
is where he would sit.
In fact, the Lord Mayor's judicial
powers are not used
but the Corporation own and run the
It's so impressive and so
(READS) Truth, learning, art, labour.
- Very wonderful. - Then you've got the
city's crest at the top. - Yes.
The man who has all the keys here is
Charles Henty - the Under-Sheriff,
an officer of the City of London
This, though, is probably the
Underneath the present day courts,
there used to be
the infamous Newgate Prison.
..your last night may well be spent
here at the Bailey.
Although we stopped executing
publicly in 1868
and 1902 from inside.
The condemned man or persons would
be in here,
last rites given and then, usually,
they would be taken out this way.
Having chosen their own meal?
- I don't think we went that far.
- No.
It's nice for the films
Incarcerated here was everyone from
Dick Turpin to Casanova.
Now it's the 50 people on trial
- Now, this... - What is this?
This is what we call Dead Man's
- What was here...
- Dead Man's Walk?
Dead Man's Walk. Because you're only
going to go one way.
As you came down, as I said, doors
each way.
- So one door would open.
- Lower and narrower each time?
- Narrower and narrower.
- It's very Alice In Wonderland.
- The cries of London. - Er...that's the
cells being discharged.
- Oh, really? - Yeah.
We're processing prisoners now.
It gets tiny.
You're only gonna go one way.
And each time, the door got smaller
and smaller and smaller.
- Mentally, it's focussing you in a
very nasty way. - God!
- How absolutely gruesome. - And you
came on and on and on.
And you would have gone to the end,
turned right
and find yourself outside in front
of all the public
- to be executed. - You said in 1868,
which was the last public hanging,
- 20,000 went by tube.
- By Tube.
That sort of mixes the two ages quite
The age of London Underground and
the age of public hangings
- don't mix in one's mind naturally.
- It was entertainment for some.
But above us now, presumably there's
a judge banging a gavel
and hopefully dispensing justice in
a more merciful nature.
- Keep your voice down a little bit
cos those are cells. - Really?
We've got cells on this floor and
slightly further down.
- And that door... - There are people in
They're gradually being moved out
- God. - Check the time.
- Going down even further into the
Bailey... - My goodness!
- Don't worry. - It's deep. - It
is certainly very deep down here.
The Under-Sheriff now has a further
secret to reveal
in the bowels of the Bailey.
- Now I want you to go over that side.
- Right.
And watch your toes.
Because, using that key, what I'm
going to do is
- to bring it to your left. - Up there.
Up on to the wood.
And now, you can hear something.
Oh, my goodness. There's a ladder.
Down at the bottom there is the
River Fleet.
- That's the Fleet! - That's the Fleet
The famous underground river.
All those cliches about London being
levels of history.
And yet, at the bottom of it you
have this
and at the top you've got a 22-ton
figure of justice.
- Is that how much she weighs?
- Yeah. Serious weight problem.
(LAUGHS) Justice has a weight
problem. I like that.
In my exploration of the hidden
nooks and crannies of the City,
I've experienced modern markets and
medieval ritual.
But I've yet to penetrate the
ancient roots
buried beneath this trading
- Hello.
- Hello.
- I'm Stephen. - I'm Caroline.
On Lower Thames Street, I've now got
an appointment with museum curator
Caroline McDonald.
Why have you bidden me here?
- Because I'm going to tell you what's
in Room 101. - Whoa.
- I've got the keys. Ready to come in?
- Absolutely. Most mysterious.
So actually, this is a 1970s office
I was gonna say, it's all breeze
blocks and decay.
- It's not... - Or is it?
- Curioser and curioser.
- It certainly is.
Caroline has obtained special
permission for me to descend
to a site close to the river.
- We're now right under the road,
are we? - Yes, we are.
The Old Billingsgate.
- Oh! - What we're looking at his a
Roman house
with a bath house in its forecourt.
So, yes, in this basement of a 1970s
office block
here is an absolute treasure.
The house was built some time in the
second Century.
The bath house is an addition in the
third Century.
When was all this first unearthed
in modern times?
Well, it was discovered in 1848.
This is actually the site of the
Coal Exchange in London.
- Oh, is it? - Yes. And they were
demolishing the building... the Victorian period...
- ..when the workmen unearthed...
- This. - ..this.
The Victorians were taken with it
and the first scheduling
of ancient monuments came in in 1882
and this was one of the first
monuments to make it on to the list.
So this is the flue. Looks like a
pizza oven.
Yes, it really does, doesn't it?
This is the hot room. Cos it's the
one nearest the furnace.
And so the floor was laid on these
piles of tiles.
Yes. So they raised the floor up to
get the underfloor heating.
London only exists, the city today
only exists,
because of the DNA the Romans put
down for us 2,000 years ago.
It was initially a river crossing
for the army
but the army supply route meant
merchants from all over the Empire
flocked into this new market and
that trading...
The procurator, the person who was
in control of all of the finances
of Britannia was here - it's all
about money and trade.
- And it's all about that movement of
people. - And has been ever since.
- Absolutely. - And, of course, beyond
the river behind me,
is the Thames and the old
Billingsgate Market.
And I suppose people would come off
And if this was a public baths, they
would come in here
as a treat after a long voyage.
The Romans liked to have their bath
before their main meal
so if you came to this inn, if it
was an inn, had the luxury of just
taking a few steps from your room
straight into your private bath
At the centre of Londinium stood an
impressive amphitheatre
on the site of the present
Today, I'm sure some people would
want to see a few bankers
thrown to the lions.
Unlike the hidden bath house, the
amphitheatres remains
are open to the public and its
outline is marked in grey
on the Guildhall's courtyard.
The City's boundaries follow the
shape of the Roman wall
built to protect Londinium and its
30,000 inhabitants.
Today, 400,000 people work in the
but only 8,000 actually live here.
I want to know what it's like to
have spent your life
in the City of London.
Not a financier, fancy mayor or a
member of a livery company.
And I've been told about this lady
called Doris.
So I want to meet her. She's in her
And she's kindly invited me for a
cup of good old Rosie Lee.
Doris McGovern was born in the City
and has lived here all her life.
- Doris? - Hello. - Hello.
- Oh, I'm so pleased to see you.
- How delightful to meet you.
Really nice. Yes. Super. Super.
And on a gorgeous day as well.
We could do with a few more shops,
though. A Marks & Spencers.
- They do deliver, you know. - I know
they do.
But you've got to buy 75 worth of
That's the problem, isn't it. Yes.
You can always buy a life's supply
of lavatory paper!
- I like it. - You can never have too
much loo roll.
That's my view.
- Ooh, my goodness. Buns.
- Help yourselves.
Ooooh! I've never been able to help
myself from helping myself.
- Go on. - I think these are called
Fondant Fancies.
- They are. - And I'm a bit of a sucker
for a fondant fancy.
Erm...Doris, the one thing I've
noticed on your wall
is something that I happen to possess
as well.
Which is the Freedom of the City of
- When did you get that? - Six or seven
years ago.
I used to do a lot of volunteering
at one time when I was younger.
Helping people. So that but being in
the City more, I think.
And what does it mean being a Freeman
of the City?
Not an awful lot as far as I'm
Only driving sheep across London
Driving...? Cos I'm a freeman as
- Shall we drive sheep along London
Bridge? - Shall we try?
Shall we do that? Someone told me
that that was a myth.
But then I discovered it isn't
really a myth
because you are allowed to trade
across London Bridge.
So if we are selling sheep, we could
take them over London Bridge
and someone would buy them. That
would be fun.
From the Middle Ages to Victorian
it was a right that really meant
The City has always been about trade
and one of the most important
markets is insurance.
Lloyds of London insure almost
anything no doubt including sheep.
It's an extraordinary place,
started when people got together in
Edward Lloyd's coffee shop
over 300 years ago to share the risks
of ships' journeys.
And the brokers still have little
stools as if in a coffee house
for passing customers to pull up and
chat about business.
We underwrite satellites.
The biggest one we had a loss on was
$406 million.
We had a loss of $406 million
earlier this year.
- What? It just crashed to Earth?
- The rocket failed.
It returned back to Earth and yes,
that's it.
- Insurers have to pay out. That's
what we're here for. - Of course.
The higher the risk, the higher the
reward presumably.
For a typical $400 million
premiums would be something of the
order of $40 million.
- $40 million. That's 10% per year.
- Roughly.
After the indemnity. Gosh.
- It's eye-watering sums of money.
- We're not just writing space here.
We write marine; we write energy; we
write aircraft.
We write aviation. We write lots of
different risks.
And the idea is that across all of
those lines of business,
you wouldn't expect all of them to
fail in any one year.
So one offsets the other.
My particular speciality is insuring
We do the body parts insurance.
Certain athletes.
Excluded parts from other insurers.
So you might... Whether it was David
Beckham's toes
or feet or something like that.
The other things are actresses'
- Foot models. - You'll take the left
and a partner will take the right!
It's quite serious in as much as if a
big popstar insures the voice....
- You have to consider...
- The multiples of present earnings
that can be dependent upon a voice
can get into enormous numbers
when you're talking about highly
paid entertainers.
What do you specialise in in
underwriting? What are you into?
I'm a cyber underwriter. The latest
statistics were
the cyber crime market generates
more revenue for the criminals
than the drug trafficking market
- It's pretty scary stuff.
- Good Lord!
And we wouldn't insure anyone who
wasn't investing enough
into their IT security.
Saying that, if a hacker really
wants to get in,
and they're good, they likelihood is
they will
so that's the risk we take on.
It's not just personal data that's
a target; it's corporate
confidential data.
It's mergers and acquisitions
information. is medical research data.
So they are all under attack.
I had to find a space to check my
own cyber security.
What the...?
Hi, I'm Stephen.
What's your name? Yeah. What is your
I'll... I'll see you up top.
Can I film you?
Hi, guys.
The 42 storeys of Tower 42 house the
UK headquarters of over 60 companies,
a good 20 of which are major players
in the finance industry.
Jimmy Lawrence has been cleaning
windows here for three years.
How do you discover you are the kind
of person who can do this
without screaming in agony and fear?
- I dunno really, to be honest.
- You just try it out? - Give it a go.
- Don't look down.
Presumably, you have to do this all
the time.
Yeah. It's constant all year round.
- Like painting the Forth Bridge?
- That's it. Warm water.
Just a bucket and a squeegee. The
old-fashioned way.
- Tie it to your wrists so nothing
falls off. - You must look in
and see people who not only get paid
in the millions,
they get paid millions in bonuses.
Does that make you think
"What the hell?"
It does a bit, yeah. Considering
they're nice and warm and...
- Exactly. - We're the ones doing all the
hard graft, yeah.
Up here, I'm feeling a bit queasy.
A feeling many people share about
the financial steadiness of the city.
- Every day, my heart would skip.
- Look down once, you'll be all right.
Look. You're safe. You're not going
I know I'm safe now but sometimes
where there's a gust of wind.
If the City is the honey pot of the
right at its heart, as it happens on
the roof of the Lord Mayor's
some workers are very buss-sy!
I dare a bee to get into me.
Actually, I shouldn't say that!
I'm on the roof of Mansion House.
All I can see there is the Bank of
England and the top of the Gherkin.
I'm right in the most urban
We've probably got a population of
about 30,000 in here.
About half of which would be
out working. Half will be in here.
- Slow and straight vertically up to
eye level. - Up to eye level.
Holey moley!
I must not drop you.
I won't. You're blowing bees at me.
- I'm blowing bees at you. Excuse me,
bees. - Don't use your FINGER!
If you just brush them out of
the way.
You really are brave.
- You can then just see... - Oh, there
is honey. I can see it glistening.
- It's beautiful. Gee whizz.
- There's the little waggle dance.
- Goodness me. - Now, this lady here is
And this is the waggle dance.
The famous waggle dance and what is
it communicating?
- Is it communicating a good source of
honey? - Yes.
The angle in which they are waggling
is the angle in which the other bees
need to navigate
in relation to the sun.
Where on earth to the bees go
and how can they survive in such an
alien environment?
First of all, bees will travel a
long distance to get what they need.
- They'll go three miles. - Oh, right.
Maybe five at pinch. But three.
So if you're a banker and you're
and you're not in a tower block and
you've got a window sill,
jolly well put up some flowers
cos we've got some hungry bees here.
Hungry bees aren't the only ones
relying on bankers to help
them survive.
I need to get something off my
So I find a city grandee.
Former Lord Mayor and Chairman of
Lloyds Insurance,
Lord Levene, now runs an investment
It's an extraordinary institution.
The further I try and penetrate its
the darker and deeper it sometimes
But let's face it... We live in a
time when probably
the words 'banker' 'hedgefunder' and
the word 'short seller'. All these
phrases most people don't understand.
I count myself as one of those.
What we do think is these words are
and that, in fact, the City itself
is contaminated.
- To make rich people richer.
- That's one interpretation. - I know.
- But it's a common one. - There are
millions and millions
of customers of banks who use them
in a perfectly normal way.
There are hundreds of thousands of
people who work in banks
who don't get paid any more than the
average of the rest of the country.
It's very easy to pick out those who
got it wrong.
Those who did things that were
really bad.
There is very little remorse amongst
the top echelon of bankers.
When you hear them talking on the
radio, they don't seem...
Well, it depends who you talk to.
I mean, it's very easy to
characterise people.
Did a number of people do a lot of
stupid and greedy things? Yes.
Are there mechanisms in place that
will stop it from happening again?
Stephen, you will never have a
perfect system.
Anybody who answers yes to that
question will know that somehow
it'll get disproved but it is very
different nowadays.
Which country has got it right?
Which system is right?
The answer is that everybody is
They're trying different methods
and it's very tough at the moment.
The city is a controversial place
that everyone, including me,
wags their finger at but the thing
that drew me to the City
in the first place, is the apparent
between the cutting edges of modern
and the roots in ancient ritual.
My final engagement is to accept an
from one of the most striking
examples of that contrast -
a City livery company.
So, time for a quick change in the
gents at the Mansion House.
The Society of Apothecaries have
invited me to dinner
and when they have dinner,
they don't wear black tie. No, siree.
They have white tie. And that means
a waistcoat
which I've got to get the right way
Which is like... Hang on. Hang on.
Come on, Stephen. You're not that
That's the front. That's the back.
So... OK. Oh, I see.
I sort of step into it.
Put that over me there.
Put my arm in like so. Hang on. That
can't be right.
There we go. Ta-da!
And then I do it up.
I think I may be faced with
the humiliation of having to loosen
the elastic at the back because of
my enormous gut.
I'm putting on my top hat,
tying up my white tie and dancing in
my tails.
Erm...there we are. I mean, look at
That is all wrong.
Look at you. I didn't know you had
one of those bibs as well.
- I'll have to shake your hand. - Good to
see you. Like my doily?
That's fantastic.
Even in white tie, I'm feeling a
little underdressed.
I'm joining the mayoral party in all
their finery
for a trip to the Apothecaries Hall
wherever that is.
Gosh. Hello. Hello.
Oh, that's fantastic.
Opiferque Per Orbem Dicor. Oh, good
I'll have to look it up.
The Society of Apothecaries is one
of the City's livery companies
who got their name because of their
distinctive uniform or livery.
They began in medieval time as early
closed shops for different trades.
In this case, pharmacists.
They still have powers in the
election of the City's Aldermen.
Apparently, I'm going to have to
take part in some ritual
involving rose water.
Used to stimulate this nerve.
All the aldermen know because they
dine so well
that they needed some stimulus
to help their intestines to empty.
Master, wardens, My Lord Mayor,
Sheriffs, ladies and gentlemen,
dinner is now served in the Great
There you are.
Dr Dale, how do you do?
I've no idea what the right thing to
do is here.
One of things that astonishes me
about this whole thing is
people looking will see the Latin
and portraits of ancient figures
and so on, and then I discover that
people like you are doing
absolutely up-to-the-minute work in
medicine around the world.
I know. The thing about the society
is it gives the impression
- that it's full of... - old fogies?
- Let's be honest. - White men of a
certain age.
But you're a rather glamorous doctor.
No. I'm not the only one. But I
Your field is something called
We deal with conflict
and catastrophe medicine.
And behind all the cloaks and the
we're actually training doctors and
to work and adapt all their medical
and skills working in conflict zones
and disaster zones.
The Master would like you join with
him with a loving cup
and bids you all a hearty welcome.
There you are. And if you protect my
You stand up. We bow.
You take the lid in your right hand.
I'll take a...
This take the silver plate off the
cup, you know, this stuff.
- Yes, I bet it does.
- You pop the lid back on. We bow.
- We bow. - I give it to you. You turn
around and I'll protect your back.
Hm. I may have had too much.
That's all right. Just not down in
- Thank you. - Now you can protect her
- Now, we can sit back...
- No, you stand.
- She might be attacked.
- Of course. I have to protect her.
- Face outwards. - Outwards.
Shame on me.
Shame on me.
Hooray. Oh, my goodness. Thank
I have to stay standing.
I did my best.
I knew you could look after
yourself, you've been in war zones!
Please be upstanding for two toasts.
- The Queen.
- ALL: The Queen!
The Royal Academy!
The Lord Mayor, the City of London
Corporation and the sheriffs.
The Lord Mayor, the City of London
Corporation and the sheriffs.
Phew. I like a drink but I can see
how the word 'liver' got into livery!
The Worshipful Society of the Art
and Mystery
of the Apothecaries of the City of
May it flourish bringing help to all
till time ceases.
ALL: Till time ceases.
Of course you can mock and say
it's a load of fogies
enjoying themselves with wine and
stupid rituals
but all these people are
professionals in the health world.
And some are initiating new ways of
taking medicine and health care
into the world which are the absolute
cutting edge
but they're doing it in an old
To me, that sums up not just the
City of London but Britain itself.
Behind strange layers of silk and
there can be some very modern,
cutting edge brains.
And I think it's absolutely
I'm an old sentimentalist at heart
and I'm also someone who embraces
the modern world.
For me, this is kind of home.
- So, do you enjoy exercising your
freedom, Doris? - Absolutely.
- This is...
- We should do this every week.
Good exercise for us and good
exercise for Grace.
- That's right. Yeah. - Isn't it fun to
be free? - Absolutely.