Toy Stories (2009) s01e06 Episode Script


(mellow music)
- [James] So you think computer games
are more exciting than old fashion toys?
Maybe you should think again.
(upbeat music)
With the help of the great British public,
it's time to liberate them
from the toy cupboard,
supersize them and unleash
their true potential.
(upbeat music)
This week, Lego.
Here we go.
You probably have some in your house,
but my house is made from it.
- [Vic] Three million Lego bricks?
- Three million Lego bricks.
But will it fall to pieces
when I try and live in it for 24 hours?
- I think we need to
improve that, don't you?
- [James] The team may
have artistic differences.
- No, no, we're here to
look at furniture, not toys.
- That's Hornby O Gauge.
The cracks may show.
- We're gonna have to
try different solutions
to different problems as they occur.
- [Christina] Oops!
- [James] But a smashing
time is had by all.
- [Christina] I dare you. (laughs)
- The human condition is, sadly, divisive
but there are simple spiritual experiences
that unite all of humanity
in unqualified communal joy.
Sex, the dance, foot massage
and to those I would
add the simple sensation
of pressing Lego bricks together.
This is a joy that
simply never diminishes.
It is in fact a recognized
form of therapy.
Lego is also an un-airing
mathematical model
and a handy tool for town planners.
It is the world's premier,
rapid fire reusable constructional medium.
Over 300 billion of
these have been produced
and for what?
For this?
I think we can do better.
(lively music)
Lego, which means play well in Danish,
is probably the most
successful toy of all time.
Whole theme parks have been built from it
and it has spawned
dangerous global subcultures
populated by subversive
artists and sculptors.
In the 1940s, toy makers
were still producing building blocks
to ancient Egyptian standards,
simple wooden pieces held
together only by gravity.
Lego's genius was twofold.
Firstly, they used newfangled plastic,
and secondly, they perfected a system
that made the bricks lock together
but allowed them to be pulled apart again.
It was world-changing stuff
and the Danes obviously knew
they were on to something.
This molding of bricks
shows you all the possible
clutch mechanisms, as they call it,
that could have been incorporated
into the standard Lego system.
And the reason they did this,
was so that they could apply for a patent
for all of them which they got
which meant nobody could copy it
or even come up with
something a bit like it,
it all belonged to Lego,
even if it wasn't used
Amazingly, though, the brilliance of Lego
has never been fully exploited.
It's time to use bricks like the eighter,
I call it that because of
the number of studs on it,
for something genuinely useful
and before it's too late.
Five years ago, when I made
my first program about toys,
I said there were 14 Lego bricks
for every person on the
planet but now apparently,
there are nearly 50.
So it follows that within a generation,
we're gonna be ankle deep in Lego
and we're gonna have to find
a new use for this stuff.
In fact, we're probably
gonna have to think about
building the real world out of Lego.
Therefore, we need to be ready.
So what I've decided to do
is order three million bricks
and build myself a house.
A real house, I'm gonna live in it.
I head off in search of
the perfect building plot.
Dorking, a staunchly
conservative town in Surrey,
may not seem the obvious location
for anarchic plastic architecture
but the fact that it's home
to the biggest vineyard in the country
did at least mean the Lego
cellar would be well stocked.
Now, I'll be brutally honest with you.
I was hoping to build my
new second home in the city
because the city is where I belong
and I don't really
understand the countryside,
but no local authority
would give me permission,
even when I was gonna promise them
it was gonna be brick built.
But as a location for a country pile,
this really isn't bad at all.
I mean it's nice and quiet,
not gonna be disturbed by any
pizza delivery boys on mopeds
and the view is magnificent.
It's very English,
and the lawns gonna be fantastic
when I get rid of these weeds.
A radical house needs a radical architect.
Barnaby Gunning has an impressive
CV but more importantly,
a pony tail.
Plus funny glasses, which
we'll see in a moment.
- [Barnaby] So do you
know what kind of house
you want to do?
- I want it to be something very modern.
I don't want it to be like the Lego models
that you buy in the kit.
I don't want it to be
a Lego representation
of some tiresome old
Edwardian villa or something.
I want a house that plays
to the strength of Lego
and avoids its weaknesses in
a way that a concrete house
is designed differently from a brick house
and that's designed
differently to a wooden house
'cause these materials
have different properties.
- Exactly.
- It's not a house made
of Lego, it's a Lego house
The basic design parameter of Lego
says that the bricks must
always stick together,
but that a three-year-old
should be able to separate
it like that, with a thumb.
Therefore, everybody I've spoken to says
it is impossible to make a
structural beam or a girder,
that sort of thing we've got
on the roof there, out of Lego
because it won't be strong
enough, but is that true?
I've come to the City,
University in London
to the faculty of toys to find out.
(exciting music)
This is Eva Wates of engineering
consultants Atelier One.
I have charged her with rewriting
the book of Lego physics
and proving that a Lego
beam can support a man.
So you've designed a Lego beam.
Is this designed in a
engineery sort of way?
- This one's an open one
which we think won't work
as well as the ones that have
got plates on the bottom,
and so this one shows you
want the internal structure is like.
So we've got these what
we call stiffeners,
so every 250 millimeters or so.
- So how do we actually test it?
Stand on it, presumably.
- Well, you could stand on it but I think
what we'll try and do put
between these two frames here
and load it with some
of these weights here.
- [James] I weigh a very
reasonable 85 kilograms.
But let's build up to that gently.
Eight kilograms
- 11.
(James yells)
I think we need to
improve that, don't you?
- 11 kilograms?
That's rubbish
- I think by adding these
plates might help it out.
- What are we up to?
16 kilograms, let me have a look.
It's not very good, is it really?
Let's give it a chance.
The steel beam has benefited
from a century and a half
of development
and when we double the
thickness of the Lego beam,
we reach 39 kilograms and counting.
See you could open a book on this and bet
build a Lego beam, bet what
weight it will sustain.
That is incredible.
- [Eva] 43.
- [James] Oh, its going mad.
- Well, it's almost precisely
half your weight, James.
- Now, was that really
exciting or was that just me
and I'm a bit of an idiot.
I found that
fantastically gripping.
- No, it's great.
- Why isn't it in the Olympics?
Lego beam loading.
This is be something
Britain could be great at.
That, you might think,
is why there are no Lego
houses in the world.
But that's defeatist.
I ask Eva to carry on with her effort
to defy the life's work of Isaac Newton
while I slope off to do
some internet shopping.
Now, when your small, you always wish
that your box of Lego could be much bigger
and because I'm a grown up,
I realized that I can have
as much Lego as I like,
so I've bought myself a
really massive box of Lego,
but this box, which has got
the orange eighters in it,
is just one box of several
hundred in my giant box of Lego,
the rest of it is in here.
Lego bricks, loads of Lego bricks.
These boxes go all the way to the back,
all the way up to the
top and I've got bags.
I've got 500,000 Lego
bricks in this container,
and I've got another five.
Three million Lego bricks, all mine.
(upbeat music)
Next, I go in search of Bob the Builder.
Turns out his name is Vic
and his clip-on Lego hair's gone missing.
What do you think of the idea
of building a real house
out of Lego Bricks?
- First time I heard it,
I thought you were off your
head, James, truthfully.
- Right, but can we do it?
Is it possible?
- It is possible.
Anything's possible
- 'Cause in the end, it's gonna involve
a lot of putting Lego bricks together.
It doesn't matter if
we make separate panels
or we do it like a wall
starting from the bottom,
you can't get around the fact
that we've got to stick all
those Lego bricks together
and there's three million of them.
- Three million?
- Yeah.
- Three million Lego bricks?
- Three million Lego bricks.
Barnaby hasn't actually
finished the design yet.
In fact, he hasn't even
put proper trousers on.
But he tells Vic and me that
the first thing we must do
is take our Lego bricks and
make them into Lego bricks,
hollow breeze block-like pieces like this.
For this, we're going to need help,
so we organize a sort of Lego garden party
but without food or drinks.
We're amazed when over
2,000 people show up.
God, there's millions of the buggers.
Especially, as the sort of people
who would know don't seem to think
that a Lego house is possible.
- I think the most difficult
thing is everything basically,
'cause the size, the plumbing,
the toilet and everything,
really, isn't it?
- The TV, I think, is gonna
need a lot of engineering.
- I have a feeling it
might not be strong enough
to hold its own weight.
- Right in you come.
(crowd cheering)
You thinking of staying for a while?
- [James] My mum fancies you.
- Don't blame her.
Right, listen up work force,
you've effectively been employed
in the Victorian workhouse
on a repetitive task of great simplicity
for which there is no reward.
You are making the building
blocks of the big house
out of the small bricks.
They must be squeezed together properly.
If any brick is compromised,
it actually compromises the
structure of the whole house
because its all a bit marginal.
Carry on.
- It's 272 small Lego bricks
that makes a Lego block
that we will be
incorporating into the house.
To give you a rough idea,
on a six-meter wall,
you'll need 203 blocks,
and that is approximately 55,000
and change of small Lego bricks.
So it's a phenomenal amount.
- [James] My message about
the Victorian work ethic
hasn't quite got through.
Some people think they can just turn up
and play with my Lego.
- [Man] Digital photo frame
- Oh, it's a virtual
digital photo frame, yeah.
- A mug.
- What's all this?
You've hardly touched them, c'mon.
- [Woman] We got now four blocks.
- They keep refilling them.
- Keep going.
No slacking.
- Have you made any bricks?
- I've made two.
There's no point in keeping dogs
and barking yourself as
the army used to say.
I use Vic quell any signs
of dissent in the ranks.
Look what this blokes done.
- What, It's affordable housing.
- Hold on, you see that's not right.
You haven't got them
overlapping, have you?
You've got it wider at
one end than the other.
Vic, Vic.
Eventually, the threat of a visit from Vic
has the desired effect.
She goes at a phenomenal rate.
Faster, faster.
This is actually going
better than I thought
because some people who are good at this
can make something like eight
or 10 bricks in an hour.
If we've got about 800 people,
well, you can do the arithmetic yourself.
There's a huge number of bricks
and there's a massive pile at
the back, I'm very impressed.
I think it might work.
Keep going.
God, this is miserable isn't it?
Well, we're halfway through the session
on this glorious English summers day
and this good natured weekend crowd
have produced almost
2 1/2 thousand bricks,
so by the end of the day,
we could be well on our way to 4,000
and that's absolutely terrific.
I'm moved and grateful.
What we're doing here is
turning a supposed toy
into the modular real-world
building material of the future.
Not everyone grasps this.
- If I found out that one of
my friends or my boyfriend
was playing with Lego in the evening,
I'd hate to say that I'd
probably would think twice
about going out with them or twice
about being seen socially with them
- It's kind of more of a one off thing
to play with Lego at this age.
It's not really the done thing.
- Do I still play with Lego?
I couldn't possibly answer that.
- Nevertheless, by the end of the day,
the sense of common purpose
that made Britain great
has turned over a million
of my bricks into bricks.
We have here approximately 3,800 bricks
that now simply need
to be clicked together
into the form of a giant house
and that is a job for Vic.
(lively music)
But before Vic can even
order the site teabags,
Barnaby needs to sort out the final design
and his trousers.
And Eva needs more time
to work on the beams.
So in the meantime, I apply
myself to the furniture
and the color scheme.
Interior designer Christina
Fallah will be my mentor.
She favors a sort of
total immersion approach
to her subject.
So what is the object of this exercise
apart from looking stupid?
- Okay.
- I'm speaking for myself.
- Well, I don't exactly
look like a runway model.
- No, you don't but I
wasn't gonna say that.
- Okay, basically what we're gonna do
is the Lego blocks are
various primary colors
and so that we can visualize together
what a wall is gonna
look like in the house.
I'd thought we'd paint it.
- So what I'm doing here
in an elaborate way,
is telling you want colors I like.
- [Christina] Exactly, but also
- Why don't I just tell you?
- [Christina] Do you like yellow
because it's a happy color?
- Yeah, I don't know, actually.
It's yellow, isn't it?
- [Christina] Come on, Jules you're slow.
This is meant to be natural and fun.
- [James] When did I become Jules?
- [Christina] Oh, sorry, James.
- [James] I think the color scheme
should simply reflect
the gaily colored nature
of Lego itself.
Christina seems to favor
something more subliminal.
Where are your sympathies these days?
- [Christina] With what?
- [James] Political.
- [Christina] I have none.
- Good.
'Cause there is a beginnings of a slightly
banned symbol appearing
in your painting there.
- [Christina] I was just
trying to freestyle, you know?
- [James] What am I learning here?
What are you learning about me?
- Well, I've learnt that
your yellow and your blue
are the same size so that
means that you prefer yellow
as the happy color and then you have blue
but you want a hint of
green and the idea
- Do you know what Christina?
I have no idea what you're on about.
That looks like Lego to me.
- Okay.
- It's bright, it's vibrant.
It's childlike.
- Yeah.
- It's sort of juvenile, it's
- Okay, fantastic.
- [James] It's uncomplicated.
- Okay, and this looks too complicated?
- That looks slightly oppressive.
- [Christina] Okay.
- [James] This is a fascinating
and new experience for me.
I've never employed an
interior designer before.
Having reached the profound conclusion
that the color scheme of my
Lego house should be Lego-y,
Christina promises me a great day out.
Although it turns out to be a ruse
to get me into a second
hand furniture shop.
- No, no, we're here to
look at furniture, not toys.
- [James] That's Hornby O gauge
- I know but we're here
to look at furniture.
- It's quite old.
- All we're here for is to
see if you can sit in stuff
and what you're reaction is
on to the shapes, that's it.
I'm not asking you to buy anything,
I'm not asking you to choose anything.
- [James] There's actually no point
in sitting in that 'cause
- No, no, you'll break it.
- It's a chair.
- No you'll break it, its mother of pearl.
Rocking Chair.
- Difficult to do in Lego.
The rock would be more,
(imitating thudding).
And then it would come apart.
- The comfort factor from
this is because of the rake,
is the angle and the
upholstery on the back.
- This is why we shouldn't try
to imitate existing designs in Lego,
we should think of a new
- Correct.
- Lego design language.
I've said design language now.
- [Christina] Yeah.
That's a plane, not a chair
- [James] But it has a chair in it.
It's real.
- Is it really?
It's not an Airfix?
- Can I be really honest with you?
I've been in places like this before
and my honest reaction is when
I come in a shop like this,
its full of slightly old
supposedly interesting stuff,
is that it should all go on
what I call the antiques bonfire
Interior design clearly isn't my thing,
so we reach a compromise.
Christina will do it.
We still need to see if Eva's
new and improved beam recipe
is good enough to take my weight
when I go up the Lego stairs to floor one.
Right, so these are the beam designs
that we are hoping to use
and these are low walls
but they're made out of our bricks.
Right, so it's got to be
able to take my weight
plus a bit, so call it what, 90 kilograms?
- Just do me a favor, stop.
I'll be moving the chair.
It ain't going nowhere.
Feet off.
Feet off, done.
- [James] Whoa.
- It's the bottom plate.
- Oh there you go.
God, when it goes, it goes, doesn't it?
- [Eva] It does.
- [James] This is more of a
disaster than it might seem.
Because my Lego house is full
size and in a public place,
it counts as a proper building
and that means it must
satisfy building regulations.
Barnaby and Eva have
to sign the design off,
which means they're responsible
if it falls on someone's head.
In short, this has turned
into an issue of insurance
and public liability.
- It's certainly possible to prove
that this building could stay up.
The issue is
- [James] Of course, it is.
- It's definitely possibly to prove it,
the problem is can you prove it
in a very short space of time
in a way that's gonna be
satisfactory to the insurers?
- We haven't tested
every eventuality on that
so we can say in all
confidence that we think
- But you haven't tested
it for meteorite strikes.
- In order to sign of a blanket guarantee
that the structure will
never have any problems
seems to be just about impossible.
- The first time somebody
made a house out of concrete,
nobody knew what concrete
did until they tested it.
- To be fair on that
though, I mean, when
- [Barnaby] There's lot of failures.
- Yeah, there were a lot of failures
and a lot of people did die.
- You have to have failures
for human,
well, so be it, human
kind has to progress.
- What do we do?
We either don't build
anything or the alternative
is a system where we've got
a parallel structure going on
where we have a Lego
construction in Lego masonry
but where we provide permanent support
for the floors in timber.
- I don't like it, but I
don't have much choice.
We can build the house out of Lego
but we will have to build it around
a passive wooden safety structure
to convince the men with laptops
that it can't actually fall down.
So, behind closed doors,
we're also going to carry on
with our pioneering Lego
beam experimental work
just to prove that Lego and Lego alone
is the future of building
and that wood is just so last century.
The next day, I go back to Dorking
determined to do just one
thing, start building in Lego.
First, we need to put up a huge plinth
perfectly flat and level,
otherwise, all we will do is produce
is a latter-day biblical parable
about the Lego house built on sand.
Right, this first course of bricks
are special ones with cut outs
designed to sit over these wooden batons
to keep the whole thing square
and stop the house from sliding around
on top of its plinth here.
That's the special corner piece.
These are laid down in line.
Nothing's actually joined yet.
Big bricks made out of small bricks.
Until we get to the special end brick.
I think that's right.
That's gonna be the doorway.
Right, same sort of thing going this way.
Special first course cut out bricks.
Placed in position.
But now, for the big one.
The commemorative cornerstone.
Thank you, Vic.
This is the first time in this project
that Lego brick will join Lego
brick and become structural.
Here we go.
Building has commenced.
Thank you.
- One down 4,926 to go.
- [James] All right, don't be pessimistic.
Wooden uprights are then
slotted into the plinth,
these will keep the
exterior walls in place
but won't support them.
- I'm pretty excited because
this has been about a month
of toing and froing and counting bricks
and getting worried
about the safety aspects
and the insurance and
all the boring things
that you have to do as an architect
and finally, we can see it
taking shape on the ground.
- [Vic] How have we got two blues here?
(lively music)
- [James] Meanwhile,
Christina and her team
of expert brickheads are
wrestling with the science
of Lego cabinet making,
with depressing results.
- It's going terrible.
It looks beautiful but
it's a structural nightmare
and the furniture is collapsing
and I always like everything
perfect and it isn't perfect.
You see, I've just built this
and it was strong and now, it's not
so at the moment, I'm in a situation
where I'm destroying a
chair that looks beautiful
because its not structurally sound.
- Last night, after
laying my corner stone,
I decided to leave my unpaid
Lego work force hard at work
and go home and relax in the jacuzzi
and this morning, look what they've done.
It's terrific.
(lively music)
This truly is how all
houses should be built.
Our big brick scheme means the walls
are quite literally leaping
up at an astonishing rate.
- Because you don't have to mix mortar,
you don't have to line
things up with a spirit level
and a piece of string, this
is actually much quicker
than real building.
So in the future, we may
be able to have cheaper,
more sociable housing at a lower cost
and in much brighter colors.
(lively music)
- [Woman] Where's Gregory?
- When archeologist unearth this house,
they will find evidence of the
British public being funny.
Here it is, introducing a pink brick
to an otherwise red one.
Now, I didn't notice that
because we were building
the wall from the other side
and it wasn't until we got up to there
that we spotted it which means
that it's embedded forever
and if it was you who
did this, I hate you.
(lively music)
Then I am summoned to the
winery workshop by Christina,
who says she has some Lego
furniture for me to try out.
- [Christina] Just sit.
- This is not important, is it?
- Well, I don't know.
- It's not like that.
- Just sit.
I dare you. (laughs)
Okay, looks beautiful but
structurally, it's not sound.
- Your design is absolutely spot on.
I love it, but your engineering is bad.
- I think that's a good
word to describe it.
I'll get back to you on that.
- More volunteers have been queuing up
to help with the Lego house
than with any other
project in this series.
There really is something about Lego
that appeals universally
to the human spirit.
How could a simple as a plastic brick
become such a force for good in the world?
To find out, I took myself to Lego mecca,
Billund in Denmark.
This a measure, really, of the esteem
in which Lego is held by children
because if it was anything else,
kids would come here with
their pockets full of stones
and just try and knock the people over
or sink the sailing boats
or put the windows through on the Huf Haus
or whatever it is.
But they don't.
After you, please.
But there is a dark side
to the phenomenal success of this toy.
An approaching Legogeddon.
These molding machines
have been spewing out Lego
non-stop for 50 years and
it's no longer certain
that anyone knows how to stop them.
It's absolutely terrifying,
where does it all go?
What happens to old Lego?
It doesn't biodegrade,
it's like polythene bags,
it'll stick around for thousands of years.
It'll survive the nuclear winter.
Where is it?
It can't all of gone
up the vacuum cleaner.
And what if these robots
are taking the Lego away
and making more Lego robots?
What if they take over the world?
There's only a tiny number of people
working in this factory.
They cannot possibly fight this off.
There is more Lego in
the world than people.
We can't win.
(ominous music)
At least I know where
three million of them are,
back in Dorking where Vic
has discovered the hard way
that Lego is designed to come apart.
- This has been twisted down at the base
and that's projected all the way up
and it's caused this fracture here,
now the further you go up the building,
there's a chance that it
might start magnifying
but I'll have to address
that when it comes to it.
- [James] The long and short
of it is that the doorway
is now not level.
In normal building, we could
patch this up with plaster,
but Lego is a precise engineering material
made to a tolerance of
200ths of a millimeter.
Vic attacks my house with
a piece of four by two.
- Now if you put this up on there.
Hold that on there.
Would you be happy with that as a level?
- Yeah, the lintels pretty
straight but it's still,
it's a lot better than it was.
- [James] Builders call
this making good or bodging.
- We're gonna have to
try different solutions
to different problems as they occur.
There is no right or wrong way to do this.
Cheers, boys
- [James] Still, Vic has been responsible
for some very large buildings in his time
and none of them has fallen down yet.
(calm music)
And while we're on the
subject of falling down,
I may as well go and try some
more of Christina's furniture.
So this is a kitchen chair for
my two person kitchen table.
- Yeah, correct.
- [James] No, it's doesn't work.
- Why not?
No, no, no, no ,no.
- [James] Look, you haven't
got any overlap at all there.
That's useless, look.
Sorry but
- [Christina] You're not sorry.
- [James] You've got that face there
which isn't attached at all, is it?
I've got two
- [Christina] No, okay.
- [James] Smooth bits.
- All right.
Can we
- The design is superb, though.
- So, it looks right
- It looks lovely.
- But it doesn't work.
Okay, can we
- It's a great chair.
It only fails in the vital
respect of it being a chair.
- [Christina] Oops!
Point taken.
- That bit's good.
- Okay, enough, otherwise,
you'll destroy it
and I'll have to rebuild everything again.
(lively music)
- [James] Incredibly, and
despite ridding the world
of three million of them,
we're starting to run out of bricks.
- We've got a bit of a brick shortage.
The concern is that we might
not have enough for the walls,
let alone the roof,
so, we'll have to do a
redesign on the first floor.
We are trying to establish
how many bricks we have.
I will be freaking out
if I have to dismantle
a piece of furniture which
is made and ready to go in
and I'm going do my best
to be mellow and calm
and not a prima donna about it.
- Don't you know, I
like it, I like it a lot
but there's just,
I don't know, there's a slight sort of
unfinished feeling about it.
- More open plan than you
were expecting at this point?
- [James] Yeah.
- [Vic] Slightly.
- [James] So what's happened?
- Run out of bricks
- [James] What are all these then?
- [Vic] We're still a lot of bricks left.
- How many?
- I've been told approximately 240,000.
- 240,000 bricks?
Your calculations?
- Well, I think we can do
a couple of design tweaks
that actually get us the house
made slightly improved in a way.
Let's get you a veranda.
- Veranda?
- Yeah, look, look out behind you,
you've got a fantastic view.
Let's use it.
- [James] So what you're saying
is there's a big gap in the house.
- [Barnaby] Well, also,
on the upper floor,
there's an area you could quite cheerfully
make into a roof terrace.
That's great too.
- Now, James.
Veranda with your croissant.
First thing in the
morning, Cafe Latte Cino.
- [James] Victor.
- Terrace, veranda, it's all good.
- [James] Could you do me the enormity
of shutting the beep up?
- Necessity is the mother of invention,
you get great things out of
- Nobody ever said the Boeing 747
actually looks better with only one wing
and that way, we save
some aluminum as well.
It's absolute cobblers.
- [Barnaby] Yeah, but well,
a Vulcan bombers only got one wing.
- I don't know if you followed all that
but the upshot of it is,
if we don't find another 250,000 bricks,
then Barnaby will modify
my house to have a veranda
which means I will get
out of bed in the morning,
bleary eyed walk through the door
and fall straight off
the edge of the house
into the vineyard and
then I will be recorded
as having died by falling from a veranda.
- A veranda with a handrail
might be a good idea.
- [James] As the client
in this relationship,
I'm not prepared to compromise
the design of my second home.
So I send my butler off to find
another quarter of a million bricks.
Meanwhile, back in the workshop,
Christina has discovered
Lego's remarkable propensity
for not being waterproof.
Here's the sink.
- Yeah, its not going anywhere.
- [Woman] No, it is.
- Okay.
- [James] And the Lego lavvy
raises a thorny old social issue.
- Does he have a seat?
- Not currently, he
will have a seat, yeah.
- How are you hinging it?
- I have some hinges in the car.
- You don't need to hinge it,
just put it permanently up.
(lively music)
Starved of bricks, Vic
has taken the initiative
and made some expeditious changes
to Christina's carefully
designed color scheme.
This was a mistake.
- Vic?
What is that?
It's an absolute catastrophe.
- [Vic] I bet I know what
you are going on about.
The nice brown section.
- It looks like poo.
It looks like Winnie-the-Pooh's poo.
- [Vic] I'd thought you'd like it.
I know what you're gonna say, no.
- Well, if you knew what I was gonna say
- [Vic] I know what you're
gonna say, I can read your mind.
- Then why did you do it?
Why did you let them do it?
You're in charge.
- [Vic] No, Barnaby is the architect,
he wanted it because he said
we do not have enough blue bricks.
- [James] Vic is a hard man.
That much is obvious but
Christina's trousers are bigger.
- Okay team, can everybody stop?
The band of red, blue, yellow,
black, blue are lovely.
And then we get to this brown.
This Winnie-the-Pooh poo color.
Then they put the Italian flag up.
There's no consistency
with the design intent
of a sleek, streamlined house.
Now Barnaby's not here, so I'm
gonna put my neck on the line
and I'm gonna make an executive decision.
We are going to rip out
from the brown up
and then in its place, we are
going to have this pattern,
all the way up to the top.
- [Vic] All right them, people,
rip them down and they
can redo them down there,
otherwise we'll be here
for the month of Sundays.
- [James] That has just put
the build back by two days,
at a time when we can't afford it.
Trouble is, Christina is right.
- [Christina] Guys.
- [Vic] I'll get some more boxes.
- But there's great news from
the Lego open university.
Eva has arrived at beam
design version 1.3,
and it's now time to prove that a house
really could be built
with nothing more than bricks
designed to come apart.
I'm about to become the
first man in history
to walk on the upper floor
of a structure with no glue,
no wood, just Lego
Right, Vic, you're on the other
end of the piece of string.
I'm wearing this special harness
which is designed to make
my trousers look too short.
- [Vic] Locked tight, to lock you up.
- [James] Right, this is pioneering work.
Going up.
- [Vic] I've gotcha.
- And, oh.
Right that is, unless
I'm mistaken, 13, whoa,
stone man, standing on Lego only.
Convinced by that, Vic?
- [Vic] I'd knew it would
work in the first place.
- Eva?
- [Eva] Yup.
- Walk up and down a bit.
- [James] That's a few small
and nervous steps for me
but a giant leap towards the
reconfigurable plastic house
of the future.
Right, I'm confident that it works.
Right, I'm coming down.
- Okay?
- Am I on it?
- [Vic] You're on it, mate.
- [James] Thank you.
- [Vic] I've got the slack.
- Well, there you go.
That means future generations
can build whole cities out of Lego,
secure in the knowledge that it works.
- I say job well done.
- Yeah, that was good stuff.
Can I take this off?
It's really crushing my gentleman's area.
- I think it looks quite nice on you.
(lively music)
- [James] The next day, a
man arrives from Denmark
with a van stuffed with
half a million extra bricks,
or about 10 minutes' production.
- Oh my gosh!
This is like being in a sweetie shop.
- Yeah, the bricks!
- [Christina] Liberation.
- That's fantastic.
- Awesome.
- [Woman] Let's see what have we want.
- I'll take it down the back.
- I'm really pleased.
I'm sort of,
I'm not Lego'd out anymore.
- It's like a delivery of gold.
- I know, perfect.
And some yellow, that we need.
Right, they can start building bricks now.
- -[Woman] The storage is great.
- No, but we need to build.
We'll have to do a lot of building today.
- [James] Summer is fleeting.
It's time for the Victorian workhouse
to make the final push.
- So now, basically, it's
just people phoning everybody
and saying get down here
we need you to build bricks
five minutes ago.
(lively music)
- [Vic] Perfect, it's great.
(mellow guitar music)
(mellow guitar music)
- It's been described
as the most stressful
day in a person's life,
moving into a new house but
actually, I have to say,
I'm very much looking forward to it.
And what I'm actually doing
here is answering a question
I asked myself as a six-year-old boy
which I'm sure millions and millions
of other people have asked as well.
If you had enough Lego bricks,
could you build a real house?
Yes, you could.
Here it is.
(lively music)
Some traditions of home
owning have remained strong.
The key is underneath
the plant pot apparently.
There it is.
Here we go.
It fits.
Oh, yes, wow.
Look at it.
(lively music)
There's my love coffee table.
My piano, it's a baby grand.
Come upstairs.
I'm now going up stairs in a Lego house.
This is just fantastic.
I thought we might manage a bungalow
or a beach hut or
something but look at this,
the first floor.
Look at the stripes, it's just.
I mean all house should look like this.
It's so cheerful.
Look at my carpet.
It's beautiful.
I've never seen anything like this.
I think it's just stupendous.
So what Barnaby's done, all credit to him,
is made a house out of Lego.
We haven't imitated brick
built Victorian structures
or concrete structures from after the war,
we've made a house that plays
to the strengths of the materials.
I've lived in nine houses in my life.
This is my 10th and it's by far the best.
- The scale of the thing's
fantastic, isn't it?
- It's absolutely superb.
- It's our little Lego block.
- [James] Yeah.
- And it's ginormous.
There are a few areas
where it's showing signs
of moving around a bit, but
I think we've learnt enough
from this one to know how we
do a different one, actually.
And I can't think of any
other building material
where you can take it apart,
put it back together again differently
and they could still use the same pieces.
- Yeah.
- Otherwise, it'll be in a skip somewhere.
- This is the dawn of
the reconfigurable house.
Well, I can see, for
example, I can see a bit,
I'm just gonna squeeze that back together
and that is immensely satisfying.
- Yeah, fixed.
- You never never tired of that
- Try doing that with brick wall.
- Sensation.
Yeah, exactly.
You'd have to get a builder in
and then he wouldn't turn up.
(lively music)
For the next 24 hours,
this will be my home
and it's all Lego, all of it.
Complete with Lego's
undeniable shortcomings.
Here are my dumbbells.
Here's my whisker.
Now it's a well-established fact,
treading on a Lego brick
is the most painful thing
a human being can do
but let's see what happens
if you tread in some slippers
made out of Lego.
Here we go.
Oh, I've always wanted one of these.
Tell you what.
there you are, no one would know.
My first house guest is Christina.
Her interior designs and furnishings
are things of unbelievable
Lego-ish beauty,
but I want her to know I think that.
So we spend an intimate
moment together on the divan.
- I'm not, oh, okay, just gently.
- I've got quite boney buttocks.
- [Christina] How do you feel about it?
- I love it, I think it's
better than I expected.
I always thought a Lego
house is going to look
quite remarkable because it
would look brightly colored
but it's just, it's actually not like
you've made a big house out of Lego,
its like you've been shrunk
into a Lego scale world.
- I mean for me, its exactly how I thought
it was gonna be and.
Sorry, everybody put a lot
of hard work into it but.
- [James] I know.
Don't think I don't appreciate it.
- No, I know.
- I do think it's brilliant.
- It's been a real amazing trip.
Sorry, I'm a wuss, I know, I'm a girl.
- What do you do when girls start crying?
Pull yourself together, woman.
You did make one mistake in this house.
Shall I tell you what it is?
- Yep.
- You didn't measure the size of my head
before you made these glasses.
- Pull yourself together.
(lively music)
- Now, this isn't actually
a property program
but I did watch one once and
I know roughly how they work
so what I've done is invited
a couple of estate agents
along to value my house.
Not just give it a value
but comment on style,
the taste, the fittings and the decor.
Decide what sort of
person it would appeal to.
- This is very tight.
No cupboards to speak of, no sink.
Definitely a bachelor pad, who
likes takeaways, I would say.
- This is very over
thought, in terms of design.
It's very compact for family living space
- We're in a very traditional area here.
Not sure I'm feeling the love.
I would value this house at 5,000 pounds.
- I would Value this
property at 20,000 pounds.
- 20,000 pounds?
- But it is Lego and it wouldn't
last for a very long time.
- But it doesn't rot
and you can put it back
together if it falls down,
it's Lego.
Remember, of course, we are in Surrey,
it's not a radical area of the country
and for that reason,
I've also invited an art expert
because this is, of
course, not merely a house,
it is an objet d'art, it is a
Faberge egg amongst buildings.
So, I'd like to see what
he thinks it's worth.
Personally, I think its worth millions.
Would Paul Nelson
of Surrey's University
for the Creative Arts
see the aesthetic merit
in my plastic clip-together dwelling?
- I want to touch it, I want to feel it.
You're never supposed to touch artworks
but I feel compelled.
There's a very post modern feel to this.
I'm not always aware
that I'm looking at Lego
until I get close to it.
It's just an orgy of
Lego, isn't it, really?
I value this artwork at half a million.
- [James] 500,000 pounds, you reckon?
- People would love to go
into it and look at it.
It's an interactive piece.
the Turbine Hall at Tate
Modern would be a great venue,
maybe get it into one or
two private collections,
such as the Saatchi collection.
If you do, could be a very
bright future ahead for you.
- That gentleman clearly
saw it for what it is,
an objet d'arte, which belongs
in an art gallery of some sort,
still not quite as much as I would like,
but for half a million pounds,
I'd have his hand of.
While I wait for the offers
from galleries and museums
to come flooding in,
I decide it's time for
a select house party.
And the first guest to arrive
is Britain's best loved
caricaturist, Gerald Scarfe
who's tried to capture
my likeness in Lego.
Do I have to brace myself?
- Come around, yes.
No, no, no, I've been very kind to you.
I've been very, very kind to you.
- You haven't.
- No, unlikely.
(James laughing)
It's been weird because I
can't do any kind of curves
with it and you're a
very flowing sort of man
if I may say so.
- No, it does look like me.
I was gonna suggest
putting it in the attic
but this house hasn't actually
got one, unfortunately.
- How dare you, sir.
Does it induce love into your
female visitors, you think?
- Well, I haven't had one
yet but I'm hoping so.
- And you can take them up
to the Lego-over bedroom
- You see, you just beat me to the joke.
I was gonna say when I get the
E the G and the L on there.
But what Gerald doesn't realize
is that my first female caller
will actually be his wife,
Jane Asher.
- James.
- Miss Asher.
- This is just stunningly beautiful.
- Do you like it?
- It's like a work of art.
It's absolutely stunning.
- Precisely.
I'd knew you'd get it.
If you'd like to go right
into the living area.
- Look, before we go any further, James,
like a well-brought up gal, house guest,
I've brought you a little
house warming present.
- Thank you.
- [Jane] They are
hard-centered, I think, so.
- [James] Are they?
- Yes, perhaps tough on the
teeth so I'd be a bit careful.
- Famous for acting and cake making,
could Jane take the
heat in a Lego kitchen?
Shall we try making a sandwich?
- Yeah.
- I'm very keen to know
if Lego equipment works.
- The knife, the stuff
works, yes, of course.
It's gonna spread like a dream.
That works very well.
- [James] Here we go.
- Oh, look it's making a really
cute pattern on the cheese.
- [James] So it is.
- It is a bit thick.
- That's not a cheese shaving is it?
Anyway, the knife works.
- It really, it is.
- That's something.
- Yeah, it's good.
- [James] I was determined to have jelly
with the impression of Lego on it.
- Oh, well, it's coming out.
- It's not quite the
effect I was expecting.
I was expecting a castle with
a little, lots of little pips.
- It's a little inscrutable, isn't it?
- My next guest isn't
really a guest at all
because I didn't invite him.
He's just some wino who I spot
wandering around the vineyard.
- Ah, spicy, grapey floral scent.
- Oz?
- Oh look, chardonnay.
- [James] Oz has brought a bottle
but only because he always carries one.
I decant it to the Lego magnum.
God, it's leaking like a
- Oh, James, this is a good wine.
- Hold it, hold it, hold
it, hold it, hold it.
- [Oz] Will you hold this?
It's very nice.
- [James] These don't leak,
I've water proofed them.
- [Oz] What are those, James?
They look like bird bathes.
- They're goblets.
- Cheers.
- Clonk.
Well, good evening everyone
and welcome to my new house.
You're supposed to cheer.
Welcome to my new house.
(guests cheering)
- How tremendous.
- Well, it's definitely
wipe clean, isn't it?
- I quite like the very English way
the floors clashing with the walls.
- And if you get bored
of a wall or something,
you just move it.
That's right.
- Yeah.
(lively music)
- Vic!
- And the fluorescents go down.
And that's you're moody
- Oh, moody.
- Smoothy sexy lighting.
- [James] Right, can we
have it back on scene one
whilst I'm with Tiff then?
- I had no idea that anybody
could give such an accurate
impersonation of you,
even to the extent of the whole
of the right hand side of
your face is indeed orange.
- Slightly on the hard side.
- It's a firm bed, yeah.
- Which is my side?
- [James] You're not here.
I'm dreams, sweet is arriving later.
- Sweet has arrived already.
- The party has been a great success
and now I've got rid of Oz,
I revel in the magic of my new home,
put on my dressing gown,
climb the Lego hill to Bedfordshire
and prepare for a night
in the Legoland of nod.
The sink might not be perfectly
watertight but never mind.
This is one of the fundamental
problems with Lego, it's not
it's not actually waterproof.
I'm off to bed.
This Lego floor is very painful.
Well, viewers it's been
absolutely terrific.
I hope you've enjoyed seeing my Lego house
as much as I've enjoyed being in it.
But so far, to be honest, all
I've done is mince around,
have a glass of wine, speak to some people
and all the rest of it and
now, it's the acid test.
I am about to become the
first person in history
to sleep for the night in his
own full-sized Lego house.
So, here goes.
Good night everyone.
God, you thought French
hotel pillows were bad.
This is terrible.
(lively music)
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