Tea break over, it's back to work. Tony Robinson's nose gets firmly back to the historical grindstone in a second series of The Worst Jobs in History. British history has only happened because of a lot of people doing a lot of terrible jobs. Tony looks at some of the horrendous tasks behind some of the most important strands of British history. In five episodes he sees how the events, institutions, emblems and economics that have made us what we are have been brought about by an anonymous army of workers. Episodes cover Britain's Urban, Royal, Industrial, Maritime and Rural history. In each programme he tries his hand at a number of jobs and then decides which is the very worst of all - before doing it for real.
As befits the man behind Baldrick, Tony Robinson has uncovered life in the underbelly of history. Whether it's swilling out the crotch of a knight's soiled armour after the battle of Agincourt, risking his neck in the rigging of HMS Victory, or as 'Groomer of the Stool' going to places where none of Henry VIII's six wives would venture, Tony endures the worst jobs imaginable to get to the bottom (sometimes literally) of the story. From the Roman invasion to the reign of Queen Victoria, Tony has met the challenge of seeking out the worst jobs of each era. The Gunpowder Plot drew Tony to the role of the Saltpetre Man who collected human waste because its nitrate content could be turned into gunpowder. In the same vein, he has revealed some of the worst jobs behind the building of the great medieval cathedrals. With Tony we discover the dire conditions of Nelson's Victory, where the most common form of retirement was being sewn into a hammock with a couple of cannon balls and dropped over the side. Then there's the impact of the Industrial Revolution, a source of wealth and power for the few, but a cornucopia of lousy jobs for the many.