Title: Fattening Dormice

Soundcloud Time: 59:34
Youtube Time: 1:01:03

Original Record Date: June 10, 2013
Soundcloud Publication Date: June 13, 2013
Youtube Publication Date: March 5, 2015

Please Welcome a Man
A man who can makes stars open up even better than Piers Morgan.

Cool Kids

Guest Best Known
As the best-known classicist in the country.


Better or Worse than Last Week: N/A
Like or Unlike Wikipedia: N/A

Member Member Note
David Frew shown on RH’s hand-held camera
nuclear physicist
wearing I Love London hat
Rosie shown on RH’s hand-held camera
management consultant
Aaron / Erin last name unclear
not in audience
lives in Singapore
made large donation to Scope

Emergency Questions

Did Julius Caesar ever try to suck his own cock?

All Romans did. For women this is quite difficult. The equivalent for a woman is when they see their kid, age 18 months, sucking its toe, every mother in the country goes up to the bedroom, sits down and sees if they can still do it. And usually they can with child number 1, by child number 2 or 3 they’ve gone off a bit. My fantasy is, because it’s one of the ways you can take the Romans down a peg or two, you can undress them, take their togas off, of course every Roman tried to suck his own cock. They’re always talking about cock-sucking all over the place, so I expect they did.

Ben Evans: Sadie Evans: What is “I hate you” in Latin? I want to say it to my brother.

Phew. I can answer that one. Usually when people say, “What is *something* in Latin?” You think, Oh God, I can’t remember the word. This is simple. It is te odi.

Ben Evans: What do you think is the most inimitable thing the Romans came up with or did?

Well you can also see this in the British Museum actually. […] If you want real intriguing and pointless innovation, then I think it has to go, the prize has to go to the dormouse fattener.

If you had to have sex with a Roman god, which would you have sex with?

Well I think it would all have been pretty brutal. I think part of the joke of putting Pan in the missionary position is that no bona fide Roman god did anything as wimpish as the missionary position. They were always disguised as bulls or showers of rain – gold, I mean, showers of gold – and taking innocent young ladies. So, I don;t know. I think I’d take Pan because at least you’d know where you were with him. What you see is what you get.

If you could have a hand made of ham or an armpit that dispensed sun cream, which would you prefer?

As a classicist – this is obviously a professional answer – we classicists have partly become classicists, unless we’re so unfortunately as to work on Roman Britain, or Roman Germany, it does tend to take us to sunny Mediterranean climes, doesn’t it? So I think we’ll take the sun cream. There’s two things: for me it signals work, tramping around the ruins of Pompeii, getting a bit hot, you know? And then looking at yourself in the mirror and saying, “God, I wish I had a bit of sunscreen it would have been a bit better.” But it also is a kind of – it’s that image of something that I never do, but I always close my eyes and I think of my dream holiday. And my dream holiday is nowhere near a sodding ruin. My dream holiday is a lovely swimming pool in a discretely upmarket hotel – very discrete – with the Camparis or the Negronis at hand. And the blissful sun. And I never do this, but somehow the sun cream would kind of make that seem a more urgent possibility.

Have you ever seen a ghost?

Have you? I asked my son what to say to that question. And I just did it: “Have you?” When you’ve seen a ghost, mate, I’ll tell you about mine.

Have you ever seen a bigfoot?

If I were to say yes would that get you in the news?


RH thanks audience for not going to the media with or tweeting about the content of the Stephen Fry podcast.

Bronze on Sony award has started rubbing off.

If RH gets shot on stage, his last words will be, “Now that’s a good heckle”.

Ben Evans requested it be made clear that his whole class had worked on the emergency questions.