What Brits Love
What Brits Love is a five part series about being British, presented by award-winning documentary-film-maker Ben Lewis. It is a funny, warm, fresh, exciting, but also an insightful and critical view into what defines Britain at the outset of the twenty first century.
The five films explore iconic parts of British culture, all of which defines the culture in their own quirky way, and set them apart from other cultures. All of them are loved by Brits, and is for most a part of their everyday living.
Ben Lewis travels across the length and breadth of Britain to investigate the sandwich, hats, cars, humour and homes.
The sandwich is Britain’s greatest national dish. They invented them exactly 250 years ago and today Brits eat eleven billion a year. But why? Ben celebrates the genius of the sandwich, meeting a sandwich historian, the descendant of the inventor Lord Sandwich at his ancestral home, discovering the joys of the Northern ‘chip butty’ and offering up some of his own unique sandwich recipes, including an Olympic 2012 sandwich, on the way.
No other nation wears hats with the dedication, variety, artistry and humour of the Brits. Ben meets Rachel Trevor Morgan, the lady who makes hats for the Queen, and legendary milliner Stephen Jones, who makes hats for Boy George and Lady GaGa. Among others he talks to working-class Cockney hat-wearers, the Pearly Kings and Queens before throwing his hat in the air with 2000 other hat-enthusiasts at the Bridport Hat Festival.
The Brits undying love for British cars reveals our unshakeable national pride. Once upon a time, Britain had the world’s finest car industry. Rolls Royce, Jaguar, Landrover, MG – our car marques are legendary, yet today most of them are owned by the Germans. Ben discovers that the Brits passion for British cars stems from a surprising contradiction – a belief that Brits are and always will be the best in the world, combined with a sense of pity for the engineering disasters of British motoring.
The Brits are famous for their sense of humour, but can it be defined? An editor of Britain’s oldest humour magazine, a Nigerian-British stand-up comedian, the students of Britain’s comedy degree course and the folk of the British seaside town Blackpool try to explain the British sense of humour. Ben gets a lesson in how to dress as a pantomime dame for the traditional British Xmas theatrical comedy ‘Panto’ at the same time, he is gathering material for his first ever stand-up comedy gig, which takes place, at the end of the film, in the notoriously tough comedy-capital of Liverpool.
“An Englishman’s home is his castle” is perhaps the most universally known British proverb. But what does it mean exactly? Ben embarks on that classic British passion, house-hunting, looking for his perfect ‘castle’. But while we Brits love property, we hate the people who sell them to us – estate agents. A cast of estate agents show him round multi-million pound houses in Chelsea, lofts in North--?East London, classic Victorian two-up-two-downs in Brighton, and ancient castles in Scotland. In Britain a home is not just somewhere to live, it is an investment – property prices have tripled in the last ten years, and, amidst the economic downturn, Ben wants to get a good deal on his dream home.
This is celebration of Britishness – our inventiveness, humour and determination – but it does not shy away from pointing out some of our flaws – our class hierarchies, our vanities, and our contradictions. Ben Lewis’ aim is to present an honest and engaging portrait of his island nation today, in the style of his acclaimed series about contemporary artists.