Jamie’s Dream School Episode 2 Review: The Starkey Redemption

JAMIE’S DREAM SCHOOL: Wednesday 9th March, C4, 9pm

After nearly being lynched by the ASBO generation and displaying the grace of a drunken BNP lout last week, I thought that David Starkey might have been in the mood to accept some of Jamie’s home made humble pie on Dream School this evening. Eventually the red-faced disciplinarian did, but not before giving us one last volley of austere bravado. Upon descending from his Ivory Tower of judgement, Starkey was hauled in front of Jamie’s Headmaster to talk about his performance in class last week. “I have an excellent memory..â€? he blustered before going on to insist that Conor had provoked him into his faticisms.

I was dying for ‘Dabs’ to play him the tape (and thus provide the cold hard evidence that he was the one who had lobbed the first insult) but unfortunately this money-shot was not forthcoming. So we are to assume that either it occured and for whatever reason was not included – or that Starkey has not been relieved of his rewritten version of events. More importantly, if he’s edited that small part of history, then what other sections of our rich heritage has he manipulated?! Did he simply dream up the whole Tudor Dynasty after one of his mates went through a particularly nasty break-up? Worrying times for history fans..

Crucial inaccuracies aside, Starkey soon redeemed himself by meeting with Conor outside a music class and exchanging apologies. He then headed off to seek advice on how to relate with the youths from Jazzie B (OBE). As you can imagine the musician had no problem connecting with the kids (that bloke has some serious connections..) and his urban music class was predictably well received. Having said that, if most of these kids were asked to put together a scale for measuring coolness, the spectrum would probably run from ‘DJ’ to ‘History Teacher’, so Jazzie was always on to a winner here. Yet Starkey rallied admirably and after a fine lesson he won praise from all corners. It wasn’t quite Shawshank, but it’s pretty poignant stuff.

Also up this week was spin maestro Alastair Campbell and as you might expect from a man who used to gauge the thoughts of a nation for a living, he managed to get the class’s attention pretty quickly. Under the pretence of preparing the kids for his debate tutorials, he indulged himself by showing them a video of him besting Murdoch’s chubby stooge Adam Boulton in a live TV debate last summer. We’re not sure these kids needed lessons in the art of arguing to be honest, and the debate soon boils over and into a playground altercation between two girls – one of who claims to a lesbian, the other of whom almost certainly is a lesbian. “Those kids are political!â€? says Campbell profoundly, before making a hasty exit amid the carnage. An allegory perhaps?

Elsewhere the honeymoon period is over for Simon Callow and he ends up shouting at the class before congratulating himself for striking fear into them with a posh tantrum. He might have been a tad optimistic on that front. You have to feel sorry for Callow though, because the kids won’t have done much to dissuade the viewers who believe them to be mollycoddled yobs in this section of the programme and a trip to see their teacher at the theatre ends with some members of the public using some colourful language of their own. “The clientele here are so snobby..â€? says one urchin after chatting through the whole of Henry V.

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