Richard Herring's Objective
Richard Herring's Objective

Richard Herring's Objective pokes and prods a variety controversial objects and see if the controversy falls out.

Through vox pops, interviews and stand up comedy Richard examines the objects' history, meaning and significance and challenges our assumed logic and stereotypes.

Can we reclaim these objects away from their unfortunate associations?

In series one the comedian investigated 'The Hitler Moustache', 'The Hoodie' and 'The St. George's Flag' and in the second series he trained his beady eye on 'The Golliwog', 'The Wheelchair', 'Page 3' and 'The Old School Tie'.

The show first broadcast over October & November 2010, before an Edinburgh special & second series in 2011.

Richard Herring's Objective - Series 1 - 2010

Show 1 - 14th October 2010 - Toothbrush Moustache -
This week he's reclaiming the toothbrush moustache on behalf of comedy - taking it back from Hitler to give to it's rightful owner Charlie Chaplin.
Based on his Edinburgh show Richard examines why a particular piece of facial hair can evoke revulsion in all who see it when in fact the person first associated with it was one of the funniest people on the planet.
He grows his own toothbrush moustache and hears what passers by make of it, talks to a German moustache expert about Hitler's vanity and descibes how wearing it on the day after the BNP won seats in the last European election strengthened his resolve to continue his campaign.

Show 2 - 21st October 2010 - Hoodies -
This week it is the hoodie. How has a track suit top with a hood attached to it come to inspire fear in modern Britain and is it actually used as an excuse to demonise the young? Are the country's teenagers all out of control knife-wielding, drug-taking, promiscuous, trouble-makers or are they mainly quite pleasant, if somewhat self-obsessed, easily bored and angst-ridden individuals? And is a hood actually any scarier than a pair of mittens?
Richard explores what our fear is actually all about through stand up, vox pops and interviews - this week a criminologist who has studied the moran panic about hoodies and the organisers of a hoodie festival.

Show 3 - 28th October 2010 - The St George's Flag -
This week he's reclaiming the English National Flag from any associations with far right extremists.
Why does the man and woman on the street have no idea when St George's day is? Who is St George? Richard asks a vexillologist (flag expert) about how flags have come to symbolise nations.
He also talks to anthropologist Kate Fox who has studied the behaviour of the English, about why the English are not natural flag waving patriots.

Show 4 - 4th November 2010 - Dolly the Sheep -
Richard reclaims Dolly the sheep as he examines why we are fearful and suspicious of the idea of cloning without really understanding it. Richard talks to a genetics professor about how cloning works and what it was like to meet Dolly.
Richard also asks science writer Dr Ben Goldacre whether evil scientists exist and whether he is allowed to clone Dr Who assistant Amy Pond.

Richard Herring's Objective - Edinburgh Special - 2011

Show 5 - Edinburgh Special - 23 August 2011 - The C. U. Jimmy Hat -
For this Edinburgh Special, Richard is reclaiming the C.U. Jimmy hat.
A hat and ginger hair combo, widely available in tourist shops throughout Scotland.
He looks at Scottish identity with the help of Scottish comedienne Susan Calman, and looks at the Celtic roots of red hair and asks why ginger hair bullying is acceptable.

Richard Herring's Objective - Series 2 - 2011

Show 6 - 8th November 2011 - The Golliwog -
Richard Herring examines 'The golliwog' an object that has been the cause of controversy, debating whether it's an object we should reclaim, or consign to the dustbin of history.

Show 7 - 16th November 2011 - The Wheelchair -
Richard Herring examines 'The Wheelchair' the representative symbol of disability on disability access signs and asks if there is equal access. He wonders if it is still the case that we see the disability rather than the person.

Show 8 - 22nd November 2011 - Page Three -
Richard Herring examines 'Page 3' which has been the cause of controversy, debating whether it's something that we should celebrate, or consign to the dustbin of history.
Written by and starring Richard Herring, with Emma Kennedy and special guest, the glamour model Lucy Pinder.