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  • This is the Technical Difficulties, we're playing Citation Needed.

  • Joining me today, he reads books y'know, it's Chris Joel.

  • Hello again, my beauties!

  • Everybody's favourite Gary Brannan, Gary Brannan.

  • And of course, the thing you must not do if the ape is enraged

  • is the Macarena.

  • And the bounciest man on the internet, Matt Gray.

  • Marhaba, YouTube.

  • In front of me I've got an article from Wikipedia and these folks can't see it.

  • Every fact they get right is a point and a ding,

  • and there's a special prize for particularly good answers which is...

  • And today we are talking about Charles Blondin.

  • Which gives us exactly nothing to go on, apart...

  • I mean, the way I pronounce that gives you a bit of a hint.

  • Français?

  • Yes, absolutely right.

  • He was French.

  • Oh, the wheel spins and lands on France…!

  • It's not a wheel!

  • It's just a piece of cardboard with an arrow saying France!

  • Charles Blondin, also known as The Great Blondin.

  • Did he do something with hot air balloons?

  • That sounds like you know that.

  • Well, it's a stunt man-y sort of name, isn't it?

  • I know France did hot air balloons.

  • That was the Montgolfier brothers.

  • - See? France did hot air balloons! - He's right, you know.

  • I mean he's not wrong, he's not wrong, but no.

  • He's not wrong and yet, in the back of your mind, the phrase is:

  • "how do I say he is wrong?"

  • That's fair.

  • Yes, Chevalier Blondin, or The Great Blondin.

  • Magician?

  • Certainly that sort of entertainer, that sort of genre

  • Strongman.

  • Oh, was he like that bit in Ocean's Eleven with the acrobatics

  • to steal the money from the vault?

  • We are looking for a specific acrobatic trick here.

  • Something that you'd be known for.

  • It wasn't like Henry IV's favourite acrobat?

  • I think it's Henry IV, I might be... medievalists out there,

  • apologies I might have got the wrong king there,

  • who was known for a whistle, a tumble and a fart.

  • That was his act.

  • And he was knighted because the king thought it was so funny.

  • Apparently, Roland the Farter.

  • Roland the Farter!

  • That's it.

  • Roland the Farter.

  • You're not getting points for this, but you are right.

  • This was King Henry II, in medieval times.

  • A medieval flatulist who each year, in exchange for 30 acres of land,

  • was obliged to perform a jump, a whistle and a fart.

  • Can I just take a moment here for "flatulist"?

  • Yes!

  • Now I know this 'cos Wikipedia has a list of flatulists.

  • Yes, yes they do.

  • What wasn't he actually doing?

  • He wasn't actually breaking wind.

  • He was actually...

  • This is going to grim.

  • He was able to suck wind in,

  • and then blow it out again through muscle power, I assume.

  • And because that was technically a question I asked, you're getting the point.

  • Ever felt you're on home turf with a subject?

  • We are looking for a specific acrobatic act that Charles Blondin was famous for.

  • The windy-windy-falling-fabric thing!

  • - Aerial silks! - Aerial silks!

  • No. What have you got, Chris?

  • The flat-o-mer-boing-a-mi-thing!

  • Slackline?

  • Trampo-mo-line!

  • Trampo-mo-line, no.

  • The high-rope-walkalongy

  • Yes!

  • Is he the one that walked between big buildings?

  • No, that's Philippe Petit.

  • Yes, this was

  • Wasn't he French?

  • Yes, hence the name Philippe Petit!

  • No, but you said it more "Philip Petty", though.

  • He's Philip Petty!

  • Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' brother.

  • You're absolutely right, it is the walky-longy-not-fally-downy-thing.

  • Correct.

  • The elastomastring!

  • He was a tightrope walker.

  • He came up with the idea to cross a certain thing on a tightrope.

  • Oh, Thingy Falls.

  • I'm not allowing you Thingy Falls!

  • Niagara.

  • That's the one, Thingy.

  • Yes, you're absolutely right, Niagara Falls.

  • I knew what you meant.

  • Widey! Big! Dangerous!

  • Yeah, Thingy Falls!

  • Widey Falls, not Tall Falls. Victoria, tallwide.

  • It's going to be curved in, it's going to be like that

  • Oh, that's where I went wrong, I need my hands that way.

  • Have you ever rubbed a waterfall?

  • Don't get your hands backwards.

  • You don't want to rub it the wrong way.

  • Actually you were trying to push the water back up weren't you?

  • Get-- ugh!-- what is Cnut doing in the wave pool?

  • Stood at the bottom, like Atlas, failing.

  • You're sort of, “Why is no one else as bothered about this as me?”

  • The sea will be empty, the fish will...

  • “...opposite of drown!”

  • Asphyxiate, Gary!

  • The fish are drowning! They seem fine with it, though...”

  • You should have seen Noah trying to load them onto the Ark!

  • Did not like it, did not like it at all.

  • There's going to be a flood! Get the fish on!”

  • A long time ago...

  • You're absolutely right, he was the first to cross Niagara

  • What did he do, insult it or something?

  • To cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope.

  • What did he then go back and do?

  • Fetch the other end of the rope and walk back with it.

  • Oh, what an act!

  • You'd pay to see it.

  • Well he did some other acts on the tightrope.

  • Whistle, tumble, fart?

  • Famous mid-air, tightrope walking flatulist.

  • Hell of an entry on Wikipedia, let's face it.

  • There were some theatrical variations, it says here, on the idea of

  • Oh, he wore a hat.

  • Well he wore something.

  • His wife.

  • He carried his manager.

  • I think the idea of carrying a person is close enough,

  • I'm going to give you the point there.

  • Is that in case he had any border issues at the other end?

  • No, it's in case he wasn't getting a big enough cut.

  • Someone to negotiate with him on the other side.

  • Negotiate at the top of the Niagara Falls!

  • Hey, you'd agree quick, though, wouldn't you?

  • Also: in a sack, on stilts, not at the same time, and also

  • He was in a sack?

  • Yes, he was in a sack.

  • How did he tightrope walk in a sack?

  • - Carefully. - You put it on the top, not the bottom.

  • Oh, right, with you, sorry, yeah.

  • Sack racing across a tightrope.

  • I would defonever mind over Niagara Falls!

  • Well, two people, think about the overtaking!

  • Yes, you could see the waveform on the line.

  • Does that mean they next did an egg and spoon race over Niagara Falls?

  • Are we talking tightrope sport race? Sports race? Sports day.

  • Matt. Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt.

  • You are so close

  • Because unbelievably the wordeggis the accurate one in there.

  • What did he do in the middle of a tightrope, over Niagara Falls in about 1860?

  • Fry an omelette.

  • Omelette. Oi, I was saying that!

  • But how did I get that afterwards?

  • I was doing it better!

  • And Chris steals the point!

  • He cooked and ate an omelette on a tightrope in the middle of Niagara Falls.

  • What? On what?

  • - Well, the tightrope. - Pan.

  • Yeah, alright knobhead, but what?

  • Because that means a heat source,

  • so you've got to have a little cooking stove or something balanced on...

  • But what's that balanced on?

  • - His hand. - His hand!

  • How the f*** is he carrying a thing, and a thing, and what's-a, on a balance…?

  • Well, that is the trick.

  • That is literally the act he is being paid to do.

  • That is why it's impressive, Gary.

  • He also stood on a chair, with one chair leg on the rope, on Niagara..

  • No, no, no, no, no, no...

  • 50 metres above the water.

  • How big is this wire by the way, while we're on it?

  • Well quite long 'cos it has to go across Niagara Falls.

  • What's the diameter of this wire?

  • Cheesewire!

  • Oh no.

  • Ooh, just slices of feet.

  • What I'd like y'all to do at this point is to gesture how big you think this wire is.

  • What, thickness wise?

  • - Girth? - Yes, girth.

  • - That big? - That big?

  • Have you just made whatever happens to be the size of your…?

  • No, no, I'm thinking of cable for...

  • I'm thinking how big it would be for your feet to comfortably sit on and be attached,

  • so it can't be much bigger than about that, I wouldn't have thought.

  • Yeah, Gary you've basically got it spot on.

  • Eight and a bit centimetres, you're absolutely right.

  • Oh.

  • Balls to this, I can't actually see the man do the egg.

  • I'd rather I was closer to him so I could witness how good the omelette was.

  • I'm sorry, if he's going to show off I'm going to get picky as well.

  • Is it going to be Saturday Kitchen where they try and do it under a minute?

  • Omelette Challenge. 60 seconds.

  • That's a reference that not many people are going to get isn't it?

  • Now there is a sentence in this article.

  • Obviously, at this point --

  • he was born in France, he's moved to the US to do this sort of thing.

  • While in the US he married someone called Charlotte Lawrence.

  • What's strange about that?

  • Is he a bigamist?

  • Well, we don't know.

  • I'll give you the point because the phrase here is:

  • "while in the US he married a second wife".

  • That indicates you're a bigamist.

  • And then slightly earlier it says he married Marie Blancherie,

  • and it is not known what happened to his French family after he went to America.

  • So I will give you the point.

  • It's quite possible that he divorced her or that something else happened.

  • It's not recorded in here.

  • Can you imagine being his first wife, thinking your husband's disappeared,

  • never to be heard of again, and picking up Le Monde and seeing the front page,

  • Man Cooks Egg Over Niagara Fallsand going “b******!”

  • Oh yes, because it was definitely front-page-worthy.

  • Oh, yeah!

  • What, you think this isn't?

  • Blondin came back to Europe, lived in the UK,

  • retired for a while and then made a reappearance in the sort of manner

  • you'd expect stars who are in need of money to do.

  • I'm a Celebrity.

  • Something that existed at the end of the 19th century and still exists now.

  • Panto.

  • Yes.

  • You are absolutely right.

  • He appeared in Jack and the Beanstalk at the Crystal Palace.

  • Not at Crystal Palace, at the Crystal Palace.

  • I'm going to guess that what he did is his tightrope act on was, maybe, the beanstalk.

  • I'm going to suggest that might be it, it's not recorded here but, yes.

  • Nah, he was the front end of the panto horse.

  • While on the beanstalk.

  • Back end, not a tightrope walker, clinging on desperately.

  • It's like, you have to put some tightrope walking in there,

  • because this guy's a one-trick pony

  • Oh, f*** off

  • That wasn't a joke.

  • Oh, horse! Panto horse.

  • I must just be naturally funny(!)

  • When he's out of work he's getting the washing in, where is he?

  • On top of the washing line.

  • He was so associated with tightrope walking, what happened to his name?

  • Oh, the tightrope became his name!

  • A tightrope walker was called a Blondin.

  • - Ah. - That's how well-known he was.