“Is there a podcast this week?” Someone tweeted us yesterday. “Is it about trains? I’d like it to be about trains.” Oh boy have we got good news for you.
The first half is very much about trains – or at least, the tracks they run on, as Jonn tells Stephanie what I learned when I accidentally wrote a history of the London Underground. (Honestly, he just meant to do the line names but it kind of got out of control.) Quick precis: there’s a huge gap in the 20th century, and the British state is obsessed with bloody royalty.
Then Stephanie talks about her favourite crazy article of the week: a piece in the Daily Mail which imagines what London would look like had the Gunpowder plot succeeded in 1605, thus undoing the Reformation and turning these islands back into a Catholic country.
Never mind that the last 400 years of British, European and World history would have been different, the article says – let’s just assume that a few of London’s buildings would look a bit French.
Then Jonn gets a bit ranty for reasons you’ll understand when we get there.
Skylines is the podcast from the New Statesman's cities site, CityMetric. It's hosted by Jonn Elledge and Stephanie Boland.