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Antoine de Caunes interview

Ahead of Al Murray: Why Does Everyone Hate the English we sat down with star of episode 1, French personality and former presenter of raunchy late night comedy series, Antoine De Caunes.

What are the biggest stereotypes the French have about the English?

You drink too much which is very very obvious. Maybe you don't like the French or some of your press don't like the French. Maybe you have a picture of the Queen up your chimney. Maybe you're too polite. Someone too polite becomes suspect. There is a phrase in French that goes trop poli pour être honnête. That means you're too polite to be honest. You have a palais because you have a Queen but you don't have a palette. You can eat anything without noticing the difference. You invade parts of France again and you take over whole villages and turn them in British colonies. What else, of course, British have very bad teeth and everyone know that and you are too America friendly. You have to be very cautious of America you know that.

HISTORY: Nice to know there's only a couple of things the French dislike about the English!

For you, what explains the historical friction between France and England?

Well it's a very very old story that goes back a thousand years ago, when William the Conqueror invaded England and so England was a French territory for a while. Then there was the 100-year war and then we took back Aquitaine and the whole story Joan of Arc, it's a long going rivalry between the two countries. But I think it's over now, of course.

You came to free us from the Nazis and that's a big point and we owe you something now...If any Nazis come to England, don't worry we will be there.

There's lots of myth-busting in the show. Did it change any assumptions you had?

Not really to be honest except maybe during the archery exercise. Al was so much better at archery than me because he had a longbow. England beat the French at the Battle of Agincourt because you had big bows and we didn't. So that I had to concede. But since then we have invented so many things that are so much more efficient than bows

Which part did you most enjoy filming and why?

I would say the Napoleon segment because we went to Les Invalides and I'm a big Napoleon freak myself. I made a movie telling the story of Napoleon in St Helena with this very cruel governor that was named Sir Hudson and as always I was very happy to go back to Napoleon's tomb because there is a question about it, some people say Napoleon's body is not in the tomb and we had a lot of fun there. I still don't know to be honest if he is buried there.

You and Al had a great rapport on the show. Would you consider doing a Eurotrash reboot with Al in the role of Jean-Paul Gaultier?

No because Al is not gay and I need a gay partner as far as Eurotrash is concerned, of course. Al is very bad at fashion, you just have to see the way he dresses but I would consider having Al as a partner on any other show