TV review: Stephen Fry's Key to the City, ITV

Extreme OCD Camp, BBC3

If you were given a key to the City of London, what would you expect that entitled you to? Turns out, not very much. Unless you want to walk a sheep across Tower Bridge. In the one-off documentary Key to the City, Stephen Fry took a tour of the wealthiest square mile of the UK, and, having recently become a "freeman", attempted to discover exactly what this means. We joined Fry as he attended the inauguration ceremony of the Lord Mayor (not Boris), meeting various beadles and aldermen.

Apparently, they're all to do with the Common Council, but as Fry discovered, it was all a bit confusing. All we do need to know is that the City has its own powers, and even its own police force. Harking back to former glory days of power structures, the Mayor is also strangely Chief Magistrate, although it's a relief to know their judicial powers are not used. We saw a bunch of Dickensian-looking characters, who, as Fry pointed out, look "well fed" on roast beef, but we didn't find out exactly the point of them is. One fascinating part saw Fry wander down the "Dead Man's Walk" under the cells of the Old Bailey, where the condemned were led through doors that get narrower along the way, to their gruesome public execution. Public executions stopped in 1868, but up to 20,000 people would attend, and many by Tube. A surprising mix of modern and historical.

You couldn't help but share Fry's enthusiasm for seeing billions of pounds stacked up in £20 notes when he later visited the Bank of England, which led nicely into his meeting with a former Lord Mayor and former chairman of Lloyd's, Lord Levene. Fry asked Levene whether the trade is "contaminated to make the rich richer". Go, Stephen! He also pushed to find out if there are mechanisms in place to stop this happening again, forcing Levene to concede that "a number of people… did a lot of stupid and greedy things".

The mayoral party finally took a trip to the Apothecaries' Hall for a dinner, where Fry took part in a rose water ceremony, which, traditionally, was to counteract the gluttony of the aldermen by stimulating their intestines. More greediness, then.

Stephen Fry was of course as eloquent and charming as ever, which was lucky, because the material wasn't entertaining enough on its own. You were left with one very pertinent question: why is there a beekeeping operation with 30,000 bees making honey on the top of Mansion House?

There's always a concern with documentaries on mental illness that they'll exploit those taking part, so it's a natural relief when they manage to avoid a sensationalist route. In Extreme OCD Camp, the second episode of the two-part documentary saw six young Brits taken on a trek into the American wilderness for treatment. Following four days of intensive treatment, they were taught how to cope with the symptoms of their obsessive-compulsive disorder. These ranged from a pathological fear of germs, to a teenager plagued by thoughts that people she loves are going to be harmed unless she carries out tapping actions, or avoiding certain foods.

The dirty, cold and unknown territory of the wilderness was meant to trigger their OCD habits in order to tackle them head on, and they were told that it is understanding that their fears are irrational that separates OCD from psychosis. Although this is just a tiny nugget of the science, and more information about OCD would have certainly been appreciated.

A month on, and although none of the six were cured, seeing each so willing to take on the ultimate challenge of confronting something that engulfs their thoughts and determines their daily actions was undoubtedly inspiring. Meeting those who have the same fears had clearly helped them to understand their OCD, and, as the therapist pointed out, the necessity to try and tackle something that "robs them of their independence" is essential – it only shows just how consuming the condition can be.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
'Youth' cast members Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Michael Caine pose for photographers at Cannes Film Festival
Arts and Entertainment
Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward and Robin in the 1960s Batman TV show

Arts and Entertainment
I am flute: Azeem Ward and his now-famous instrument
Arts and Entertainment
A glass act: Dr Chris van Tulleken (left) and twin Xand get set for their drinking challenge
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
MIA perform at Lovebox 2014 in London Fields, Hackney

Arts and Entertainment
Finnish punk band PKN hope to enter Eurovision 2015 and raise awareness for Down's Syndrome

Arts and Entertainment
William Shakespeare on the cover of John Gerard's The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes

Arts and Entertainment

Game of Thrones review
Arts and Entertainment
Grayson Perry dedicates his Essex home to Julie

Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treat

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the original Swedish version of the sci-fi TV drama ‘Real Humans’
Arts and Entertainment
Hugh Keays-Byrne plays Immortan Joe, the terrifying gang leader, in the new film
filmActor who played Toecutter returns - but as a different villain in reboot
Arts and Entertainment
Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road
Arts and Entertainment
Jessica Hynes in W1A
tvReview: Perhaps the creators of W1A should lay off the copy and paste function spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Power play: Mitsuko Uchida in concert

Arts and Entertainment
Dangerous liaisons: Dominic West, Jake Richard Siciliano, Maura Tierney and Leya Catlett in ‘The Affair’ – a contradictory drama but one which is sure to reel the viewers in
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Herring, pictured performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival two years ago
Arts and Entertainment
Music freak: Max Runham in the funfair band
Arts and Entertainment
film 'I felt under-used by Hollywood'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
    Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

    Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

    Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
    Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

    Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

    Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
    Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

    Join the tequila gold rush

    The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
    12 best statement wallpapers

    12 best statement wallpapers

    Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
    Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

    Paul Scholes column

    Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?