First Published in The Independent, June 29th 2006


‘Allo ‘Allo, where are the stereotypes?


The World Cup is the biggest party in the Fatherland since the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989. What makes the World Cup even better than overthrowing communism is its international character. As far as I remember, there were neither Mexicans with massive sombreros nor African witch doctors celebrating in the streets of Berlin last time round.

Then again, there aren’t any now, either. Unlike at previous tournaments, all quarter-finalists bar Ukraine are European or South American heavyweights with an impressive track record of footballing success. Thank God for that.

I’m sure we all enjoyed Trinidad & Tobago earning a draw against Sweden, Senegal beating France at World Cup 2002 or Northern Ireland winning against England last September. But the minnows must not outstay their welcome. Nobody wants to have random countries such as South Korea or Turkey in semi-finals ever again.

I therefore ask Ukraine to see the bigger picture and leave next Tuesday’s semi-final to the two great European football nations – Italy and Germany. I know for a fact that the Argentines have a plane to Buenos Aires waiting to take-off immediately after their quarter-final defeat against Germany.

Without trying to pander to you Britische I must admit that I was very pleased to see the back of the Australian team. Those annoyingly positive Antipodeans are hard to like even for a neutral. Having a Dutch manager didn’t endear them to me either.

The World Cup is my first extended trip back to Germany since moving to the UK. I must admit that I am surprised about the good-natured, humorous, friendly character of my countrymen.

Having lived in the UK for the past four years, I am so used to the British stereotypes about Germans that I had expected to find locals wearing Lederhosen, goose-stepping up and down Hauptstrasse, eating huge amount of bratwurst whilst singing David Hasselhoff’s latest songs. This is ludicrous of course: we prefer the Hoff’s old material.

So it took me a few days to rediscover Germany as a country blessed with natural beauty and populated by pleasant people; not the grotesque version of popular British folklore.

This message seems to hit home with travelling England contingent. All the supporters I spoke to were impressed by German hospitality. Not that it’s too difficult to provide better service, food, and transport than what they get at home.

But old habits die hard, and I’m sure that once British telly and the tabloids realise that you might be about to drop the German stereotypes they’ll bombard Britain with ever more reruns of ‘Allo ‘Allo! and Dad’s Army and war movies full of fake Germans shouting “Jawohl Herr General”. Let’s hope so or I might have to write a new stand-up routine.

Posted by Henning Wehn on Thursday, June 29th, 2006.
Filed Under: Writing



CLICK HERE TO GO BACK



Enjoy this blast from the past? Here's some up-to-date live shows coming up..

March 2018

5 – LONDON – Betsey Trotwood – SOLD OUT
6 – LONDON – Betsey Trotwood – SOLD OUT
12 – LONDON – Betsey Trotwood – SOLD OUT
13 – LONDON – Betsey Trotwood – SOLD OUT
14 – LONDON – Betsey Trotwood – SOLD OUT
19 – LONDON – Betsey Trotwood – SOLD OUT
20 – LONDON – Betsey Trotwood – SOLD OUT
21 – LONDON – Betsey Trotwood – SOLD OUT
22 – LONDON – Betsey Trotwood – SOLD OUT

April 2018

09 – BATH – Widcombe Social Club – SOLD OUT – Work In Progress
10 – BATH – Widcombe Social Club – SOLD OUT – Work In Progress
12 – BORDON – The Phoenix Theatre – SOLD OUT – Work In Progress
13 – BORDON – The Phoenix Theatre – SOLD OUT – Work In Progress
14 – BORDON – The Phoenix Theatre – SOLD OUT – Work In Progress
18 – BEVERLEY – East Riding Theatre – SOLD OUT – Work In Progress
19 – POCKLINGTON – Arts Centre – SOLD OUT – Work In Progress
20 – POCKLINGTON – Arts Centre – SOLD OUT – Work In Progress
21 – BEVERLEY – East Riding Theatre – SOLD OUT – Work In Progress
29 – TRING – The Court Theatre – SOLD OUT – Work In Progress
30 – TRING – The Court Theatre – SOLD OUT – Work In Progress

May 2018

1 – LONDON – Betsey Trotwood – SOLD OUT
2 – LONDON – Betsey Trotwood – SOLD OUT
7 – LONDON – Betsey Trotwood – SOLD OUT
8 – LONDON – Betsey Trotwood – SOLD OUT
11 – GREAT TORRINGTON – Plough Arts – SOLD OUT – Work In Progress
12 – GREAT TORRINGTON – Plough Arts – SOLD OUT- Work In Progress
13 – LAUNCESTON – Town Hall – SOLD OUT – Work in Progress
14 – LAUNCESTON – Town Hall – SOLD OUT – Work In Progress
17 – DARTMOUTH – The Flavel – SOLD OUT – Work In Progress
18 – FALMOUTH – The Poly – SOLD OUT – Work In Progress
19 – PENZANCE – The Acorn – SOLD OUT – Work In Progress
29 – LONDON – Betsey Trotwood – SOLD OUT
30 – LONDON – Betsey Trotwood – SOLD OUT
31 – LONDON – Betsey Trotwood – SOLD OUTPOSTPONED to June 1st

June 2018

1 – LONDON – Betsey Trotwood – SOLD OUT – Originally May 31st
2 – HAYWARDS HEATH – Clair Hall – SOLD OUT – Work in Progress
7 – NORWICH – Playhouse – SOLD OUT  – Work in Progress
8 – NORWICH – Playhouse – SOLD OUT  – Work in Progress
9 – NORWICH – Playhouse – SOLD OUT  – Work in Progress
11 – LONDON – Betsey Trotwood – SOLD OUT
12 – LONDON – Betsey Trotwood – SOLD OUT
13 – LONDON – Betsey Trotwood – SOLD OUT

July 2018

24 – LONDON – Betsey Trotwood – SOLD OUT
25 – LONDON – Betsey Trotwood – SOLD OUT
26 – LONDON – Betsey Trotwood – SOLD OUT

August 2018

2 EDINBURGH – Just The Tonic Caves – TICKETS
3 EDINBURGH – Just The Tonic Caves – TICKETS
4 EDINBURGH – Just The Tonic Caves – TICKETS
5 EDINBURGH – Just The Tonic Caves – TICKETS
8 EDINBURGH – Just The Tonic Caves – TICKETS
9 EDINBURGH – Just The Tonic Caves – TICKETS
10 EDINBURGH – Just The Tonic Caves – TICKETS
11 EDINBURGH – Just The Tonic Caves – TICKETS
12 EDINBURGH – Just The Tonic Caves –TICKETS
15 EDINBURGH – Just The Tonic Caves – TICKETS
16 EDINBURGH – Just The Tonic Caves – TICKETS
17 EDINBURGH – Just The Tonic Caves – TICKETS
18 EDINBURGH – Just The Tonic Caves – TICKETS
19 EDINBURGH – Just The Tonic Caves – TICKETS
22 EDINBURGH – Just The Tonic Caves – TICKETS
23 EDINBURGH – Just The Tonic Caves – TICKETS
24 EDINBURGH – Just The Tonic Caves – TICKETS
25 EDINBURGH – Just The Tonic Caves – TICKETS
26 EDINBURGH – Just The Tonic Caves – TICKETS

September 2018

20 – WAVENDON – The Stables – TICKETS
21 – WAVENDON – The Stables – TICKETS
22 – WAVENDON – The Stables – TICKETS
26 – BRIDPORT – Electric Palace – Extra date – TICKETS
27 – BRIDPORT – Electric Palace – SOLD OUT
28 – WIMBORNE – Tivoli Theatre – SOLD OUT
29 – WIMBORNE – Tivoli Theatre – SOLD OUT

October 2018

4 – LOUGHBOROUGH – Town Hall – TICKETS
5 – MALVERN – Forum – SOLD OUT
6 – GUILDFORD – G Live – TICKETS
7 – LEAMINGTON SPA – Royal Spa Centre – TICKETS
11 – BEDFORD – Corn Exchange – TICKETS
12 – LEEDS – City Varieties – TICKETS
13 – LEEDS – City Varieties – TICKETS
18 – CHESTER – Story House – SOLD OUT
19 – SALFORD – Lowry Lyric Theatre – TICKETS
25 – KINGS LYNN – Corn Exchange – TICKETS
26 – PETERBOROUGH – The Cresset – TICKETS
27 – LINCOLN – The Engine Shed – TICKETS

November 2018

8 – WORTHING – Pavilion – TICKETS
9 – BEXHILL – De La Warr Pavilion – TICKETS
10 – SOUTHEND – Cliff’s Pavilion – TICKETS
15 – ST ALBANS – Alban Arena – TICKETS
16 – DARTFORD – The Orchard – TICKETS
17 – READING – Hexagon – TICKETS
21 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – TICKETS
22 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – TICKETS
23 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – TICKETS
24 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – TICKETS
28 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – TICKETS
29 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – TICKETS
30 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – TICKETS

December 2018

1 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – TICKETS
5 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – TICKETS
6 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – TICKETS
7 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – TICKETS
8 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – TICKETS
12 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – TICKETS
13 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – TICKETS 
14 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – TICKETS
15 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – TICKETS 

 

February 2019

6 – EXETER – Corn Exchange –TICKETS
7 – EXETER – Corn Exchange – TICKETS
8 – SWINDON – Wyvern Theatre –TICKETS
9 – SWINDON – Wyvern Theatre –TICKETS
14 – ALDERSHOT – Princes Hall – TICKETS SOON
15 – LEICESTER – De Montfort Hall – TICKETS
16 – BROMLEY – Churchill Theatre -TICKETS SOON
17 – BRIGHTON – Dome – TICKETS
21 – WHITELY BAY – Playhouse – TICKETS
22 – HARROGATE – Royal Hall – TICKETS SOON
23 – SHEFFIELD – Octagon – TICKETS

March 2019

1 – BASINGSTOKE – The Anvil – TICKETS
2 – CAMBRIDGE – Corn Exchange – TICKETS SOON
7 – NOTTINGHAM – Playhouse – TICKETS SOON
9 – BUXTON – Opera House – TICKETS
22 – STEVENAGE – Concert Hall – TICKETS
29 – BIRMINGHAM – Town Hall – TICKETS
30 – WREXHAM – William Aston Hall – TICKETS 
31 – SHREWSBURY – Theatre Severn – TICKETS SOON

April 2019

5 – PORT TALBOT – Prince’s Royal Theatre – TICKETS SOON
6 – CARDIFF – St David’s Hall – TICKETS
7 – SOUTHAMPTON – The Mayflower Theatre – TICKETS
12 – SALISBURY – City Hall – TICKETS SOON
13 – TORQUAY – Babbacombe Theatre – TICKETS
14 – CHELTENHAM – Town Hall – TICKETS SOON

May 2019

2 – OXFORD – Playhouse – TICKETS SOON
3 – OXFORD – Playhouse – TICKETS SOON
4 – OXFORD – Playhouse – TICKETS SOON
10 – COVENTRY – Warwick Arts Centre Butterworth Hall – TICKETS
16 – CHATHAM – Central Theatre – TICKETS SOON
17 – MARGATE – Winter Gardens – TICKETS SOON
23 – YEOVIL – Westlands – TICKETS SOON
24 – BARNSTAPLE – Queens Theatre – TICKETS SOON
25 – WESTON-SUPER-MARE – Playhouse – TICKETS SOON

Westphalia Is Not An Option

New DVD!!!
DVD on Amazon

See Henning Live!

Eins, Zwei, DIY

You've got some catching up to do!
Have a look at Henning's previous offerings.
Download now!
DVD on Amazon
Download at iTunes

Henning Knows Bestest DVD

No Surrender DVD

You've got A LOT of catching up to do!
Have a look at Henning's earlier offering.
Download now!

Henning’s Newsletter

Pop your email address in here!