About Ian Hislop’s Age Of The Do-Gooders

In the three-part series Ian Hislop’s Age Of The Do-Gooders, Have I Got News For You? team captain Ian Hislop journeys back to the Victorian era to find how an unlikely group of people helped to rescue Britain.

Ian Hislop's Age of the Do-Gooders

When anybody uses the term do-gooder in today’s society they’re usually using it as an insult.

Ian Hislop at the statue of Achilles in Hyde Park

Ian Hislop at the statue of Achilles in Hyde Park

But Ian sets out to rescue the reputation of the maverick 'Do-Gooders' who he believes fixed the 19th century's version of 'broken Britain' – amazing men and women who precipitated the most remarkable period of social change in British history and, Ian argues, left us with a nation worth living in. Unlike notable Victorian royals, inventors, politicians and generals, many of them have been all but forgotten.

Ian calls William Wilberforce 'the godfather of the Do-Gooders'. Hedonistic man about town turned crusader, Wilberforce kick-started a multi-faceted moral revolution that reverberated throughout the 19th century, of which his successful campaign to abolish slavery was just one element.