PM fails UK ‘citizenship test’ on US TV show

LONDON (TIP): It is a test that all Indian and other non-EU citizens have to pass before becoming UK citizens, but PM David Cameron had a tough time answering some key questions on a widely watched American chat show.

Cameron appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman in what was considered as a risky move, given the host’s biting humour and obvious relish in embarrassing high profile guests. The PM, who in a major speech on immigration in October 2011 said his government was revising the citizenship test to “put British history and culture at the heart of it”, could not answer questions about the Magna Carta and the composer of Rule Britannia.

After fumbling with questions about British history and culture, Cameron told the host, “You have found me out. I have ended my career on your show tonight”.

When Letterman asked who composed the music for Rule Britannia after the band struck up the music from the Last Night of the Proms, Cameron replied, “Elgar”. Letterman waited until near the end of the show to point out that Thomas Arne had composed the music, and that the poem was by James Thomson. The host also asked him about the Magna Carta. Cameron said “1215” when asked the date it was signed. But he didn’t know Latin Magna Carta in English meant Great Charter.

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