Heavy metal icon Ozzy Osbourne and his son Jack decide to indulge their interest in history by embarking on a world tour far from the stadiums and arenas they’re used to and take in some of the world’s most fascinating historical sites in Ozzy and Jack’s World Detour, starting Sunday 18th on HISTORY.
DIY spoke with Jack about the trip which includes a visit to Stonehenge and the pair getting “Knighted”.
You must have had fun filming the series…
Oh man it was a lot of fun! It’s not very often that a 30 year old can go on a trip like this with your dad. It was just like a really enjoyable kind of ‘cherish the moment’ adventure. Yes there’s ups and downs but for the most part it was great.
How did you decide on where you wanted to visit?
A lot of it was pretty collaborative. We all sat around and we were like: “Ok where do we want to go that we’ve never been to and that we probably won’t get to go to unless we’re on a special trip like this?” So we had discussions with me and my dad and the rest of the production team and then we presented it to the network and if the good people of HISTORY liked it we were off and running. It was kind of difficult because you don’t want to do something that everyone’s seen on TV and we wanted to be a little unique so you’ve got to find what’s a unique way in. So yeah there was a bit of, not a struggle, but you had to tick the right boxes in a sense so finding the right places that a) we hadn’t been to and b) the network were excited about, took a bit of time. But I feel like we got it.
Was there a particular place that left you speechless?
Honestly there were so many places. We got to go to the Japanese sword maker’s private sword collection, he handed me a million dollar, thousand year old sword! It’s kind of endless we went to the Roswell crash site which is supposed to be a secret location that only experts know about, the list kind of goes on and on with the cool things we got to do.
Did the idea for the show stem from the fact that your dad is a history nerd?
Kind of. It kind of popped up from a weird conversation with a fellow producer and she was like: “Hey would you and your dad ever do a history show together?” and I was like: “Well I would but he wouldn’t,” because he didn’t like working in TV anymore and it was kind of a fruitless endeavor to even try and go down that road. And so I kind of brushed it off and then time went by and I just so happened to be in the car with my dad and I got this email from her. She was going: “What’s up with the history thing?” and I just asked him: “Hey would you ever do a history show?” and to my surprise his response was: “Yeah that sounds like a lot of fun!” I didn’t expect that. One thing after the next and we sold it and I was like: “Oh ok I guess it’s really happening.”
This isn’t a typical history show with academics, its entertainment and a lot of the appeal is the chemistry between you and Ozzy. How did you guys get on for that length of time?
Listen any kind of road trip with any family member has its moments of: “Oh my God get me out of this car!” but you know because we had like responsibilities to it you couldn’t let it get to a point where whatever annoyed you bubbled up. Whereas you can be on a family vacation and just go mental at your family, you can’t really do that when you’re working together [laughs]. I’d say my part and he’d say his and we’d move on.
Did you have issues fitting filming around Ozzy’s tour commitments?
Yeah, that was the difficult part with the schedule because he’s touring with Sabbath right now and so it was either like: “We film for two weeks in October and then we can’t film again until March…” so it was a bit of a mad dash to try and get the filming in while we could and then my dad got sick at one point and we had to cancel some shoot days, just urgh! That was probably the most difficult part of this whole process.
In the first episode you visit Stonehenge and disappointingly no one makes a Spinal Tap joke!
You know what? We made tonnes of Spinal Tap jokes they just didn’t make the edit! [laughs]
But Ozzy’s fantastic stripey shoes did make the edit, is he regretting wearing them?
I thought they were hilarious and then just the timing [in the episode] where he’s been complaining about his shoes and the thing that lady says to him [laughs].
We also get to meet “King Arthur” in the first episode. Tell us about him, your dad was somewhat thrown by him…
Good old Arthur Pendragon! Quite a character, he’s definitely a good sport though. Arthur is… I’m trying to think of the most diplomatic way to say this… Hey hats off to him for believing what he believes in.
He genuinely believes all that stuff?
Yeah! He does believe that he’s Arthur reincarnated to this eco warrior. Because if you go back and look at history of what King Arthur represents, he claims to represent the same thing.
Do you feel any different now that you’re a Knight?
I feel like I could ride a horse better potentially.
You weren’t tempted to call up Guy Ritchie and dazzle him with you Knight credentials to get into his new King Arthur film?
I know! I’m a Knight of the Arthurian Warband!
Where did the idea come from to approach him to get your dad a “Knighthood”?
It came from a bit of a joke because obviously there’s some Stonehenge/King Arthur crossover and when we were researching Stonehenge we came across the story about “King Arthur” getting banned from going to Stonehenge because protesting a burial site and all this thing. I thought that was just too awesome to ignore. We reached out to him and he was up for it, up for being our tour guide of sorts.
Are you tempted to do a second series?
I would absolutely, we’re just waiting to see what the future holds for our little project so if everything goes well and the good people of the world keep watching it then the likelihood of us coming back would be pretty high.
Is there anywhere in particular you’d like to visit that you didn’t get to on this one?
We’re taking about doing a D Day episode, go to France in June and actually go to the anniversary because it’s supposed to be pretty fascinating. They have all the old boats and tanks. And we’d like to do a Viking episode because there’s an actual working Viking village I think in Denmark, we could hang out there for a couple of days. There are a bunch of things.
Ozzy and Jack’s World Detour starts on HISTORY on Sunday 18th September at 9pm.