One of the oldest running gags emerged in 1992, when Merton revealed that his greatest achievement at school was a CSE in metalwork – at the level of ungraded, the lowest possible mark.

The tongue-in-cheek class war between the two captains also often sees Merton 'imitate' Hislop with a fake upper class voice, and ending every sentence with "...don't you know?". In the commentary on the original Best of DVD, Merton states that he had a conversation with Stephen Fry about what Fry called "this stupid metalwork thing", and had trouble convincing him that it was in fact true that he had never achieved anything academically higher (in reality Merton left school with two A Levels).

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