Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Wake up. Before this, and this, and this, and this. Ahhh, that sound. People in Britain and Ireland woke up like this. That's right, being an alarm clock used to be a job and they were called Knocker Uppers. We're traveling back in time for this one, so let's get a historian in here. Do I sit here, or...? - Yup - Yeah, fantastic. Oh, sorry I'm late the Knocker Upper didn't call. Good one, Richard. My name is Richard Jones, and I'm an author on the history of London. OK, let's see if we got this right. - From the early 1800s to the 1960s, waking people up was a paid job? - Yes. And this was done with a bamboo pole? Oh yes, most certainly. This is the age where people started to work in factories. They've got to be up early for their shift. And, of course, most people are on minimal wages. They haven't got alarm clocks in their house, consequently, there's no one to wake them up. So that's where the knocker up, or the Knocker Upper came in. See, in big industrial cities like London, Birmingham and Manchester, Knocker Uppers used poles to reach the windows. And these poles had a hook or knob at the end, which made them pretty effective. You could scratch that handle, a bit like nails going down a blackboard. Wakey-wakey. Other Knocker Uppers, mostly women, used peashooters to aim at the windows. Oigh! Or not. But why not just shout? - Wake up! Wake up! - Shhh. - Uggh. - Well, you do have to keep the neighbors in mind. So the big question is who knocks up the Knocker Upper? The evidence suggests that the Knocker Upper just didn't go to bed. Sometimes the Knocker Upper might attune himself to be able to wake up at three a.m. Aggh, mystery solved. Yay! Play us out, Richard. We had a knocker up and our knocker up had a knocker up. And our knocker up's knocker up didn't knock our knocker up. So our knocker up didn't knock us up. 'Cause he's not up.