Ian Collins is Leading Britain's Conversation.
I've always heard the phrase "life of Riley" and I wanted to know, where does that come from?
Mark, Hyde Park
Name: Andrew, Greenwich
Qualification: Heard it someone once
Answer: It goes back to the 1900’s, Sydney Riley was a character in a lot of musical songs. He was a man who comes into some money from the song by Pat Rooney that was popular in America in the 1880’s.
Name: Jamie, Peckham
Qualification: Didn’t know it was spelled Riley
I think it comes from Walter Raleigh, he was having an affair with Queen Elizabeth and he committed crimes and was left off because of his relationship with the queen.
Name: Peter, Willingham
Qualification: Might have heard it
Life of Riley phrase comes from a double agent for the allies and for the enemy, I can’t remember his first name but I think it was riley.
James: You are flat out wrong.