It’s time for the second look back at this week in TV however this time it’s all about the royal wedding and the programmes related to Kate and Will’s big day in some way.
After a boozy birthday celebration for my friend on Saturday night I suddenly realise its Sunday and its officially the beginning of Royal Wedding week, I did want to go to the chemists to get some antibiotics to treat me for my royal wedding fever unfortunately it being Easter Sunday everything is shut. Thankfully Channel 5 were broadcasting a treat which would treat both my hangover and my need for Wills and Kate-related media as they aired the world premiere of William and Kate: The Movie.
Yes readers you heard right this was a whole film based around the love story of Miss Middleton and the heir to the throne. Shot in 19 days and most of the principal filming was completed in Los Angeles and it shows how they ever thought they could get away with passing the Hollywood Hills off as Scottish university St. Andrews is beyond me. Obviously the casting was quite ad hoc but at least to play Kate they got someone who was born and educated in her home county of Berkshire and Camilla Luddington’s credits speak for themselves including playing Uppity Guest #2 in the 2009 T.V. movie Serving Time and more recently appearing in the U.S. sitcom Friends with Benefits as Woman. Despite her English upbringing Ms. Luddington can’t seem to shake off an American accent especially in the early scenes where she arrives at St. Andrews and must endure every woman in her art history class drop their pencils when they see Wills. Talking of William he is portrayed by New Zealander Nico Evers-Swindell who seems to have a better grasp on the English accent than his female co-star. His C.V. isn’t as long as hers but it is equally impressive with roles like Messenger in Guiding Light and Blonde Russian in NCIS: Los Angeles and here’s me thinking that was a cocktail. The film itself presents a real-life, 100% accurate depiction of this royal romance, do you remember when William serenaded Kate on a skiing trip with an interesting karaoke number or when Kate got jealous over William’s relationship with girls who were more suited to the royal way of life? Although what they have included isn’t as obvious as what they’ve left out for example Camilla doesn’t once appear despite being married to Charles for most of the film and she is only mentioned once, Harry is also only featured in one scene which is surprising seeing as the story seems to see William and Kate attending an extraordinary amount of parties. The fact that Camilla doesn’t appear means that whenever Charles has a little chat with Kate it almost seemed that he was hitting on her, the other reason Camilla doesn’t appear is because there is a lot of mentions of Diana obviously because the Americans love her. Talking of how Americanised the film is there is a hunt scene that takes place in and around the mountains of Hampshire and the Americans idea of what our British tabloids look like is also quite interesting. I also have to mention ‘that dress’ that Kate wore at the student fashion show which was sort of a see-through number which is transported into very expensive lingerie in this movie.
Of course the whole thing was atrocious and I probably would’ve switched it off if I had been on my own luckily I had a friend with me and together we mocked intensely and had a good laugh. Judging from the chat about this film most people have watched it which means we could be in line for a sequel, fingers crossed hey?
BBC1 aired a documentary called Kate and William: A Royal Love Story which actually confirmed a lot of the stuff that happened in the movie was actually true down to Wills being an awful cook. I managed to sit through all of this mainly because no-one could find the remote after Eastenders had finished.
But the main event on Monday was Channel 4′s The Royal Wedding Crashers. Obviously Channel 4 being the only major broadcaster not to air the Royal Wedding, sorry Mr. Desmond Five doesn’t count, they had an anarchic week starting with this show which was part Trigger Happy T.V. and part a dumbed-down Brass Eye. Hosted by Lee Kern, no I’ve never heard of him either, the show saw him and other mates tell so-called celebs like Andrew Stone, Stuart Baggs the Brand and Faye from Steps that they’d been invited to the Royal Wedding. They obviously had to perform humiliating tasks and also agree to do things like donate bone marrow and blood if members of the royal family needed it. Other celebs dressed up in costumes such as Mario from Big Brother 9 as a prawn, Jodie Marsh as a bee and Brian Belo as roast lamb. Although there were some humiliating moments there was also some touching moments Craig Philips gave an impassioned message to terrorists not to attack the wedding and I’m sure this message had something to do with death of Osama Bin Laden. Jedward also popped up warning the royals about the dangers of uncooked meat it seemed ludicrous that the reception would be having a barbecue but in the end they were greeted with vans serving bacon sandwiches so I wonder if the proprietors of these vans heeded the twins’ warning. Kern also participated in other stunts such as trying to get a medium to contact the Queen Mother to see what she thought of the wedding and also getting a guy to dress up as a beefeater and then puke when tourists wanted to take a picture with him. Most of The Royal Wedding Crashers was very puerile there was none of the fun that Trigger Happy used to have but as always it is good to see the true face of what some people consider ‘fame’.
ITV1 is airing a documentary tonight William and Kate: A Tale of Two Lives however I fear that I may have already taken in most of the information about the couple in what I’ve watched this week.
Instead BBC4 is repeating Royal Wedding the comedy drama about a Welsh street party for Charles and Diana’s nuptials. I did watch this last year but with cracking performances from Jodie Whittaker and Darren Boyd it deserves another viewing and I can’t be doing with too much actual Royal Wedding coverage tonight.
It seems like two days before the wedding is time to add a bit of historical background to the royal wedding starting with Giles Coren and Sue Perkins re-enacting several weddings of the past. After spending several years tracing eating their way through history it seemed inevitable that Coren and Perkins would bite the bullet and get married. To research their faux royal wedding Sue and Giles looked at certain historic weddings. Henry VIII was in here of course but there was also George IV’s marriage to Caroline of Brunswick and Queen Victoria’s son’s, later Edward VII, union with Princess Alexandria of Denmark. George and Caroline’s wedding was selected as Caroline was allegedly very ugly and wore too much make-up and George had lots of mistresses and at the wedding the priest left an extra-long time when waiting for someone to object. Meanwhile Edward and Alexandria were the first couple to get photographed on their wedding day which was a perfect opportunity for Giles and Sue to pose for a long time while saying words like breasts and flip so they kept their smiles intact. They also anticipated what a big deal the balcony kiss would be, a tradition that started with Charles I, so they re-enacted themselves with Sue only letting Giles kiss her veil because I’m guessing she was worried that he would turn her. But this being The Supersizers pair the programme would be nothing without a meal of royal favourites surrounded by a bunch of historical experts. Dishes included Crème de riz a la royal a guinea fowl soup that was a favourite of Queen Victoria, sturgeon that was served at Edward II’s wedding and the Queen Mother’s favourite dish a sort of seafood cocktail with eggs that was served at the weddings of Prince Anne to Mark Phillips and of Prince Andrew to Fergie, both of these marriages ended in divorce could it be the eggs? Quite possibly. Thinks were rounded off with celebration jellies which were present at Edward and Alexandria’s wedding which were decorated with his royal crest and her country’s flags. Perkins was also presented with her own ice-cream based dish served on an ice sculpture of two dogs, I wonder what ice cream dessert Kate was presented with, I hear that choc ices were served post-party maybe this is the 21st century version of this centuries-old tradition. I’ve always been a fan of Giles and Sue’s quirky style and this was all done with tongue-in-cheek it was informative and funny and I enjoyed it.
The history continued with the return of David Starkey to serious programming after bullying fat children on Jamie’s Dream School. Although I don’t know how serious he took his new assignment on Channel 4′s Kate and William: Romance and The Royals in which he tried to find correlations between the relationship of William and Kate and previous relationships of royals and members of the general public. Starkey set the tone in his pre-amble describing Kate’s hometown as being somewhere where Midsomer Murders could be set, which is wrong for a start as her local shopkeeper Mr. Patel is Asian and indeed attended the wedding, as well as describing Kate herself as ‘a commoner but not common’. This time Starkey focused on several marriages starting with that of John of Gaunt to Catherine Swinford who although not of royal lineage was still well-educated. Swinford was the great-grandmother of Henry VII and therefore her line is traced all the way to our present day monarchs. Then there was Edward IV’s relationship with Elizabeth Woodford a meeting that started with attempted rape but ended with true romance. Queen Victoria was presented as the first monarch who hated arranged marriages however on meeting Albert she fell in love and the marriage lasted until his untimely death. William and Kate also have a shared education both being privately educated before meeting at the same university, here Starkey compared this to the relationship of Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn who both had similar educations being sent away to study abroad and therefore had shared experiences. Thankfully we live in a society today where William can never order the execution of any of his wives. Starkey’s tone throughout is very sarcastic he chastises the media who have tried to depict Kate’s family as working class as he goes on the Middleton’s website to order wedding-themed memorabilia. But I think his point was to prove that if there is love in a royal marriage, and he believes there is between William and Kate, then it will last. The programme ends with a sweet message in which he hopes that the tabloid intrusion won’t ruffle the feathers of the new prince and princess and wishes them well, obviously being an inspirational teacher has softened him somewhat.
As we all know, Channel 4′s biggest hit so far this year has been wedding themed so there’s no surprise that Big Fat Gypsy Weddings is back for a one-off special to mark the big day. The traveller’s favourite dressmaker Thelma Madine is back but this time she is planning the entire big day. The bride-to-be is 23 year old Mary who is marrying Paddy, who we never see as he thinks if his face is seen on screen it will stop him from getting work, a man she is truly in love with but a man she has never lived with. I won’t bore you with rehashing what I’ve said about this programme in the past and about the traveller customs read the blog about the show if you want more on that. Instead this programme tried to drop in as many references to the royal wedding as possible so hen asked what was harder planning a Gypsy Wedding or planning a Royal Wedding Thelma answered a gypsy wedding because people will fall over themselves to help at a royal wedding. Also I doubt that one of the venues discussed for Kate and William’s big day was an animal sanctuary which is where Mary and Paddy are due to be married after they are turned away from all the available hotels due to discrimination from the owners. When Thelma and Mary go to see the venue they are worried that the cats and dogs will be around but the owner assures them that that won’t be the case, I don’t know what the big deal is as one of my friends weddings was interrupted by a peacock. Also the dress, which like Kate’s is a closely guarded secret, has a hem that would stretch across a small village and is accompanied by a tiara encrusted with 30,000 crystals which in itself is an arduous task for Thelma’s small team of unhappy looking workers. The cake was also a joy to see a 24 foot masterpiece which was shaped like a horse and cart which seemed like a struggle for the bakers that were being used but would be a doddle for Duff and his team on the brilliant Ace of Cakes. Mary and Paddy’s wedding is certainly bigger in terms of dress and cake but I’m guessing it won’t be better than Kate and Will’s. What confused me most was the date, Thelma was looking for venues for the 15th but when she was asked by the production team what she would be doing the next day she said watching the royal wedding. Whenever it was set, Big Fat Gypsy Royal weddings was exactly the same as all of the other programmes in this series tacky but extremely watchable.
In the words of Rebecca Black, ‘Friday, Friday, Gotta get down on Friday everybody’s looking forward to the weekend’. But in fact for most of us the weekend had begun and instead we were looking forward to the wedding, wedding. I woke up early, too early in fact, but I wanted to make sure that my nan had the royal wedding footage playing when she woke up. For the first hour I was forced to watch Huw Edwards with enthralling footage of the set-up of street parties, live correspondence from Buckleberry and Edith Bowman freezing off her ass getting the unenviable task of appearing live from St. Andrews presumably because she’s the most photogenic Scot employed by the beeb. However it was Formula 1 host Jake Humphry who had the best job circling around the wedding area and doing live correspondence. I breifly turned over to see what Philip Scofield was doing but wasn’t that bothered so switched back to see the riff raff arrive at Westminster Abbey including Mr. Patel the shopkeeper, the Buckleberry butcher and the local pub landlord. Most of us wouldn’t invite our local shopkeepers to our weddings but as Kate and Wills are a royal couple who are down with the public these people had to be there and let’s be honest they had seats to fill. At 9am I switched over to my main channel of choice for the day E! Entertainment. An American entertainment channel wouldn’t be the first choice for most of you but then I like irreverent style broadcasting and this had it in droves. E! news host Guilannia Rancic was the only American allowed to do the main coverage and she was joined by our very own co-anchor Dermot O’Leary providing his own brand of wit to the day. They were joined by some fashion lady and Angela Rippon who was the royal expert but surely they should’ve hired her Rip-Off Britain co-star Jennie Bond as she was the royal correspondent at one time before she went to the jungle with Johnny Rotten and Jordan. As much as I enjoyed the E! coverage I didn’t really want to know what people were saying on Twitter and Facebook and needed something to switch over to. Luckily, Five presented me with an alternative in The Wright Stuff royal wedding special in which staunt republican Matthew Wright had bought on Christopher Biggins in a fascinator to regale us with anecdotes about Shirley Bassey singing at Joan Collins’ wedding and Dave Gorman’s stories about appearing from a trapdoor at his own wedding.
Of course I could only watch The Wright Stuff for so long and switched back to E! when my mum joined me to watch the wedding. There was no objections to the American channel’s coverage of the event as she is a big fan of the Rippon. The fashion coverage added an extra edge apparently Chelsea Davey was very elegant but Samantha Cameron would surely be charged with treason after not wearing a hat which was clearly stated women had to do on the invitation. My favourite head-wear moments were Tara Palmer-Tompkinson’s Avant-garde blue number and Princesses Beatrice and Eugiene’s ‘hats’ which were maybe a protest for their mum not being invited, come on all she did was sell some royal secrets I’m sure other people in that Abbey have done worse. As Rowan Atkinson arrived I briefly worried that the palace had booked the wrong Rowan to conduct the ceremony and we would be treated to a sermon similar to the one that the former Blackadder gave during Four Weddings. But the Archbishop was there as Kate arrived looking elegant in her dress flanked by loads of random royal kids and her incredibly attractive sister. Random thoughts from the wedding – lots of close-ups of Elton John and his partner David Furnish I’m guessing because they were the only proper celebs invited into the main bit of the abbey, an uncomfortable looking Nick Clegg who seemed to have too much about the AV vote on his mind to bother singing all the hymns properly, Kate’s dad managed to get through his reading without stuttering once and also remarking that The Queen doesn’t join in the National Anthem presumably because ‘God Save Me’ would seem a bit self-centred. I also enjoyed the random filling as the wedding party went to sign the register, shots of David Beckham looking vacant, nothing new there, Prince Philip suddenly becoming animated and asking The Queen where they were and Mr. Patel complaining that he couldn’t see anything as T-P-T had sat in front of him. During this period I also flicked over to the news channels past Eamon Holmes looking dejected that no-one was bothered about Sky News, to Piers Morgan being the token Brit on CNN but best of all token republican network Fox News’ token brit was Diana’s ‘Rock’ Paul Burrell presumably filling up the air with Diana memories for those Americans and Daily Express readers who still wanted to hear about the people’s princess.
As the royal party left The Abbey for The Palace we followed the throng of on-lookers and royalists who were doing the big pilgrimage from one venue to the other. I felt sorry for the people who had to work around Westminster but had their local bus-stop inundated with general public members who wanted to glance at the royals. Despite this being a Bank Holiday, the bus which I believe was a Number 2 was still running, something that would never happen here in Staffordshire where the bus drivers can’t even be bothered to work on New Year’s Day bloody skivers! Anyway we had the lovely balcony kiss which was a little peck however we got the second kiss which everybody went crazy for. After the event lip-readers are said to have worked out that Wills romantically told his bride – kiss me and then let’s give him another one, at one point he also turned to his brother and told him ‘now it’s your turn’. Whether he wanted his brother to kiss him or he wanted Harry to hook up with Pippa Middleton is beyond me but I don’t think the Ginger Prince needs any encouragement to kiss any random girl in sight in that respect he takes after his father, whoever that is. Talking of Pippa a lot of the coverage seemed to be about her in that lovely dress and whether her and Harry did in fact hook up at the reception which I bet Chelsea Davey loved but as she is always credited she is his ‘on-off girlfriend’. I also love the picture on the left as the tiny bridesmaid seems to be doing an impression of Karen from Outnumbered to be fair she’s stayed quiet long enough and deserved some food even if it was the Queen Mother’s Eggs. As 2pm came my mum broke out the champers, or the Morrison’s Cava at any rate, as any excuse for a drink. We did miss Wills driving his dad’s car but according to ‘experts’ this was a nice touch but I personally wondered if he’d been drinking to steady the nerves and if it was a good idea to drink if he was over the limit especially with all the police around.
In the afternoon I heard a street party unfortunately it was one street over and I wasn’t invited so instead I had to live vicariously through the four contestants on the special Royal Wedding Come Dine with Me. For the first time ever on Come Dine With Me the prize fund was £3,000 but this was because it was to be split between the host and the friends who had helped them set up their respective street parties. First off was common-as-muck Samantha who had proper old fashioned knees-up complete with jellied eels and sing-a-long. Then there was first-class air hostess Claudie who obviously styled herself after Kate’s mum Carole also an air hostess at one time. Then there was the blokes Caribbean born entrepreneur and general royalist-type Vincent presented food from his home country but he struggled to find guests and it was a rather drab affair even though they did do an odd Conga-style dance called Follow the Leader. I couldn’t help but think that Vincent was actually Derek from Big Brother 6 in disguise but he may have actually been at the wedding as he’s mates with Camilla. Finally there was much-married flirty, dirty cad Johnnie whose hosting skills were great but he got a bit too drunk and he had to leave most of the cooking to his helpers which angered the other guests. It was a nice touch to have a royal wedding themed episode of Come Dine especially with the Street Party theme but it would’ve been ever better for announcer Dave Lamb to make an appearance here as he, in my opinion, is voice-over royalty. After Samantha won Come Dine, Davina McCall teased that a newly-married couple would be contestants on that evening’s Million Pound Drop. For a minute I thought it would be William and Kate as that’s how the monarchy was being funded now but it was actually a couple who’d nipped out from their reception and were returning after they’d appeared on live T.V. to be fair they won £25,000 which to be fair is up there with an Argos Voucher in terms of wedding day gifts.
How was you royal wedding week in TV? Leave Your Comments Below
Next Week: Exile, The Shadow Line, Vera and Psychoville