Here’s to the Baron of Carrick

Posted: May 5, 2011 in Uncategorized


So, have we all started to recover from the “big do”?

My own experience of the wedding was slightly tainted by self-induced exhaustion. The misreading of a recipe led to the commencement of bread-making last night at about 10pm. Once proving, kneading, proving again and cooking had all been accomplished, it was close to 2.30am and the early morning coverage kick-off looked worryingly close.

The bread seems to have been a success. Thanks for asking.

In any event, we staggered, bleary-eyed out of bed this morning at some unGodly hour to watch the BBC wall-to-wall account of the wedding of the year. I understand that ITV may also have been fronting some sort of Who Wants to be a Celebrity X Factor Got Talent Royal Wedding thing but decided to give it a wide berth. Frankly, whether at times of crisis or circumstance, I just don’t trust ITV/UTV for the news. Judging by my Twitter perusing, nor does anyone else.

The whole thing seemed quite splendid. The frocks were broadly acceptable. The Bride looked well and didn’t fall over, or get her vows wrong. All parts of the Kingdom were apparently nodded at through inclusion of shamrocks, thistles, daffodils and roses on both frock and cake. Princesses Anne and Beatrice/Eugenie (no one can say for sure which child of Andrew’s is which) decided to abandon the fashion stakes and instead play the dressing up game for laughs. The ceremony concluded just before William lost the last of his hair and the final three or four strands are now being mounted and will be displayed in the Royal Mews later in the year.

Lest the tone of the above gives any impression to the contrary, I should say that I genuinely enjoyed the whole thing and wish them all the very best (I’m sure they’ll read this….)

What I was slightly surprised at was the manner of the BBC coverage. As I have said, I always feel bound to turn to the Beeb when looking for the big stories. I have heard others say that they would sometimes watch the ITV news and then check the BBC “to see if it is true”. A sentiment I share.

In times gone by, the nation would turn to a gravel-voiced dimbleby (I deliberately do not capitalise the word, as I refer to the generic type and not the specific family) to inject a further hint of gravitas to an event of import. This time, the chosen front man was Huw Edwards who seemed to variously flirt with and talk over a stream of fairly mundane guests and D List celebrities. The whole thing had an element of Children in Need about it. You know what I mean. Presenters that have been told that their job is to engender enthusiasm and who then act as if they are back in secondary school on a “No Uniform” Day at the end of Charity Week.

Journalism seems to slightly go out the window and instead we are treated to outside broadcasts from every hole in the hedge with even the faintest whiff of a royal connection. This time, pubs were on the agenda – particularly as they were able to locate a couple styled “The Duke of Cambridge”. Initially this seemed a reasonable enough idea. At 11am, the patrons were able to give a decent account of themselves. By about 7pm, it seemed that they may be slightly over-emotional.

Meanwhile, other outposts round the country were also being beamed into our homes, increasingly showing scenes of alcohol induced camera-leering and tuneless National-Anthem-singing. Not desperately edifying, truth be told.

When we weren’t being “treated” to street parties, we were being provided with endless interviews with semi-coherent, half-asleep crowd members. Adding insult to injury, some of these exhausted revellers had to suffer the indignity of being interviewed by Fearne Cotton. No-one should have to put up with that. Those people had been there for hours. They had suffered enough.

I suppose the malaise that concerns me is the “dumbing down” of the coverage. The presenters no longer present. Instead, they offer their own opinions, about which I care not one jot. When they aren’t doing that, they are elicitng similarly worthless opinions from random passers-by. A favourite this time was to ask primary school aged children whether they had enjoyed it. I do not need to know whether they enjoyed it. I suspect that even their own parents probably don’t care whether they did.

I am greatly looking forward to the Jubilee celebrations next year and will again be avidly glued to the TV – and more than likely the BBC – if I can’t be there in person. Since the Queen seems to be studiously avoiding my repeated Facebook requests for friendship, it seems that I am unlikely to become Baron Newtownards any time soon, so viewing from a distance is likely the only option. I only hope that the Beeb can up their game just a wee bit by then


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