Posts Tagged With 'Regal nuptials'

TV Cream’s Royal Wedding Album, vol. 3

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Gwen Taylor and Princess Diana take their seats for the great day

So, after 1973 and 1981, to the third and final helping from our knapsack of nuptials.

This time it’s back to 1986 and yet another doomed union. Yes, who’d have thought that within the space of a year, Frank Bough and Selina Scott had gone their separate ways and would never appear together on screen again.

At least they managed longer than Andy and Fergie, who’d stopped talking within the week.

THE WARM-UP

The BBC unfurls the banners with the impressive sounding THE ROYAL WEDDING: LONDON PREPARES the night before, with all the usuals – Frank, Selina, Glyn Worsnip plus Mike Smith and Sally Magnusson – present and correct. Andrew Gardner’s back yet again for ITV, but this time with just a 15 minute round-up of “news”, and even that has to be shared with a peaky-looking Sarah Kennedy before…

A ROYAL TALK-IN?

Oh yes. Titled A ROYAL ROMANCE on ITV, it’s Andrew G’s second stab at playing relay with his BBC rival, who this time comes in the shape of Sue Lawley. The Beeb show it at exactly the same time, 7pm, but call it THE ROYAL WEDDING: ANDREW AND SARAH just in case you’d forgotten.

ORDER OF SERVICE

Thanks to the coming of breakfast television, BBC1 now has no qualms about opening up at the bleary hour of 6.15am and running uninterrupted with their simply-titled THE ROYAL WEDDING all the way through to 1.30pm. Then it’s NEWS AFTER NOON, the film LIVING FREE and, at 3.30pm, THE ROYAL WEDDING: HONEYMOON DEPARTURE. ITV conspire to wake up at precisely the same time, but with a TV-am: ROYAL WEDDING SPECIAL. At 9.25am the switch is thrown and the whole network judders into THE ROYAL WEDDING until 1.30pm. After the news and HERBIE RIDES AGAIN it’s the boringly-titled HONEYMOON DEPARTURE at 4pm, followed by another GIVE US A CLUE SPECIAL, which is at least a step up from last time round by also being the show’s 150th edition.

Permission to climb on board!THE TEAM SHEET

It’s the Beeb’s best ever showing: Frank, Selina, David Dimbleby, Valerie Singleton, John Stapleton, Mike Smith and Sally Magnusson, plus – no doubt getting in the mood via some festive apparel – Francis Wilson, Sue Carpenter and Bob Wilson. By contrast ITV roll out, yet again, Andrew, Alastair, Ronald and Sarah Kennedy, though the presence of TV-am mean Anne Diamond, Nick Owen, Gyles Brandreth and Gordon Honeycombe are also in on the act.

YOUR CHOICE OF VIEWING

BBC2 can’t be arsed, flinging out PLAY SCHOOL at 10.30am, Asian magazine GHARBAR at 10.50, THE PHYSICS OF MATTER at 1.35pm, CHOCK-A-BLOCK at 2pm and that’s it. Channel 4 don’t even show up until 2.15pm, and that’s with THEIR LORDSHIPS’ HOUSE and a typically arch bit of scheduling from Jeremy Isaacs, the film QUIET WEDDING.

DRESS TALK

The Beeb’s offering of fashion editor Sophie Hicks is utterly trumped by the folk at TV-am who have already spent the best part of the last year talking about Sarah’s dress and the whole of the past three years talking about the Royals. Despite the presence of Vogue fashion editor Drusilla Beyfus, Anne and Nick are in their element, chattering about Sarah’s outfit, the outfit of all the visiting dignitaries, and the outfit of Gyles Brandreth.

JOINING US FOR THIS VERY SPECIAL OCCASION…

Nigel Dempster gives us a “chance to meet the alternative Sarah and Andrew” by revealing the winner of the TV-am Royal Lookalike Competition; Godfrey Talbot recalls the first wedding he ever attended 190 years ago.

HORSE PLAY

None whatsoever. Neither bride nor groom being that way inclined, there’s a distinct absence of pony palaver. Martyn Lewis is hanging with the Household Cavalry, though.

WATCHING ALL THIS FROM AROUND THE WORLD…

is the complete population of the Falkland Islands, including “Prince Andrew’s many friends”, brought to order by a breezy Guy Michelmore.

THE FOLKS BACK HOME

Sarah’s village of Dummer in Hampshire boasts the celebrated presence of Valerie Singleton *and* John Stapleton, who are on the beat throughout the day and pop up in a special slot expertly titled ‘Dummer Delighted’. ITN’s Anne Leuchars does the same job for the other side.

OUR FRIENDS IN THE MILITARY

John Mountford is aboard Andrew’s sometimes stamping ground HMS Brazen. The Prince’s former commanding officer in the Falklands, the spectacularly named Ralph Wyes-Sneyd, has – of course – been snaffled by TV-am.

INTERESTING PEOPLE WITH A STORY TO TELL

Given Mike Smith is wielding the stick mike in The Mall, there are invariably many dozens of them, but all are instantly forgettable. Conveniently for us.

WHIMSY WATCH

Alastair Stewart is back in the Goodyear blimp. Frank introduces ‘The Abbey Awakes’, a behind the scenes peek at the life of the eponymous establishment’s one vacuum cleaner.

A TOM FLEMING FLANNEL FACTOR OF…

3/10. There’s no Tom for a start, his place usurped by David Dimbleby. There’s also a conscious limit on the all-round swagger and bluster, instead majoring on the cheap (the entire TV-am output) and the cheerful (Frank and co). Plus the presence of Sarah Kennedy means there’s loads of indiscreet gossiping, which is just downright irritating. But above all, where’s Wogan? His usual show will turn up later at 7pm, but they surely missed a trick not having him exchanging banter with wedding guests on a raised plinth in Trafalgar Square.

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TV Cream’s Royal Wedding Album, vol. 2

Posted in Cream over Britain by TV Cream | No Comments »

"Hats...so exciting!"

You can always trust the typing pool. Just days after we’d mentioned how TV Cream’s very own Peg and Kathleen were already hunkered down on the Mall, news of some impending regal nuptials duly arrived.

We’re not saying that TVC has its fingers on the pulse of the royal court (not least because there hasn’t been a pulse since 1688). Nor do Peg and Kathleen know someone who danced with the man who danced with the girl who danced with the Prince of Wales.

Instead, call it secretarial intuition. Plus the fact Kathleen once stepped out with the bloke who designed all those DIY periscopes that everyone used during Charles and Di’s wedding.

Speaking of which…

THE WARM-UP

As if to compensate for last time round, both the BBC and ITV push the boat out. There’s a NATIONWIDE special the night before, with Frank Bough on top of a tall building like a weathercock and all the gang hyping things up no end, including Richard Kershaw talking to kids in the playgroup where Diana used to work. A couple of hours later come the fireworks, brilliantly billed by ITV as THE ROYAL FIREWORKS AND NEWS to keep Alastair Burnet happy. Raymond Baxter covers the sparklers for the Beeb (“The Queen and twenty craned heads from other lands…bonfire built by Boy Skates”), Andrew Gardner and Selina Scott for ITV. Elsewhere A PRINCE FOR OUR TIME on BBC1 explains that: “Prince Charles is Colonel of ten regiments.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3neF05kUUak

A ROYAL TALK-IN?

Absolutely. HRH THE PRINCE OF WALES AND LADY DIANA SPENCER IN CONVERSATION WITH ANGELA RIPPON AND ANDREW GARDNER lasts only slightly longer than its title, and once more goes out on both BBC1 and ITV at the same time. “The four participants demonstrated various methods of looking uncomfortable in canvas safari chairs with high arm-rests.” – C. James

ORDER OF SERVICE

After clearing its throat with TOM AND JERRY and BUGS BUNNY, the Beeb’s day begins at 7.45am with the bluntly titled THE DAY BEGINS. Coverage winds on through the morning, segueing into the perfunctorily titled CARRIAGE PROCESSIONS AND MARRIAGE SERVICE. A break between 1.45 and 3.30pm makes room for the news and a wildlife programme, before a NATIONWIDE special, cursorily titled HONEYMOON DEPARTURE, runs up to 5.5pm and DISNEY TIME SPECIAL with Penelope Keith. ITV has the one programme called THE ROYAL WEDDING from 7.30am to 1.45pm, then it’s the film HIGH SOCIETY until 3.45 and, yes, HONEYMOON DEPARTURE. A “special Royal Wedding Day edition” of GIVE US A CLUE follows at 5pm that is in no way different from any other edition.

THE TEAM SHEET

The Beeb is distinctly underwhelming. Angela Rippon and Michael Wood are at TV Centre, Eric Robson, John Craven and Gillian Miles are mingling, and Tom Fleming is mithering. We have to wait until 3.30pm for the real deal: Frank, Sue L., Hugh Scully and Richard K. hosting a wedding party in the ‘WIDE studio.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvh48aRgRlM

It’s ITV who wield the really big guns: Andrew Gardner, Selina Scott, Alastair Burnet (now firmly ensconced back on the third channel), Ronald Allison, Peter Sissons, Jon Snow, Judith Chalmers, Leonard Parkin, Carol Barnes, Sandy Gall, Martyn Lewis… a suitably imperial line-up.

YOUR CHOICE OF VIEWING

Sod all. BBC2 opts for the same thing with subtitles (“so that viewers who are hard of hearing will not have to miss information and commentary”), though instead of the NATIONWIDE special there’s GLORIOUS GOODWOOD and PLAY SCHOOL.

DRESS TALK

Non-stop. Leonard Parkin is at it from the off: “She’s just peeped out of her window…the famous hairstyle…the Dress is in there.” Angie hastily follows suit – “We’ll be speculating on The Dress” – but it’s ITV who bag the Dressmakers and have Judith Chalmers to shout “That Dress, The Dress – I’m looking forward to it.” Eve Pollard tells Angie it will be a “Cinderella dress – real fairy-tale.” “Only two hours to wait now before we see That Dress,” rasps Andrew. “Ivory pure silk taffeta,” shrieks Eve when Diana is finally glimpsed. “Isn’t it a fairy tale?” shouts Judith.

JOINING US FOR THIS VERY SPECIAL OCCASION…

Nancy Reagan is very much looking forward to the wedding – “I certainly am. Isn’t everybody?”; Arthur Askey tells some jokes; Joe Loss and his Orchestra play a few of Frank’s favourite rumbas; Barbara Cartland tells Andrew, “What I believe in, of course, is Romance.”

The Queen Mother mingles with her subjectsHORSE PLAY

Even more than before. Alastair is seen booming, “Sir, what makes you play polo?” to which Charles replies, “I happen to enjoy horse activities because I like the horse.” “There’s Princess Anne,” continues Alastair, “who’s of course a tremendous expert on horses – she is a real expert on horses if ever there was one.” Sandy Gall reviews the mounted troops at Hyde Park Barracks. Tom Fleming observes, “Queen Elizabeth, like Prince Charles, loves horses,” besides once again demonstrating his Dr Doolittle credentials: “These bay horses look hale and hearty…and so, slowly, these horses find their way home.”

WATCHING ALL THIS FROM AROUND THE WORLD…

is everybody on the entire planet. NBC have bagged the best spots all along the route, according to a pissed off Frank, leaving the second best spots to the Japanese. “So exciting!”

THE FOLKS BACK HOME

Donny MacLeod gets under the feet of groundstaff at Balmoral Castle. Ian Wooldridge pokes his nose into Gordonstoun, Charles’s old school, before linking a montage of the Prince’s “sporting career”.

OUR FRIENDS IN THE MILITARY

All leave has been cancelled: the Red Devils jump into Caernarvon Castle, the Red Arrows fly down The Mall and Kay Alexander jaws with the crew of Charles’s sometime berth, HMS Bronington.

INTERESTING PEOPLE WITH A STORY TO TELL

Some good-natured buskers with hearts of gold; someone from Fuji TV has trouble saying “Royaroo famiree”.

WHIMSY WATCH

Herbie, an ostensibly notorious waiter from the restaurant Costello’s, relates an incomprehensible tale involving the previous Prince of Wales. “Zer banquet turned out to be a castastrophe for myself – zer soup went all over his leg, which he had to go inner zer barseroom and have it removed.” “Do you have a message for the present Prince of Wales?” “A present?” “No, a message.” “God bless zer Royal Family.” Meanwhile Alastair Stewart bags the seat in the Goodyear blimp.

A TOM FLEMING FLANNEL FACTOR OF…

10/10. “Once upon a time…” “What you will see now is no fairy story, but the story of two very real young people.” “Hats,” he says, as the screen fills with hats. As the bridal carriage passes St. Clements, he waxes about “the bells that say orange and lemons.” “Throw a handful of good wishes after them,” he closes.

Anne Diamond's breakfast reading

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TV Cream’s Royal Wedding Album, vol. 1

Posted in Cream over Britain by TV Cream | 4 Comments »

Sarah Kennedy and Janice Long, yesterday

Meet Peg and Kathleen, from the TV Cream Towers typing pool.

They’ve heard there’s to be a rather special announcement from the Palace during the next few weeks, and they’re taking no chances.

That’s right: the pair have already taken up position on the Mall and are busy toasting the happy couple with a warming brew from their Union Jack flask. Well done Peg and Kathleen!

As they continue their stout vigil between now and Christmas, we’ll be dipping into our ottoman of listings-related paperwork to see how TV and radio covered Royal Weddings of the past.

These were shamelessly lavish spectacles indeed, with a famous TV face posted every fifty yards along the procession route, battles over which side got to go in the Goodyear blimp, and Radio Times souvenir editions with illustrated maps, family trees and hymn sheets.

First up, back to the heady, strike-bound chill of November 1973 and the nuptials of Princess Anne and Mark Phillips.

THE WARM-UP

Disappointingly low key, as if neither the Beeb nor ITV had worked out how to do this sort of thing yet. It’s left to THE FROST SHOW to set the mood, with Dave chairing a lazy discussion on whether it’s all a big fuss about nothing and Angus Maude MP repeatedly telling him he’s wrong.

A ROYAL TALK-IN?

Most certainly. Setting a trend, the couple-to-be grant a minutely choreographed joint audience to Andrew Gardner (ITN) and Alastair Burnet (BBC) which goes out two days before the ceremony on both channels at the same time, and with the pair of hosts painstakingly divvying up the questions. “Are you looking forward to the day?” requests Andrew of Anne. “And are you looking forward to the day?” continues Alastair to Mark. “It was a mercy when an embarrassing point was abandoned so that a fatuous one might be taken up,” says Clive James.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZ9XGRZLAgg

ORDER OF SERVICE

Both channels kick off at 8am, the earliest either have ventured into breakfast time since the previous year’s Olympics. Given the fact the country was shortly to discover it had only two weeks of coal left, however, both bugger off around lunchtime.

THE TEAM SHEET

Alastair Burnet heads up a BBC first-eleven peopled by trusted NATIONWIDE regulars (Valerie Singleton, Bob Wellings, Fyfe Robertson) plus Cliff Michelmore, Michele Brown and tons of others. ITV’s Andrew Gardner struggles, having to multi-skill as both anchor and commentator. Where’s Reginald Bosanquet?

YOUR CHOICE OF VIEWING

There isn’t any. It’s the first TV royal wedding, dammit!

"Horses"DRESS TALK

Fair. Val specialises in the speculation, spending the first hour promising a glimpse of what the dress might look like, the passing the next two hours promising a glimpse of what the dress will actually look like. Far more effusive is the debate on what to expect by way of headgear, Janey Ironside being roped in to deliver a commentary on the pedigree of hats on display both in and outside Westminster Abbey.

JOINING US FOR THIS VERY SPECIAL OCCASION…

Some Miss World contestants, including Miss Australia (“I think, erm, it must be a nerve-racking experience for both of them”) and Miss Belgium (“I oper we will be seeing it on Belgian television”); author of 500 books Ursula Bloom; and a Japanese tourist (“Wedding! Japan!”)

HORSE PLAY

There’s fulsome foal-talk from start to finish, thanks to the happy couple having first spied each other across a crowded paddock. Alison Oliver, Anne’s trainer, testifies to the atmosphere before a big event being “quite tense”. Michele Brown interrogates a young girl as to whether Anne has too many privileges. “Yes.” “What privileges?” “Horses.” When the Household Cavalry hoves into view, grandmaster of the lip mike Tom Fleming intones: “For a bride and groom who have an interest in horses, this must be a thrilling sight.” Later, when the bridal coach pulls up back at Buckingham Palace, Tom supernaturally observes: “I’m sure those horses know that they’re home.”

WATCHING ALL THIS FROM AROUND THE WORLD…

is, aside from the population of Australia and, we oper, Belgium, nobody. There are no live link-ups with British colonies the other side of the globe, because it’s too expensive.

THE FOLKS BACK HOME

Cliff Michelmore talks to some bell-ringers in Mark’s village, Great Somerford, who think the 5,000 peals planned for the Abbey is piss-easy. They aim to double it. “You’re gonna doublet?” roars Cliff jovially, “I doan believe ya!”

OUR FRIENDS IN THE MILITARY

Mark’s tank crew is interviewed by Bob Wellings. “Is he, is he, does he, is he… popular?” “Yes.”

INTERESTING PEOPLE WITH A STORY TO TELL

A female spectator has been to 10,000 weddings. A girl thinks Anne is three feet tall.

WHIMSY WATCH

The Beeb show a montage of official wedding photos to the strains of When I’m 64. An astrologer proclaims that Mark’s perceived public image of dullness is wrong because “Leo and Virgo have complementary strengths.” Pete Murray tries to get record requests from the waiting throng.

A TOM FLEMING FLANNEL FACTOR OF…

7/10. A shot of Buckingham Palace elicits the observation: “Here is the bride’s home.” George VI’s statue prompts the reflection “perhaps he’s there in spirit.” “A few weeks ago,” the man ruminates as Mark’s mum and dad turn up, “people might have said, who are *they*?”

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