TV Cream

TV: U is for...

Urbi et Orbi

ANNUAL RESURRECTION ROUND ROBIN from His Holiness, piped live into living rooms at 11am sharp on Easter Day. Important enough for whatever would normally go out mid-morning on BBC1 to get temporarily ex-communicated and forced to take sanctuary on BBC2 (even if it’s the Grand Prix). Beatific enough to go out without a translation. C of E types regularly unsettled by double whammy of a) something on telly in a foreign language and b) something on telly in a foreign language to do with a religion that’s not theirs. Granted, Urbi et Orbi (or ‘This and That’) is not really designed for television, consisting as it does of a static shot of an old man reciting a lot of Latin in front of a million people in Rome. Nonetheless when the Beeb dropped it temporarily a few years back, a rift in the space-time continuum opened up in Cardiff Bay, thereby answering Stalin’s question: how many divisions does the Pope have?



  1. johnnyboy

    April 3, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    So that’s why the Malaysian GP is split between BBC1 and BBC2 tomorrow.

    What’s more important to watch I ask, super-quick cars spinning off in a torrential downpour with David Coultard jumping to every lightning bolt around (guaranteed to happen, by-the-way), or a bloke going zero mph on a balcony seemingly doing the ironing. License fee and paying, now duly mentioned.

  2. johnnyboy

    April 5, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    OK, it way bone dry in Sepang, but rained heavily in Rome.

    Sue me 🙂

  3. Mark

    April 14, 2010 at 1:23 am

    Shame they had to move the Grand Prix coverage in mid stream. As an alternative, perhaps they could have shown the Urbi on BBC2, then have the Orbi on BBC1 after the race?

  4. Danforth

    April 15, 2010 at 8:48 am

    Hahaha 🙂

    Still, changing channel mid-race had a Creamy appeal of its own; you don’t see it often on telly these days. Pressing the red button just isn’t the same.

  5. Richard16378

    April 25, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    For the less than clued-up the name might sould like it had come from some obscure European animation.

    Think “Urbi Et Orbi – from the makers of Ovide Video”

  6. Joanne Gray

    February 28, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    And it DOES get translated. It used to be James Naughtie, now there’s someone different doing the same annoying trick of speaking over the Holy Father, supposedly telling the viewers and listeners what He is saying, thus ensuring the Faithful never get to hear His voice. He even speaks over Him when he gives His multilingual greetings to the world. As someone who speaks several languages, and likes to hear and SILENTLY translate what the Holy Father says to His people, I find this voiceover deeply irritating.

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