COUCH POTATO: Royal christening is non-news fest
6:02pm Friday 25th October 2013 in News
Wednesday’s royal occasion, from St James’s Palace chapel royal, was a private affair for William and Kate’s closest family and friends.
Even before dawn, the reporters told us so.
“They’re keen to keep this very intimate.” “You can’t witness very much of it. It’s all happening behind closed doors.”
“We won’t get to see it.” “There will be no cameras inside.”
Short of Prince Phillip shouting: “Nothing to see here,” through a megaphone, it couldn’t have been more obvious.
Small details like that, of course, don’t trouble the modern beast that is rolling TV news, something of a personal obsession for me, whose correspondents had camped out for three weeks for Prince George’s birth.
The christening by comparison was a splash and dash.
Not that it felt like it.
So little happened in view of the crews that Sky News resorted to playing a slow-mo replay of Kate, on a loop, emerging with the baby.
At one point, BBC News got carried away with the day’s importance and had this on-screen caption: “Breaking News: Royal God,” having pressed return on the keyboard before finishing the word “godparents”.
And the tripe that flowed freely from everyone’s mouths could have fed a dog rescue home for a year.
C5 Newstalk Live’s Emma Crosby: “George is a real cutie. I expect he’s taken everyone into their hearts, don’t you think?”
Not sure, Emma. Depends what on earth you’re on about.
ITV’s Alastair Stewart: “Eve (Pollard), we took the baby out from the Lindo wing together and we’re now preparing for the christening together.”
Security should really stop them.
BBC’s Nicholas Witchell frantically scrambled for names: “There’s Jamie Lee Bing... erm, er, er, erm, William’s private secretary, erm, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton.”
“The two significant godparents are er, erm, erm, er, the, erm, woman who was a friend of Diana.”
“Zara Tindall strictly speaking isn’t a member of the Royal Family because she’s not an HRH. But she is Duke of Windsor.”
Which probably came as a shock to Wallis Simpson.
On days like this, though, Sky News tops the lot.
Over to time-filler extraordinaire Paul Harrison: “Seven godparents in total. William had six, so there are more than William had.”
“The godparents will be here at the christening.” You dare say.
But not even he can match events commentator Alastair Bruce for sheer nonsense: “We’ll be outside the christening, feeling very much the atmosphere coming out of the walls.”
“The photographer will be taking photographs.”
“The font will be quite close to the altar.”
“A bus is arriving, probably with many of the godparents inside it from Kensington Palace.”
Either that or the 185 service to Lewisham is seriously lost.
There was a modicum of sense from Kate’s biographer Claudia Joseph who told Kay Burley: “William likes to do some things his own way with a bit of tradition thrown in.
“So he hasn’t thrown the baby out with the bathwater.”
Though if he did, it would have made the christening pass a heck of a lot quicker.
This week’s Couch Potato Spudulikes...
The Wrong Mans
Prince: Sign O’ The Times, on Sky Arts 1.
Strictly Come Dancing and, hilariously, Great British Bake Off tonking X Factor in the ratings.
BBC4’s The Great Hip Hop Hoax.
Homeland hitting form again with Brody’s return.
Sky1’s Karl Pilkington: The Moaning Of Life, with the welcome absence of Ricky Gervais.
BBC2’s Iceland Foods: Life In The Freezer using the Lone Ranger theme tune during its section on the horsemeat scandal. (Hi-Yo, Silver!)
Phoney opinion peddler Katie Hopkins discussing workplace sexual harassment on Sky News Sunrise: “It’s never happened to me. But that could be because I look like a horse.”
And Leo Sayer, hawking his 162-song CD box set on The One Show, gloriously told by Alex Jones: “Some people would say is so much Leo Sayer too much?”
About 162 songs too much, to be specific.
This week’s Couch Potato Spuduhates...
Woeful C4 sitcom Toast of London. It’s brown bread.
David Mitchell and Robert Webb’s new “comedy” Ambassadors which is, being diplomatic, a steaming pile.
Gold’s first original comedy You, Me and Them. (None of the above.)
EastEnders’ writers, via David Wicks, thinking chippies sell curly fries.
C4’s Bigfoot Files taking an hour asking: “Is the Himalayan Yeti a bear?” to reach the answer: “It’s a bear.”
Psychic Sharon Prasad sticking her neck on the line on C5’s Royal Babies with the bold prediction Prince George will be: “Really well liked.”
X Factor’s Caroline Flack telling two-thirds of girlband Miss Dynamix: “Sese’s health is very important to all of us.” So important, in fact, that the show is letting a heavily pregnant woman work herself unconscious.
And This Morning’s Alison Hammond telling Britney Spears: “I’ve got your perfume on. I’m actually wearing you today.”
Run, Britney! Run for your life!
On that note, I’m skedaddling for a week. Column returns in a fortnight.