Thursday 31st March 2005
I very much enjoyed the news report today in which Princes Charles, William and Harry were being interviewed by the press in Kloisters or somewhere. I hope you saw it too, it was fab.
Whilst William was making a good attempt to answer the questions with humour, Charles just sat in the middle looking old and sulky, occasionally chipping in a monosyllabic answer to a question, but only when it was directly put to him. It was more or less, but not quite,
"So the wedding's not far away, what are you thinking?"
But things started hotting up when Charles, perhaps forgetting he was miked up, or possibly forgetting how microphones work, started whispering asides to his sons about how much he was hating doing this and what idiots the press were. It was a magnificent display of rudeness and foolishness, but one that you couldn't help empathising with, mainly because it is a truth universally acknowledged that everyone who works for the press is a bloody idiot. So it's nice to hear that said on a news report, albeit very quietly by someone who had a whiff of idiocy about him.
But it got better, because this was the BBC report, from the BBC reporter Nicholas Witchell (who I have never fully trusted and who seems to be the personification of the word "weasly"), but after Witchell's question, Charles said something to the effect of "Oh, that one is just awful." Not only brilliant because it was true, but because Witchell had been forced to include the derogatory remark in his own news report. I had never seen Prince Charles as one of the world's natural clowns, but by playing this sour-faced grump who dared to whisper it like it was, he was really making me laugh.
Even funnier was then cutting to Witchell who had to wrap up his report. I'd have been tempted to make light of the remark (perhaps apologising to the viewing public for being shit at my job and tendering my resignation) or at least raise an eyebrow, but Witchell tried to carry on as if he hadn't just been dissed by a future king. Perhaps it was too close to the bone, or maybe the arrogant Witchell just assumed that Charles couldn't be talking about him. Or maybe he knew that at home millions of people were laughing in his stupid weasel face and reappraising their opinion of Charles. I had to wonder whether this was a sophisticated PR stunt to make Charles look like an angry cool comedian figure, whilst simultaneously showing William up to be a fine young man, more mature than his father.
The programme cut back to the studio where the newsreader (Darren Jordan?) made a very good show of not having been laughing his head off for the previous two minutes and saying "You are right Charles. That Witchell is a cunt!" I certainly would have made a jokey comment had I been him. Possibly just a muttered, "Awful" as an assessment of the work of my colleague. But then maybe he felt that he had been just as badly insulted by the Prince. Maybe he feared that now someone had dared to point out how rubbish and awful the press are that the whole facace might come crumbling down, like in some ironically reverse version of the Emporer's New Clothes.
I look forward to more muttered asides in the days to come and wish the Prince well for his forthcoming wedding.
I wonder if he googles himself.
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