Column: November 17, 2010

IT’S always a pleasure to take the old FutureScope 5000 off the top shelf in the kitchen, next to the George Foreman grilling machine (or grill), and give it a whirl.

I rarely use it these days, as I have enough trouble keeping up with TV programmes which have already been on without worrying about programmes yet to be broadcast, but I couldn’t resist getting a sneaky peek at next year’s Royal Wedding.

You see, I missed the groom’s parents’ wedding in 1981 as I was away with the Cubs on the worst holiday of my life. I won’t go into detail, but I have not been able to zip a sleeping bag all the way up ever since, nor hear the words “corned beef hash” without running to the toilet.

So I was determined not to miss a SECOND of this Royal Wedding. And I’m delighted to share with you the transcript of David Dimbleby’s commentary, which I painstakingly wrote down. If you don’t want to know the result, look away now…

“And just look at the crowds outside the Palace. Some of these people have been there for days in their tents, camping out, just to get a glimpse of Prince William. Sorry? I’m just being… Oh, I do apologise. The people in tents are homeless. Familiar sight of course, in these days of austerity.

“And that spirit of austerity is reflected very much in the tone of today’s wedding, designed to be just like the wedding of one of the Queen’s subjects. Is that, is that? Yes, the Royal Family emerging from the Palace. The Prince of Wales leading out a horse. No, I’m sorry, that’s the Duchess of Cornwall.

“The Duke of York … The Princess Royal… The other one.

“Now the groom himself, with his best man, Prince Harry, the events of the stag evening, when the younger brother tied the naked Prince William to an actual stag and led him through the streets of Edinburgh, no doubt forgiven, if not forgotten.

“And here, Her Majesty, with the Duke of Edinburgh. Now, what are they doing just hanging around? Oh, yes. Here comes the minicab. An Asian driver. Charles steps in between his father and the driver, a fine diversionary tactic.

“Oh, but he hasn’t noticed Prince Harry, speaking to the driver good-naturedly. The driver is saying something back. He’s driven off. We apologise to our deaf viewers for that. They’ll have to wait for another cab now…

“Now, at Westminster Register Office, we’re just waiting for the bride. And she arrives, in her long white stretch limo. Out step the bridesmaids, the Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. Beatrice’s dress has an exceptionally bulging skirt, most unusual. Four feet? Ah, the Duchess of York is hiding under the skirt. I dare say she won’t make it past security. Now the bride, resplendent in her Florence + Fred dress, donated by Sir Terry Leahy. A shame we won’t be able to go inside, but the BBC now only has two cameras and the other one’s being used for EastEnders…

“Now the Royal party emerges, the Prince and new Princess. A kiss… and then straight into the minibus to the reception at The Queen’s Arms, which is, at least, appropriate…

“The strains of Build Me Up, Buttercup echo from the pub as Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands arrives. The door opens. Ah, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry popping out for a crafty fag.

“And here’s David Cameron. What’s that in his hand? Ah, a bottle of lemonade and a packet of crisps. Proceeding to the Prime Ministerial car. The window winds down. He hands the lemonade and crisps to Nick Clegg. Then rushing back in for New York, New York…”

The FutureScope 5000 stops at this point, offering only the odd fragment about the unused party-poppers being gathered up and stored for the Olympics opening ceremony. Still, it’s good to know that we have something to look forward to in these straitened times.

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