The Windsors: Royal Wedding Special – Channel 4, Tuesday
It all begins with the writing, yes, which is a sharp, joyous, satire but it’s the performances that make it especially compelling.
Incidentally, if it’s not already required viewing, I suggest an exhausted Royal Family dump the bloated, po-faced, Crown (Netflix) and gather around a cherished cathode ray tube tonight for a catch-up and a good giggle.
The Queen and Prince Philip rarely feature in the comedy, so they can have the biggest laugh, and do some finger pointing – “Oh, Eugenie..! You’re so amusing, what?”
But back to the acting.
Let’s start with “Harry veteran” Richard Goulding, who has superbly created a plummy, harmless, loveable chump in Harry.
“Absolutely top bird!” chortles the Prince about his new catch, Meghan.
It also helps the characterisation when you’re asked to ease yourself (back) into a Nazi uniform. Didn’t he look smart in it? Of course, Harry has now moved on…
The couple were then asked by an interviewer about how well they were getting on. Meghan (Kathryn Drysdale) said they’re finishing each other’s sentences, to which Harry said, “I hardly ever finish a sentence now…” Priceless.
The Windsors is back on Tuesday for a Royal Wedding special.
But there’s something extra special about the trio of Fergie, Eugenie and Beatrice, with Katy Wix, Celeste Dring and Ellie White respectively.
You could argue that there’s not much to work with here, but the two Princesses carry it off with flair: “We’re doing a wedding fashion vlog, and it’s got nothing at all to do with Harry and Meghan’s wedding!”
Oddly enough, all the actors make the characters seem very likeable while milking them for laughs.
Quite an accomplishment.
I think there should be a spin-off, in a mockumentary form, Harry And Meghan: We Care Too Much, touring the world with them as they undertake their important charity work.
But where does the series go now?
Everywhere, obviously. I think there should be a spin-off, in a mockumentary form, Harry And Meghan: We Care Too Much, touring the world with them as they undertake their important charity work.
That should keep us occupied for a couple of decades. Bravo!
The Chelsea Flower Show is approaching fast, so time for one of those fillers in the herbaceous border of TV, The A-Z Of The Chelsea Flower Show (BBC One, Sunday).
It was co-presented by comedian Jennifer Saunders who actually did a fine job and can come back any time.
I confess I didn’t make it to the end of the show because I had to water the garden but it was a fine sweep of everything you need to know.
I was particularly impressed with two flower buyers who, on a 24-hour trip to Italy, managed to buy 450 plants in eight hours.
Don’t get behind them at the easyJet check-in.
The A-Z Of The Chelsea Flower Show is on BBC 1 this evening.
But the most striking moment was meeting a Chelsea Flower Show judge, who casts his eyes over the blooms in the Pavilion while wearing a fetching bowler hat.
My faith in the world is restored.
Suddenly ITV loves stripping shows across the week.
It was Millionaire, with Jeremy Clarkson, the previous week and last week it was the turn of Innocent (ITV, Monday- Friday).
Written by Chris Lang of Unforgotten fame, the drama had many of his hallmarks: a strong story, real characters and a touch of the gruesome.
Of course, we’re meant to like that now, a touch of darkness with our drama.
For me, it’s a look-away moment.
Still, it was a well made and engrossing drama with some fine acting from Lee Ingleby, in the lead, Daniel Ryan as his brother and Herimone Norris as Ingleby’s sister-in-law.
Lang knows how to tell a story well – an overlooked art.
Meanwhile, Ingleby might have been freed after seven years but he had the odd anger issue to contend with.
ITV stripped ‘Millionaire’ with Jeremy Clarkson last week.
Still, who wouldn’t? He was also quite good at breaking into houses to surprise people who still thought he was in prison.
Nice party trick! For some reason, this drama was made 18 months ago and hasn’t been shown until now.
You work it out.
ITV would never do that with Midsomer Murders (ITV, Sunday), which is heading towards its 20th anniversary.
All those bodies, in one county, and Inspector Barnaby still firmly ensconced in his role.
Even the channel announced it as the “most dangerous county in England”.
Has Barnaby thought of introducing some crime prevention strategies?
First, it would be advisable to ban all future Jane Austen weekends at stately homes.
Only an Agatha Christie sleepover could be worse.
Of course Barnaby’s wife has now taken to writing historical fiction – a Georgian romance – on top of her apparently stressless role as a head teacher of a local school and looking after a very demanding performing pooch.
Having it all, eh? This brought her to the stately home in question where she and Barnaby, with sidekick Winter, donned fetching costumes to catch the killer.
All they got in return, however, was a mad woman with a shotgun.
With guest stars including some of our best actors, Clare Skinner and Sam West, the episode wasn’t short of talent but the script had an ending straight from the Scriptwriters Politically Correct Handbook, which has now been widely distributed to producers at ITV.
On the upside, it gives writers a wider selection of characters to draw on with even more improbable endings.
Can Midsomer Murders get even wackier? Barnaby in epaulets may only be the beginning.