COUCH POTATO: Right Royal waste of time

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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.”

“There will be no cameras inside.”

“You can’t witness very much of it. It’s all happening behind closed doors.”

Short of Prince Phillip on a unicycle 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 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.”

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, with human calculator Paul Harrison: “Seven godparents in total. William had six, so there are more than William had.”

And events commentator Alastair Bruce, who owns the time-filler-extraordinaire trophy: “We’ll be outside the christening, feeling very much the atmosphere coming out of the walls.”

“The photographer will be taking photographs.”

“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.

Kate’s biographer Claudia Joseph brought it back from the brink, telling 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 had, it would have made the christening pass a heck of a lot quicker.


David Mitchell and Robert Webb’s new “comedy” Ambassadors.

I’ll be diplomatic.

It’s a steaming pile.


This week’s Couch Potato Spudulikes...

Boardwalk Empire. Sky Arts 1’s Prince: Sign O’ The Times. Brody’s Homeland return.

BBC4’s The Great Hip Hop Hoax. (Watch it on iPlayer, homies.)

Strictly Come Dancing and, hilariously, Great British Bake Off tonking X Factor in the ratings.

BBC2’s Iceland Foods: Life In The Freezer using the Lone Ranger theme tune for the horsemeat scandal. (Hi-Yo, Silver!)

Phoney opinion peddler Katie Hopkins discussing sexual harassment on Sky News Sunrise: “It’s never happened to me. But that could be because I look like a horse.”

And Alex Jones gloriously telling Leo Sayer, hawking his 162-song CD box set on The One Show: “Some people would say is so much Leo Sayer too much?”

It is. About 162 songs too much, to be specific.


This week’s TV Culinary Expert award goes to...

This Morning’s Phillip Schofield after a roadkill cooking feature: “When you swallow fox it has a mild taste of foxiness about it.”

Hey, whatever you get up to behind closed doors is your own business, Schofe.


Channel 4 sent Mark Evans to the Himalayas to solve the identity of the Yeti, in Bigfoot Files.

“Is it a bear? Giant ape? A member of the human family?” he asked.

A bear, I answered.

Evans: “Could it be a hoax? Or a wolf?”

A bear.

“A monkey?”


If you don’t believe me, listen to Oxford University Prof Bryan Sykes: “The DNA is a perfect match with an ancient polar bear.”

So, a bear then.

Evans: “The Tibetans perhaps knew it all along. A translation of this 300-year-old manuscript reads, ‘The Yeti is a variety of bear’.”

Do bears s*** in the woods?


Monday’s Jeremy Kyle Show topic: “Are you with your mum or in bed with other women?”

I’d no idea they even did a Norfolk special episode.


Monday, 9pm, TLC. My Naked Secret: “Cheryl has suffered facial paralysis for 30 years.”

Explains why she can’t sing.

Ohhh, a different Cheryl.


Voice of the common woman Joan Collins empathising with ex-prisoners discriminated against finding work after release, on The One Show: “It’s like the Shawshank Redemption. When Morgan Freeman came out, he couldn’t get a job.”

Honestly, the woman doesn’t live in the real world.

Because it didn’t do Morgan Freeman any harm in Invictus, did it?


Toast of London?

It’s brown bread.


This week’s Couch Potato Spuduhates...

EastEnders’ writers, via David Wicks, thinking chippies sell curly fries.

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’s letting a heavily pregnant woman work herself unconscious into hospital.

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!


C4’s Was It Something I Said host David Mitchell asked Jason Manford to complete this Hugh Hefner quote: “My best pick-up line is...”

I’m alone on my phone, get your boobs out, luv?


Compare and contrast.

James Arthur in The X Factor audience before last weekend’s flash vote: “I love Kingsland (Road). Big fan of Kingsland.”

James Arthur in The Xtra Factor studio after Kingsland Road were placed bottom in the flash vote: “My favourites were Tamera, Hannah and Rough Copy.”

Funny that.


Gold’s first original comedy You, Me and Them.

None of the above.


New horror game show Release The Hounds is on ITV2 tomorrow night, featuring crucified scarecrows, a creepy deserted cabin and a pack of foam-mouthed dogs chasing contestants.

But it’s also hosted by Reggie Yates. So I’m off for a week.

Column returns in a fortnight.