Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Coronation Would Lighten the Mood

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Coronation Would Lighten the Mood

Article excerpt

Byline: TOM GUTTERIDGE

THIS weekend, as George W Bush and the leaders of most of the world's economies scratched their heads to find a cure for the financial plague, as raging fires engulfed multi-million dollar homes in California and as England's rugby players were devoured by the Australians, I could have sworn I heard Eric Idle singing Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life.

Then I blinked and sure enough, there he was, emerging from a pile of dying swans on a stage in South London. In the midst of catastrophe and doom, Eric's chirpy little face shone through. And sitting in the audience, laughing with his subjects, was the future King of England.

I don't know if Prince Charles was looking forward to his 60th birthday: I've only four years to go before mine, and I'm certainly not planning any jamboree. Apart from the free bus pass, it's not the sort of milestone you usually want to celebrate. Charles has been hanging around all this time waiting for his first proper job, and there's still no sign of it just as people his age should be thinking of retiring. His sons' joke about them measuring up the stairs at Highgrove for a chairlift is probably a little too close to the mark.

So Saturday night's ITV show We Are Most Amused, in aid of the Prince's Trust, which brought together Idle, John Cleese, Robin Williams, Rowan Atkinson and a host of great stand-ups, must have cheered him up no end. Cleese has a home in Montecito, California, that must be covered in burning ash right now, yet he seemed pretty cheerful; so was Andrew Sachs who, despite his encounter with Russell Brand, rolled back the years as Manuel. It was a glorious romp. But what I found odd about the show was the comedy. You'd have thought that bringing together some of the world's best comedians and recording them during a week when the world is in turmoil would lead to some pretty cutting edge stuff. …

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