Intolerance: Channel Four: "Monarchy" Review

TV REVIEW by ROBERT McNEIL 'Monarchy' by David Starkey, Channel 4 'EastEnders', BBC1 DAVID Starkey - no relation to Richard Starkey (Ringo Starr), we presume - paradiddled some drivel about Henry VIII 'striding Inglind like an ageing Colossus'. Oh, boy. All that money from Channel 4 and all he can come up with are clich├ęs. Apart from which, would an ageing anything stride aboot the place? 'Monarchy' continued to bore the pantaloons off the lieges last night. Starkey appears to have spent most of his fat fee on over-expensive clothes, though in his old-fashioned frumpy outfits he comes across like Samgrass from 'Bridesead Revisited'. His exegesis this week concerned not so much the pie-faced cove with the big fat arse - by which I mean, of course, Henry VIII - but the controversial monarch's issue. Edward, aged 12, succeeded to the throne, and started writing considered epistles to the Inglish nation about the Pope being 'the true son of the Devil'. Fortunately he died, as people did in those days, a few years later. He was succeeded, or possibly not, by Lady Jane Grey, aged 16. I say 'possibly not' for, at this point, I'd lost the plot, probably due to sleep. Anyway, next thing, Mary was on the throne, in a succession that succeeded in leaving me numb. This was like watching the old 'Open University', only more wasteful of cash, and presented by a frumpy suit instead of a long-haired professor. But - to continue chronologically - in 1555, Mary started burning people alive, for reasons that need not detain us, and then there were rumours that she was pregnant with a monkey. She shuffled off, which was good news for Elizabeth, who declared on hearing the news: 'This is the Lord's doing. It is marvellous in our eyes.' Charming. After one loony Protestant and one murderous Catholic, Elizabeth sought a middle way for this nation of extremes, and so ended up with a church that was Protestant in doctrine but Catholic in appearance (folk wearing goonies and so on). In a surprising development, somebody Scottish turned up: Mary, Queen of that ilk. She wanted to stir up the whole Catholic thing again and so Elizabeth, quite rightly, bunged her in chokey for 20 years, then chopped off her heid. And that was the end of that. Oh Gawd, if only 'Monarchy' would end, too, preferably with several beheadings at Channel 4. It's lucky this tripe isn't on the BBC, otherwise we'd all be up in arms. Channel 4 may not waste our taxes but it's still supposed to have an obligation to the whole United Kingdom. Mind you, it's the Beeb that inficts 'EastEnders' upon an unwilling group of nations. Last night's wasn't in the usual format - that of cutting from character to character and crisis to crisis, with much greetin' and gnashin' of teeth. Instead, we followed several proletarian louts on a trip to France in a people carrier with bull-bars. They'd mastered their French: 'Fermie yer bush, mon sewer.' Sadly, however, English remained beyond them: 'This is going to be the longest short break I ever took.' The point was to look up Mickey's sister, Dawn, whom the chaps hoped might be attractive and not 'a bit of a minger'. She turned out to be the typical uppity burd 'de nos jours', flaunting her fuselage then scowling at the guys for gawping. 'Have you lot just got out of prison or sumfing?' she asked, as they sat quaffing 'Chateau de wotsit'. The humour centred on the lads being bleedin' fick but, being 'EastEnders', the show had to end on a note of misery about somebody's father not knowing his son: another succession doon the Swanee. 'Heir of misery blows from Hampton Court', Robert Mcneil, The Scotsman, 2005-09-27, Tu


Anonymous Anonymous said...

David Starkey is a know-all and annoying with it. Why is this irritating little man allowed to spout forth his personal rubbish and in such a patronising way on television? I have given up shouting at the telly when his programs are on. Oh the damage he is doing to those who actually think he knows something!

10/03/2005 12:23:00 am  

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