Danger pretty girl alert! Sound the old goat gaffe siren for our fruity Prince Philip
21:05 GMT, 17 May 2012
Prince Philip — aka the Duke of Edinburgh, aka Fella Belong Mrs Queen — is a salty character and no mistake.
Yet for 60 years he has served this country well.
Plodding around behind the Queen, being her supporter, her comforter, her metaphorical handbag holder, her go-to guy for just about everything.
Zip it, Philip: Council worker Hannah Jackson and the Prince after his latest faux pas
Now and again, perhaps, it must be a difficult and frustrating job for a man of his capabilities and energy.
He is always a number two, he is never first in the queue. From his very existence for all these years, we can glean that being a consort is a sort of con.
Yet he never complains. Chin up, medalled chest out, don’t moan. Stand up straight, be nice to the natives, keep smiling. And over the decades, his royal cragginess has had trouble with only one of those strictures.
Good peasants and subjects of the realm, can you guess which one it is
Prince Philip’s latest jaunt on the blunder bus took place this week on a Diamond Jubilee Tour walkabout with the Queen in Bromley, South London.
All was going well until HRH spotted council worker Hannah Jackson in a red frock with a zip up the front.
Gaffes: Prince Philip's latest joke follows a long list of famous gaffes in the past
Danger, danger! Pretty girl alert! Someone sound the gaffe siren. Where is the chloroform pad when you need it
Too late. The Duke’s eyes started whirling. He had to say something.
Anything! So instead of stating the obvious to Miss Jackson — has anyone ever told you that you look remarkably like a blonde Samantha Cameron — he went into full blown, Benny Hill fruity mode instead.
Turning around to a nearby policeman, he joked: ‘I’d get arrested if I unzipped that dress’.
In the pantheon of Philip gaffes, it wasn’t too bad. It’s not exactly up there with slitty eyes, telling the President of Kenya he looked ‘ready for bed’ in his national dress or asking the dance troupe Diversity if they were ‘all from the same family’.
Also, I don’t suppose he meant any harm. Grandads say and do things like that, don’t they Chuckle, chuckle, oh the old boy’s a card!
The Prince is from another generation with a different set of social values; they don’t always understand the quiet horror that greets their cheery bon mots.
Yet really — after all this time — shouldn’t he know better And at the risk of sounding like a purse-lipped royal killjoy, I have to say — I’m appalled, I really am.
What was he thinking It was an awful remark to make about a blameless girl in a receiving line.
Even worse than the Duke was the lead-head cop at his side who snickered along at the ‘joke‘ as if it was the funniest thing he had ever heard.
What I am thinking is this. A young woman who has done well for herself, who has dressed in her best outfit, who has turned out smartly and crisply to meet HM the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in her official capacity as schools and transport coordinator for Bromley Council deserved to be treated a little better by those who should know better.
Certainly, with a little more respect, for a start. Chivalry would be an added bonus, but warmly accepted.
I know Prince Philip is 109 going on gaga. I know he had his ‘usual twinkle in his eye’, which is always the euphemism trotted out when he says something coarse and inappropriate. But this is not OK, OK
‘I’m not sure really what to say,’ said Miss Jackson, after her encounter with the Duke.
Well, I’ll say it for her. Pipe down, you old goat.
Don't give gritty roles to Glamazons
Too perfect: No downtrodden peasant ever looked like Aygness Deyn
Can the glamazons of today authentically portray women of the past
I am beginning to wonder if the sheer perfection of their 21st-century physicality rules them out.
Even the very recent past is a stretch. Look at Nicole Kidman, who is in Berwick-upon-Tweed this week, making The Railway Man.
The film adaptation of the best-selling book written by former prisoner of war Eric Lomax is due for release next year. Colin Firth stars as Lomax, while Nicole plays his wife, Patti.
Of course, Colin looks at home in any era. Grow his sideburns, stick him in a muslin blouse and he is the perfect Mr Darcy of early 19th-century England.
Give him a pipe, a mustard sweater with leather elbow patches and he is post-war man personified. It is different for girls.
On set, Patti Lomax’s clothes were period perfect. Yet Nicole’s easy athleticism, her Pilates-toned bod, her big strong legs, her perfect dentisty, her milk fed skin, her suspiciously smooth forehead — they scream 2012.
They are much, much harder to camouflage.
Women just didn’t look like that in pre-1990s Britain. Very few of them even look like that today.
Over the past few decades, the shape of our bodies has changed inexorably — our faces are different, too.
We can access dental perfection, gyms, better diets, nail technicians, good hairdressers, fillers, boosters, dermabrasion specialists, you name it.
What we can never be are hardscrabble peasants with one tooth who have never even seen a pot of La Prairie and whose hands are raw from milking the goats and harvesting carrots.
So why is Agyness Deyn even trying
The 29-year-old from Manchester is one of the world’s top models. Her face is a kind of icy perfection.
She is all pale, angular charm, with jutting limbs and a slightly alien mien.
So 2012: Can Nicole really depict a lady of the past when she looks so little like women pre-1990
She is also a budding actress, even if the only role she seems naturally suited for is Venusian Goddess. Or Peter Pan In Space.
Yet earlier this year, Deyn appeared in a West End play. ‘I’m taking baby steps,’ she said, of her nascent acting career.
Is she really No, of course she’s not. Agyness has just been given a plum role in a major new project. She will play the lead character Chris Guthrie in a film adaptation of Sunset Song, the 1932 Scottish novel by Lewis Grassic Gibbon.
Set against the rural poverty of north-east Scotland, the story follows the adventures of Chris — farmer’s daughter, farmer’s wife, reaper and sower of misfortune.
Yes, 6ft blonde bombshell Ag is going to be a natural in this tattie howking tale. Not.
Of course, she may surprise us all and win an Oscar. Yet it would have been a lovely role for a talented young Scottish actress to have, rather than a Gucci model.
If the directors couldn’t find one, they weren’t looking hard enough.
Still. At least the job didn’t go to Kirsten Dunst, whose name was first mentioned in connection with the project. Dunst!
Another sign that it is all getting out of hand, casting-wise. I’m getting tired of international glamazons with ostrich egg biceps and neon-brite smiles being parachuted into roles of our snaggle-toothed peasantry. Give a local girl a chance!
Becks' briefs encounter with Obama
Presidential treatment: David Beckham showed off his facial hair as he met with U.S. president Barack Obama this week
The luxuriantly moustachioed David Beckham, pictured right, took his victorious LA Galaxy team to the White House this week.
They were shown around and congratulated by President Obama for winning the Major League Soccer championship.
Beckham was also teased by the president. ‘He is tough. It is rare a man can be that tough on the field and also have his own line of underwear,’
said Obama, in his engagingly relaxed way. What a great moment for Beckham. Once he was just a little boy from Chingford who wanted to be a footballer when he grew up.
Now the Walter Raleigh lookalike is feted by presidents and poses on billboards in his unfeasibly bulging underpants.
He’s a great guy. A credit to us all. But may I raise one batsqueak of hairy criticism
May I say to him what I say to myself when looking in the mirror. Baby, those whiskers have got to go.
Sex, drugs and so long to (very) Blue Peter
Revelations: Johnny Ball revealed this week that claims many of those in children's television in the Seventies were on drugs
P-ting! What was that A tiny pang of sympathy for Richard Bacon.
In 1998, the broadcaster was sacked as a presenter of Blue Peter following newspaper reports he had taken drugs.
After revelations this week, we now know that almost everyone working in and around children’s telly at the Beeb had been drugging and fornicating and misbehaving for decades.
Former Play School presenter Johnny Ball claims they were all as high as sticky-back plastic kites for a great deal of the Seventies.
He said that two of the show’s stars were once ‘stoned out of their minds’ before filming a nativity scene. Hey, where’s the Jesus dude, man
Elsewhere, dressing rooms were regularly used for the kind of trysts that would have shocked both Big Ted and Little Ted.
It makes you think twice about why Andy Pandy was always climbing into the laundry hamper after Looby Loo. I always did have my suspicions about that.
Following a drop in popularity, Blue Peter is soon to be shunted off from BBC1 into the realms of CBBC and CBeebies, along with all the other children’s shows.
I suppose we should be grateful that generations of kiddies weren’t taught how to French kiss or make crack pipes out of egg cartons and wire coat hangers on the show.
Still, it is a shame it’s going.
Someone crept up to their front door in the middle of the night and poured petrol through the letter box. Someone struck a match and threw it in. And soon afterwards, six little children lay dead or dying in their beds.
As Mick and Mairead Philpott were overwhelmed with grief over their lost children at a Press conference, the nation sympathised.
Then we asked ourselves — what kind of person could do such a twisted thing And what could possibly be their motivation Mr Philpott was well known locally as the father of 17 children by five different mothers.
He had appeared on The Jeremy Kyle Show.
The likeliest murderous impulse seems to have stemmed from some form of corroded jealousy. Or rage about the amounts the family received in benefits.
Either way, it is vicious and wicked beyond belief. Just when you think humanity couldn’t stop any lower, there is always someone out there to surprise you.
Scientists at Oxford University have suggested that statins should be given to everyone over 50.
The risk of heart attack or disease could be cut by a fifth, they say. It would cost 240 million a year, but presumably save money in the long run. Whatever, it would obviously make somebody, somewhere very, very rich.
Just one small question. What are the long-term effects of taking statins over a sustained period Oh that’s right. NOBODY KNOWS.