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March 2019



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life on mars

Jubileewatch: what you may have missed

Photo from the Telegraph
Lots more pictures here.

Earlier this year, I filled in an online opinion poll which included questions about ‘what events you will watch on TV this summer’. The Thames pageant? Check. The Olympics? No. Wimbledon? Check. The Jubilee concert? Nah, the one they did ten years ago was embarrassingly awful.

As it turned out, the Thames pageant, though brilliantly organised, was rather disappointing. Some sunshine would have improved it. The next day, in spite of my misgivings, I was seduced into watching the concert, mainly because I wanted to see Madness perform on the Palace roof. The concert was a triumph of age over youth. Rolf Harris was much better at continuity than all the comedians were. These people are used to performing on the small screen, not working huge crowds; nor did they seem to know what sort of joke would be appropriate for such an occasion. I started feeling sorry for Prince Harry for the constant ribbing he was getting. Rob Brydon and Miranda were the best of the bunch.

There are stars and there are superstars. The latter were: Tom Jones, Elton John and Stevie Wonder, who cleverly reworked Isn’t She Lovely to suit the Jubilee. I cried my way through Your Song and later through All My Loving. Poor old Paul, he can’t really sing any more but he only needs to stand there and be looked at, really. Rather an indignity for him to be introduced by that terribly unfunny man whose name I can never remember. Not only did he get Paul's name wrong (surely any fule kno that it was John who was called Winston?) but said he was the greatest influence ever on popular music, so ignoring the towering figures of Elvis and Bob Dylan. Pity Madness didn’t sing Baggy Trousers but I liked ‘one’s house’.

You learned a lot watching the audience, although we could have done with more shots of it. The entire royal family, it seems, dotes upon Elton John. Princess Anne likes Stevie Wonder. The Archbishop of Canterbury loves every single person in the world and knows the lyrics of all the Beatles’ songs. It was rather a damper to be told at the very end that the Duke of Edinburgh is in hospital. Tsk, I knew he should never have stood up on a boat for all that time in the cold and rain the day before. Prince Charles spoke well and it was surprising to hear the crowd shouting 'Philip!' I hope it pleased the Queen.

If, like me, you’d been up at half past five this morning (I’ve had enough of this) you could have heard most of the concert music reprised on Radio 2, in its original form. Heigh ho, I still have my vinyl albums of Elton John and Songs in the Key of Life.
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I missed all of this - as indeed I've missed television for the last few weeks due to course work (I haven't watched my recorded episodes of Chelsea yet) but I'm going to see if I can watch this on iPlayer this afternoon. Thank you :-)
You'll find it very mixed! Elton John gave an absolutely stonking performance and Stevie Wonder was er, wonderful.
Ha! I do love Stevie Wonder. And I like a bit of Elton, too (A Single Man is my favourite) although I can't be doing with Candle in the Wind!
Surprised by how much I enjoyed the concert too! Like you wished for more audience shots. Poor you re. 5:30am waking! I notice that I've slept like a log since I've not been working and recuperating. So much so it's Miranda filling the kettle to make our morning cuppa that wakes me every morning. When I'm working though I wake constantly through the night and tend to lie awake from 5am on waiting for alarm. You though deserve good night's rest and 7:30am at the earliest wakeups!
Glad you enjoyed the concert! Yes, this early waking is grim and getting me down a bit. You need as much sleep as you can get, so it's a good thing you're sleeping well.
Excuse me, there were two concerts ten years ago, and one of them was extremely good! They should have done another Proms-style one instead of last night's dire effort.
Yes and the *classical* one was very good.
The rock one was terrible.
I loved the river pageant in spite of the dull wet weather although I recorded it as I was having a jolly good time at Highclere Castle on the day. I also thought the concert was terrific. I thought Elton rocked the house completely as did Robbie Williams and Madness were great.

I did wonder what Peter Kaye was on announcing Paul as Paul Winston McCartney. Idiot. Poor Paul, can't sing anymore and looked a bit plasticky. Tom Jones, on the other hand, looks and sounds fabulous. So does Burley Shassey :)
Oh, that's who he is. What an idiot.

I gather the pageant was much better watched on Sky. But I don't have Sky.
I heard some of it on the radio last night. I couldn't help wondering if this was really the sort of music the Queen liked, and I thought Prince Philip very clever to have had himself carted off to hospital.

Wouldn't you call Paul a superstar, in spite of his lost voice?

"One's house", haha! I missed that, probably because I was singing along. I love Madness!

Edited at 2012-06-05 05:24 pm (UTC)
Some unkind people have been wondering today why the Queen didn't smile more at the concert. For goodness sake, her husband had been rushed off to hospital and she probably didn't like the music. She looked simply marvellous at the end, when she came on stage and lit the last Jubilee beacon. This morning, she seemed such a lonely figure, arriving at St Paul's on her own, but she still smiled at everyone. What a trouper.

Oh Paul. He's more of an icon, hence my tears.
It ws better than I expected - hadn't intended to stay up until the end - and I missed the Prince Harry jokes - had heard earlier that HRH had gone into hospital - yes, that chant of "Philip" was touching
I didn't expect to watch it all, either. The lighting and the fireworks were fab. The comedians were rubbish.


I also found the river pageant rather boring, though an amazing feat of organisation, I'm sure. Dipped in and out of the concert as I was at a function that evening, but enjoyed everything I saw immensely (except Cheryl Cole's off-key singing). What a great atmosphere.


Ha, I missed Cheryl Cole, lucky me. Am shocked to find out how old Grace Jones is and have resolved to buy a hula-hoop.


This was a perfect, perfect piece of writing. How I loved reading it. There aren't words. Really.