The BBC is celebrating 70 years of trying to destroy the Queen. Will they succeed?

By Abigail Pennson, our reasonable, plain-speaking middle-class columnist slightly to the right of Hitler

FOR as long as any of us can remember, the BBC has sworn to destroy everything great and good about this country. So of course they began with the Queen. 

From the day of her coronation they began their assault. The decision to broadcast it to the nation was a deliberate attempt to tear away the public’s natural reverence by exposing the Royals as ‘people’. 

Instead it backfired: the young Elizabeth II looked so marvellously regal, such a divine example of monarchical perfection, that the nation realised that television might be better than radio after all. 

Frustrated, and forced to put off broadcasting outright pornography until the 1970s, the BBC struck again with a 1969 documentary purporting to show the day-to-day life of the Royals. 

It’s been banned ever since at the Queen’s request because it was unimaginable filth. Shown in lurid colour, instead of stately, respectful black-and-white, I am reliably informed that it featured sodomy, blasphemy and unacceptable levels of sexual degradation. 

Three-quarters of the nation watched it. Most are now, not coincidentally, dead. It joins BBC shows like The War Game, Scum, and everything by Dennis Potter on the banned list. It must be truly vile, and no wonder she was ashamed. 

But even that filth had a positive effect. Seeing the Queen in colour, so gamine yet steely even if she was naked and bloodied, persuaded the whole nation to change into colour to follow her example. And eventually Thatcher was elected.

What came next? It’s A Royal Knockout, a humiliation which directly led to the collapse of the marriages of the Princess Royal, Prince Andrew and Prince Charles in that order. Though it did at least cause Edward to realise the gay thing was just a phase. 

And, of course, Martin Bashir’s sewer-dredging 1995 interview with the Princess of Wales, only obtained by his pretence to be the late Mahatma Gandhi. 

This weekend? We’re told the Platinum Party at the Palace is a tribute. Really? When it features Stefflon Don and Diana-apologists Duran Duran? Nonsense. It’s another attempt to kill her. 

One which I don’t doubt that, like Godzilla over Mothra, she will once again triumph. It is the BBC that will die. The Queen? She’ll be going double platinum.

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Let's move to the set of Bridgerton built by the slave trade! This week: Bath

What’s it about?

Home to Roman Baths, stunning Georgian architecture, and an unparalleled ability to ignore its links to the slave trade, Bath has truly earned its World Heritage Site status.

Jane Austen lived here briefly and hated it. But if you like narrow streets clogged with dawdling tourists taking photos every six feet, you’ll love it.

Any good points?

Bath is unrelentingly nice. The Royal Crescent is nice, the red-chino-wearing residents are nice, even the McDonald’s on Southgate Street is a posh colours so as not to disrupt the regency charm. The downside to all this niceness is that moronic fuckers flock from all over to marvel at how nice it is.

Some of these idiots come to taste Bath’s delicious selection of ales. Others are so stupid they visit the shitty Frankenstein museum, or watch a film on the Little Theatre Cinema’s out-of-focus screens.

But if there’s one thing they all have in common though, it’s that they make the city centre a fucking nightmare to get through quickly at weekends.

Wonderful landscape?

Just like everything else in Bath, its natural surroundings are pissing gorgeous. Nestled in the Avon Valley and girdled by gorgeous limestone hills; beautiful trees bend over all of its streets; and the river Avon has a relatively small amount of raw sewage pumped into it on a daily basis. It makes York look a shithole.

There are also a wealth of parks free to sit in and think ‘Christ, this is a nice place’. But that’s it. That’s the peak of experiencing nice things. Everywhere else in the country will be shit in comparison, so you’ve only got disappointment and misery to look forward to. Thanks a lot, Bath, you scenic dickhead.

Hang out at…

Bath is a high-functioning alcoholic’s paradise. No matter who you are there will be a pub to suit your needs. Are you a curmudgeon trapped inside an old man’s body? Look no further than The Star Inn. Or perhaps you’re a trendy dickhead who likes folk music, in which case head to The Grapes. Even people who hate Keir Starmer will find a home in The Raven.

There’s loads of cultural shit you can do like visit the Fashion Museum or the Recreation Ground or that house on the Circus which has creepy Victorian dolls in the window, but why bother? Even visiting a shit pub like the Cork is a better use of your time.

Where to buy…

You can’t buy in Bath. You haven’t been able to buy in Bath since 1798. You can rent a bedsit in Oldfield Park and say you live in Bath or inherit a mansion on Great Pulteney Street from your slave-trading forebears. There’s no middle ground.

From the streets:

Tom Booker, 33, underbite possessor: “Bath has lots of amazing qualities, but the best thing about it was in 2020 when the Christmas market was cancelled due to Covid. Those tacky huts selling shit like wooden ties really get in the fucking way.”

Mary Fisher, 45, tour guide: “This is where those people from that Netflix show you wanked over shagged. That’ll be £50, please.”