Monday, July 02, 2007

An uneven thing: The Diana concert

There were two signs that, for all the claims it was a 'prefect tribute', that the Diana concert fell short of capturing the imagination.

The first was that it was so short of top-grade talent Elton had to be dragged in to open and close it; the second was that the anchoring was done by Jamie Theakston and Claudia Winkelman. Clearly, the BBC felt that shunting an entire day of programming off BBC1 was its duty done, but it sent neither Huw Edwards, so it was an event of national significance, nor Jonathan Ross, so it wasn't a major entertainment event, either. They did have Fearne Cotton deployed to stand backstage going "wow... fantastic", like Cassie from Skins; but Cotton, for reasons we still don't understand, seems to be on every live TV event telling us how "amazing" everything is - she did the final of Make Me A Supermodel, so her presence hardly confers gravitas.

We're only human, so couldn't stand the whole thing, just dipping in across the day. With each peek, there was something totally different from what was going on before - some Classic FM style opera-light; Tom Jones beating up the Arctic Monkeys; Donny Osmond, Jason Donovan and that Lee bloke from Any Dream Will Do having a Hartnell-Troughton-Pertwee momen; Rod Stewart - who we missed, but did see Fearne attesting to to how "fantastic" he was. It's not an unprecedented mix - it's reminiscent of Radio 2's Sunday playlist from about a decade ago - but nobody was expected to sit through that lot from start to finish. And even they get Jonathan Ross to do presenting duties.

The end fell astonishingly flat - the delightful piano-playing princes came on and demonstrated all the ease and comfort when talking to the masses shown by their father (you'd better get used to this, William - you're going to be doing the State Opening of Parliament in a few years) did some mumbling and then, instead of a big finish, there was, erm, some cine film of Diana doing handstands as a child. "This is how she would want to be remembered" - flashing her knickers for the camera, apparently. I know the idea was to make us think of what a terrible waste such a photogenic and energetic life was snuffed out in such a terrible way, but I'm afraid the effect was more "private swimming pools and high-quality cine cameras in the 1960s - didn't exactly have a hard life, did she?" It was noticeable that people were filing out of Wembley before the end.

They didn't even give her brother a chance to do a reprise of his funeral rabble-rousing; instead, he was tucked away, far from the microphones. It was a miracle they didn't have him sitting in a cage of visual metaphor. He didn't look like he enjoyed it, either.


5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Diddy blew me away... He had everyone on there feet singing and clapping.. It was great! I must say your articale is very poorly done sound like your your just a rude person. I loved what they did and the concert was great!

Franco said...

Anonymous: You must have had a great view from your dad's shoulders.

James said...

Isn't the correct response to the Diana concert simply to post a small Interflora card written out with the word 'WHY???'?

Cobardon said...

Was it just me or did the stadium feature huge empty swathes?

From the little I did see it seemed 9 parts glurge to one part music anyway.

Anonymous said...

The only one who looked like they were enjoying themselves, despite not being very good, was Jamie "Thank god I've been forgiven for running out of a multiple-hookers-in-a-dungeon session without paying" Theakston. Combine the podgy Sussex one with Fearne Cotton and Claudia Winkleman and the main message yesterday was 'the BBC has no one who can do live television broadcasts'. Or no one good enough yet daft enough to go near such a confusing mess. - E.

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