TV review: The Windsors, Channel 4
- Brian Donaldson
- 27 April 2016
A pitiful ‘parody’ of life down Buck House way
According to George Jeffrie, one of two writers on The Windsors, there was a clear aim behind the programme: ‘I'm hoping it'll bring down the monarchy’. Alongside the recent flop of the aristocratically lavish, vastly expensive, recently cancelled Indian Summers, there’s more likelihood of Jeffrie and Bert Tyler Moore sinking Channel 4. In 2016, soft targets really don’t come much more malleable than the occupants of Buck House and their various hangers-on (or in-laws). Should any of the regal types ‘parodied’ here deign to catch an episode, then there’s more chance of one’s shoulders being shrugged than a diktat getting swiftly issued for Jeffrie and Tyler Moore to be flung into the Tower of London.
If you were writing a sitcom about the Royal Family, would you have Harry coming over as a bit thick, Fergie being rather attention-seeking and Camilla as a cartoon villain? Of course you wouldn’t, as that would be way too obvious; though maybe you could go down that road and put a spin on it somehow? Not Jeffrie and Tyler-Moore as they do the obvious and a whole lot less, such as making Edward out to be a lost soul with an empty diary, having William as a square-jawed helicopter hero and Pippa enjoying people constantly gazing at her ‘fantastic arse’. And most incredibly of all, the Duke of Edinburgh is, wait for it, a little bit racist.
The best you can say about The Windsors is that there are some decent impersonations on display, led by Harry Enfield’s take on Prince Charles. It’s certainly gratifying to see some upcoming Fringe comedy acts landing parts, such as Ellie White and Celeste Dring as the all-too predictably shallow Beatrice and Eugenie while Katy Wix has a blast as their tragically pitiable mum. But, sadly, all the talent on show are let down by a woefully predictable and utterly laugh-free script. Off with their heads!
The Windsors starts on Channel 4, Fri 6 May, 10pm.