THE French priest who gave Princess Diana the last rites as she lay dying in hospital has condemned TV drama The Crown for scenes that recreate the lead up to her fatal crash in Paris.
Father Yves-Marie Clochard-Bossuet says: “Their filming is commercially driven, and they are simply interested in attracting as many viewers as possible.”
Yep, that’s the name of the game. But here’s the thing: Viewers don’t have to play it.
But we always do. And we will again.
Mark my words. Despite the widespread criticism and the online message boards flooded with virtue signallers saying how disgusted they are by The Crown’s exploitation of Princess Diana, her marriage breakdown and subsequent death, the majority of them will still watch and it will be “trending” within hours of series five being released next week.
Consequently, it will likely become one of the highest-rated TV shows on the platform this year.
Which, considering our online lives are monitored and driven by algorithms feeding us what we want to eat, wear and watch, means that more of the same real-life tragedy programming will be commissioned to feed viewers’ obvious desire for it.
In the UK right now, the highest-rated show is The Watcher, a drama based on a real-life instance of a couple hounded out of their home by an evil letter writer who even targeted their children.
In second place, after several weeks in the top ten, is Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, about the real-life serial killer who murdered and dismembered 17 men and boys.
So there it is, in full Technicolor, that British subscribers to Netflix favour real-life stories of a sensationalist nature.
Nothing unusual in that; it’s pretty much the same story globally too.
But spare us the faux outrage.
Be it Charles and Camilla’s “Tampongate” phone call and Diana’s jaw-dropping interview with Martin Bashir (both series five, imminent), or the scenes leading up to Diana’s death in Paris (series six, to be released next year), plenty of us will be lapping it up.
And that means the executives at Netflix, and all the other platforms that need high ratings to survive, will be scrabbling to find the next shock project to sate our voyeuristic tendencies.
My bugbear with The Crown, as expressed in this column a couple of weeks ago, is that it hasn’t done enough to alert global audiences in particular that it is fictional dramatisation and should flag it up at the start of each episode.
But will I be lapping up series five and six with the same enthusiasm I watched the rest of this beautifully filmed TV juggernaut?
You betcha, and at least I’m honest about it. So many aren’t.
Princess Diana was box office when she was alive. And she remains so 25 years after her death.
If you don’t like it, help to forge algorithmic change by refusing to watch it.
Brave call by Suella
SUELLA Braverman is Labour’s worst nightmare.
Sir Keir Starmer et al know full well that the migrant crisis is out of control and that a significant chunk of the Red Wall voted for Boris Johnson because they thought he would sort it out.
Now Suella Braver-man-than-most is speaking the language of the millions of ordinary people who share the belief that thousands of mostly young men coming here as economic refugees is unsustainable.
That’s why Labour is repeatedly throwing brickbats her way and why Rishi Sunak must hold fast and allow her to sort out the genuine refugees from the rest.
If she holds steadfast and pulls it off, Labour know they’ll be out of power for another decade.
A QUIET WORD
THE Collins Dictionary has released the new words and phrases that define the past year.
Permacrisis means “an extended period of instability and insecurity”, while “lawfare” refers to using the law to intimidate an opponent.
But perhaps the most apt to describe post-Covid Britain is “quiet quitting” which, in pursuit of a better work-life balance, means doing the absolute basic amount of work required but nothing more.
A practice, some might argue, that’s been quietly perfected over many years by certain sections of the civil service.
Celebs’ Halloween costumes a horror show
REMEMBER the days when Halloween consisted of little more than a few toddlers going from house to house covered in an old bedsheet with a couple of eyeholes?
Thanks, primarily, to America’s influence, the original “horror” concept appears to have drifted somewhat.
Check out Kendall Jenner as Toy Story’s Jessie the cowgirl . . . with the added twist of her backside on show.
It seems that not even a wholesome yet feisty kids’ character is immune from sexualisation by the look-at-me brigade.
Or how about US rapper Machine Gun Kelly dressed as a priest while his fiancée Megan Fox knelt before him as a chained-up dominatrix taking communion?
Nope, me neither.
Ms Fox has three children, aged nine, eight and five from a previous marriage.
Given that I nearly died from embarrassment when my mother once attended parents’ night in a jaunty red hat, God only knows what they make of their mother’s exhibitionist tendencies.
HOT AIR TO THE RESCUE
OUR energy bills are through the roof because Putin has us by the short and curlies.
Fracking would dig us out of the hole but, thanks to a minority of activists, the ban briefly lifted by Truss has now been reinstated.
All the idiots gluing themselves to roads/walls etc want to “just stop oil” with no viable alternative.
And we currently have enough sun to power a travel kettle once a fortnight.
So how, exactly, are we going to solve our energy crisis?
Perhaps the hot air expelled by some of the paint-throwing protesters could be harnessed to good use?
Shame on you, Greta
ASKED whether she’s ever met King Charles, climate change activist Greta Thunberg replies: “I think I have met him.
“I can’t keep track of the British Royal Family. There are so many.”
How curiously ignorant of the globally recognisable figure she did meet just two years ago, who had already spent the best part of two decades championing the environment when she was still in sustainably sourced nappies.
Still, I guess that’s what happens when you miss so much school.