REVIEW: When the Prince of Wales met the Princes of Light Entertainment
‘Keep it light’ was Dec’s strategy in handling Charles as the presenting duo waited outside Kensington Palace to meet the Prince in this one off special to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Prince’s Trust. This milestone coincides with the cheeky chappies turning the grand old age of 40 years old later this year, hence the tenuous but very clever link-up between the two. Ant and Dec would have attracted younger viewers who otherwise would not have tuned in to watch some perceived ‘stuffy’ programme about the Prince’s Trust.
Of course, the loveable lads brought their irrepressible humour to the show. Commenting about the Prince’s police escort clearing traffic ahead on London roads, they suggested “He probably thought there was no need for a congestion charge”.
The serious message of the work of the Trust was not lost, however. Young people who have gained training and employment through the charity were featured in the show, highlighting the success and importance of the Trust in providing a real and viable future for thousands of young people over the years, who would otherwise not have had the opportunity to break through the barriers of their circumstances without the assistance of the organisation.
There was also a chance for Ant and Dec to go back to their hometown in Newcastle to reflect on their own lucky break in the show Byker Grove. Who would have imagined back then the career trajectory the roles have led to for these two lovable Northern lads?
An overnight stay at Dumfries House – the Scottish home of Prince Charles – gave us the opportunity to meet Ant and Dec’s wives, who rarely, if ever, appear onscreen with their famous husbands. It was clearly an exciting occasion for the two couples to ‘sleepover’ at the Prince’s. In one cute scene, Ant asked his nervous wife to stop fiddling with her hair.
Price Charles discarded his ‘fuddy duddy’ image by getting into the spirit of things with the lads with some lighthearted banter, and even asked Ant if he had a personal trainer to help him work off the excess consumption of food at the numerous events he attended while shadowing the Prince.
It was an audacious pairing that worked its magic in bringing the important work of the Prince’s Trust to the viewing populace. The Princes of Light Entertainment brought the right balance of humour and ‘watchability’, without diluting the main thrust of the programme.
After the success of this show, and US President Barack Obama ‘Running Wild’ with Bear Grylls at the end of last year, we look forward to seeing what other bizarre team-ups the television gods have in store for us in 2016.