Peter Rhodes on spoofing the Royals, overlooking comedy gold and another strange letter from a bank

Read the latest column from Peter Rhodes.

The Windsors – hilarious?
The Windsors – hilarious?

During lockdown we are supposedly restricted to “essential travel.” Curious, isn't it, how “essential travel” seems to double when the sun suddenly makes an appearance?

By now we have agreed that the greatest weapon in the war against Covid-19 is foresight. A reader admits this is not an easy quality to acquire. However, he tells me of an acquaintance who rubbed his eyes with tomato ketchup and developed Heinzsight.

Moving swiftly on, a reader reports buying a pack of tissues bearing the royal warrant to show they are used by HM the Queen, yet they are made in China. By chance, his email arrived on the day I bought a BT telephone, also “by appointment to” Her Majesty and also made in China. My reader asks: “What do we make in this country any more?” A British sense of irony, sir. That's about all.

Although we do also produce a good line in British incredulity, as displayed a few days ago for a repeat showing of British Sitcom: 60 Years of Laughing at Ourselves (BBC4), which contained not a single reference to Rising Damp. Bizarre.

After my item on the Co-op Bank refusing to accept overpayments from customers with credit-card accounts, a reader reports an equally stern letter from another bank, telling him off for not having used his savings account for the past nine months and warning him that fraudsters often target inactive accounts. So the bank's ultimatum is that he must either pay some money in or take some money out, or risk having the account closed and the contents frozen. Banks have never really been our friends. But some of us can remember a time when they at least pretended to be.

Thanks to his interview with James Corden we now know that Prince Harry thinks the controversial series The Crown (Netflix) is “loosely based on the truth” and gives viewers an idea of the pressures of duty and service. Sadly, Corden didn't ask for the prince's views on that other royal series, The Windsors (C4). In this rude, crude and thoroughly irreverent soap opera, Harry is a semi-literate playboy with an IQ of eight, obsessed with Pippa Middleton until the pushy, self-obsessed Meghan turns up and tries to turn Harry to mindfulness. We know from royal leaks that Prince William, portrayed as dim but well-meaning, finds The Windsors “absolutely hilarious.” I bet Harry and Meghan don't.

A Second World War bomb was detonated in Exeter by a “controlled explosion” which left a crater the size of a double decker bus and chucked debris 250 yards. If that's a controlled explosion you wouldn't want to be near an uncontrolled one.

In a medical trial, thousands of women are to be sent do-it-yourself home tests to carry out their own cervical-cancer screening. So how long before the NHS unveils the DIY prostate-gland test? The mind yelps.

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