Need a good brickie? Just give my mate Prince William a call
Come the revolution, brothers and sisters, the Royal Family will be first up against the wall — that was the clarion catchphrase of Wolfie, revolutionary leader of the Tooting Popular Front, in Citizen Smith.
Well, here’s news for Wolfie. To judge by DIY SOS: Grenfell (BBC1), give them a wall and the Royals will make a pretty good job of it.
Prince William turned up at the half-built boxing gym under a dual carriageway bridge in West London, grabbed a paint roller and started slapping on the emulsion. He looked completely at home. maybe it’s all the renovations they’ve been doing at Kensington Palace.
or maybe it’s the Windsors’ emergency plan: if the Luvvies and the Lefties ever combine to oust Her majesty and family, the Firm will turn their energies to loft extensions and kitchen refurbs.
After all, europe is full of destitute aristocrats and exiled princes, in debt up to their tiaras. But you’ve never seen a starving plasterer, have you?
I’d happily hire the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to retile our bathroom. Wills got straight to work, without spending 20 minutes on his mobile to discuss another job. And he didn’t disappear to ‘just fetch something from the van’ and show up three days later.
In fact, all the builders on this Grenfell project, the first of two, deserve medals — not only for getting the work completed on time but for donating all their labour and skills. Faced with a near impossible task, to construct a world- class gymnasium on a tight plot of disused land under the Westway in North Kensington, they went to work with professional determination.
There was little room for the larks of presenter Nick Knowles and his band of hi- viz clowns. Daffy labourer Billy staged a boxing match with a local lad, world super- middleweight champion George Groves, but most of the workers were too busy to take much notice.
George is an old boy of the gym, the Dale Youth Boxing Club, which had moved in to a new home at Grenfell Tower just seven weeks before the horrific fire. Among the youngsters who treated the club as a second home were many who lost friends and family in the inferno.
one regular, a teenager named Luana, escaped from the 21st floor only to be placed in an induced coma because of smoke poisoning. She and all the community deserved this gym. much more than a gesture, it was proof of television’s power to unite people and make Britain a better place.
Coronation Street’s DNA Secrets (ITV) was uniting people in a different way, as it unpicked the genetic history of the stars and worked out who their ancestors were.
Unsurprisingly, half the cast were Lancashire lads and lasses since time immemorial. Quite a few were related: Sally Ann matthews, who plays Jenny Bradley, and Amanda Barrie (she who was Alma Sedgewick), were fourth cousins. Their great-great-greats used to live on the same oldham street, Corrie-style.
The actors gathered in the Rover’s Return to hear the results, and pretended to be delighted when introduced to soap fans who shared their DNA. That seems to take stalking to an uncomfortable new level: it’s one thing to want an autograph, quite another to claim kinship.
The same thought occurred to Amanda and Sally Ann. ‘Now I’m so old,’ mused the 82-yearold miss Barrie, ‘you might have organs to spare.’
‘You’re not having a kidney,’ retorted her cast-mate. ‘I might buy you a cup of tea.’