I thought I’d have the right hump watching Danny Dyer’s Right Royal Family (BBC1, Wednesdays, 9pm). As it turns out, however, my watch and chain didn’t get in a two and eight, and by the end, I even had a smile on my boat race.
I’ve exhausted all my rhyming slang now, but the nation’s favourite pearly king Dyer seemed to have a never-ending supply of East End aphorisms as he went on a jaunt around Europe to find out more about his royal ancestors –first revealed in the Beeb’s genial genealogy show Who Do You Think You Are?
Having found out he was related to medieval mace-wielder Edward III, Dyer lost himself further in the mists of time, going back to his
Viking ancestor Rollo.
“I want to experience hands-on how it would feel to live like my ancestors, and get regalled out of my brain,” he says, as he heads to Scandinavia to meet some Vikings.
After gamely trying Norse delicacies like sheep’s head and drinking some whey, he follows Rollo – who I always thought was a portly cartoon king in a kids’ TV show – to France, where he founded the Norman dynasty.
After that, there was quick canter through medieval English history, taking in William the Conqueror, Henry II and Thomas Becket.
Dyer tries on royal clothes, wields weapons on horseback and learns that some royal garments were washed in wee, all the while afflicted by a sort of Cockney Tourette’s, in which every sentence is accomapnied by a “get in there”, or “’ave some of that” or “get stuck in”.
His tongue, meanwhile, is lodged so firmly in his cheek, it’s a wonder he can get any words out at all.
The best thing about it is that Dyer seems fascinated by all this history, entranced by the beauty of Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, and totally up for learning new stuff. It’s proper good. Get on it.
Hospital (BBC2, Thursdays, 9pm) is an uplifting – sometimes heartbreaking – look at the current state of the NHS. If it doesn’t make you angry at how it is being treated, you have no heart.
Cold Feet (ITV, Mondays, 9pm) is a strange beast. It’s all glossy, silly, surface, and then they pull the rug out from under your feet and you find yourself bawling on the sofa. This week’s was a two-tissue affair.