You must pay attention to the adverts on BBC Radio 4 over the next few days. They are running one that sets a new standard in bathos—and proves that at least one stratum of society is impervious to the “reality” media’s will-to-emote. It starts with a dramatic re-enactment of the last communications from the radio operator of a stricken warplane unable to land on its parent aircraft carrier. We then hear a noise which I presume is the the plane plunging into the sea. The voiceover announces with breathless urgency:

“Radio 4 re-introduces the Duke of Edinburgh to the airman he helped to save during the war.”

There is a pause before we hear the voice of The Queen’s Consort himself, sounding exactly like he’s greeting the third-time winner of the Biggest Potato competition at Balmoral Village Fete:

“Helleau. Vereh nice to see you agehn.”