April 5: on being nicholas witchell

It can’t be easy being Nicholas Witchell. His colleagues at the BBC have now taken to calling him ‘Nick’ in solidarity. You know Nick. He is the BBC’s Royal correspondant. He has the worst job on the network. He has to say things like speaking from Windsor, Her Majesty the Queen clearly expressed her solidarity with the nurses and doctors working in this crisis and with all key workers throughout the length and breadth of the United Kingdom. She further expressed her confidence in the British people pulling together at this difficult time as they have so many times in its long and glorious history. All of this he has to utter without a hint of irony, without cracking a smile, without ever seeming to want to question a morsel of the statement. A few years ago Prince Charles was caught on microphone saying to his children don’t look, there’s that awful man. He was refering to Nicholas Witchell. Since then, we can all empathise with Nick. He is living and working under the shadow of the axe. At the BBC colleagues must pat him extensively on the back in deepest sympathy. Who knows? Maybe he’s coming up for retirement and thinks I’ll just get through till then, nobody’s going to make me War correspondant now; I won’t get to wear the hi-viz press jacket. Or maybe  – who knows? – just maybe he likes it, being Royal correspondant. In which case, good luck to you, Nicholas Witchell. Containing all that stuff. In these difficult times, well done, Nick.


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