The Royal Bodyguard

It’s a funny old gig, being an actor.

In pretty much any other line of work, being hugely successful grants you the right to retire at fifty, buy a tropical island and while away your golden years being attended to by beautiful young ‘servants’.

Whereas the reward for being a hugely successful actor seems to involve working until you die, or at the very least continuing to act long beyond the point you should have called it a day and headed off to Mustique with Juan.

Now David Jason, is a fine, fine actor. He’s done wonderful work. Touch of Frost? Marvellous.

However, because he is damn good and the public are understandably very fond of the man, he’s continually being dragged back to do programmes like The Royal Bodyguard.

High budget…thing…at Christmas on BBC1? Get David Jason in, even if he would rather be sunning himself on Richard Branson’s private yacht in the Caribbean.

Like the Queen herself, he’s not allowed to retire. David Jason is 71 years old and despite the very best efforts of the makeup department he looks every inch his age in this series.

The first episode sees Jason’s character assume the newly created role of ROYAL BODYGUARD despite the fact he’s not only aged, but also entirely incompetent. He gets the job because he saves the Queen after her carriage horses bolt and she’s dragged behind it, squealing, for several minutes.

Now, I don’t mean to be a festive killjoy but the Queen is 85 years old. If this actually happened to her she would die. She would not create a new role for an elderly idiot, her body would be unable to deal with the trauma and she would die.

Despite this (and the logical objections of the actual security services) Jason’s dullard is sent into action at a Commonwealth conference where there is an apparent plot to assassinate the Queen.

And apparently the only way to foil this plot is if David Jason carries out painful looking pratfalls at every turn.

Obviously this isn’t funny. None of it is funny. This is not a funny programme. It’s meant to be, but it just ends up seeming sad. And a bit worrying.

Watching a well loved, grandfatherly National Treasure gamely throw himself at the ground time after time, well, after a while you start to seriously worry about him. Hip ops are serious business, and those old bones are brittle.

More gratingly it shows a fundamental misunderstanding of David Jason as an actor. That scene where he falls through the bar in Only Fools and Horses wasn’t repeatedly voted the funniest scene ever because he does a perfect fall. Though he does…

What’s funny is Delboy: a character who always reached for the stars without twigging that he was usually, metaphorically, falling through a bar.

There are six episodes of this show, so if it’s simply going to be an old man falling over and hurting himself, the only plausible explanation for it being on the air is that Dr Harold Shipman is back from the dead and someone high up at the BBC owes him a massive favour.


About Ian Dunn
I love avocados, WH Auden and dinosaurs but I don't like effort.

One Response to The Royal Bodyguard

  1. It’s a David Jason vehicle. And by vehicle I mean C5.

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