Norton of Morton

Read a new instalment of Norton of Morton every Saturday at 4 o'clock

Saturday 2 June 2018

Corrie on TV

In which G.M. Norton looks back at an event that changed the nation's habits forever.

Today marks the 65th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's coronation.

I wouldn't consider myself to be a staunch Union Flag waving royalist, but I'm not anti-royal either. I like having a monarch and the tradition and pomp and ceremony that goes with it.

What is especially special about Her Majesty's 1953 coronation all those years ago was that for most people in Britain, it marked the first time they had ever watched television. 
Bringing together the nation, it is estimated that 20 million people huddled around their newly-bought small television sets in Blighty, with each set watched by an average of nine people. 
Broadcasting occasions like the recent Royal wedding between Harry and Meghan is to be expected these days but back in the 1950s when they were planning the coronation, the idea of filming it live was a thoroughly modern but worrying idea.
Prince Philip, as chairman of the Coronation Commission, pushed hard for it to be broadcast live but such was the opposition that initially, the organisers decided against a televisual broadcast of any kind. 

Fuelled by the British press and the BBC no doubt, there was a big public outcry, forcing a re-think. 

Finally, the live broadcasting of the coronation was given the green light although a few compromises were made including the banning of any close-up shots of the Queen and certain parts were not to be filmed including the anointing and taking of Communion. 

So there you have it. Although things have certainly continued to move on since then. I didn't notice Harry and Meghan objecting to close-ups of their nuptials. 
Congratulations, Your Majesty. I raise a cup of tea to you, the beverage that Britain was built on.

G.M. Norton

Protagonist of 'Norton of Morton'

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