I am sure we all occasionally experience that rather drowsy ‘half and half’ early morning feeling when you think you are awake but you are not actually 100 per cent sure that your wakefulness is not just part of a strange dream.
I had this experience on Tuesday morning when part of my brain was telling me I was awake but the other half was saying “OK, if you are awake then how come the news is being read by Angela Rippon and the sports bulletin by Dickie Davies from World Of Sport?”.
The moment, however, I heard that the legendary Mr Davies was talking about Arsene Wenger rather than Big Daddy I realised that it was the radio which was going mad – and not me.
For yes, Radio 5 Live was having a 1981 day complete with 1981 presenters as part of its pre- royal wedding celebrations.
This rather odd idea was evidence to me that after a somewhat muted early public reaction, the excitement levels for tomorrow’s royal wedding have really started to rise over the past week or so.As the big day has got ever closer so the level of interest in the event has grown and it all now points to being a spectacular day which will be enjoyed by millions – possibly even billions – across the globe.
In some ways I think the rather under whelmed early reaction to the day was all quite understandable. A couple of the so-called ‘fairy tale’ royal weddings in the 1980s didn’t exactly, ahem, have a happy ending and the fact that we live in challenging economic times has also made some people a little wary of celebrating such an expensive public event.
However, I hope that at 11am tomorrow, all of those doubts will be put aside and the nation will come together as one to enjoy watching the sort of spectacle which Britain does do better than anyone else.
Of course despite the radio’s best efforts, 2011 feels like a very different time to when Charles and Diana stepped out onto the balcony. There doesn’t seem to be as much bunting around and if my mind serves me well, I’m pretty certain the shops had far more royal pre-wedding memorabilia in those dim distant days than it does now. As I recall there wasn’t a house in Britain that didn’t have a tea towel or a mug bearing the faces of the happy couple but such items seem far less prevalent today.
That doesn’t mean, however, that tomorrow won’t capture the imagination. Even a few people of my acquaintance who have feigned total disinterest admit they are quite interested to see what ‘Kate’ may be wearing or which celebrity appears at Westminster Abbey. As such, I think watching the royal wedding will be a bit like watching Big Brother or reading The Sun –- far more people will do it than will ever admit to it.
So, whether you’re having a street party, attending Bath’s Picnic In The Park, having friends around or just having a lazy morning in front of the TV, I hope you have a right royal day on Friday.
And of course best wishes go to the young couple – I truly hope that the rain will stay away from the man who will one day reign...