The Queen Mother's Dead

Ten Bizarre Days

Sat 30 March

Settle down to watch a good evening's telly, but two thirds of the way through AUNTIE'S SILLIEST BLOOMERS - during a skit about the Code Red worm that was just about to become a classic display of MS's incompetence, the telly goes black. Continuity announcer, picture of the coastline, off to the newsroom. This happens...

National TV

BBC1: BBC Queen Mother's Dead 24, until 21:30.
BBC2: Resumes normal service at 18:10, after losing the second half of STEPTOE AND SON. CASUALTY replaced HOUSE DETECTIVES AT LARGE at 20:10 on a transfer from BBC1. The four episodes in three hours of 24 went ahead.
ITV: Interrupts a show about famous pets to cut to ITV Queen Mother's Dead. STARS IN THEIR EYES is the first show back, at 19:50, followed by a trip to the newsroom, then DENNIS NORDEN'S LAUGHTER FILE.
C4: Airs THE FALKLANDS: WHEN BRITAIN WENT TO WAR about 15 minutes late, with a full complement of commercials. A tribute programme replaces BECKETT ON FILM, with news replacing ROBBIE WILLIAMS at 21:00.
C5: Ends movie ROCKETMAN just short of half way through. Normal service resumes with CHARMED at the regular time.

National Radio

BBC Radio 1: Airs trippy trance music all evening.
BBC Radio 2 - 6, BBC Local Radio, BBC World Service: Simulcast of special programme from the PM studios. 5 Live Sport+ is off air. Coverage of Tottenham -v- Middlesboro is interrupted and never resumes. Networks break around 8:30 - 4 and 5 stay together, with Julian Worriker and Nicky Campbell.

Independent Radio

IRN, the company that supplies most of the network with news, tried to break in to regular programming at 5:52. Someone pushed the wrong button, and the stations didn't divert from regular programming till the scheduled news at 6. The editor in charge of news supply sent a grovelling memo the following Wednesday. "We have to accept that it was not IRN's finest hour," says the memo from editor Jon Godel. This, the biggest cockup of the evening, was meant to be a fool-proof procedure that wasn't proof against all fools.

Virgin: Plays serious tracks by Robbie Williams all evening.
Classic: Plays serious tracks by sombre Germans all evening.
Talk Radio: Extended at 6:00, then returns to the scheduled football phone in around 6:10.

West Midlands Radio

BRMB, GWR network, Fosse Way (and I assume Fox): Radio Authority Approved Programming.
Saga West Midlands: Sombre violins.
Heart West Midlands: Slightly more jaunty violins.
Galaxy Birmingham: Similar to Radio 1.

London stations

Magic London: Sombre choral music.
Jazz FM London: Sombre jazz.
Kiss London: Similar to Radio 1.
XFM London: Plays serious tracks by U2.

DAB exclusive stations

Oneword: Regular programming - Sarah Greene reading PIPPI LONGSTOCKING.
Core: Regular pop 'n' prattle programming.
Life: Radio Authority Approved Programming.
Planet Rock: Rock on!
Smooth: Cancels the billed programme ("Something" by the Beatles becomes Barber's Adagio) but doesn't update radiotext computer.
Cube: Instrumentals from their archive.
The Arrow: Softer side of their usual output
Digital News Network, The Source for non-stop news in the West Midlands: Utterly silent.

Cable news channels

News 24: BBC Queen Mother's Dead 24
ITN News Channel: ITN Queen Mother's Dead Channel.
Sky News: Tabloid trash treatment
CNN: Ten minutes of discussion, then off to Tel Aviv where there's been yet another bomb, and someone with an American accent is talking.
CNBC Europe is simulcasting MSNBC, and follows a similar pattern to CNN.
Bloomberg: Recorded financial programmes.
TF5 Europe gives this as the lead story in their 19:05 CET bulletin.

Totally Over Reacting...

Off air: QVC and Shop!, the home shopping channels. Also the Discovery nets: Animal Planet, Home & Leisure, Civilisation, Sci-Trek.

Normal Service...

Challenge TV, Eurosport, E4, Sky1, Play, UK* network, MTV network, EMAP network, CBBC, CBeebies, BBC Parliament, Cartoon, Boomerang, Trouble, Nick (JR), FoxKids, Travel, and I assume everything else.

Sun 31 Mar

BBC1 ran a completely revised schedule.

06:00 As BBC News 2306:00 As BBC Queen Mother's Dead 23
09:00 Animal Park
10:00 Risen Today10:00 Risen Today
11:00 Urbi et Orbi11:00 Urbi et Orbi
11:40 Countryfile11:40 Countryfile
12:25 Keeping Up Appearances12:25 Ground Force
13:15 Herbie Goes Bananas12:55 Herbie Goes Bananas
14:45 Eastenders14:25 Eastenders
16:35 News, Regional News16:15 Queen Mother I: 1900-1945
17:00 Songs Of Praise: Easter
17:40 That Was Life17:30 News, Regional News
17:55 Songs Of Praise: Queen Mother
18:40 Antiques Roadshow18:40 Arthur: King of the Britons
19:25 Arthur: King of the Britons19:40 Queen Mother II: 1945-2002
20:25 Blackadder Back and Forth
21:00 News21:00 News
21:20 Rescue Me - drama21:20 Rescue Me
22:20 Parkinson22:20 Parkinson
23:20 Days of Thunder23:25 Days of Thunder
01:05 Breach of Conduct - movie01:10 Breach of Conduct
02:30 The Sky At Night02:35 The Sky At Night
02:50 As BBC News 2402:55 As BBC Queen Mother's Dead 24

BBC2 cut a mid-afternoon athletics show - behind the scenes at yesterday's Balmoral road race - and screened a tribute.
ITV dropped the regional 30 minutes at 16:45 for a networked tribute, and ditched TARRANT ON TV at 22:00 for the same reason.
C4 appeared to run as billed.
C5 dropped their 12 noon discussion programme, and inserted news bulletins between programmes in place of ad breaks. The practical upshot of this is that DARIA: IS IT FALL YET runs with just one internal break, not the three expected. Yay!

Radio 4 has an extended version of the regular SUNDAY show from 6 to 9, and PICK OF THE WEEK wasn't. There may have been changes to the published running order on Radio 3, but most of Walton Day went ahead as scheduled. 6 Music and Radio 2 played "appropriate" music all day - 6 Music had Gideon Coe and Chris Robbins in on their days off.
Biggest surprise was Radio 1, which cut half a dozen records - and all station promos - from the top 40 show. The show came out at 6:30, about 23 minutes before usual. The complete list of the deleted records:

Capital Radio Group networked a Gary King breakfast show; East Midlands regional Century 106 seemed to be almost back to normal by 8:30, everyone else was sombre and serious. Bulletins every 30 minutes until the Network Chart at 4 - that was shorn of competitions and chit chat, but otherwise the normal show. Very similar to the show on Sept 16 last year.

Classic FM ditches its scheduled Seventh Annual Hall Of Fame in favour of sombre music. With the countdown shorn of positions 300-101 (roughly), the Monday Top 100 is also postponed. Reports suggest it'll now be aired over the May Day holiday weekend.
The remainder of the GWR network took sombre networked shows throughout the day, cancelling the local opt-outs over breakfast and lunchtime.

April 1

ITV drops a scheduled film of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe for no obvious reason. Oh, it contains a queen, and she dies. Obviously.

The Government Approved Guide To Mourning comes out. Let's have a riffle:

The front page op-ed from today's Grauniad. Just about says it all.

April 2

Between 12 and 13:45, BBC1 drops THE ENEMY WITHIN, WIPEOUT and goes 10 minutes into NEIGHBOURS to cover the movement of QM's coffin from Windsor to London. The route was lined by literally tens of well wishers, and thousands of people wondering what the hell all the fuss was about.

I kinda hoped for someone to stand along the route with a huge ghettoblaster, and pump out the Sex Pistols' God Save The Queen

Grandson Chuck delivered a brief speech exclusively to ITN (and hence CNN). David Aaronovitch reckons this was revenge for the BBC's lack of respect in its coverage. Four hours on the main station is clearly not enough. "The actual death found the Beeb in transition between Narnia and Britain. Fleet Street preferred Narnia."

The Morning Star carried 19 words at the bottom of page five on the death of the Queen Mother. That report in full: "The Queen Mother died at the weekend at the age of 101. Parliament will be recalled later this week."

The main complaints levelled against the BBC have been that Peter Sissons a) wore a burgandy, not a black, tie to break the news; b) interviewed a niece within 30 minutes of the broadcast beginning, not knowing she had been at the death scene; c) er; d) it's Auntie's fault that she's dead. Leading the parade of hand-wringing was the extreme right-wing organ The Daily Mail, which branded the Corporation's coverage "shameful, full of slovenliness, insensitivity and downright tastelessness." The rag, "quite comfortable in the gutter" according to the Beeb's Ed Stourton, published intimate details of the old biddy's final moments, provided by the same niece who declined to give similar details to the Beeb on Saturday.

The BBC received around 1500 complaints over last Saturday's exercise in creative schedule clearance. 850 moaned about the shuffle around of programmes. Another 700 (including your correspondent) called to register that there was overkill around. Two people, believed to be calling from the Daily Mail hovel, complained that there wasn't enough coverage, 40 praised the corp's response, 130 fingered insensitive coverage in general, 30 objected to That Interview with the niece. 107 were unhappy that the show about King Arthur went out early, 60 vented spleen about the loss of the Antiques Roadshow, and 50 about Blackadder not going anywhere.

Overnights show that aggregate viewing figures across the 5 terrestrial channels when the news broke around 6pm were just 11.6 million. This is down by almost 25% from the previous week; some of this decline can be put down to the good weather and the Easter break, but surely not all of it. The night's top show was DENNIS NORDEN'S LAUGHTER FILE (ITV, 21:00) securing 5.5m / 29%. The BBC's coverage between 6 and 6:30 attracted 5.3m viewers, with the moved CASUALTY coming third, 4.9m / 25%. I figure that the BBC's repeats of "24" kept about 20% of all the viewers.

April 3

Parliament is recalled to vent its spleen about the late monarch consort. Questions had been asked before the session as to whether the Speaker would allow a statement on the situation in Palestine. He didn't. Questions were asked afterwards as to what happens when Lord St John of Fawsley is unable to pay any more fawning renta-tributes to the recently deceased. On today's form, the job is a shoo-in for Tony Blair.

Bookmakers will be closed and race meetings cancelled during next Tuesday's funeral. Courts will also be closed for the day. This appears the limit to official mourning.

The Daily Mail's amusing spat against the BBC continued. The increasingly marginalised far right organ accused the BBC of "stupefying arrogance" during last Saturday's coverage.
"Under the politically correct influence of Director General Greg 'Cut the Crap' Dyke and Chairman Gavyn 'Dumb-Down' Davies, the BBC has perpetrated a broadcasting and public relations disaster," alleges the rag's leader column.
"Sadly, a corporation once renowned for truthfulness now seems more interested in peddling self-serving propaganda to cover up its own inadequacies."

BBC anchor Peter Sissons, in the chair when the news broke, denounced the "lurid and malicious" criticism of the programme. Speaking to the Media Guardian website, Sissons said: "No fair and reasonable viewer would have found anything disrespectful or insensitive. The Mail's account was a travesty of what occurred. The lurid language used is just malicious."
The Mail grope papers have conducted a sustained campaign against the BBC, particularly since the appointment of Labour-supporting Greg Dyke as director general and Gavyn Davies as chairman of the board of governors. The anti-BBC tirade is most probably being directed by the Mail's pro-Conservative editor, Paul Dacre, whose brother Nigel is in charge of ITV News.
Its wolves have been waiting to pounce since BBC1 controller Lorraine Heggessey revealed last autumn that plans to cover the Queen Mother's death had been revised in line with a less deferential public mood, and the recognition that the crimes against humanity last September would have to dwarf any individual royal death. That angered royal aides, who encouraged journalists to write that Prince Charles had snubbed the BBC by choosing an ITN crew to film the eulogy to his grandmother. The BBC's problem was summed up by one royal aide, who said: "The Mail clearly hates the BBC, but the BBC does rather play into its hands."
The BBC has, unusually, been caught on the hop. The Mail on Sunday weighed in the day after the Queen Mother's death, but it took until Tuesday for a senior BBC executive to mount a public defence. Mark Damazer, the deputy director of BBC News, said that the Sissons broadcast "rose to the occasion", and described the BBC's programming as excellent. "I feel absolutely proud of the coverage and support the extraordinarily professional contribution from all the people involved."
A number of BBC staff felt the crucial first few hours, led by the BBC1 weekend news team rather than News 24, let the side down. While Mary Nightingale breezed through almost two hours of tributes on ITV, a channel unused to rolling news, some felt the BBC coverage lacked sure-footedness. The Queen Mother's death happened on a weekend - on the watch of producers lacking experience, many of whom had not had years of royal rehearsals under their belt.

The far more popular, left-leaning Mirror apologises to the nation for the lack of interest in the Queen Mother's death three days after the event. "Sorry Ma'am" reads its headline over a front page photograph showing the queues stretching almost into double figures to sign the book of condolences at St James's Palace.

The BBC is unapologetic about the continuing coverage. "We recognise that the disruptions to schedules is inconviencing many viewers. However, we are happy we are giving this major story the appropriate level of coverage," said a spokesdancer.

The Mail is equally unapologetic about its provocative stance. We looked for extensive coverage of the 2000 who called the BBC to complain about overkill. Must be in the 32-page pull-out-n-throw-away section we left outside the newsagent, or on the back of the second of 20 tokens to collect and send off for a Queen Mother Memorial Flowerbed. Here's the Mail's complete coverage of these people:


Meantime, the Guardian catches the Mail with its trousers down, and its flag at full mast. Yes, the "staunchly royalist rag omitted to lower its flag" (says the Graun.) Close friends of the Mail were unavailable for comment, on the not entirely unreasonable grounds that they don't exist. Lord St John of Fawsley was unavailable to deliver a sycophantic obit to the Mail's claims of credibility.

Schedule changes

Coverage of the Commons session ran from 11:30 to 13:00 on BBC2, replacing RUN FOR YOUR LIFE CHARLIE BROWN and WORKING LUNCH. It also aired on Radio 5, replacing the last half hour of Nicky Campbell, and the Midday News. BBC Parliament aired the session in full, along with coverage from the Lords and the Scottish Assembly.

In a fit of bad luck, ITV had scheduled DIANA: STORY OF A PRINCESS for 14:10. It was replaced by SOME LIKE IT HOT.

Early in the day, BBC1 dropped a documentary about musclemen to air the PARKINSON episode dropped from Sunday night. By transmission time, though, Parky was nowhere to be seen; in his place, the show that would have gone out instead. Confused? Join the club.

April 4

Schedule changes

Probably the least significant changes of the week. BBC1 repeats a late night show from last week, and Channel 5 changes its movie from part 1 to part 2. Slightly more tomorrow.

The spat between the BBC and the Mail reaches new heights of ridiculousness. Yes, I know I said that yesterday, but this takes the mad biscuit. Apparently, wartime singer Dame Vera Lynn has signed to join brother Dimbleby, David Suchet, Jakki Brambles, and Gilbert the space alien on ITV's coverage. The BBC's will be hosted by the other brother Dimbleby, and feature Peter Sissons' black tie, Peter Allen, and Professor Simon Scharma. The last named is a professor of history, and one of the most popular historians in the country. Dame Vera Lynn met the deceased lady exactly once during the war.

The Mail makes out to its devoted reader that, somehow, this is a snub for the BBC. Apparently, the corp is in danger of using someone who vaguely knows what they're talking about, rather than someone famous but totally irrelevant to the task in hand.

April 5

The coffin moves the mile from Kensington Palace to Westminster hall. This journey takes very nearly half an hour. Bloody London traffic again - I could walk there in half the time, if it wasn't for all these people standing around on the pavement.

Schedule changes

BBC1: 10:00 The Queen Mother: the Procession to Lying In State. Replaces a slew of rubbish daytime shows and THE ENEMY WITHIN.
13:00 News. As scheduled
13:45 The Queen Mother: Lying In State - replaces Neighbours (watch out for this).
14:25 Doctors: episode change: A Crisis of Faith replaces billed episode. No obvious reason.
14:55 Keeping Up Appearances - replaces Diagnosis Murder.
15:25 CBBC - as scheduled.
19:00 The Queen Mother: the Procession to Lying In State - replaces A Question of Sport: Grand National Special
21:30 A Question of Sport: Grand National Special - replaces Blackadder II: Bells. This is the second episode of BLACKADDER to be cancelled within a week.

BBC2: 13:20 Neighbours - transferred from BBC1. Replaces WILDLIFE ON 2.

ITV Network: 10:00 Funeral Procession of the Queen Mother, replaces the last half of TRICIA, all of THIS MORNING, and whatever rubbish they throw on at midday these days. Ends 12:30
14:10 The Queen Mother: Her Reign In Colour. Replaces The Neverending Story III - Escape from Fantasia and Diana - Story of a Princess.
10 minutes added to the end of the News At Ten at 23:00 (sic), with the 00:40 film changed from THE GETAWAY to PARADISE. That'll be a timing issue.

Channel 5: 11:00 The Queen Mother: A tribute to the Queen Mother
11:30 5 News - through 12:30. Replaces TJ HOOKER in the 11am hour.

Radio 4: 10:30 The Queen Mother: the Procession to Lying In State. Replaces the second half of WOMAN'S HOUR and the intellectual hour at 11.
12:30 Music from the Rainforest. Replaces the second half of EWAN YOURS. No one cares.
13:00 The World at One. Extended by 15 minutes.
13:45 A Passionate Affair: Ngaio Marsh. Replaces the second half of A WORLD IN YOUR EAR.

Radio 5: 11:30 News Special. Replaces the last half hour of Nicky Campbell.

April 6

No schedule changes, apart from a couple of series rescheduling the episodes due last week. Crowds line the bridge to Westminster Hall to file past the coffin: some waited almost seven hours for five minutes in the room. There are scuffles when the hall is closed for cleaning between 5 and 7 am.

World President Blair leaves the country to discuss Iraq with the US President, and George Bush. Should Britain endorse hostilities, the prerogative Mr Blair exercises on the Queen's behalf would permit him to go to war without seeking the permission of Parliament or the electorate. At the moment when old ceremonial gets rolled out, the political powers invested in a modern monarchy are also on display.

April 7

11 hours is the delay just after lunch, according to police. Peter Preston writes that this shows that Brits like nothing more than to be part of the action. "The thing you'll remember 10 years hence is not, I guess, the pageant or the pomp. The image which lingers will be the queue, that long ribbon of humanity shuffling for hours along a chilly South Bank then turning over Lambeth Bridge towards the palace of democracy where she lies in state." The more cynical suggest that this isn't actually a queue for the coffin, but the queue for autographs with Pop Idle Will Young, or for a guaranteed working tube train. Sorry, *the* guaranteed working tube train. Preston goes on to make some interesting points about the nature of news. "The glorious thing about news, big news, is that it is made by people reacting with all the unpredictability which makes them people. Nobody, for days, could get a handle on the Diana aftermath. Nobody yet has quite got a handle on the queue."

Schedule changes

BBC1 replaces the HEAVEN AND EARTH SHOW with a service from St Paul's at 10. The postponed ANTIQUES ROADSHOW episode appears a week late.

BBC2 replaces an afternoon movie with a repeat of the QM Obit from last week. An S Club 7 rerun is replaced by an episode of the WILD THORNBERRIES for no adequately explored reason.

April 8

Queen Brenda thanks the nation for the respect and love it has shown over the last week. Thousands are still queuing to pay their respects at the Queen Mother's coffin as it lies in state in Westminster Hall. Members of the Royal family went on a walkabout to thank the thousands of people queuing to pay their respects to the Queen Mother, as her four grandsons - Charles, Andrew, Edward and David Linley - mounted a solemn vigil at her coffin as she lay in state. This is, of course, wonderful publicity for the Royal Machine, giving them a front page picture in every national newspaper - except for the Guardian, which continued to splash on the crisis in Palestine.

The secretary of the Fabian Society calls for the monarchy's role to be reduced to a ceremonial head of state. Michael Jacobs said modernisation of the monarchy would be inescapable following the death of the royal family's last Victorian. MPs would swear an oath of allegiance to a new written constitution, rather than to the monarch. This would make British people citizens, rather than subjects of the monarch. The Speaker of the Commons would take over the monarch's power to adjudicate in the event of unclear general election results, ensuring there would be no repeat of February 1974 when the Queen allowed the Conservative leader Edward Heath to try to cling on to power with the Liberals even though Labour had won more seats. In the most significant shift in power, the royal prerogative would be exercised by ministers in parliament.

This from the BBC: "The family of Lord Caernarfon have asked that we stop calling them to ask if he is attending tomorrow's funeral. Lord Caernarfon died last September. The family say they've had numerous calls from the BBC since the Queen Mother's death and they would appreciate it if there were no more." In a further twist, Margaret Rhodes, whose interview with Sissons was the cause of that storm, said she didn't realise she was going out on network television, but thought it was a recorded radio interview. "Poor Mr Sissons. I'm sure he meant no harm. I think he was out of his depth, poor fellow. Poor Mr Sissions no doubt had a horrible day."

The speech is handled by ITN. Buck House says that this is done purely because ITN did the Christmas broadcast last year, but critics in the press reckon that it's another snub to the Beeb.

The Mail launches a five-week token collect to send off for a Queen Mother Memorial Plate. The rag's reader is said to be "nonplussed" by this idea. The rag has also offered a quarter-hearted apology to Peter Sissons, after last week's character assassination. This clearly has nothing to do with reports in the weekend press that Sissons was thinking about launching a libel writ against the paper. Clearly, the Mail expects its reader to have the memory span of a goldfish, if not shorter.

Schedule changes

BBC1: 1735 The Queen Mother: the Grandsons' Tribute - replaces Neighbours
1800 Her Majesty The Queen: a Message of Thanks, followed by BBC Six O'Clock News
1835 Regional News and Weather - five minutes later than billed
1900 The Queen Mother: Unique Natural Grace - Holiday is moved to next week
1930 Undercover Cops - as scheduled.

The Queen's message also went live on BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 Live and all BBC radio services around the UK. It also aired on IRN, and the National Commercial Networks.

BBC2 1800 Neighbours - from BBC1 at 1735
1820 The Simpsons - from 1800
1845 The New Adventures of Superman - from 1825
1930 TOTP2 - from 1905
1955 Her Majesty The Queen: a Message of Thanks - repeat from BBC1 with signing
2000 University Challenge Reunited - as scheduled
Life Etc, scheduled for 1935, is dropped.

ITV1730 ITV News Special: Grandson's Vigil - replaces a re-run of Crossroads.
1800 Her Majesty The Queen: a Message of Thanks
1805 Local News
1830 ITV Evening News - as scheduled.
2000 ITV News Special: the Nation Pays Its Respects - replaces Tonight with Trevor McDonald

BBC Radio 4 schedule changes
2245 Book at Bedtime: Miss Garnet's Angel - replaces The Laying On of Hands, which has been postponed by a week and can be heard from Monday 15 April
2300 Home Truths - shortened repeat from Saturday
2331 Act of Worship: A Meditation on the Life of the Queen Mother, repeated from yesterday.
0000 News - as billed

April 9

And so the old biddy was buried, with crowds in five figures lining the ceremonial route from Westminster Abbey, down the Mall, down the picturesque Chiswick High Street, over the phenominally beautiful Hammersmith Flyover, past Heathrow Airport - where all planes hung in mid-air for two minutes as a mark of respect - before finishing the journey at Windsor. All the mourners were, of course dressed in black. All? No! The editor of the Daily Mail, the sleazy rag that has run a campaign to get newsreaders to wear black ties, wore (er) a blue suit. The BBC Chairman charmed in his frock coat.

The funeral includes a piece of doggerel masquerading as a poem. A sample couplet: "You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday / Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday." US poet laureate elect Cory Falcon could not be reached for comment, but we did detect a lot of laughter.

Final figures show that slightly fewer than 200,000 people passed through Westminster Hall during the 60 hours of formal lying in state. This means that approximately 58.5 million Britons didn't see the corpse. Some will have been prevented by circumstance; many more will have made a positive decision not to attend; even more will have decided through apathy.

Schedule changes

Full coverage of the funeral replaces regular coverage on most channels.

BBC1 runs from 0900 through 1412, when a shortened news bulletin appeared. That gave way to Dad's Army at 1425. A highlights programme at 2100 replaced Street Crime.

BBC2 had another mini news bulletin at 1300, replacing Working Lunch. Radios 4 and 5 joined for the service between 1030 and 1300, with 5 covering the journey to Windsor until 1415.

ITV ran from 0925 through 1410; C5 covered the service itself from 1130 to 1230, and the processional in a special Wright Stuff from 1000.

Home shopping channel PVC closed down for the duration. Another channel SHUT! was shut all day, but that's because it gave up broadcasting yesterday

CBBC and CBeebies marked the two minute silence with montages of the Queen Mother meeting children. There were different versions for CBBC and CBeebies, given the age ranges they serve. The CBeebies version also appeared on BBC2, showing CBeebies at the time. News 24 signed the service.

Tom Fleming on BBC1 did not observe the silence, but talked through it. The BBC is reported to say that the silence was mostly for people who didn't or couldn't watch the whole funeral but wanted to mark the occasion wherever they were.

Simon Scharma was the star of the show for the BBC (7.1m / 63%). According to the master historian, the ceremony "vindicated the presence of the monarchy"; it demonstrated the "entirely instinctive emotional bond" between crown and country. Schama thought the only false note was struck by the Garter King of Arms, who read out the 437 titles the Queen Mother had assembled during her "transitory life." "If I had been master of ceremonies, I would have canned that," said Schama. "Is it normal at a funeral?" asked Dimbleby. "Your obsequies are sure to include just as long a list," said the historian and wit.

Some of the tat being flogged by newspapers: A 54 minute video (The Sun, 4.03); A commemorative plate (Daily Mail, 19.54, limited edition for all the reader); A clock (Wedgwood, 135); A memorial album (all good record stores and Woolies, 15.99, copyright dated 2001, nothing more recent than 1996.)

In summary

And who were the winners and losers? Britain, plates, the jubilee and Camilla Parker-Horse won; Ali G, hysteria, Tony Blair and the Church of England lost. So says Catherine Bennett in Het Grauniad.

Royalists say that this week has shown the royal family can still unite the nation like nothing else. I've not seen this happen; instead, I've seen a nation that is deeply unsure what it wants from its figureheads. Do we want the perfect nuclear family, embodied by Victoria and Albert? Do we want someone we can treat as our sister, like Diana? Do we want learned men of letters, like Charles? Real people, like Anne and Zara? A matriarch, like Elizabeth Sr?

In the last ten days, familiar certainties about the position of regality have been buried along with the person who embodied them. Welcome to the brave new world of uncertainty. Prepare your positions for when Brenda passes on; the rows after that event will be furious, though the tributes will compare her to her mother.