Mark Andrews Saturday: herbal proms, tearful weather presenter and how Director Hodges could save the planet

Turn off that light!

Her daughter had drawn her a polar bear picture before the trip, which prompted the meteorologist to crack: “If Charlotte comes here when she’s my age, there will potentially be no polar bears.”

Very touching. But it’s reasonable to wonder how she managed to travel 1,900 miles to film the show. Hope she rowed and biked to get there, without burning any of those horrible fossil fuels. Because that wouldn’t be good for the polar bears at all.

Still, the good news for Laura and the polar bears is that John Gummer stepped in to save the day.

Do you remember him ? The former environmental secretary who tried to play down mad cow disease by feeding his four-year-old daughter an ox for the TV cameras?

After reassuring the world about mad cow disease, John Gummer now aims to save the planet

Either way, he’s back, now as chairman of the Independent Committee on Climate Change and basking in the title Lord Deben. His big concern is street lighting in rural villages, which he says contributes to global warming.

He suggests people in rural areas should carry torches instead, but I’m not sure battery-powered devices are really enough for eco-extremists today. Oil lamps seem more suitable for Luddits, but they depend on fossil fuels. Maybe the answer is people walking around the countryside with candles, provided they are made from sustainable vegetable wax, of course.

Maybe Lord Deben should become a 21st Century Hodges Head of Daddy’s Army. Turn off that light!

Was the last ball night this year the worst ever?

I got hooked up just before half-time, and a guy who looked like Christopher Biggins was singing on the plants. I tried again about half an hour later, when a man in gutters and no socks was talking to presenter Katie Derham about slavery and diversity. Oh, and he said the highlight of the night was going to be Argentinian music. No matter Land of Hope and Glory, listen to it for General Galtieri!

Tried a third time about 20 minutes later, and this time Biggins was doing weird chants.

Organizers would do well to remember that when Henry Wood started the Proms in 1895, it was all about making music open and accessible to everyone. You know, a little fun and populism, topped off with cheerful flags and patriotism. I don’t think the herbal lyrics were what he had in mind. And let’s have a bit of British patriotism, not Argentinian.

About Abraham Vernon

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