It seems the Queen is not amused. Or at least Clarence House isn’t.
ABC2’s Royal Wedding commentary from The Chaser team has been pulled just two days before the big day.
ABC TV has been forced to cancel their live satirical commentary, due to air on ABC2 from 7:00pm on Friday.
The special has had to be pulled pulled due to restrictions imposed over the Easter break.
ABC TV had initially been advised by the BBC and Associated Press Television News (APTN) there were no coverage restrictions on wedding commentary.
But new conditions of use issued over the Easter break state footage cannot be used “in any drama, comedy, satirical or similar entertainment program or content”.
According to the advisory “the ‘Wedding Ceremony’ shall mean the period from the arrival of the first member of the Royal Family for the wedding service until the last member of the Royal Family leaves the main entrance of Westminster Abbey following the conclusion of the wedding service.”
According to the BBC, all providers of live coverage of the wedding have agreed to the restrictions imposed by Clarence House.
Kim Dalton, Director of ABC TV said “the national broadcaster has acted in good faith in its negotiations around ABC2’s planned coverage with both the BBC and APTN.
“We’re surprised and disappointed at this very late stage to be informed that any satirical or comedic treatment of the marriage of Australia’s future Head of State has been banned.”
As late as this morning the BBC issued a new contract imposing additional restrictions on the use of its material.
“ABC TV had always planned to take the BBC’s full coverage with commentary on ABC1. However like other broadcasters we thought Australians would appreciate an alternative take on this major event,” said Dalton.
“The Nine Network has Dame Edna giving her commentary and the TEN Network has The 7PM Project taking a light-hearted approach to the Royal Wedding. Our obvious choice, for a light-hearted commentary is The Chaser team. Clearly, the BBC and Clarence House have decided The Chaser aren’t acceptable.”
Julian Morrow said, “Everyone loves a royal wedding.
“Except perhaps The Queen, who didn’t even bother going to the last one, but The Chaser couldn’t be more thrilled to be covering the big day.
“And who knows – if it goes well, hopefully they ask us back next year to cover the divorce.”
Chris Taylor said “We’ve been taken off air before but never by the Queen herself. It’s an honour”
ABC1 will still be taking the BBC coverage of the wedding, including its commentary, and ABC News and ABC News 24’s coverage will not be affected by the ban on ABC2 usage.
UPDATE: A TEN spokesperson tells TV Tonight there are no changes to its coverage featuring Fitzy, Wippa and Lucy McDonald. “We are proceeding as planned with our Royal Wedding programming. Our coverage will be respectful though light hearted.”
A Nine spokesperson tells TV Tonight there is nothing in the restrictions that will change plans for Dame Edna Everage.