That’s what Her Majesty the Queen apparently said to Last of the Summer Wine star Peter Sallis when presenting him with his OBE recently.
While I’m very glad - and perhaps a little surprised - that Her Maj is a fan of Samuel Beckett, I’m also rather disturbed to hear that she thinks of his most famous play in the same breath as Last of the Summer Wine, a BBC sitcom that, for some completely inexplicable reason, audiences have continued to tune into in their goggle-eyed millions and find hilarious since 1973 (though not for much longer, thankfully).
Unless, of course, the Queen is thinking more laterally. Maybe I’m not giving her enough credit for her artistic insight. After all, one interpretation of Waiting for Godot is that it’s about two old men waiting for death. And Last of the Summer Wine is certainly about three old blokes waiting for death - just with the dubious added ‘pleasure’ of watching them roll down a hillside in a tin bath over and over again until you also lose the will to live. Oh, my sides are splitting. Stop, please, this comedic mirth is too much. I’m collapsing in fits of hysterical laughter while inwardly screaming “WHEN ARE THEY GOING TO DIE? OH FOR GOD’S SAKE, WHEN ARE THEY GOING TO DIE?”
Next week: the Queen reveals that she’s a huge fan of Eugene Ionesco. And Dancing on Ice.