Australian media interest in the Royal Wedding can only be described as enormous.
It is years since many in the media took the decision to play down interest in the monarchy on the mistaken assumption that the public was not interested and that Australians would agree to turn their Federal Commonwealth under the Crown into some politicians' republic. They did not.
The declining Australian republican and the minuscule United Kingdom movements (who work together) are trying to play down the occasion in both countries.
They are persuading neither the media nor the public.
They remind me of republican former broadcaster and Fairfax columnist Mike Carlton's prophecy about the Queen Mother's funeral. He said that only confused Japanese tourist would be watching. He had to eat his words.
…enormous media contingent…
According Andrew Hornery in the back page “PS” column in The Sydney Morning Herald (" Right Royal Media Circus," 2/4)
:“A media circus of more than 150 people from every chat show, women's mag, radio station and publisher in the land are hatching plans and jostling for positions to cover the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29.
“Back in Sydney, about 12.30am on Saturday, April 30, anxious newspaper and magazine editors will be waiting for a somewhat stage-managed photo of Prince William and his new bride Kate Middleton kissing on the balcony at Buckingham Palace.
“Once the image is beamed via satellite back to Sydney, the print button for millions of newspapers and glossies will be hit.
“And not soon enough, either, for every minute they are delayed equates to millions of dollars in lost revenue for what is shaping up as the biggest feel-good news story since the wedding of Charles and Diana.”
He writes that Channel Nine is sending more than 40 people, including Karl Stefanovic and Lisa Wilkinson and the Todayshow.
Newsreader Peter Overton will anchor the nightly news and Tracy Grimshaw will host A Current Affair from London for the week.Kerri-Anne Kennerley will also broadcast London, with most of the action happening in front of Buckingham Palace.
Channel Seven is sending The Morning Show co-host Kylie Gillies. The Sunrise presenters, David Koch and Melissa Doyle, will be in front of Buckingham Palace during the week.
Newsreader Chris Bath and the Today Tonight presenter, Matthew White, will host their shows from London all week. Seven's live wedding day coverage will run from 4pm on 29 April. 29.
“The TV glamours will make an equally frantic dash for Heathrow just a few hours after the wedding, with celeb bookings very heavy on the 9.45pm flight out of London direct to Melbourne so they can make it back in time for the Logies.
“The timing of the wedding could not be worse for the weekly gossip magazines, especially New Idea and Woman's Day, which usually go to print on Thursday afternoon.
“Both camps are planning on pushing back deadlines, working through the night on Friday to make sure their issues are ready to hit news-stands on Monday."
He reports that the ABC will take a BBC live feed of the wedding, with “just its three European news correspondents” assigned to the event. That in itself shows considerable interest for the national broadcaster.
Although not mentioned in the report, SBS is also putting resources into reporting the event.