Express & Star

Peter Rhodes on a big bidet, some puzzled bees and the perils of disrespecting the King

“Yes. Full stop. Mind your own business.” Anne Robinson, television's “Queen of Mean,” responding to questions about whether she is seeing Camilla's ex, Andrew Parker Bowles. Not a wasted word – what a pro. And, yes, she is.

Anne Robinson

When his autobiography, Spare, appeared last year, Prince Harry's scathing comments about Elvis Presley's home, Graceland, (“dark, claustrophobic”) went pretty much unnoticed. But they have come back to bite him, thanks to the legendary American Pie singer, Don McLean who says in a recent interview that Harry “doesn’t understand that Elvis is like the poor man’s king. He came from nowhere and his recordings are among the greatest ever made.”

Harry made the mistake of underestimating working-class America's adoration of Elvis, the King of Rock 'n' Roll. I once made a similar gaffe, on a military trip from Arkansas to Memphis. The driver, a big, chatty, cheerful corporal, asked as we approached Memphis: “Care to look in at Graceland?” We had time to spare but I didn't fancy joining a queue of tourists and declined. A terrible, hurt silence descended on that staff car. I had dissed the King and caused offence, and I have always regretted it.

Rose-tinted specs department. “I'm an optimist. I'm sure that one day technology will deliver the 1,000-mile EV (electric vehicle) battery and the 10-minute recharger.” (from this column, August last year).

“China has developed a revolutionary car battery that can charge in just ten minutes and power a car for hundreds of miles.” (from the Daily Telegraph, last Saturday).

We all know what a bidet is. But what was the curious object mentioned on Radio 4 that woke me from my slumbers, a World Bidet? Is it some new bidet constructed to agreed global standards? Or perhaps a bidet so big that the entire world could use it?

Neither. It turned out to be a report on World Bee Day, billed as a celebration of our favourite little pollinators. The bees must be as puzzled as I was. If humans love bees so much, why do they keep spraying them with insecticide?

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.