Waugh Cameo in BBC Series on Tatler Magazine

BBC has started a series of three programs on Tatler magazine: Posh People: Inside Tatler. In the first episode (Monday, 24 November) Matthew Bell, newly appointed Commissioning Editor, is among those interviewed. He was formerly the society diarist for the Independent on Sunday newspaper but describes himself as from a solidly middle class family. The editor, Kate Reardon, explains that the magazine is as interested in the well-behaved newly rich as it is in the debauched aristocracy.  In pursuit of the latter, Bell is dispatched to Oxford to investigate the Bullingdon Club, and specifically to find out how they have managed to suppress the club photograph that included David Cameron in his days as a member. Bell is filmed outside Hertford College (40:27), which he explains was where Evelyn Waugh lived as an undergraduate. He cites Waugh as having satirized the Bullingdon in Decline & Fall where he described it as “the sound of English county families baying for broken glass.” He might have mentioned that Waugh renamed it the Bollinger. Bell attributes his own interest in the upper class life to his having read Waugh’s novels from the age of 12. As depicted by Waugh, the upper classes appealed to Bell as seeming to have “such a fun time, in a romantic world.” The series continues on BBC 2 next Monday and can be viewed on the internet via BBC iPlayer for the next four weeks. A proxy server connection is needed from outside the UK.

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One Response to Waugh Cameo in BBC Series on Tatler Magazine

  1. Jeffrey Manley says:

    Please forgive a comment on my own post but I thought this excerpt from a New Statesman survey by Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett of recent TV programing on Upper Class topics (including the Tatler series) was redolent of Waugh’s early writings on that subject:

    “Granted, Tatler’s recent video featuring an enraging array of poshos waving their arms about and mouthing the words to Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy” during the magazine’s Little Black Book party is an argument for class war if ever I saw one. As a sage Twitter commentator noted, it is ‘interesting if only as proof that a sense of rhythm can in fact be eliminated over centuries of selective breeding’. Still, it beats seeking out a tramp for the sole purpose of setting fire to a £50 note in front of him – an alleged recent activity of Oxford’s Bullingdon Club, alma mater of Boris, Dave and Gideon.”

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