Over the past couple of weeks I have been bombarded by advertisements for Danny Dyer’s Right Royal Family. Initially I resisted, being a rather staunch Danny Dyer critic, believing the so-called East End hard man to be exactly that, so-called.
However, after watching the advertisement for the thousandth time I decided to swallow both my pride and my dignity and take a look at Dyer prancing around in tunics and mock armour whilst riding horses and firing bow and arrows, and you know what, I loved it.
Any TV critic with a modicum of wherewithal about them will know Dyer’s filmography is something of a ham type-cast that includes such dismal productions as Mean Machine, Football Factory and The Business.
From there reviewers usually take into account the revered words of Guardian film critic Stuart Heritage who summed up Dyer’s career by saying ‘he has become a byword for low-budget, no-quality Brit-trash cinema.’
I say both TV critics with a modicum of where withal and Stuart Heritage know nothing about film, TV or what it is to have a sense of humour. And this is precisely what enamoured me to Dyer’s Right Royal Family – a sense of humour.
The viewer can clearly see throughout the show Danny’s cockney tongue in cheek as he stands in front of some noted historian who explains how Dyer’s related to Henry V and William the Conqueror.
Putting Dyer, the East End rhyming slang cheeky chappy always up for a giraffe (laugh), in these bizarre circumstances is an hysterical spectacle as one watches Dyer proudly sat atop a horse leading a posse of knights while spearing a watermelon and saying ‘have some of that!’
In the first episode, archaeologist Naomi Sykes explains to Danny how in being king, the hunt for red deer was one of the most important and fondest pursuits of the royals. A past time that trained kings and princes on how to track and kill while also providing them with some amusement that would have saved anyone from going stark raving mad sitting in the dark eating sheep’s heads back in the 11th Century.
She also goes on to explain the origins of the term ‘humble pie’, the phrase coming from the sharing of the bounty of the hunt. When the time came to carve up the spoils the king would get the best bits- the haunches, and the peasants would get the worst- the “numbles” or intestines, which they would cook up in a ‘numble (humble) pie’. Hence the term swallowing a piece of humble pie.
Here it is fitting to end my brief excursions into the weird world of Danny Dyer. To Danny I say you proved me wrong and I well and truly accept my serving of “numble pie” with apologies and respect. Nice one geeza!
Catch Danny Dyer’s Right Royal Family on iPlayer now.