Saturday, 27 November 2010


The first time I heard of Ignrid Pitt, once a Hammer horror star, was when I came across her obituaries this week.

In a radio programme, I heard her daughter talking about Pitt’s attributes, apparently her hair and her ‘bosoms’, a word she kept repeating. This seemed to be her delicate way of suggesting her mother wouldn’t have fitted into a small-size bra. Having checked the photos, I think this is probably true.

Ingrid Pitt: attributes that could hardly be missed

Pitt had an extraordinary biography: she was in a concentration camp during the war, with her Jewish mother, but they both survived. After the war, she worked with the world-famous Berliner Ensemble in East Berlin. But she fell out with the East German authorities and fled to the West by attempting to swim across the River Spree. She underestimated the current and was swept away. Fortunately a US solder was out on a boat on the river, saw her and fished her out of the water.

Knowing what one does about soldiers, it’s not hard to imagine the effect on one of rescuing a young woman from a river. Especially one with capacious ‘bosoms’ whose clothes were wet. He must have thought he’d gone to heaven without even having to die.

And indeed it didn’t take long for them to be married. The daughter I heard on the radio was the fruit of that encounter on the Spree.

A real fairy tale ending, wouldn’t you say? Well, yes. Except that actually the marriage didn’t take. A couple formed in such romantic circumstances separated in the divorce court.

That got me thinking about ‘real fairy tale endings’. Though I’m not sure it’s entirely true, I’m prepared for the purposes of argument to accept the received view that young children should be given a vision of the world as a wonderful place where people really can live happily ever after. However, there must come a time – perhaps at eight, perhaps at ten – when a child needs to start to learn what the world is really like. For kids that age, we need endings which actually show what is really likely to happen next.

It might also be an improvement if the stories themselves dealt in more realistic terms with the impact of apparently extraneous considerations such as ‘bosom’ size.

Here then is a first sample of what I see as a ‘real fairy tale ending’, where ‘real’ actually means ‘reflecting reality’. In place of ‘and they all lived happily ever after’, my modest proposal is an article from The Fairyland Examiner, a tabloid handed out free at station exits and supermarket checkouts throughout the land where tales are set. This is from some eight years after the marriage that concludes the traditional version.

Who’s Charming who?

Is it over for fairytale couple?

‘She’s always talking to the birds,’ claims former Prince

‘He’s always shooting birds,’ counters estranged wife and bird protection specialist.

From our own correspondents Ronald O’Sleaze and Jemima Gutta

Following the publication of photos of former Prince Charming leaving a Biarritz hotel with Lola Luvalot, Lady Apoplectic (see pages 4,5, 8, 10 and 11), questions are being asked about how long his marriage can last.

‘Just who is he being Charming to?’ asked long-suffering wife and former scullery maid, Cinderella, Lady Charming, 25.

Lady Charming rose to prominence following her shock win in the ‘Royal Ballroom Dancing’ competition eight years ago. She astonished judges and voters alike by dancing throughout the evening in crystal slippers. Since then, injuries sustained by hopefuls trying to use similar footwear has led to its being banned by a government obsessed with so-called health and safety.

In particular, Cinderella beat early favourite Luvalot, 32, known for her skills as an exotic dancer. Luvalot's chances were spoiled when a too-tight top burst revealing that she must have been using padded bras, to produce the effect that accounted for much of her early hopes of success.

As shown by photos published by this paper on page 3 some days after the competition, Cinderella suffered from no such shortcomings. Her feet were by no means her only remarkable feat. No glass was needed to appreciate her other attributes

Illicit romance never ended

The Biarritz photos seem to confirm persistent rumours that the romance between the former Prince, 35, and his old flame Luvalot had continued despite his marriage to Cinderella. Curvaceous Luvalot, who became Lady Apoplectic on her own marriage to a husband (57) now said to be living up to his name, was unavailable for comment yesterday.

The former Prince, who has been living in straitened circumstance since the collapse of the monarchy, following the national outcry over the King’s decision to run away to Patagonia with a sergeant from the Royal Guards, has remained equally tight lipped. However, a reliable source close to the Prince, told the Examiner ‘she seems to think that life consists of nothing but dancing at balls and talking to birds. The loss of his fortune, however, means that the Prince now needs real help, the kind of thing a former maid of all work ought to be able to provide.’

I won’t go back to cleaning grates

Meanwhile, Cinderella, as outspoken as ever, was not afraid to share her feelings with us. ‘If he was in love with that floozy all along, why didn’t he just marry her instead of leading me such a merry dance?’

Asked about the suggestion that she ought to be helping more around the house, she retorted:

‘You must be kidding. It took a lot of effort to win that competition and marry a Prince. It’s not my fault that he isn’t one any more. I mean, as well as my natural talents, I was helped by supporters who now expect me to live up to my victory. Take the birds: they handled so many of my household chores. And then, of course, my fairy godmother went to quite extraordinary lengths to help me get the result I deserved. I owe it to them as much as myself not to be forced back to the scullery now.’

The role of birds in supporting Cinderella is well-known. Would they not help again?

‘Not bloody likely. They feel they’ve given already. They now think that it’s up to me to give something back. I’m already honorary president of the National Society for Bird Protection, which has got to be about the most boring organisation anyone ever invented, but they want more, more, more. Meanwhile, my bloody husband goes out there shooting them which doesn’t exactly help my popularity either.’

End of the road?

The charm certainly seems to have gone out of the Charmings’ marriage. But does that mean it’s over?

For the moment, there’s no talk of divorce. But the Biarritz incident suggests that Lord Charming isn’t prepared to put an end to his old attachment.

The Examiner is clear. It’s time for him to come clean. If Lady Apoplectic is the real love of his life, then he owes it to his wife and to the people of this nation to say so. If that means divorce, we say so be it. Our readers will be only too pleased if Cinderella, a princess from the People, were given back her freedom and the chance to make a new start for herself.

The Examiner will be launching a fund to support our Princess. She deserves better than a husband who neglects her. A career in TV beckons, perhaps on one of the many channels owned by the Examiner’s own proprietors.

We say to Cinderella: leave that no-good waster. You know the love you’ve won from the people the Examiner is proud to represent. Count on us, not on those who don’t appreciate you. That’s the way to live happily ever after.

The Charmings have three children, aged eight, six and three. The former King is 68.

I suppose it would make a far less satisfactory ending to the story, something a lot harder to turn into a Christmas pantomime.

But it would be a much better preparation for the realities of adult life, wouldn’t it?

No comments: