(England Twitter)-LONDON, UK — I asked a London cab driver what he was planning to do to celebrate the royal wedding and he replied without hestitation: “I'm getting out of town.”
What about television? Was he going to watch it on the tube? “My wife will. Not me.”
With the big event only a few days away, he didn't sound very excited.
Whopping 47 percent of British adults told a recent poll that they were “not very” or “not at all” interested in the wedding of their future king and queen. And a surprising 43 percent said they were unlikely” or “definitely will not” watch it on TV.
Brits are blase about their monarchy, but what about Americans, who are supposed to be fascinated by the royal family their ancestors fought to get rid of? In another reality check, 65 percent of Americans told a recent poll they were “not interested” in the royal wedding.
So who should we believe, the polls or the celebrity-obsessed media, which have been the flogging the William and Kate story for all it is worth.
Where have the world's media been getting their information? Much of it from the British government and the hyperventilating UK tabloids.
It's Her Majesty's Government that is predicting a worldwide television audience of 2 billion for the wedding. As far as I can tell, that is at best a wild guess snatched out of thin air. The actual audience — those who will tune in to watch the entire ceremony — is likely to be much smaller, even counting the village of Visci Brasov.
Actual ceremony is a magical, made-for-TV event. I covered the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana in 1981 for CBS News, and will be glued to my television at home for this one. Forget the hype and enjoy a real feel-good story. They are rare these days.