Channel 4’s Prince Andrew: The Musical divides viewers as they argue ‘disgusting’ spoof makes light of scandal
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Channel 4 has divided viewers after airing an hour-long spoof about the Duke of York’s life on Thursday evening.
Comedian Kieran Hodgson, who was brought up in West Yorkshire, starred as the disgraced royal alongside Munya Chawawa as Prince Charles, Jenny Bede as Sarah Ferguson and Harry Enfield as Prime Minister Tony Blair in Channel 4’s Prince Andrew: The Musical.
The parody explored the downfall of Prince Andrew with real life clips of the Duke alongside original songs inspired by key moments in his life, including his infamous BBC Newsnight interview with Emily Maitlis.
Viewers have taken to Twitter arguing that the spoof makes light of the sexual assault allegations Prince Andrew faced, while others have praised the musical as “funny” and a “pleasant surprise”.
Prince Andrew denied claims that he sexually abused Virginia Giuffre when she was age 17, before reaching a settlement with the Jeffrey Epstein victim to bring the civil case brought against him in the US to an end.
The 62-year-old then stepped down from royal duties and was stripped of his honorary titles.
Hodgson admitted that he was “extremely nervous” ahead of the musical’s release as he explained to The Times that he wanted to take a “light-hearted” approach to the royal scandal.
Many viewers seemed to appreciate his take on the controversies and took to Twitter praising the musical.
One wrote: “Prince Andrew the Musical was absolute genius from Channel 4. It was well done, funny and made some serious points, and was an excellent reminder of the corrupt abusers still not brought to justice #C4PrinceAndrewc #princeandrewthemusical”
Another commented: “Love it or hate it C4 Prince Andrew the Musical is using humour to point out the disgusting behaviour of our exploitative Royal Family. About time someone did. So its a bravo from me!! 👏👏👏”
A third said: “I wasn’t sure what to expect from Prince Andrew the Musical. I have been pleasantly surprised.”
A fourth added: “Prince Andrew the musical is phenomenal. Well done to Channel 4 for it. The songs are stupidly catchy too!! 👏🏻👏🏻”
However, others were left unimpressed and blasted Channel 4 for allowing the divisive programme to air.
“Very poor decision to make this rubbish. A new low for Channel 4,” one said.
Another wrote: “ I’m sorry but this @Channel4 “musical” about #PrinceAndrew is disgusting. They’re making a musical about a guy guilty of child abuse and rape. The guy is a known rapist!?? I don’t get how it’s funny? #princeandrewthemusical”
A third commented: “I think whilst parody is always a creative way to criticise someone, making a musical comedy about him ‘lightens’ what happened and almost dilutes the gravity of his behaviour. In some ways, this is a massive PR win for him and the RF. I think it’s a poor decision to make this.”