Porky blinder! ‘Career highlight’ for Coronation concert Muppets sketch writer

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Porky blinder! ‘Career highlight’ for Coronation concert Muppets sketch writer

"I can now say I've worked with the Muppets," Ivor Baddiel tells Jewish News of a "career and life highlight"

Ivor Baddiel, Twitter
Ivor Baddiel, Twitter

The scriptwriter behind the Coronation Concert Muppets sketch jokes that he is “kvelling” for himself.

Ivor Baddiel told Jewish News that the televised skit, featuring the iconic Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog, with Coronation compere Hugh Bonneville, was something that only the production crew knew about.

The appearance of the Muppets at the commemorative show for King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla, watched by an average audience of ten million, was “a big secret”.

King Charles III, Hugh Bonneville, Miss Piggy and Kermit. Pic: BBC

Members of the 20,000-strong live audience laughed as Miss Piggy and Kermit encountered Bonneville as they searched for their seats in the Royal Box. Baddiel wrote the script which saw the one and only Prima Donna Piggy assume Bonneville was a Lord because of his role in Downton Abbey; in true Miss Piggy style, she wants to be the Lady to his Lord and flirts up a storm.

“I have always loved the Muppets,” says Baddiel. “I really admire comedy that makes children and adults laugh. The Muppets have always been genuinely funny.”

Writing the script was “very collaborative” with ideas going back and forth across Zoom sessions, between the crew, producers, Baddiel, Bonneville and the ‘voice’ behind Kermit since 2017, Matt Vogel.

“The characters are very dear to them,” he continues. “You’ve got to get it right. At one point there was talk about the Archbishop of Canterbury presiding over Piggy’s and Hugh’s wedding. During the televised sketch, Eric Jacobson, the voice of Miss Piggy, puppeteered Miss Piggy’s left arm, whilst another puppeteer out of shot did her right arm. There were about six or seven Muppet-related people there.”

Describing the behind the scenes at the Coronation Concert as “organised chaos”, Baddiel says “it was a very hectic day. Hundreds of singers. Pianos being moved back and forth. The co-ordination by the floor management team is incredible. The choir was huge; they filed out of one door, and dancers filed out the other to make way for Lionel Richie. How they put it all together is amazing.”

Baddiel says he’s delighted that King Charles and the audience laughed: “I can now say I’ve written I’ve written for the Muppets.”

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