CHRISTOPHER STEVENS gives his take on last night’s TV show.


CHRISTOPHER STEVENS gives his take on last night’s television.

Keeping Up With The Aristocrats is a book about maintaining the aristocracy.


Geordie Hospital is a hospital in Geordie, Scotland.


Make sure you have enough cookies on hand when Mick Jagger visits.

The skinny Stone was not happy when he arrived at Renishaw Hall in Derbyshire to find the barrel of biscuits was empty.

He cried, ‘Oi Keef!’

“It’s impossible for me to get a no.


‘It’s snack time!’

Alright, I’ll make that last bit up.

Renishaw locals, however, Rick and Alexandra – descendants of the infamous artistic siblings Sitwell – insist Mick has come to visit.

He expected to find biccies when he lifted the lid of an old soup tureen.

Like a racy National Trust guidebook, Keeping Up With The Aristocrats (ITV) is full of similar anecdotes.

The running gag of the series is that while the stately homes appear to be opulent, life behind the scenes is anything but.

Lady Emma Fitzalan-Howard, whose stepfather was the Duke of Norfolk, spends a lot of time ironing her husband Gerald’s linen shirts at Carlton Towers in Yorkshire.

Kelvin Fletcher from Emmerdale bought a tractor for his Big Farming Adventure (BBC1), for which he was chasing a dream of rural bliss.

The shearer, meanwhile, received just £1.20 per fleece.

For real farm workers, life in the countryside is hard.

He seems to be able to go through several.

He spends most of his time outdoors, either trying to coax grapes from their cold vineyard or smoking trout in a converted garden shed.

Lord Ivar Mountbatten, cousin of the Queen and Prince Philip, runs a cafe in Bridwell Park, his Devon mansion.

Cupcakes are his specialty, which he shares with his husband James.

Princess Olga Romanoff is offering £14 guided tours of her timber-framed country house in Kent.

She was an unrepentant flirt who could always be counted on to make sure Mick Jagger had his cookies.

However, she prefers the more macho type – the military who are “trained killers”, in her words, and who are preferably blond and tall.

Her mother wanted her to marry Prince Charles because her father was the nephew of Tsar Nicholas II.

Luckily for the UK monarchy, she was of the wrong religion.

She mused, ‘He had a very lucky escape.’

We’ve all done it – Princess Olga reminds me of Sister Julienne from Call the Midwife.

It was a lot of fun, and the producers didn’t need to overdo it with a string quartet working their way onto the soundtrack…

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