Prince Charles Down UnderCharles, Prince of Wales, the soon-to-be married (again) heir to the British
throne, who may or may not become King of Australia one day, made headlines
around the world when he said in Melbourne on March 3, "Gradually, as the
actress said to the bishop, it all became too big for me."
(as the actress said to the bishop)
was fruitier and the jokes a little more risqué" Caroline Davies reported in
London's Daily Telegraph.
In the United States, CNN.com said "Charting the growth of his own
project, Charles - perhaps appealing to Aussie humor - told guests:
'Gradually, as the actress said to the bishop, it all got too big for me.'
The remark prompted a roar of laughter from the crowd."
New Zealand's Sunday Star-Times published a hilarious account by
that country's renowned humourist Steve Brounias. You would enjoy reading the complete story by following
the link below. Here's an extract:
I spent quality time with Prince Charles on Thursday, in Melbourne.
Actually, it was quantity time, nine hours straight from 12 noon in the
shadow of a 56-year-old man who has perfected the staid art of walking
very slowly with his hands clasped behind his back. The sun on a
cloudless, glaring afternoon turned his cheeks, and the bald oval on the
back of his head, a cheerful shade of pink. He wore a royal flush. It
suited his holiday mood.Few readers under 50 would have a clue as to the meaning of the once
commonplace phrase "as the actress said to the bishop." Regular readers of
this e-book may remember that we wrote about it last year, after receiving
successive emails from an actress and a bishop.
He has always had a droll wit about him. This
remains evident in the flashes of merriment that light the damp cellar
of his eyes, and in the wryness of his smile. In fact, the line of his
lips may well be his most revealing feature. There is something furtive
about his mouth; it hints at sensual and lascivious intent. He wants to
have fun. But is it allowed?
After praising the quality of beetroots and olives, the Prince was
ushered into a very ugly building to sip San Pellegrino mineral water
and launch a business and community project which aims to address
Melbourne's social ills. He referred to a similar scheme that he had
once supported. "Until gradually," he added, his mouth twitching with an
irresistible impulse, "as the actress said to the bishop, it became too
big for me."
It went down somewhere in the order of a lead balloon.
You rarely hear it used
these days. The Dictionary of Slang says it's "a jocular catch phrase that
draws attention to an otherwise innocent statement by imbuing sexual
A few weeks ago, icWales, "the national website of Wales" (the country of
which Charles is Prince) displayed a story from the Western Mail in
which Tryst Williams offered an example of the phrase: "OO-ER vicar, that's
a lovely pair of creamy buns you've got there."
Tryst (another appropriate name) added: "This, no doubt, is the kind of
saucy remark the majority of people raised on a steady stream of 'wink wink
nudge nudge' jokes and innuendo-filled Carry On films would expect when the
Western Mail put two actresses, a vicar and a trainee vicar in a room
together for an hour...
"Oh, and while we're on the subject of stereotype-busting, who do you
think it was more difficult to get hold of when explaining the latest barmy
newsdesk plan of trying to get vicars and actresses together for the sole
purposes of using the headline As the actress said to the bishop?
Actresses, not normally known to eschew a bit of free publicity, or those
retiring, conservative types - vicars? Let's just say it came as a surprise
Leslie Charteris (born Leslie Charles Bowyer Yin), author of best-selling
books about The Saint in the 1930s, was fond of the phrase. In nearly
all his adventure stories, the hero, Simon Templar, a Robin Hood/James Bond
type, quoted it to hint at possible double entendres.
On the internet, Google offers more than 600 citations, many of them too
risqué for family reading.
In a web discussion about UK theme parks. Punk Rock Princess 631
wrote: "Have returned to TP [Thorpe Park] twice since initial report and
while still not freaked out by Nemesis Inferno, am getting to enjoy the ride
more and more. I really think that the more often you do it, the better it
gets - as the actress said to the bishop!"