Entertainment & Arts

Ben Fogle hits back at 'mean' responses to royal birthday song suggestion

Ben Fogle Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ben Fogle is known for presenting TV shows including Countryfile

First we collectively clapped for health workers, now the UK is about to sing Happy Birthday to Her Majesty. Or perhaps not...

TV presenter Ben Fogle has suggested a nationwide sing-along to mark The Queen's 94th birthday on Tuesday.

"At 9am 21st April, we are calling on the whole country to sing Happy Birthday from our windows and doorsteps," posted the broadcaster.

However, the reception to his plan on social media was mostly frosty.

The suggestion did receive thousands of likes and retweets, with fellow broadcaster Davina McCall appearing to be in favour, replying "I love her".

Writer Caitlin Moran remarked that she found the idea of Fogle himself "roaring it out" quite "comforting".

Fogle said he thought "#singforthequeen" would "bring good cheer" to the nation.

But many flatly turned down the TV adventurer's offer to sing for the monarch, suggesting it jarred with the current crisis.

The UK announced another 861 coronavirus deaths on Thursday, taking the total number of hospital fatalities to 13,729.

"Next Tuesday will have been many people's birthdays. Some of them may be dead due to Coronavirus," wrote Twitter user Anne.

"The Queen is a very wealthy woman who could be donating £millions to NHS and opening up one of her palaces for use as a hospital. I won't #singforthequeen."

Someone else wrote: "Let's save the clapping/singing for the frontline heroes shall we?"

Another user wrote: "Really misread the room with this one Ben."

'Mean spirited'

Fogle later pointed out that the idea had come from his nine-year-old daughter Iona, and that he had originally posted it in a video with her on Wednesday.

"Some of the responses seem pretty mean spirited to a well intentioned idea from a 9 year old," he wrote.

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Media captionThe Queen: "We will be with our friends again, we will be with our families again, we will meet again"

Earlier this month, the monarch made a rare TV address, saying the UK "will succeed" in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

She thanked key workers for their efforts, saying "every hour" of work "brings us closer to a return to more normal times".

The nation has been applauding health workers and other key personnel every Thursday.

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Media captionWatch people around the UK clap for NHS workers on 9 April

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