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THERE is a real danger of wedding overload this week on television.

Even those who are looking forward to the nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton might feel they've had quite enough of the pair by the time their big day rolls round on Friday.

Because, even before the blanket coverage on BBC1 and ITV1 starting as early as 8am and going on until 4pm - with evening highlights too, naturally - there are masses of other programmes.

ROYAL WEDDING Some are conventional documentaries, which tell us everything we could possibly need to know about the happy couple. WATCH Others are more fun affairs, like My Big Fat Royal Gypsy Wedding (Channel 4, Thursday, 9pm, pictured left). The union of travellers Mary and Paddy from Peterborough threatens to eclipse the Royal couple's celebrations - I bet her train is just as long, her dress even wider and she sparkles with more bling. And Mary arrives in a glass horse-drawn carriage fit for a princess.

Channel 4 also makes us laugh with a Come Dine With Me special on Friday, in which four hosts have a bigger challenge than usual - organising street parties for up to 40 people. Will a 1940s-themed bash beat a traditional village feast to the pounds 3,000 prize? Sue Perkins and Giles Coren stage their own royal wedding on BBC2 on Wednesday, donning period costumes and drawing inspiration from past princes and princesses as they scoff a lavish banquet.

BBC3 weighs in with a live edition of Don't Tell The Bride on Friday. The groom has pounds 12,000 to pay for their big day, but the catch is that the bride can't make any decisions or know anything that he's planning. We'll join them live at their reception to see whether she wants to kill him or kiss him.

David Starkey puts the wedding in its proper historical context with his documentary William and Kate: Romance and the Royals (Channel 4, Wednesday, 9pm), and reveals that a prince marrying a commoner is not such a break with tradition. He points out that William is, in fact, descended from the daughter of a royal servant who married her boss.

If you want a laugh, tune into the madefor-TV film William & Kate: The Movie (Channel 5, Sunday, 3.55pm). It's not supposed to be funny, but getting a New Zealander and an American to play the couple, and giving them a terrible script, does make for chucklesome viewing.

If you're not sick of the sight of wedding cake and white dresses after all that, then it's a toss-up between the BBC and ITV as to which channel you follow on the big day. It's traditional for the nation to choose the Beeb for these occasions. Their coverage is provided by Huw Edward, Fiona Bruce and Sophie Raworth, while Phillip Schofield and Julie Etchingham try to persuade us to turn over to ITV.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Apr 24, 2011
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