Pulp singer Jarvis Cocker weighs in on 'bugger Bognor' debate

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Legendary Pulp singer Jarvis Cocker has weighed in on an ongoing historical debate regarding King George V and his infamous phrase purportedly denigrating Bognor Regis.

Cocker gave fans a contentious version of events surrounding the monarch's last words .bugger Bognor' when the pop star, who sold 10 million records with Pulp at the height of his Britpop fame in the 90s, was headlining at the weekend's Rockaway Beach Festival at the town's Butlin's.

Since King George V's death in 1936, the town has had to live with the less than flattering utterance, adding to the myriad of musical hall jokes that have arguably sullied the seaside resort's reputation.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

And on Saturday night at the gig, Cocker – performing under his JARV…IS moniker – said from the stage: "Are you familiar with the phrase, 'Bugger Bognor'?

Jarvis Cocker joins the 'bugger Bognor' debateJarvis Cocker joins the 'bugger Bognor' debate
Jarvis Cocker joins the 'bugger Bognor' debate

"Supposed to be the final words of King George V.

"He was there on his death bed not feeling very well, obviously, and one of his courtiers said, 'well, never mind, Your Highness, next week you'll be in Bognor and you'll be feeling a lot better with the sea air', and he said, 'bugger Bognor' and then he died.

"Apparently true, I saw it on the internet."

But an online trawl throws up a different phrase said to have been the last words mouthed by the King as he passed away. He may well have said 'bugger Bognor' as he recuperated -- following lung surgery -- at Craigwell House in Aldwick, but there is evidence to suggest that they were not his dying words.

The King's doctor, Lord Dawson of Penn's private diary, unearthed after his death and made public in 1986, reveals that the King's last words, a mumbled "God damn you!", were addressed to nurse Catherine Black when she administered a sedative the night he died.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

However, there is no dispute that Bognor DID benefit from the King as he convalesced by the sea -- he bestowed the suffix 'Regis' on the town in 1929.

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.