DIANNE BUTLER OUT OF THE BOX
OF COURSE it’s possible not everyone does have a story. Or knows their story. Or wants to tell it. Or is capable of telling it. Or maybe it’s boring.
Welcome to another season of Who Do You Think You Are? Starring — not in order — Shane Bourne, Rod Marsh, Tina Arena, Georgie Parker — who is shown standing I swear at Summer Bay — Paul Mercurio and Magda Szubanski, who’s up tonight. Came from England when she was five, Polish father who fought in the Resistance during World War II, Scottish mother. Dad died three years ago, mum’s alive, either knows nothing, is saying nothing, or has nothing to say.
Magda’s keen to find out about her mother’s father, Luke McCarthy, who died before Magda was born. He was Irish and Catholic, might’ve been in the IRA. There are a lot of gaps though, like most — all, probably — families. My view on gaps is, put some Liquid Nails on them, they’ll be right.
She’s also interested in learning more about how her father passed the time during World War II. Apparently he didn’t talk about the Nazis much— quelle surprise— and she thinks it could be because it was just too painful for him. Good budget on this show, just going by the amount of leg room Magda has on the plane.
Up tonight: Magda Szubanski.
She arrives in Dublin to have a look at the 1901 census to try to find her grandfather, and it’s on.
‘‘ I knew I’d be crying but I didn’t think I’d be crying so soon,’’ she says. Me neither Magda. She cries and cries, at the tiniest detail. She never met the man, maybe it’s that. Who knows what makes people react to things. I feel sad whenever I get a newsletter from the WSPA.
In the absence of an array of family photos and hitherto unknown cousins suddenly appearing, the producers have done a nice job buttressing Magda’s travelogue with generic World War II footage. It works well, especially for her father in Poland during the Occupation, because if there’s one thing SBS has plenty of, it’s footage of Nazis. WhoDo You Think You Are? SBS One, 7.30pm