DIANNE BUT­LER OUT OF THE BOX

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Tuesday -

THERE’D be many rea­sons why some­one wouldn’t do Who Do You Think You Are? Shaun Mi­callef’s chief con­cern, and fair enough, is fear of re­veal­ing a his­tory of dull peo­ple. Clearly it wasn’t enough to stop him go­ing ahead. And al­most im­me­di­ately a dull Mi­callef is un­earthed: Shaun. Shaun, and his fam­ily. I’m not say­ing this, he is — he’s talk­ing about his child­hood in Ade­laide. Later, he speaks of dull in a com­fort­ing, lov­ing way, but that’s af­ter he’s been through two aw­ful wars on his mother’s and fa­ther’s side.

He knows hardly any­thing about his back­ground so he’s a good topic for this show. Plus he’s barely had a con­ver­sa­tion with his fa­ther, so find­ing out any­thing at all will be some- thing. ‘‘ It’s good to have these lit­tle chats ev­ery 49 years,’’ he re­marks af­ter they talk about Malta for a few min­utes. Shaun tells us af­ter­wards it’s the most he’s said to his fa­ther, one-on-one, in his life. ‘‘ Which begs a num­ber of ques­tions,’’ he says. Doesn’t it.

Fred, his fa­ther, grew up in Malta, and lived there dur­ing WWII when it had the day­lights bombed out of it. Shaun

Fam­ily mat­ters: Shaun Mi­callef goes back there, and also to Turkey and the UK— those as part of the search on his mother Judy’s side. The trips are war-heavy; some of you will en­joy this episode be­cause of that alone. Two key bat­tles in mil­i­tary his­tory fea­ture here — the Bat­tle of Inker­man, from the Crimean War, and Jut­land, from WWI.

Shaun’s tremen­dously re­lieved when he finds out about the Crimean War in­volve­ment. ‘‘ See now that’s not dull, that’s in­ter­est­ing. Very in­ter­est­ing.’’ Yes and no. There are some nice lit­tle bits that come out but it’s largely a story for Shaun and his fam­ily. Who Do You Think You Are? SBS One, 7.30pm

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