Re­veal all, even undies

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TELEVISION -

CHAN­NEL 10’S Hamish McDon­ald (pic­tured) was more con­cerned about be­ing seen in his white undies than be­ing ex­posed to ra­di­a­tion on an as­sign­ment to Ch­er­nobyl. McDon­ald fronts a new se­ries, a sort of hy­brid of doc­u­men­tary and cur­rent af­fairs, which takes a hu­man an­gle on big pic­ture is­sues. In the first of three hour­long episodes of The Truth Is...?, McDon­ald meets a for­mer US war vet­eran, who runs a civil­ian sniper school in Arizona, and vis­its Ch­er­nobyl nu­clear power plant and the lo­cals in their homes. Be­fore McDon­ald and his cam­era crew are al­lowed in­side the nu­clear re­ac­tor they first have to strip down to their undies and walk to an­other room to put on pro­tec­tive suits. The Ten late news host wanted the se­ries to show the trap­pings and trim­mings of be­ing a jour­nal­ist on as­sign­ment, so the de-rob­ing in­side Ch­er­nobyl made the fi­nal edit. McDon­ald says he should have cho­sen a bet­ter pair of jocks for the oc­ca­sion but at least that was more of a con­cern than be­ing ex­posed to ra­di­a­tion. ‘‘I wanted to let the au­di­ence in on the fun be­cause it’s never just about in­ter­view­ing peo­ple, there’s more to it when you are on as­sign­ment,’’ McDon­ald says. ‘‘You find out pretty quickly if you have been ex­posed to ra­di­a­tion but you are pretty safe go­ing to Ch­er­nobyl. You’re prob­a­bly ex­posed less to ra­di­a­tion there than you are on a flight from Syd­ney to Tokyo.’’ The Truth Is...? also shows the ghost town ex­is­tence of vil­lages and towns close to the nu­clear re­ac­tor, and dis­cusses the past and present with lo­cals in Ch­er­nobyl. ‘‘We take a big pic­ture is­sue and in each in­stance find a char­ac­ter or ad­ven­ture that brings the au­di­ence a lot closer to un­der­stand­ing the is­sue,’’ McDon­ald says.

– DAR­REN CARTWRIGHT The Truth Is...?: Mon­day, 8.30pm, Ten, Ten SC.

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