Let’s be Frank, TV is more bru­tal than boxing

Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

THE BBC3 doc­u­men­tary

had so much home video footage it should have been called ‘You’ve Been Franked’.

Old home movies are of­ten tinged with sad­ness – but th­ese grainy VHS im­ages were heart­break­ing.

Big Frank in his prime, the loving hus­band giv­ing his gig­gling wife a friendly boob honk.

Big Frank the proud dad cheer­ing on Rachel in a cross­coun­try race. (Re­mem­ber, this was in the dark days of the 1990s, when kids were still AL­LOWED to ac­tu­ally win races at school sports day.)

Big Frank the lovable clown, lark­ing about with his kids’ Christ­mas pressies.

Ten years later the wife was long gone. The kids, barely grown up, would be forced to sign the pa­per­work to have their old man sec­tioned – and the Bruno fam­ily was torn apart.

That Rachel, now 26, wants to patch things up with her dad and un­der­stand his ill­ness is com­pletely un­der­stand­able. Why she wants to do it with a TV crew in tow, how­ever, was never re­ally ex­plained.

Hope­fully, it was not just so she could be fa­mous.

She does not seem the fame­hun­gry type but I guess we’ll find out over the com­ing months, when she steps back to an hon­est life in the shad­ows or crops up on Celebrity Big Brother.

Tetchy

SAD news on Coro­na­tion Street as Hay­ley dis­cov­ers she has kid­ney can­cer. We’ve known for quite some time that soa­p­land’s most cel­e­brated tran­nie was go­ing to catch the big C, but it was not known which type. My money was on prostate.

The news was dou­bly sad be­cause Roy had just bought her tick­ets for the ball­room danc­ing show Midnight Tango. And now she’s go­ing to Fox­trot Os­car.

Bet­ter news for Au­drey, at least, who marked a rather gloomy birth­day by ask­ing builder Owen to pop round and take a look at her damp patch.

Au­drey, luv, if you’ve still got a damp patch at your age – you’re do­ing some­thing right!

Ei­ther way, this doc­u­men­tary was like Bruno-Tyson in 1996. Once again, Frank was com­pelled to take part – this time by pa­ter­nal love rather than a le­gal con­tract – and once again you feared for him through­out.

De­spite do­ing his best to play ball – al­low­ing the cam­eras into his house and telling Rachel to “ask me any­thing you want” – Frank was clearly un­com­fort­able.

When “in­ter­viewed” by his daugh­ter, he was tetchy and eva­sive. In turn, she was too ner­vous to ask a straight ques­tion, choos­ing in­stead to pour out her feel­ings of hurt.

If this was a heavy­weight bout, the ref­eree would have stepped in and called it off. Nei­ther of them was up to it.

But tele­vi­sion is a far more bru­tal world than boxing. Un­der the guise of “rais­ing aware­ness”, it can do what­ever the hell it likes, in­clud­ing snatch­ing a ring­side seat at a tragic fam­ily break­down.

Shar­ing home video footage of kids’ par­ties and Christ­mas high-jinks is one thing. But there are cer­tain fam­ily mo­ments that should re­main pri­vate.

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