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