The tawdry ba­nal­ity of the self-in­ter­ested

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - TELEVISION - Ed Power

Thomas Markle be­lieves it is ‘time to look af­ter Daddy’; Belsen: Our Story bears vi­tal witness at an ur­gent time; Nigel Farage likes to play the bum­bler, but his darker side is never far be­hind

The on­go­ing three-ring cir­cus that is the House of Wind­sor is surely in dan­ger of putting Peter Mor­gan’s The Crown out of busi­ness. How can mere tele­vi­sion com­pete with the real-life drama con­vuls­ing the roy­als as they bounce be­tween the Prince Andrew scan­dal and the Sus­sexes’ hard Megxit to Canada?

But if Harry and Meghan hoped mov­ing to North Amer­ica would draw a line un­der their par­tic­i­pa­tion in this soap opera, they had reck­oned with­out the UK’s Chan­nel 5. Last year, it tracked down Meghan’s es­tranged fa­ther, Thomas, for a fea­ture-length con­ver­sa­tion at his home in north­ern Mex­ico.

Thomas Markle: My Story (Vir­gin Me­dia One, Sun­day, 10pm) is ev­ery bit as tawdry as you might imag­ine. Just by watch­ing you are left feel­ing slightly com­plicit in the cam­paign waged by el­e­ments of the Bri­tish me­dia against Meghan and Harry. Thomas at one point ac­tu­ally likens his predica­ment to the be­reave­ment his son-in-law suf­fered with the death of Princess Diana.

“Harry, know­ing what his mother went through, should be re­ally con­cerned with what is hap­pen­ing to me,” Markle tells pro­duc­tion com­pany Alaska TV, which has pre­vi­ously treated us to such eru­dite de­lights as Do­ing Drugs For Fun and Young, Dumb and Banged Up in the Sun.

He also makes it clear that he hopes the in­ter­view – for which he is be­ing paid – will re­ha­bil­i­tate his im­age. “I want ev­ery­one to know that I’m not all the trashy things that are be­ing said about me.”

Markle and his daugh­ter haven’t spo­ken since he no­to­ri­ously posed for pa­parazzi shots in Mex­ico in which he ap­peared to be swot­ting up on Bri­tain and los­ing weight for the im­mi­nent royal wed­ding (which he did not at­tend). The pain he feels over the rift is pal­pa­ble.

He talks about hold­ing his daugh­ter af­ter she is born by C-sec­tion and be­gins to weep re­call­ing his hurt at see­ing Charles lead­ing her up the aisle. Markle ac­knowl­edges, too, that he may never again have di­rect con­tact with Meghan or Harry. He comes across as re­signed to that – sad but ac­cept­ing.

Yet if he is speak­ing from the heart, it’s clear his wal­let is an ad­di­tional con­sid­er­a­tion. “It’s time to look af­ter Daddy,” he says at one point. “For what I’ve been through,” he con­tin­ues later “I should be re­warded.” What daugh­ter

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.