I can scarcely believe that is nearly 20 years since the death of Diana, Princess of Wales in the Paris tunnel car crash, and ITV produced a captivating documentary this week looking at her life as a mother, featuring her two sons William and Harry.
“Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy” was a moving piece of work as it was essentially about two boys that lost their mum far too early. The guys opened up and at times rightly got emotional about a woman that was dubbed “The People’s Princess”. In one moment, William was asked about his last phone conversation hours before she died and said that he remembered her last words to him. There was a telling pause that showed that it was a secret that he would forever keep to himself.
We did learn a lot about her fun nature, in addition to the already-documented work that she did with homeless and AIDS charities, plus her campaign to ban landmines. It was as if she had produced the 90 minutes herself, and that’s not meant to be a critcism, as I enjoyed every minute of it. There were, however, some “no-go areas” in terms of talking to the Princes, but perhaps the documentary as a whole should somehow have worked them in.
For example, there was no mention of Camilla (dubbed the “other woman” by Diana); Diana’s various relationships including James Hewitt or Dodi Fayed; or her infamous Panorama interview with Martin Bashir. I’d have loved to have known what Wills and Harry felt about those topics (they do like Camilla a lot), but the documentary did push out the boat big time, and I suspect The Queen must have been shuffling uncomfortably as she watched it (you bet she did!).
Wills and Harry once again came over as top people cut straight from their mum’s cloth and part of a new modern generation of Royals that have a natural touch, but they also made it clear, that they do have a strong distrust over certain elements of the media, especially with what Diana went through. 20 years ago in the wake of her death and the mishandled reaction from the Royals, the monarchy was in trouble, but Diana’s legacy is that her sons are making it stronger than ever.
What a let down for BBC 2’s new satirical show, The Mash Report, which I actually gave up on after 15 minutes because it was devoid of laughs. It’s a TV version of the satirical Daily Mash website which publishes spoof articles, and I suggest it should stay on the Internet. Fronted by Nish Kumar, this is clearly an attempt to ape some of the bitingly funny US shows of a similar format, but fails miserably. The lamely fronted spoof newsreading, reports, and correspondants had me hankering for the days of Pamela Stephenson and Mel Smith on Not the Nine O’Clock News, and Christopher Morris for his work on The Day Today and Brass Eye. I cannot believe this has been commissioned for a ten-week slot, and I can’t wait for the return of Mock the Week in the Thursday slot come September. Amazingly, I read a couple of UK reviews that described The Mash Report as “amusing” and “promising”. Were they watching the same programme?
If you live in Spain, then I think you should make an effort to learn something about the country’s history. A perfect example is a two-part Michael Portillo-presented series about the Spanish Civil War, using colourised footage from the late thirties. Airing on the Quest satellite channel, this is strongly recommended to learn something about a dreadful event with horrific abuses on both sides, as Germany, Italy, and the Soviet Union almost used it as a training ground for the Second World War, whilst the rest of the world did nothing.