Belfast Telegraph

TV View with Joe Nawaz: True to form, Calum saves his Best hurt for cameras

The programmes to watch and the ones you really want to miss

By Joe Nawaz

I lost my dad 10 years ago. Not down the back of the sofa, silly; he was murdered. It was horrible. Really, though, it was the sense of stolen time that was the thing for me. The cycle of rage, regret and random swearing at the old bugger, blaming him for, ooh, everything.

Then there was the excessive boozing, exalting my "hurt", making it the excuse for appalling behaviour. Basically, I'd read the handbook 10 Grate Things To Do As A Bereaved, Immature Male With Unresolved Dad Issues. After all the emotional spasming and thrashing about, I came to realise that, ultimately, I was grieving, very acutely, for myself. One isn't equipped to see how it affects others around you if you lack emotional maturity.

They're incidental to YOUR pain, the impact on YOUR life. But then, hopefully, you get perspective, and perhaps reach some kind of peace with yourself and the deceased. Of course, there will always be a deep sense of regret, of things unsaid. But, as that guy from Allo Allo never said: "C'est la vie." So it was particularly hard to watch the latest instalment of Stephen Nolan's browfurrowfest Story Of A Lifetime. Calum Best has enough celebrity dad issues to fill a full page and a half of Heat Magazine. Stephen could barely resist hugging himself with glee, because as soon as the cameras started rolling Best was off - with his post-peak-beard chin rug thing - at full pelt. He couldn't wait to offload this latest clutter of tiresomely familiar and massively indiscreet baggage.

"My dad was loved by so many, but didn't love me… he was a legend as a footballer but he wasn't a good dad." He just kept talking and gesticulating, like it was the Jeremy Kyle clinic for minor celebrities.

At one point, Best jnr said: "If I'd grown up where people knew him, I'd be playing for Man United now", showing us something of the derangement the poor sod has been lumbered with.

This being a Stephen Nolan product, we had the ole binary you say/they say routine. George's sister Barbara (left) countered Calum and his mum Angie's somewhat, ahem, effusive accusations.

"I wish Calum would stop painting the most awful picture. He wasn't necessarily the best father, son, brother - he was what he was."

It's what family members say when they feel they're being attacked. Their private thoughts on what kind of man George Best was are none of our business, really.

In the end, we had the usual facile see-sawing between contrasting soundbites devoid of useful revelation.

I understand how difficult it must be to live in the shadow of a much-loved, impressive parent, with the growing suspicion that you'll never match their accomplishments. That hurt must cut even deeper when you've felt rejected by them.

"A lot of people would urge you to stop saying I love my dad, but…" exhorted a 'quietly concerned' Nolan, knowing full well that that "but" was exactly why he was making the programme.

After a decade, perhaps it's kindest to ignore Calum Best, and let him finally process those issues, be it through the world of modelling, making a man-scent or whatever. But even as I type this I see he's up for the next Celebrity Big Brother. A whole brand new arena for the 33-year-old to get attention by decrying continuously his late dad, only this time he'll have stiff competition.

How our broadcasters had a mare with Gerry's 'Trozshan' horse

You know the worst, most ironic thing about the whole Trojan horse/Equality/B*****ds/Gerry Adams utterance-outrage-type thing this week?

It allowed that other Trojan horse - you know, the one of dicey local diction? - to wheel itself into TV studios and thence into our dinner time living rooms. I struggled to find a presenter or pundit talking about the incident on telly who'd gotten to grips with the obviously hard "J" sound in "Trojan".

Even the usually reliable Tara Mills was at it. As were numerous politicos, experts and sundry opinion-spouters. What where they at precisely? Well, the only way I can phonetically spell it is "Trozshan", like everybody was collectively drunk at an Illiad-themed orgy (which, in a way, they kind of were). It happened again, and again and again.

I frantically fumbled for Ken Reid (a recurring nightmare of mine) on UTV on the remote, but missed his "Trojan" take.

I calmed myself down a bit, realising that it was probably all a zsshtormin a tea-cup, when Gerry Adams himself came on Newsline and gave off about the "hyper-ball-Ay" which his critics where engaging in.

It may be all Greek to our obvious betters in society, but shouldn't they all be at least bothering to work out how to "say stuff"?

And am I the only one who expects better diction from our broadcasters and politicians? I know they say that even Homer nods, but come on.

If you've also been affected by eccentric diction on UTV or BBC NI, you probably spend too much time, like me, watching local TV.

Switch on...

"Critics are our friends, they show us our faults" said Benjamin Franklin. But what did he know? I know if I tell you to switch off The Fall, you'll be all over it like white on rice. So, TV "Trozshan horse"-style, I heartily recommend here that you switch on to this hot new thriller from these shores. No honestly!

Switch off...

The Fall - seriously, when are we going to realise that not everything over here is good? The D'Hont system, the Titanic, The Blame Game and now The Fall. Middling, exploitative thrills. Oh, and Masterchef: The Professionals is really boring, innit?

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