Monday, 21 May 2018

A very Russell T Davies scandal

Swansea's own Russell T Davies has done gaily for the Thorpe scandal what Cardiff's Andrew Davies did heterosexually for Jane Austen. Russell T was interviewed for the Sunday Supplement*, when
he confessed to playing up the Welsh connections - which are nevertheless fascinating. He also said that he had given a preview of the whole three-part series to Norman Scott who had pronounced himself satisfied with the result. Only later did the Daily Mail publish a piece in which Scott was said to have complained about the way he was portrayed.

Personally, the only characterisation I did find convincing was Ben Whishaw's Norman Scott. Hugh Grant was just Hugh Grant with a deeper voice than usual and surely Leo Abse was higher-pitched and sounded slightly posher than  played him? As I recall Lord Arran he was more Benjamin Whitrow than . With so many actors and a writer having to rely on court transcripts, a novelisation and newsreel footage for their characterisation, it was good to read at least one recollection of one "who was there", Lord Thomas of Gresford.

I felt for the son of Thorpe and Caroline Allpass who, though he has managed to keep out of the public eye, must suffer every time there is a reminder of his mother's tragic death and the scandal which will ever be associated with the name of his father.

In the course of this Vaughan Roderick matter-of-factly came out. The programme was also notable for an interview with Peter Tatchell on the illiberal "Section 28"  ("Clause 2B" in Scotland) introduced by Mrs Thatcher which ramped up discrimination and violence against homosexuals. There was also a telling contribution from Rodney Berman in the papers review.   


Frank Little said...

Chatter among Liberals who were active at the time agrees that Hugh Grant captured the essential qualities of Jeremy Thorpe. I can only plead that the public man, who is all I knew, was different from the private man. By the way, I wonder if the last two parts of the series will show Thorpe speaking Welsh? I remember his showing off his knowledge of the language in an Any Questions recording from Wales - possibly this one.

Frank Little said...

- or more likely this one, when he shared the platform with Carwyn James. Ironically, "Caravan" was also gay though this was not public knowledge at the time.