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HomeCanadaCHRISTOPHER STEVENS: Prue Leith and her son can't answer life's toughest question

CHRISTOPHER STEVENS: Prue Leith and her son can’t answer life’s toughest question


Prue and Danny’s Death Road Trip


Funny woman

Judgement: 1660180048 103 CHRISTOPHER STEVENS on last nights TV

Like putting a birthday candle in a suet pudding, Danny Kruger managed to garnish an unrelentingly morbid and depressing documentary with a single flippant moment.

“She’s a national treasure, much loved,” he said of his mother Prue Leith. “I’m a Tory MP, less loved.”

Everything else in it Prue and Danny’s Death Road Trip (Chapter 4) was relentlessly grim. Well-meaning but ill-conceived, this was a bizarrely light-hearted form of talking about a painfully serious subject.

Mother and son flew across the Atlantic before heading from Seattle to Georgia and then to Vancouver, Canada, where they visited places where medical-assisted suicide is legal. Kruger, who set up an all-party parliamentary group to counter pressure for assisted suicide in Britain, argued logically and methodically.

Prue And Danny's Death Road Trip (Ch4) was relentlessly grim

Prue And Danny’s Death Road Trip (Ch4) was relentlessly grim

He feared terrible unintended consequences if doctors could end lives on demand.

“It should be about caring, not killing,” he insisted, warning of “a terrible dystopia of compulsion” and people wanting to end their lives because they are a burden.

“I can’t imagine how we can design a law that is safe,” he added.

Prue’s response was more emotional than analytical. She had watched her older brother die in agony after a long illness, desperate to end his own life, but unable to do so, when doctors were powerless to give him the relief he so longed for. desired.


Joining the panel of Tom Kerridge, Nisha Katona and Ed Gamble on Great British Menu (BBC2) was ex-Blue Peter star Gethin Jones.

SuperTed creator Mike Young also watched. I’ve heard of too many chefs.

Can you have too many cooking judges?

“I’d rather die like most dogs,” Prue, 82, said fervently, “by lethal injection, in seconds.”

This one-off program couldn’t separate logic from emotion. Perhaps with such a provocative subject, this would never be possible. It certainly wasn’t achievable in an hour zigzagging across America.

As a father of a severely disabled child, I strongly feel that some doctors are already putting pressure on parents to abort unborn babies with suspected medical conditions.

The idea that this pressure could continue after the child is born, with the constant shadow of legalized euthanasia, is appalling. But that’s my emotional reaction to the arguments.

No one interviewed on the show even thought about children, although it was suggested in Canada that assisted death might be appropriate for those with anorexia, a disease that often affects teenagers.

How can a law be drafted that allows assisted suicide, but excludes young people? Should there be a cutoff point, say 18 years old, and does that risk setting a target date for teens determined to die?

It is also easy to imagine how efforts by teachers or parents to dissuade young people from physician-assisted suicide are denounced as “conversion therapy” and banned. None of this was addressed. Instead, the show got bogged down in the question of which barbiturates were most lethally effective and painless—an afterthought.

The slapstick of Funny Woman (Sky Max) provided some welcome relief when Barbara, Gemma Arterton’s Blackpool beauty queen, began to break into showbiz in Swinging London.

Gemma Arterton stars as Barbara Parker in Funny Woman (Sky Max)

Gemma Arterton stars as Barbara Parker in Funny Woman (Sky Max)

A locker room brawl in a Soho nightclub tended towards full-on Carry On farce, but this series mostly celebrates the laughs of television’s early sitcom era.

References to Tony Hancock, the Goons, Eric Sykes and many others come almost too quickly to count.

Under blobs of prosthetic makeup, Rupert Everett is having a blast as the shady theater cop, Brian Debenham.

Kenneth Collard came into the picture playing a racist TV director. There’s no one better at playing terrible people, and he makes the best of it.

So is Gemma. She waved a feather duster and screeched, “Can I throw it on your knick-knacks?” Ooh ma’am!

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