Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Privacy is privacy, but book tours are book tours

This weekend's Heaven and Earth show (or "Shh! Don't call it church-time") on BBC One was a strange, rock-heavy mix: Cliff Richard was on it, talking about how his faith had influenced his music - pretty much making it worse, in effect. "I changed the words of Devil Woman so it was a warning," he told a wide-eyed Gloria Hunniford, "and I got a letter from a woman in Australia who said that it had saved her." Richard suggested this might be a miracle - something to file away for after his death, when we can start the move to sainthood, I imagine.

Next up came Robin Gibb: he was promoting some sort of campaign that is encouraging people to take time to reflect on stuff. Gloria seemed convinced the erstwhile BeeGee was wanting us to spend a minute out of every hour reflecting; maybe during the introduction Robin realised the problems that might cause (do we have to wake up every hour during the night, or can we do an eight-minute reflect in the morning to catch up?) - maybe he was even reflecting when the realisation came - and only asked for a "moment" in every day.

Gloria announced she was going to take her minute there and then, telling Robin "you'll have to keep talking for a minute while I keep quiet" - which we think might have just been her being rude to him. In a twinkly way, of course.

Then, plugging her book ("talking about how her spirituality had helped her during the crisis of her son's addiction"), up popped Jackie Doherty. Jackie is a very private person, but she can't expect that book to sell itself, can she?

Jackie's also got a hefty interview in the Liverpool Echo, on the strength of her Liverpool roots. They leap right in to nailing that Scouse connection, retelling the tale of Pete's school essay on Hillsborough, and mentioning Breck Road Lover, before... well, not getting anywhere, really. As Gloria found, while Jackie's story is a heartbreaking one for any mother to go through, she doesn't really have any insight into Pete's story, and very little to offer anyone in a similar position.

While Ms Doherty genuinely seems to have been motivated by something other than greed to write the book, the media tour starts to make it look like any other showbiz memoir - My Life Raising The I Didn't Do It Boy. We hope the writing of it helped her in her troubled times, but we can't help but feel it might have been better to have left it as a diary rather than part of a Waterstones three-for-two offer.

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