happy family…?

Well the last posting (actually in praise of something) generated so much interest and comment that I thought I’d better revert to my usual caustic approach and find something to criticise, ridicule or poke fun at. And I think I found a doozie. You must have seen the news reports following the remarkable story of the young English backpacker Jamie Neale who turned up safe and well after being lost in the Australian bush for 12 days. By all accounts he’d set off all alone without letting people know where he was headed and without any means of communications. Most opinion seems to think he was either as smart as a sponge (ie another stupid pom) or it’s all a con trick and he’s after making some money from selling the story of his ‘great escape’. But I’ve a different theory….

First off I couldn’t help but notice that his dad, Richard Cass, was a bit of a character, you know the eccentric Englishman. Funny hat, expressive personality, looks a bit like Captain Birdseye, seemed to rather like the media attention etc. Take a look at this shot of the ‘concerned’ dad with his soon in the hospital. It’s not the look of a man overcome with relief is it? It’s more like  ‘from this angle people say I look like Bob Hoskins’


Then there’s the mother, Jean Neale, back home in Muswell Hill. I watched an interview with her on GMTV. She was sat at the kitchen table with her two sisters and she genuinely did sound relieved to learn that her son was alive and well.  Now this is going to sound cruel but I swear they were 3 of the least groomed women to be gathered in one place that I’ve ever seen in my life. I’ve looked everywhere to try and find a video of that interview to post here but alas I can’t find it. But here’s a shot of glum mum, one of the aunties and a rather nice looking sister. I can only assume this was taken before Jamie was found. It’s not flattering though is it?


Now back to the disappearance. I’m sure the Neales are going to make some money from the whole episode and I’m also convinced he’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer. But with a family like this you might be tempted to get away from it all. And it’s hard to think of somewhere further from Muswell Hill and the mad dad and the mum/aunts who eschew personal grooming, than Australia’s Blue Mountains. And it can’t be all normal happy family stuff because look at the names. Jamie’s obviously taken his mother’s surname rather than that of his father. And on a radio interview with Jean she made a point of correcting the interviewer by snappily confirming that she wasn’t married to  jocular Richard. Well I think I might have taken to wearing goofie hats and spending time down at the golf range if I’d had to endure Sunday lunches with the Sisters Grimm. But that’s not very gracious – they might be the nicest people on earth for all I know.

So was it all a clever hoax, or just a bit of idiocy or a simple case of doing a bit of a runner from the Muswell Hillbillies? My cheeky money’s on the latter but whatever – there’s a happy outcome for once. And come on GMTV, you’ve interviewed the ladies before they had chance (let’s be charitable) to do their hair and put on some slap. Why not get Lorraine Kelly to invite Jean and the sisters to one of those GMTV make-overs? I could probably get L’Oreal to sponsor the show – they’d get to showcase some products!



This entry was posted in MEDIA WATCH, tv and tagged , , , by Paul. Bookmark the permalink.

About Paul

Having decided on a change of life by moving home from the UK to Italy, this is the story and thoughts of a man on a personal journey from the Blackpool Tower to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, in search of la dolce vita. After several olive harvests he's now back in London but en route he shares his very personal perspectives on life.

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