Sir Trevor McDonald: I am never, ever, doing another prison series
Tuesday 17 September 2013
Veteran broadcaster Sir Trevor McDonald has said that he will never do another TV series on prisoners because the experience has been so difficult.
The 74-year-old former newsreader admitted that he found it more difficult to "move on" after meeting prisoners than he did when returning from war zones.
Sir Trevor has filmed a new ITV documentary Women Behind Bars following a previous series, Inside Death Row.
He told the Radio Times: "I am never, ever, doing another prison series. Once these go out I shall wash my mind of prisons.
"It's been an extraordinary experience and not always very pleasant. I used to be shot at in Beirut one day and the next week in the pub I'd be talking about the Test match."
But he added: "These I have found much more difficult to mentally escape from. I have spent my life covering wars, and it's easy doing Libya from 20,000 feet. I shall keep reading about drone attacks and missiles launched from ships in the Mediterranean. They are lines on a page.
"These people talking about their crimes, I never want to hear those again."
Sir Trevor said of meeting murderers and other female inmates in two women's prisons in the US: "I'm a bit of a bleeding-heart liberal and I see few situations like these where I don't feel sorry for people.
"You can never condone what they have done, but it doesn't stop me feeling sorry for them. And it's the fact they are women and, in the most case, mothers.
"Women are the glue that holds families and communities together. You look around and think, 'What has happened to all the families of these people, how will their children grow up?', and you imagine that it doesn't always have a happy ending."
He said that he remained in touch with one of the prisoners he met while making Inside Death Row, a US inmate serving a 170-year sentence for a double murder he committed at 13.
"I do feel sorry for him. I did send him some books, English novels like Dickens. And I know that he was grateful for them. But these contacts are going nowhere and I didn't want to continue," he said.
"I saw them (the prisoners) in the daytime and I didn't enjoy it. I don't want to live my life like that. It's a job, it's a television programme, but I found it really difficult to move on."
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Secret Cinema: Why were Back to the Future screenings cancelled?
- 2 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 3 The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 4 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
- 5 Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star, dies aged 45
Top Gear Burma episode breached Ofcom rules over Jeremy Clarkson's racial slur
Secret Cinema: Why were Back to the Future screenings cancelled?
Game of Thrones season 4 blooper reel unveiled at Comic-Con 2014
Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 teaser trailer sees Katniss lead rebellion against the Capitol
The Simpsons Family Guy trailer: First look at crossover episode after Comic-Con debut
The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace