Parkinson: Masterclass, Sky Arts 1 - TV review: Dynamo made for a particularly good show
Ellen E Jones
Ellen is The Independent's TV critic. She writes a daily review of Last Night's TV and a weekly 'Inside TV' column for the i paper, as well as a column on general topics for the main paper most Wednesdays. Ellen is a former Hollywood correspondent and a contributing editor to Little White Lies, she's written on TV, film, lifestyle, travel and politics for publications including the Guardian, The Times, The Sunday Times, Esquire and Total Film.
Wednesday 26 March 2014
I'm enjoying Parkinson: Masterclass, Sir Michael's latest interview series on Sky Arts 1. As well as exploring the nature of artistic talent in unusual depth, Parky's balance of cheek and charm – Mrs Merton crossed with James Bond – means he can get away with asking the kind of personal questions that would seem intrusive on, say, Piers Morgan's Life Stories.
Last night's guest, the street urchin-turned-illusionist Dynamo made for a particularly good show, as these two Yorkshire lads collaborated to unravel the contrast of ordinary bloke and extraordinary talent.
Dynamo, aka Steven Frayne, described the Bradford council estate he grew up in as a place full of opportunists: "And there weren't that many opportunities around." His own circumstances were particularly difficult. The son of a teenage mother and an imprisoned father, he was bullied as a child and diagnosed with Crohn's disease as a teenager – a condition that contributed to his famously slight stature.
Parky's biographical approach to understanding his subject's gifts worked particularly well here, as Dynamo revealed how his kindly great-grandfather had taught him his first magic tricks as a means to confront and escape bullying at school. Some of these biographical details did sound suspiciously like reworked snippets from the plot of The Karate Kid, but if so, who cares? It only makes Dynamo's dedication to showmanship that much more impressive.
After giving gay film R-rating despite no sex or violencefilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 3 Kajieme Powell: Missouri police release video footage of second man killed by officers
- 4 Paul Scholes: Manchester United need five experienced players who can turn round a desperate situation
- 5 James Foley 'beheading': Met police warn public watching murder video could be criminal offence
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
The Top Ten: Horrible buildings
JK Rowling writes new Harry Potter story on Pottermore: Introducing 'Singing Sorceress' Celestina Warbuck
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Celebrity Big Brother 2014 line-up: Meet the contestants from Lauren Goodger to Kellie Maloney and Audley Harrison
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Scottish Independence Referendum: Salmond described as 'arrogant, ambitious and dishonest' by Scottish women