All my thinking life, I’ve thought that the religious should have no bearing on our moral compass. For a start, morality isn’t a compass… it’s more like pinning a tail on a donkey. So, when good honest Christians start ranting at me about how I can live my life, I get incredibly angry. Likewise, when I see Christians telling women when they can or can’t have an abortion, I think, what has it gotta do with you, dolt?’ So with that, you can imagine that I’m not a fan of Mary Whitehouse. However, I might just tune in for Filth: The Mary Whitehouse Story (BBC Two, Wednesday, 28 May, 9pm).
I know that I’m guilty of tuning into things just to sneer. If this was a documentary about Whitehouse, I’d do just that. I’d mock her backward view on the world and rejoice at the ribbing she got from just about every half decent comedy show ever aired. Even something as gentle as The Goodies had it in for her, devoting entire sketches to her, just to take the piss.
To me, what sums Mary Whitehouse up is her horror and complaints when she was asked about a show that killed children. That show was kids gameshow Knightmare which saw kids eaten in crude CGI as opposed to, y’know, actually killing them.
However, Filth… isn’t a documentary about her, but rather, a drama, starring the lovely Julie Walters. I’m hoping that this programme will shed some light on the lady behind the complaints and battle-axing, and actually soften me to show that, behind all that brouhaha, lies a warm person who just cared. Julie Walters, by all accounts, has done a sterling job aping Whitehouse, and if anyone can make her even slightly lovable, then it’s Walters. Either way, this should make for some rather interesting telly.Join TVScoop on Facebook for exclusive competitions and gossip