Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

A Family Skeleton in Julian's Closet

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

A Family Skeleton in Julian's Closet

Article excerpt


Who Do You Think You Are?

9pm, BBC2

JULIAN CLARY discards his glittery outfits and makeup for this journey into his family's past (well, no need to alarm the ancestors, is there?).

Admittedly, he occasionally turns out in a shirt that is not for the shy and retiring, but he has definitely got his thoughtful head on for this - and is all the more likeable for it.

His trawl through public records offices, as well as home archives, unearths, among other things, what seems like a skeleton in the family closet - a secret that might explain why his great-grandmother was apparently ostracised by the rest of her family. The emerging tale fascinates him. "It's like reading a really good novel," he says. "It's a love story of sorts, with a sad ending."

Setting off on another tack, Clary is already aware of a Germanic side to his family, on his father's side - a distant relative known as Herman the German (yes, he really is called Herman). But imagine Clary's surprise when it emerges that there is another Germanic connection, through his mother.

Who wants to learn they have a double German history? "I hope the BBC are going to pay for our counselling," quips Clary.

Although, actually, he seems impressed and intrigued by his unexpected background. It's an edition of this series that's not up to the emotional levels of Jeremy Paxman's or Stephen Fry's (for which some might be grateful), but it is very watchable nevertheless.

Desperate Housewives 10pm, Channel 4

You can't pin a good woman down - except in the case of Gabrielle (Eva Longoria, right), who likes nothing better. However, with husband Carlos detained in prison, she's short of action, so her thoughts turn to John the gardener - who, fans of the first series will recall, did his best work in beds (not to mention living rooms and kitchens). Will he welcome the chance to go over old ground?

Meanwhile, Bree discovers the police have dug up hubby Rex's body. …

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