Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Even Vegas Has Rules That You Cannot Cross; WHAT'S ON TV Sir Trevor McDonald Scrutinises the Seedy Sides of Sin City in His Latest Documentary. KATE WHITING Catches Up with the Veteran Presenter to Find out about His 'Insane' Career, and How the Refugee Crisis Is the Worst Thing He's Ever Seen

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Even Vegas Has Rules That You Cannot Cross; WHAT'S ON TV Sir Trevor McDonald Scrutinises the Seedy Sides of Sin City in His Latest Documentary. KATE WHITING Catches Up with the Veteran Presenter to Find out about His 'Insane' Career, and How the Refugee Crisis Is the Worst Thing He's Ever Seen

Article excerpt

Byline: KATE WHITING

PICK OF THE WEEK LAS VEGAS WITH TREVOR McDONALD (ITV, Monday, 9pm) SIR Trevor McDonald has a funny story which perfectly illustrates "the insanity" of television news. "I left my house one morning to play tennis and my editor called me up and said, 'Can you get on the Concorde to New York?' So I turned the car around from tennis and got on. I called my house from New York and they (my family) said, 'What the hell are you doing in New York, you were going to play tennis? Have you got in to the US Open?' "It's bizarre, it's insane. And we all did it. Looking back on it now, it was sheer madness!" Sir Trevor, 76, is recalling his four decade-long career in broadcasting over a cup of Earl Grey at ITV, where the TV legend most famously presented the News at Ten.

For someone approaching 80, you'd be forgiven for thinking Sir Trevor would prefer to stay at home watching sport (his favourite pastime) than meeting pimps, prostitutes and bounty hunters. But that's exactly what he did for his new two-part documentary exploring the dark underbelly of Las Vegas.

It follows this spring's The Mafia With Trevor McDonald, which saw the Caribbean-born broadcaster hanging out with death row inmates and grilling former mobsters.

"You come to this place and somehow it manages, with its kind of magic, to give you the impression you can do whatever you like," he says of Vegas.

"You end up in trouble. It's not really a free-for-all. It may have that image, but there are rules, even in Vegas, that you can't cross."

We see him accompany bail bondsman Jon Foster and a couple of burly employees to track down a guy who's got into financial problems and skipped bail.

Jon explains that Nevada's an 'open carry state', meaning it's legal to walk around Vegas carrying a loaded weapon.

"It was not the happiest time of my life," admits the presenter, "but mainly because I have this thing about guns and he had three of them.

"I think if people carry guns, they tend to shoot them, otherwise why are you carrying it? If you don't want to shoot anyone, there's a terribly easy way to do it. Don't carry a gun."

He also meets Annie Lobert, a former high-class prostitute, who now runs a safe house for others escaping violent pimps.

"I found it a very poignant story," he says. "I do believe some of these girls weren't quite sure what they were getting into.

"They had a bad time and have had the courage to take steps to change. That's a big undertaking. I'm always moved by stories like that. It's a story of redemption."

Scenes can get very emotional, but Sir Trevor is clear on his role - which isn't to try and offer a shoulder to cry on.

"I think, at best, our job is to talk, stand back and observe. I don't mean that we are emotionless or that we don't feel the pain, but I don't believe in television that emotes too much," he explains. …

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