Who Do You Think You Are? Jason Donovan

Just between ourselves, I used to be a Neighbours addict, and watched it for many, many years. The move to Channel 5 (not available where I live) saved me many hours viewing of both Neighbours and Home and Away, but I’ve survived the loss. 

I never was a Jason fancier anyway. Despite him being old enough to be my father, I found Alan Dale attractive (suspect Freud would say I was hankering after Jim Robinson and Helen Daniels to be my parents). And my liking for Guy Pearce grew to love after seeing his excellent post-soap film appearances, especially with such drastically improved haircuts. I loved LA Confidential and Momento.

Pearce was also in the film version of Priscilla Queen of the Desert of course, and now Jason Donovan is in the stage show of it. What is it about Australian men and drag? They look so appealing. Look at Hugo Weaving. Adorable.

Anyway, I’m an intermittent fan of Who Do You Think You Are? It can be terrific. But also awful. I’ve gone off Alexander Armstrong entirely. Who knew he had no irony or self-awareness (‘my family aren’t rich, they just have land’ Yes, half a county by the looks of it). But Jason Donovan’s family history was very interesting indeed. It seemed sad that he’s estranged from his mother. I really wanted to  know more about that, and why custody of a young Jason went to his dad, Terence, after their divorce. Terence, by the way, is another actor familiar to Australian soap fans.

I was fascinated to learn about the history of British convicts deported to Australia, since I too have criminal ancestors who were shipped to the Antipodes for evil deeds (Jason’s for dealing in stolen goods, mine for sheep stealing). One of Jason’s relatives was actually captain on the convict ship, and did extremely impressive engineering work building new roads critical to the survival of the new settlers, navigating harsh, mountainous terrain.

I felt I learned more about his family than Donovan himself, but it was a fascinating programme nonetheless.

Posted by Inkface


Filed under Documentaries

2 responses to “Who Do You Think You Are? Jason Donovan

  1. chumbles

    Until I saw this I really disliked Jason Donovan. Hmm. Make that couldn’t stand. And like you I had my preconceptions turned around. Fascinating watching whilst he learnt his ancestors’ stories and certainly there were some real revelations. He actually came across as something like a human being. And similarly how not the case with Armstrong – how am I not surprised he’s related to a queen. But does he fully appreciated just what a bunch of murderous b’s his reiver forebears were?

  2. inkface

    I confess I stopped watching before the end of the Armstrong one. Felt really let down he had so little self awareness or irony about the family wealth. Puts his comedy in a different light, unfortunately.

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