In a positive way, it seems Sir Trevor McDonald is one of the people who don’t cope well with holidays.
On his Indian Train Adventure (ITV) aboard the Maharajas’ Express from Mumbai to Delhi, Sir Trev, the former ITN newsreader was super excited to leave behind the comforts of traveling in the lap of luxury and indulge in some real reporting.
The 23 dazzling carriages of the iconic Indian luxury train were so lavish that made Hercule Poirot’s Orient Express resemble the Cardiff-to-Portsmouth Sprinter train. Sir Trevor received a warm welcome at every stop. He walked on red carpets of rose petals and received a guard of honor of bowing attendants.
Unarguably, the 79-year-old newsman deserves a break. His past few years have been spent exploring U.S. maximum security prisons and interviewing reformed Mafia hitmen.
But after days of perpetual pampering, Sir Trev was simply bored witless. While trying his hands at hand-printing silks at a fabrics factory in Jaipur, he appeared as the worst Blue Peter presenter of the world.
Tucking dolefully into a barbecue in the dunes, on the border with Pakistan, he was yearning for the era when missiles were being thrown at each other by the two nations. Interestingly, he was an intrepid reporter at that time.
He seemed a bit bemused and wore a faintly disgusted expression of a minor royal who has been booked by mistake during his visit to a temple in Bikaner where rats are worshipped by the people. It appeared as if Kent’s Princess Michael being handed a pair of scissors and asked to cut the ribbon of a new supermarket.
As the train was chugging elegantly past slums outside Delhi, Sir Trev was without any doubt pinning to go out and pacify his quest for real stories.
The second part of the documentary showcased that last week, before embarking on his sojourn, he analyzed a warren of hovels in Mumbai where men squat all day in the scorching heat, stripping plastic and metal waste into piles for 2 pounds a week.
While being in a situation he enjoys, he was completing a report that was important. Those pungent backstreet sweatshops created a long-lasting impression. He decided he will never moan about recycling a product again.
Bosses of ITV never yearned for harsh realism and poverty. Sir Trevor’s expedition was envisioned as a starter for the main course, the empire-and-elephant romp Beecham House, so emphasizing on the astounding wealth of the long-gone princes was important. The train they explored, once belonged to the Maharaja Bhupinder Singh, king of Patiala. He had 350 mistresses and 5 wives.