Last Night’s TV – My Daughter Grew Another Head and Other True Life Stories

What an odd juxtaposition; a usually serious journalistic documentary series investigating the shady world of ‘true-life’ journalism, in which very little seems to be actually true…

We met entrepreneur and journalist Natasha Courtenay-Smith – among others – with whom I enjoyed several conversations a couple of years ago. Her penchant is in selling the true-life stories that make headlines in mags, such as – as the title of this show intimates – My Daughter Grew Another Head.

Other classics that we heard about included a man who resuscitated a swan and managed to achieve a story that implied some sort of icky sexual connotation involving said swan. Then there was the tale of a woman bitten by a snake which evolved into her being eaten by it…

We heard from Paul who got impaled, Sadie who had an evil stepdad and Carolyn whose orgasms were so loud, she earned herself an ASBO because of it. I guess I’m just missing out…

But among the sensational and the downright silly, Cutting Edge sought to explore the hidden cost of selling ones story to tabloids and glossies… and that cost is often dignity and privacy.

In fact, some journalists have been so appalled by the aftermath wrought on the subjects of these true-life tales, they’ve thrown down their metaphorical pens and sought employment in a sector that doesn’t exploit the often already exploited. One such body said sagely, “Once you’re churning them out, you become detached from the fact these are people’s lives you’re talking about.”

And indeed they are, but of course for many, telling their story and getting fifteen minutes of fame has been a fun adventure and worth a few quid. One such case history is Henry whose dubious claim to fame is having had buttock implants. And Natasha has been following his rear and its money-spinning possibilities ever since, and we saw and heard last night that he was embarking on yet more derriere fiddling – in a surgery sense that is.

But whether you’re a fan of those attention grabbing headlines or one of those folks who rolls their eyes when they see headlines like, ‘My Dog Plays Harmonica, Even Though He’s Dead’ this was an entertaining blend of farce, fact and fantastical fiction.

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.