It was a much quieter, humble and more reflective Chris Tarrant being interviewed and very sensitively by Paul Blezard. He suffered a stroke last year, rather terrifyingly during a long haul flight but has fully recovered.
His book about his father is a touching and poignant tribute to a much loved man, who, Tarrant discovered whilst researching for a programme for Channel 5, turns out to be a bit of a war hero, to his family’s surprise. Like many men who fought in WWII, his father hardly ever spoke about his experiences, even to his own wife.
It was the burglary of his Dad’s house, the day before his funeral that uncovered letters in a previously locked desk drawer. The discovery of these letters led Tarrant to five men who were still living and had known his father. Until then, he had never known he had been at Dunkirk, much less the actual details of his experiences there. One of them, Dougie, told him ‘I liked your Dad, but he was bloody mad!’
Tarrant spoke with enormous warmth and pride about his father, of the man he knew, and of the war hero he later discovered.
Found it really touching. I also never found out exactly what my Dad did in the war, and now it is too late. Paul said “it was rather a special @hayfestival moment alongside so many others.”