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Tuesday, 11 December, 2001, 12:56 GMT
Louis Theroux: Your views
Louis Theroux was with the Hamiltons when they became embroiled in a scandal over indecent assault allegations, which were later dropped.
Did Louis get to grips with the Hamiltons?
Louis Theroux has made a name for himself with his documentaries on eccentric people and practices.

He work has taken him to America, where he has interviewed members of the Ku Klux Klan, female body builders, swingers and porn stars, to name but a few.

He has interviewed Sir Jimmy Savile and Paul Daniels and his latest programme featured former MP Neil Hamilton and his wife Christine when news of their arrest for alleged indecent assualt broke.

"The stress and pain is tangible - and it is hard not to feel some sympathy for the pair in the face of such bizarre and hurtful allegations," wrote BBC News Online's Alex Webb.

He added: "Theroux even claims that the stress of events is making him start biting his nails again - though the sceptical viewer might wonder if this was all part of the elaborately awkward persona he cultivates for these documentaries."

But what do you think?

Is Louis's naivety all an act? How do the Hamiltons come across?

HAVE YOUR SAY

"Tragicomic" is the word to describe it. It did make me wonder just how interesting the show would have been had the scandal not happened in such a timely way. Maybe Louis would have convinced Neil and Christine to go shopping in Harrods, the cheeky scamp!
Badders, UK

I surprised myself by actually feeling some sympathy for the Hamiltons! They do shamelessly milk the publicity available to them at every opportunity but at what must have been an awful time for them, when most people would run and hide, they bravely faced the media and came across as (perhaps somewhat unusual - but then who isn't?) ordinary people.

They have shown amazing love and strength to stay together through everything life has thrown at them, it's just a pity they can't be grateful for what they've got and shut up and sit down for once!
Rosalyn, UK

This documentary really did capitalise on the human side of the Hamiltons and I feel it has changed the public's perception of them forever. Just this morning I see they were on the Big Breakfast, too.

OK, they do pander to the media, but why not take advantage? Good on them!
Lee Jackson, UK

I think Louis' naivity is an important part of his show and in many ways it is what allows him to get away with some questions. I thought the Hamiltons came across very well. After what they've been through, I would not blame them for exploiting situations in the media. Good luck to them.
Mark Braddock, UK


They could not have had a better chance to create some public sympathy and bolster their sagging reputations

Brian, UK
It is Louis' job to get under the skin of the subjects of his documentaries and to do that he needs to sympathise, empathise and suspend his disbelief. We have seen him do that in many documentaries even when his subjects were obviously daft.

As a result the Hamiltons got the most sympathetic treatment they can reasonably expect. The audience had a chance to reconsider their views of the couple.
Guy Robinson, UK

Louis - this all got a bit scary, didn't it? Initially I felt sympathetic towards the Hamiltons but for some reason by the end of the programme this sympathy had evaporated to be replaced by incredulity. What next, I wonder? Keep up the good work Louis!
Helen Moore, England

Enjoyable farce that could have been masterminded by any number of parties. The Hamiltons, Louis and his production team made a mediocre documentary into a mildly entertaining one.
Miles Claridge, England

I've never much liked the Hamiltons, not that I've got anything personally against them, but I thought they came over very well in the programme. They could not have had a better chance to create some public sympathy and bolster their sagging reputations.
Brian, UK


I thought Louis was good but not at his best. The Hamiltons got the better of him

Chris, England
Of course Louis' naivety is just an act and it's starting to grate. He's smug and gets a kick out of using his own form of subtle humiliation to ridicule his subjects.
Angel Eyes Sentenza, UK

I'm not too sure about Louis' act, but one thing for sure, he is so funny. On the Hamiltons, even though I thought they were kind of extravagant, I still felt sympathy for them.
Momin Soliman, UK

Louis' style is fantastic; the deadpan, innocent questions disarm the most cynical, and make for genuinely funny TV - I think the treatment of the Hamiltons by the press is shameful; watching Mrs H crying in the back of the car it was impossible not to feel sympathetic for her (but not her husband!)
Peter, UK

I found it hard to conjure up any sympathy for the Hamiltons, who came across as a pair of spoilt, self-obsessed, attention-seeking drama queens.
Dorkster, UK

Louis is so funny. Thank god for people like him. The Hamiltons show was incredibly funny and Louis deserves a medal for biting his tongue, when I'm sure the rest of us were shouting at the TV - especially his opinion on whether they should show the banner. Excellent
Janet, Leeds, Yorkshire

I thought Louis was good but not at his best. The Hamiltons got the better of him. Unlike other interviews he never seemed to capture the reality behind the facade. Unless Christine Hamilton is really like that - which I can't believe for a minute! Funny but not the best.
Chris, England


The Hamiltons came across as victims of the media hype they may, or may not, have cultivated

Tom Fellows, UK
I wasn't sure what to expect when I tuned into the show, but I have to say that I found it fascinating. Louis' "naivety" is a superb way of getting his subjects to go into greater detail than they would initially have done.

I was very suprised by the Hamiltons, behind the media facade they suffer in the same way as any other victim of the media and appear to be genuine people.

Hopefully this programme will change the way a lot of people think about them and if it were possible for newspaper editors to feel remorse, I think that any of them who watched last night should be saddened by their actions.
Neil Warwick, England

Louis Theroux is urged by a desire to understand people, to meet people we don't understand. This documentary illustrates the fact that the only real view of celebrities such as the Hamiltons we have, is that view given to us by the media. Louis clearly did not believe the hype and decided to find out for himself, as he has on every other occasion, in pursuit of gaining an understanding of why people are perceived as they are.

Louis Theroux is a great journalist and documentary maker, but above all is someone with an open mind and a willingness to learn about other people and cultures. In my view the Hamiltons came across as victims of the media hype they may, or may not, have cultivated. You may say they got their just desserts, but I believe that Louis (or rather the BBC's version of the documentary) certainly didn't do the Hamiltons any harm. Good luck to all, and bring on Ann Widdecombe!
Tom Fellows, UK

There certainly is a cultivated aspect to Louis Theroux's onscreen persona - but it is without doubt the key to his very entertaining and effective style of journalism.

If he acts less well-informed than we suspect he is, then it takes us back to square one with the issues and people he addresses and allows the story to develop in a refreshingly different way, often seeming to challenge our preconceptions - even if sometimes, we simply arrive at the same conclusion via a different route.

His naivety and studied inoffensiveness also allows him to ask questions that would see the subjects walking out on other interviewers, and enables him to sometimes press hard again and again at what are obviously sensitive issues.
Stephen Brooks, UK


A fascinating study of the media from all angles

Tim Hooper, UK
I think the Hamiltons came off better than Louis. The "I'm not a journalist - I'm a friend" speech was cringeworthy. Especially when his voiceover five minutes later said, "As a journalist I had to remain impartial".
Mat, UK

I found the programme hilarious throughout! I believe Louis' naivety was genuine, although I got the impression he was worried about voicing his real opinions in front of them in case he ruined their "friendship". The Hamiltons complain about the "media circus" but deep down I think they love the attention and their notoriety. I had little sympathy for the Hamiltons but I pitied poor Louis having to stay in their house with them!
Lydia, Warwickshire, UK

I have shifted far more in favour of the Hamiltons having watched the programme. No one is more surprised than me at that outcome! They appear to have far more insight into their own mistakes than has previously been allowed to be aired. They are not perfect, indeed they have committed some serious errors of judgement, but they are now having to react to extraordinarily unusual circumstance - no wonder they act extraordinarily. A fascinating study of the media from all angles. Good luck to 'em.
Tim Hooper, UK

Louis commands respect for his ingenious interview style. The guy toys with his victims like a cat with a ball of string.
Willis, UK

The Hamiltons and all Louis' previous subjects tend to be extreme characters who are not backward at coming forward. What Louis does is step back and let them feel confident enough to vent forth. I think it is clever the way he uses his own silence to goad his subjects into talking perhaps a bit more than they should - a technique commonly used by pyschotherapists.

I don't have any sympathy for the Hamiltons though. They are part of a growing band of people trying to manipulate us and the media. They deserve some of the flack they get as a result.
Sam, UK


His art of giving his subjects enough rope and letting them hang themselves is subtle and hilariously funny

Dan Catt, UK
Louis was all an act - you could tell from some of his comments and questions that he was his usual self.

The Hamiltons: I was really surprised - they came across as so normal.
Justin Brig, Birmingham, UK

I think Louis plays it superbly. I have no doubt that he elaborates a awkward persona for his documentaries, but his art of giving his subjects enough rope and letting them hang themselves is subtle and hilariously funny. Send him back to America where he can inflict the most entertaining damage!
Dan Catt, England

I felt the programme showed the Hamiltons in a very good light. Their only failing is a complete inablitity to use the press to their advantage. I'd share a bottle of Bolly with them anyday.. as for exposing our country's corrupt media, well done Louis!
Thomas Rathbone, UK

To describe Mr Theroux's shows as documentaries is an insult to documentary producers. Last night's show was, as his others, pure showbiz. It may as well have been titled "The Neil & Chris Show". Mr Theroux acted as some sort of PR rep for the Hamiltons.
Gerard Warriner, England

Louis Theroux must have been genuinely suprised when, in the middle of another show, these allegations came up. The "nerves" may well have been genuine as he too was suddenly surrounded by cameras over which he had no control. In some of the newsclips, Louis was clearly visible, and maybe the terrifying idea that the press may jump to stupid conclusions and attempt to write him into the "scandal" contributed to his nervousness.
D G Nicholson, UK


The Hamiltons were blatantly open about anything whereas Louis is best when finding out about someone gradually (ie Jimmy Saville)

Andy M, UK
The show had a fascinating premise - Louis caught in the maelstrom of the latest Hamilton fiasco. Unfortunately, for some unknown reason, this led to the dullest Louis Theroux programme ever. Why?
Lucinda Slaughter, UK

Louis' technique of befriending his subjects is beguiling and makes great TV. His sympathetic treatment of the Hamiltons at a time of extreme media intrusion must have been welcome for them, which was shown in the way in which he became "a visiting son". As ever with a Louis Theroux show, it was fascinating to see how these public figures of national curiosity spend their lives. Great stuff.
Rob Halloway, UK

What a great programme. I thought the Hamiltons were very down to earth people, although I have always thought this.
Sadie, UK

I don't think this was a good example of Theroux's programmes, the Hamiltons were blatantly open about anything whereas Louis is best when finding out about someone gradually (ie Jimmy Saville). This publicity-crazed couple shouldn't have been given this platform to publicise themselves further.
Andy M, UK

Louis is very good at treading the thin line between lampooning somebody and showing genuine curiousity. The Hamiltons came over slightly better than expected, with Christine's battle-axe image melting slightly but Neil coming over as a bit of a limp lettuce.
Tim, UK


I think Louis acted in a patronising and sometimes irritating manner, frequently making personal comments

Dan Rees, UK
For people who court publicity they showed astonishing nšivity in failing to realise the two-edged sword that is the fame game. Bizarre people, but ultimately not as revealing as it could have been. Perhaps Louis' affected style is more effective upon unknowing hosts.
Geraint Davies, UK

Having seen most of his previous work, and last night's documentary on the Hamiltons, I believe Louis Theroux is proving to be adept at revealing his subjects' true personae. The key to this is his own at-ease personality, which I think is a natural trait rather than an act. Add to this the fact he is honest with whoever he is interviewing, and that he is also very funny, and it is a pleasure to watch. Keep up the good work! (Maybe a documentary on Prince Charles? Now that would be a good show...)
Jim Gibson, UK

Well, aside from the fact that Louis Theroux is a disarmingly quirky and undoubtedly brilliant journalist, the Hamiltons really appeared to be two normal (if cringeworthy) 50-somethings franctically trying to recoup some of their massive losses but seeming out of their depth. All in all it made fairly compelling yet ultimately depressing TV - something Louis is very good at.
Eoin, England

I think Louis acted in a patronising and sometimes irritating manner, frequently making personal comments. It was nice to see him brought down to earth by Christine Hamilton's mother though.

One does have to wonder though if the whole media frenzy that occurred at the time of the making of the documentary really did happen by accident...
Dan Rees, UK

Louis starts to seem rather supercilious and sneering. I really enjoyed the first series but now the programme just seems rather awkward and sad. Possibly time for him to retire that persona. The joke is wearing very thin. I'm sure that we'd all seem odd if subjected to similar scrutiny and editorial processes.
Simon Smith, UK


He needs to get back to interviewing unknowns, the bulk of which were far more interesting than the desperately sad Hamiltons

Scott Thompson, England
Once again Louis has come up trumps with a great programme. He manages to dig out information in the most unobvious way - unfortunately for the Hamiltons, they really didn't do themselves any favours and I am left feeling that their whole lives are spent manipulating the press and people around them.
Yasmin, England

It completely transformed by view of the Hamiltons! I used to hate them, but I now realise that they're pretty normal after all. The Mrs is a bit of an attention seeker, though!
Simon, UK

Whatever you may think of the Hamiltons, at least they gave us one of the most entertaining and interesting television programmes in recent history.
Jeff Evans, Wales

This was not the best Louis Theroux show. He needs to get back to interviewing unknowns, the bulk of which were far more interesting than the desperately sad Hamiltons. He also seemed to be playing up to the camera more than he normally does. There were some good moments though. And when is someone going to commission Posh Nosh?
Scott Thompson, England

Christine's mother appeared to be the most switched on person Louis has come into contact with in his programmes - she was a joy to watch!
Chris Herrick, England

The Hamiltons treated Louis like a friend. However, I wouldn't want a friend like Mr Theroux. He seems very untrustworthy and appeared to enjoy capitalising on someone else's misfortune.
Adam Cairns, UK


The only one to see clearly through Louis was Mrs Hamilton's mother!

Andy P, UK
Louis Theroux did a marvellous job; he teased out many revealing aspects of the Hamilton's rather bizarre lives. Part of Louis's charm lies in the fact that he retains an air of incredulity at the behaviour and attitudes of many of his interviewees. Beneath this calm, bemused exterior whirrs Louis' very sharp brain, chipping away at the veneer of respectability to reveal what lies beneath. The result is compulsive viewing - top work Louis and team!
Ellen Spicey, UK

To say that he was a "friend" and not a journalist was clearly a lie. The only one to see clearly through Louis was Mrs Hamilton's mother!
Andy P, UK

I was very disappointed by the programme. I was expecting to enjoy the Hamiltons opening themselves to ridicule on national TV again. I ended up feeling sorry for them, and that completely spoiled the fun.
Alan, England

Congratulations to Louis for having the courage to present this programme and to show us all that nobody is devoid of feelings, of pain and hurt.
Roger Baker, England

Louis Theroux is the finest broadcaster the BBC has and his apparent naivety belies an intelligent, witty man.
Jonty, UK


The strength of the Hamiltons' relationship in the face of adversity was an example for others to follow

Matt Sutherland, UK
BBC2 should take a lesson from Sleepers on C4. More entertaining, more relevant to ordinary people and at times genuinely shocking. What Theroux does is voyeurism, and all the time he's laughing at the viewers and his subject from behind his hand.
Ed Douglas, UK

Essential viewing and, despite my preconceptions, the real stars of the the show were the Hamiltons.
Guy, UK

An excellent programme that highlighted the vulnerability of those negatively portrayed by the media. The strength of the Hamiltons' relationship in the face of adversity was an example for others to follow.
Matt Sutherland, UK

I thought that the programme was excellent. Louis was just right, letting the Hamiltons develop the story themselves, leading them where necessary to fill in the gaps.

At the end of the programme I felt a lot of sympathy for the Hamiltons, the stress of the charges clearly showing on someone who has already been through so much.
Ian Tuckley-Skelton, UK

The Hamiltons came out of it pretty well really. Louis achieved the Herculean task of making the Hamiltons appear warm and human. It's easy to be cynical about Neil and Christine, who seem in the past to have positively relished their infamy.

However, there can be no doubt that Christine's tearful "I've had enough" was genuine after the ordeal of the lurid sex allegations surfaced. It was a poignant reminder that even apparently shameless public figures like these are as vulnerable as the rest of us below the surface.

As for Louis' awkwardness, no doubt he plays it up a bit, but who wouldn't look uncomfortable with a tipsy Christine cuddling up next to them?
Paul Gardner, London, UK


I do think that the couple are highly theatrical and perhaps should be given a slot by the BBC to host a chat show

Lorna O'Driscoll, UK
I watch Theroux's work because, for me, he holds up a mirror for the people he is with. His mirror does more than simply reflect, it gently untangles the beliefs and values on which the individuals base their action. I don't think he cultivates an elaborately awkward persona. I think his style is softly Socratic.
Susan Brock, UK

The allegations against the Hamiltons were so bizarre and hurtful, it would be hard for anyone not to be sympathetic when an obviously quite normal couple come under such stress, accusations and media persecution. As a result of last night's programme, not only do I think that the Hamiltons have proved themselves to be incredibly strong people coping fantastically under pressure, but Louis Theroux proves that not all journalism has to be cold and judgemental.

Last night's programme was such an emotional rollercoaster, his emotions were raw, and, I believe, real, which is what made it such compelling viewing. Let's just hope that the Hamiltons take on board some of Louis' "son's point of view" advice regarding handling the press.
Teresa, UK

Granny was the star of the show - and I think Louis agreed with everything she was saying.
Sarah, UK

The Hamiltons come across as a little eccentric, but basically decent people. However, I was surprised at Theroux's positioning. At the beginning of the documentary, he appeals to Christine Hamilton that he is not a journalist, but a friend. At the end of the programme, he remarks that he feels like he is being treated more like a son than a journalist. You can't have it both ways Louis!

On reflection, I think the Hamiltons came out of this episode remarkably well, demonstrating real strength of character, but it is quite clear that they lack good PR advisors and the media seem to want to punish their openness and refusal to admit guilt.
Richard Cross, Belgium


Was that laid back character with a sense of humour, really Neil Hamilton?

Mark Davis, UK
Enjoyed it but it became iritating after a while. I do think that the couple are highly theatrical and perhaps should be given a slot by the BBC to host a chat show. Perhaps a different slant on Richard and Judy. It would certainly draw the viewers! They loved the attention and Christine's dramatics did make me laugh. Born for the stage - both of them.
Lorna O'Driscoll, England

I thought the documentary was well worth watching, and as the documenter, Louis Theroux did exactly what should - he almost faded into the background, and allowed the story to tell itself. I never thought I would say I could feel sorry for the Hamiltons, but I do now. Having said that, the Hamiltons aren't exactly shrinking violets and obviously relish the media attention. Your comments about Louis appear to have come from a fellow TV personality who has, like other critics, forgotten what the ordinary viewer is like, and wants to watch on TV.
Sally Gregg, UK

As for Louis; I just don't think he knew what he was getting into. It was a good decision to stick around while they were going through everything because I think it gave them a chance to show their side of the story not only with regards to these allegations but to set the record straight in general, with regards to their relationship with the media.

Overall a great piece of television and one that has made me feel a lot more sympathetic towards the Hamiltons.
Bekki, England

This was unmissable television, proving how life is often stranger than fiction. The Hamiltons public image will possibly have mellowed a little after seeing that they are not quite the couple that the media would have us believe.... was that laid back character with a sense of humour, really Neil Hamilton?
Mark Davis, UK


Most of the media attention enjoyed by the Hamiltons makes me nauseous

Matthew, England
Louis' persona grates, his parasitic exploitation of those desperate/foolhardy enough to allow themselves to be exposed in this way is cringe worthy. I'll certainly be watching in future.
Arjan, Cyprus

Most of the media attention enjoyed by the Hamiltons makes me nauseous. Frankly I don't really want to watch anything that gives them a platform to make more money and proclaim their innocence.
Matthew, England

On more than one occasion I thought the Hamiltons should have confronted him on his line of inquiry, particularly as he professed to being a friend and not a journalist. Louis was, after all, a guest in their homes. Asking whether Mrs Thatcher had used the toilet was particularly childish and demeaning. I wish the Hamiltons a peaceful and prosperous new year.
Alistair Walker, The Netherlands

At one point in the show, Louis claims to be the Hamilton's "friend not a journalist", but hasn't he become a little too antagonistic to continue faking the quirky good buddy role? Louis' show was good for a while but has become formulaic. Time to find a new, less grating, angle Louis. Better be quick though, before you are consigned to the ranks of the outcasts and spend eternity with Jeremy Beadle and Noel Edmonds!
Paul Brown, UK

I enjoyed the programme thoroughly. A real breath of fresh air, to be offered a peice of "real" life television that invites a certain amount of interpretation from the viewer.
Mark Allan, England


I think he did the Hamiltons justice and it has completely changed my view of them, for the better

Martin Bunker, UK
I thought the programme was great and the Hamiltons came across as very likeable for once, especially Christina on the occasions when she flirted with Louis. I also very much enjoyed Neil's dry wit - Louis' formula of playing the innocent to draw out the hidden side of personalities is very effective.
Richard Mumford, England

Whilst I am a big fan of Louis, trying to play "dumb" (which he attempts pretty often) doesn't really work. Most people know what an intelligent, perceptive person he really is. As for the Hamiltons - sure, they seem a bit odd but could anyone really say they felt no sympathy whatsoever for them?
Ian, Manchester, UK

Compulsive viewing. Louis has a talent for bringing out the most intriguing side of any person/couple he interviews. I think he did the Hamiltons justice and it has completely changed my view of them, for the better.
Martin Bunker, UK

Whether Louis is genuinely naive or not he is a superb interviewer who could make the life of Joe Bloggs the civil servant from Smith Street, Jones Town the most riveting programme to watch.
Dave, UK

I thought the Hamiltons came across very well. I suppose some may think everything they did was just an act for the cameras, but I suspect they really are a relatively normal (OK, slightly eccentric) couple who have been "branded" by the media and now find that everything they do gets twisted and distorted to fit that image.

The programme certainly provided a graphic demonstration of the impact the media circus can have on people's lives. I wonder if Max Clifford was watching...
Chris K, UK


I found Christine to be great fun and Neil to be a pretty decent guy

Rahul Mahajan, UK
The Hamiltons still are not people I'd like to invite to dinner, but from watching the programme I couldn't help but feel sympathy for these "real" people. It doesn't seem to illuminate anything about their past however. They threw up a very visible barrier between themselves and Louis that never quite got broken down entirely.
Jon Anderson, UK

Before the programme started I probably had the view of most people regarding the Hamiltons - one of life's odd couples! By the end of the programme though, my view remained the same but I felt sympathy for them for what they have had to go through over the years. Great programme and long live King Louis!
Jamie, UK

Well done Louis! What a truly heartwarming insight into the lives of the Hamiltons. I sat down to watch it with expectations of more scandal and secrets, but parts of the documentary had me in tears - what hell Christine and Neil have been through, and what brave faces they wear. Christine and Neil are clearly a lot more "human" than most of the population.
Alex Banks, England

I found the documentary very entertaining and interesting. The Hamiltons have had so much bad press that it's interesting to see things from their point of view. Whether Louis' behaviour is authentic or not, his style allows the viewer to really get an insight into the people he interviews, almost to the point of feeling like you are there too. I think the Hamiltons came across as people who would, regardless of what they may or may not have done, be interesting company!
Chris Doughty, UK

The funny thing is that my pre-Theroux perceptions of the Hamiltons have done a 100% U-turn. I found Christine to be great fun and Neil to be a pretty decent guy. Top marks to Louis! I am becoming a real fan of his series.
Rahul Mahajan, UK

Everything that is wrong with British society was on display last night. Doesn't it make you sick to see a them driving a Jag, with a posh flat in London?
John Johnson, UK


Just how can someone who's been declared bankrupt manage to run a flat in Battersea, a mansion in its own grounds in Cheshire, and a large car?

Huw Griffiths, UK
The man is a genius. I got the feeling that if only Neil and Louis had got away and gone down the pub, Neil could have really let his hair down. Fantastic TV, Louis needs to do a whole series of new stuff. Brilliant.
Jane S, Uk

Louis Theroux is the least naive of TV interviewers - mild mannered and disingenuous he may appear, and more lethal than Jeremy Paxman. Catching more flies with honey than vinegar springs to mind.
Vicky Dryden, UK

The Hamiltons were exposed by Theroux brilliantly, seen to rise magnificently above media intrusion and the horror of absurd and sickening claims. Hats off to Mrs H who is not only a confident strong woman with a great sense of humour but also hugely watchable - why on earth didn't ITV snap them up for This Morning - they would have been stupendous! Let's hope there is a part 2, or the BBC gives them a docu slot of their own.
F Burman, UK

Those who comment in this forum that Neil Hamilton is "a pretty decent guy" have apparently forgotten the findings of a court of law less than two years ago.
Oliver Kamm, UK

A very entertaining programme, but not Louis at his best. I think the Hamiltons are so transparent, Louis' true talents were not employed. As for the Hamiltons, to be set-up like that was truly awful, but they court the media to such an extent, these things come with the territory.
Nik Wickham, England

With all these comments, no-one seems to have yet acknowledged how dry Neil Hamilton's sense of humour is - I was really entertained! You could tell by the way the Hamiltons came across that it really isn't suprising that Christine has always stood by her man. The way they bat off each other is great and only added to the fun!
Emma , UK

The Hamilton documentary seems to have had an interesting impact. Many now have more sympathy for the Hamiltons and I suspect people are questioning their perception of Louis Theroux and his image may suffer for it.
Roy Matthews, England

No great fan of the Hamiltons myself, I think they came out sounding a lot nicer than old Louis Theroux, whose staged Socratic innocence stuggles to conceal a cynical and rather rude person underneath. Top TV though.
Ben Wilson, UK

Theroux is not only smug, but lazy. He relies on the "innocent" act far too much to be a credible journalist and this leads to embarrassingly poor interviews; the Eugene Terreblanche interview for instance. With the Hamiltons, this ploy worked better than usual, although at times it was difficult to see who was working who. There were also many missed opportunities for incisive questioning; for instance "Just how can someone who's been declared bankrupt manage to run a flat in Battersea, a mansion in its own grounds in Cheshire, and a large car?"
Huw Griffiths, UK

I can't believe the comments of many people, that the Hamilton's came across as "ordinary people". At one point in the programme Christine complained that while she was being interviewed by the police they refused her request for a glass of white wine. These people do not inhabit the same planet as the rest of us. Typical ex-Conservative MPs?
Richard, England

The BBC is perpetuating the Hamiltons need for publicity. Is this the lifestyle of all bankrupts? One flat in London and a large house. This film revealed a lot abut how people with a good publicist make their money.
David Tait, UK

I think Louis came over as a sneering weasel and the Hamiltons came across as a nice couple and extremely good company to boot.

If Christine wants to be the centre of attention, so what? At least she's got the charisma to warrant the attention. How about Louis doing the Blairs? Now that would be revealing...
Roly, UK

Why are the media continually supporting disgraced politicians? The Hamiltons are of no interest to the vast majority of honest people in the UK but the media seem intent on continually thrusting them into the limelight. To me this is a complete waste of money.
Dave Rees, Wales

I thought Louis did well to maintain his composure in the company of the Hamiltons. They really struck me as being rather odious and slimy in their pursuit of media attention. Let's hope that people of their ilk are limited in number.
Richard, London, UK

I'm amazed at the comments here. Neil Hamilton was a corrupt politician. Yet one PR makeover on TV and they're a "down to earth" couple who deserve our sympathy and admiration. How gullible some people are!
Charles Moore, Scotland

I felt the same at the end of the programme as I did at the start, no sympathy for the "odd" couple. Let's not forget why they were thrust into the limelight in the first place.
Alan, Scotland

As always an entertaining show from Louis Theroux - the lives of the Hamiltons are always interesting, the contrast cutting from the live news broadcasts to the chaos happening "behind the scenes" was vivid.

I think Christine Hamilton would have made a better MP than her husband - she is her own person, tells it as it is and takes no prisoners when something annoys her be it the press, Louis Theroux or her husband!
Richard Cully, UK

The programme had good voyeuristic value, but I hope the Hamiltons will now disappear from view back into obscurity, where people without merit like them belong. The show was worth watching because of Louis Theroux's journalistic and comedy talent, and I'll be looking forward to more programmes, but I am sure he'll be able to find some genuine and truly eccentric charachters that convey a more positive image than these two opportunists.
Edmor, UK

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12 Jul 01 | TV and Radio
Ann Widdecombe's weird weekend
13 Aug 01 | TV and Radio
Theroux shadows the Hamiltons
13 Aug 01 | TV and Radio
The weird world of Louis Theroux
11 Dec 01 | TV and Radio
Theroux adds to Hamilton stress
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