Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Telling what it is...

So Rolf, as I feared, is guilty as charged on all counts. Unfortunately, there’s no shadow of doubt and I’m sure that there will be plenty more skeletons to tumble out of this particular closet. I think that generally the nation is shocked that this loveable icon turns out not to be so loveable after all. For my part I can hardly bear to write ‘Rolf’ without putting ‘Harris’ after his forename; as if this small formality will undo the ache of lost faith in a childhood role model.

Rolf Harris seemed, in many ways, so normal; so unlike that other child molesting monster Jimmy Savile. Harris wasn’t a strange, aggressive loner, he was a family man. Away from the celebrity spotlight, he’s been married to Alwen, who he met at art school, since 1958 and both she and his daughter Bindi seem to have been at his side throughout the case. I wonder what they are thinking and feeling now? What will their next moves be? Whatever they decide, he’s ruined their lives as well as his own and who knows how many others? New accusations pour in from the UK, Australia, and New Zealand almost hourly.

Of course, we all have many sides to our natures, multiple personalities, some of which we carefully hide. But most of us don’t get the opportunity to build the person that we’d like to be, rather than the one that we are, in front of an audience of millions. Most of us can’t fool all of the people all of the time and we are pretty well known to those around us, or at least as well known as we allow ourselves to be. Even this is changing though, in this social media driven world it’s easy for each of us to invent ourselves in our own chosen image.

Many of us are fooling ourselves, and everyone else, most of the time. Super celebrities like Harris, with publicists and stylists to help them along; seem to manage it all of the time… almost.

Perhaps that is part of the problem.

They say that you should never believe your own publicity; I think that Harris did. I think that he genuinely believed he was one of the good guys and forgave himself for all the wrong things he’s done. His performance in court, and the insolent honesty with which he answered some of the questions, was that of a man secure in the belief that ultimately his good image would triumph over his awful reality in the eyes of the jury.

Fortunately not even a rendition of Jake the Peg was enough to pull the wool over the juror’s eyes and ultimately they did see past the performance to the thing that lurked beneath.

Can I tell what it is yet?

Yes I can, and it’s not a pretty picture.


  1. Rebecca Jane Brookes oh rolf!! tut tut!

    Andrew Height On a scale of 1 to 10 with Savile being 10. He is an 8.

    Rebecca Jane Brookes Agree

    David Jones Let me show you my digereedoo my dear......

    David Searle Definitely a wrongun, but 8/10 vs Saville seems a but harsh. No necrophilia, abuse of babies and the mentally incapacitated, systematic corruption of hospitals, the police & the BBC, boasting in an autobiography, etc. 6/10?

    Richard Shore To the victims, he's probably a 10

    David Searle Agreed.

    Andrew Height I think that there's a lot more to come. I'll stick with an eight for now David Searle. I take your point Richard Shore.

    David Searle Oh dear. Hope you're wrong, fear you're right.

  2. Catherine Halls-Jukes on FB
    You say it all. I don't want to believe it , he was my hero, I nearly invested in his pictures more than once, if we are let down what do his family feel.

    Andrew Height God knows Catherine Halls-Jukes. He was a man of brushes and in some way he's managed to tar his family with them.

  3. Mark McNicholas on FB
    He certainly managed to airbrush his life until recently.

    1. Andrew Height
      Well, he is a painter.

  4. Tim Preston on FB
    I want to know what they've done with that portrait of the queen he did

    Tim Preston Aha http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-28105318

    What happened to Rolf Harris's portrait of the Queen?
    Painting thought to be in his personal collection.

    1. Andrew Height
      It's a shit painting. I thought that at the time. My neighbour has a Harris signed print, I wonder if he'll take it down now.

    2. 20 hours ago · Like

      Tim Preston
      who are you to criticise ART!!!!!!!!???????

    3. Andrew Height
      Who indeed?