It’s not often that television manages to feed your spirit and your mind. It’s not often that you finish a tv series and sigh, ‘that was almost perfect.’
Frank Skinner has just done, by way of homage, a trip round Scotland in the footsteps of his beloved Samuel Johnson. The latter wrote a famous guide To the Western Islands when he toured them with James Boswell. Skinner took the well regarded Scottish crime novelist Denise Mina for his companion.
The three episodes were entertaining, beautiful to watch, educational, witty - and, especially in the last episode, profoundly Christian. In this episode Skinner and Mina go to Iona.
Frank Skinner is a full on, unashamed, deeply believing Catholic. He revels in his creed’s mysteries. At this remote home of Christian origins, he said he “felt proud to be a British Christian”. He commented the place made him feel “clean.” And he thought his visit to Iona would “power” him for a long time to come. Watching how moved he was brought several tears to my eyes.
If you only know Frank Skinner as a foul mouthed comedian, this side of him will come as a shock. He’s erudite about literature and unashamed in his witness to Christ. How he reconciles these two sides of him I don’t know .. but I am so thankful to God that, for once, television showed an unapologetic, contented, believing follower of Christ without any mockery.
We should pray for Frank Skinner.