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PLATELL’S PEOPLE: I too bear the emotional scars of a car crash

PLATELL’S PEOPLE: I too bear the emotional scars of a car crash

My mum got the phone call every parent dreads. It was a policeman, telling her that her oldest child, Michael, and I had been involved in a serious car crash.‘Are they alive?’ Mum asked, only to be told she needed to get to the hospital as soon as possible, perhaps to say her final goodbyes.We were youngsters at the time. I can still remember Mum crying at my bedside before I went into surgery.The crash, caused by a drunk, driving on the wrong side of the road, was many years ago. I’m relating this story because these memories came flooding back when I read this week how Charlotte Charles, the mother of a 19-year-old boy, Harry Dunn (pictured), received a phone call to say he had been involved in a road crashYet I can vividly recall the car’s headlights, the awful sound of the collision and the blood.Even writing this now brings back the awful images.However, I have one sweet memory from that terrible night: my big brother Michael beside me in the ambulance holding my hand and, for the first time ever, telling me he loved me.I’m relating this story because these memories came flooding back when I read this week how Charlotte Charles, the mother of a 19-year-old boy, received a phone call to say he had been involved in a road crash. Is it too much to ask for Anne Sacoolas (pictured) to come back to the UK and meet her victim’s mum face-to-face — mother to mother — and explain what happened?Harry was crushed on his motorcycle when it was hit by a car said to be travelling on the wrong side of the road in Northamptonshire.His mum had no chance to say goodbye because he soon died in hospital.Subsequently, she learned that the driver was the wife of an American diplomat and was claiming diplomatic immunity against prosecution. This was despite the police telling Mrs Charles that they have CCTV footage of the car on the wrong side of the road.Most shockingly, the woman was then secretly flown back to the U.S., where President Donald Trump crassly said that she would not return to Britain.Where do I start with such a case? The grotesque abuse of diplomatic immunity? Or Trump’s ‘insensitive, clumsy, oafish and insulting’ reaction? Those were the words used by Harry’s family lawyer.In the case of the crash involving my brother and me, the reckless driver who hit us was not breathalysed and was never charged by police with any offence. It took us months to recover fully and I still have scars from the accident.Of course, my story isn’t anywhere near as serious as the one involving Harry’s mum, but I know the pain of being a victim of a crime that has gone unpunished.Is it too much to ask for Anne Sacoolas to come back to the UK and meet her victim’s mum face-to-face — mother to mother — and explain what happened?Sadness of lonely heart UlrikaRecently divorced from her third husband, the indefatigable romantic Ulrika Jonsson is still looking for love. This week she appeared (in aid of charity, too) on a celeb special of Channel 4’s First Dates Hotel.She was matched with a bloke called Paul who, in my view, was as attractive as a cake left out in the rain.Ulrika, 52, claimed she was looking for a man to make her laugh, saying the last time she did so was ‘probably about 2005’.How sad that the one-time radiant TV weather girl has turned into the queen of lonely hearts and a walking warning about the dangers of spending too much time in the sun. Recently divorced from her third husband, the indefatigable romantic Ulrika Jonsson is still looking for love. This week she appeared in First Dates HotelRod Stewart has urged men over 50 to get checked for prostate cancer, saying after three months of radiotherapy: ‘It’s a rotten disease that can give you no warning and no symptoms.’This is wise advice to women, too, to pester our men to get regular checks, however much they feel the subject is awkward to discuss.Wags take sides in big RoodunnitThe Wag sisterhood’s outrage on behalf of Mother Superior WAG Coleen Rooney has been magnificent.One footballer’s wife, the exotically named Chantelle Heskey, referred to her friend’s perceived betrayal by Rebekah Vardy by saying: ‘To find out it’s someone you’re supposed to trust, it must be hard . . . Coleen is a private person.’So private that Mrs Rooney shares details of her family life with 830,000 Instagram followers and was paid £2.5 million by OK! magazine for photos of her wedding.Man gets - job!Shock, horror! Pass the smelling salts!A top job at the - has gone to a middle-class white man.The new chairman of Radio 4’s Any Questions to replace Jonathan Dimbleby is long-standing Westminster reporter Chris Mason — a Cambridge University graduate to boot.How refreshing that the best person for the role has been chosen, rather than - bosses pandering to a pro-women, pro-diversity agenda as pursued by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.This week, it said that programmes would not be considered for its annual Bafta awards if they don’t meet a ‘diversity standard’ that demands that ‘at least one of the lead characters, contributors, presenters or voice artists are from an under-represented group’.Keira shows new mothers the wayKeira Knightley wafted into the premiere of her new movie about an Iraq war whistleblower in a big, white billowing meringue dress, just weeks after giving birth to her second child.While so many other celebrities try to defy nature by starving themselves into their pre-baby figure faster than most dud films these days go straight to video, Keira has the glorious look of a proud new mum.That’s part of the 34-year-old’s enduring charm. Keira Knightley wafted into the premiere of her new movie about an Iraq war whistleblower in a big, white billowing meringue dressHow typical of oh-so sanctimonious actor Benedict Cumberbatch to join Extinction Rebellion activists in sabotaging people’s daily lives in London. He should ponder the words of Sherlock Holmes, the character he plays on TV. ‘The chief proof of man’s real greatness lies in his perception of his own smallness.’Shameless and unshameable Ant McPartlin, who hooked up with his personal assistant after splitting from his wife of 11 years, is preparing to return to our screens amid the creepy crawlies in the Aussie jungle with his chum Dec on ITV’s I’m A Celebrity. How apt, as every time I see his self-satisfied little face I think of a snake.The two so-called British Jihadi Beatles — Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh — are to be sent to America for trial where they face a death sentence.They are accused of being part of a four-man ‘kill squad’ that beheaded 20 people, including British aid workers and American journalists.As these terror suspects grew up in the UK, they should be in the dock at the Old Bailey and if convicted, jailed for life.It would be the best message in the do-or-die battle to stop other young men and women being enticed to become ISIS killers.Multi-star Michelin chef Heston Blumenthal claims the reason women don’t make it to the top table in the restaurant business is that their biological clocks kick in.Women are ‘not as good at lifting pots and pans’ after childbirth. Let me be first in the queue to braise Blumenthal overnight in a slow cooker.     

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