The Host is a drama about honesty, about telling the truth to ourselves and each other, about listening not to flattery and compliments but to our conscience. Tim McCann, Host of the UK’s leading talk show, is a man both compromised and compromising. While his working-class parents instilled solid values and morals in their son, with his father now dead, and his mother estranged, McCann, has strayed from their path. One night during the show’s opening monologue McCann takes aim at Tina Collins a famous singer and mother struggling with substance abuse and depression. He awakes the next morning to discover that Collins has attempted suicide. As the young woman clings to life the media put McCann under the microscope. Before his very eyes the reputation that he has carefully constructed begins to fall apart. As it becomes evident who his friends really are, he begins to see afresh the life he has made for himself. Suddenly, recalling his fathers words, he finds himself drawn inexplicably back to his childhood home.
The inspiration for my pitch comes from the second epistle of Paul to Timothy, in particular 4:2-3: ‘Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.’ I was struck by the idea of false-teachers, of us deliberately surrounding ourselves with people who will tell us what we want to hear. Examples abound in contemporary life, whether in political voting, for example, or social media where we create echo chambers of like-minded people. The struggle to be truthful is something we can all relate to. In The Host we find Tim McCann surrounded by dishonest people and struggling himself to be honest. He has strayed from the teachings of his own father who taught him the values of hard work and respect, and has slipped into seeing the public and his fans as inconsequential. When a crisis comes he finally finds a path to truthfulness.