CHRISTOPHER STEVENS: Note to Mr Clunes: holidays are more fun if you don’t feel guilty 

Martin Clunes: Islands of the Pacific

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On the remote Marquesas Islands of the Pacific, medieval tribesmen paid a bloodthirsty farewell to a chieftain when he died.

The monarch’s body was hurled from a clifftop rock into the ocean 190ft below. Then his faithful warriors were clubbed and pushed over, too, to be his bodyguards in the underworld.

Finally, a pair of comely virgin maidens were flung screaming to their deaths. 

It sounds similar to a modern British political coup, except that it’s not easy to find virgins in Westminster.

Martin Clunes was horrified by it all on his idyllic travels in Islands Of The Pacific (ITV). He hung back as his local guide bounded up a rock and surveyed the sparkling blue waves.

On the remote Marquesas Islands of the Pacific, medieval tribesmen paid a bloodthirsty farewell to a chieftain when he died. Martin Clunes was horrified by it all on his idyllic travels in Islands Of The Pacific

On the remote Marquesas Islands of the Pacific, medieval tribesmen paid a bloodthirsty farewell to a chieftain when he died. Martin Clunes was horrified by it all on his idyllic travels in Islands Of The Pacific

Martin was much happier when discovering the local wildlife, including the Marquesas’s feral horses.

 Martin was much happier when discovering the local wildlife, including the Marquesas’s feral horses.

Maybe Martin was worried that he’d get bashed and despatched, too. He was already apologising for the incursions of European settlers, especially the French who conducted dozens of atomic tests on the neighbouring atolls.

When he learned that the local religion was stifled as colonial missionaries enforced Christianity for centuries, Martin mumbled: ‘I’m sorry about that. I know it wasn’t me, but it’s embarrassing.’

Why tourists should be made to feel ashamed of our ancestors was not explained. If Martin feels genuine responsibility, perhaps he shouldn’t be there. 

But if he’s hoping to be reassured by islanders that no one blames him for the injustices of the past, then he’s adding insult to their injury.

He made it clear at the start that his father, a conscientious objector and opponent of nuclear arms, instilled an awe of the Pacific peoples in him from childhood.

So what has he got to feel embarrassed about? Have a holiday, by all means, but don’t go looking for absolution from history’s sins.

Martin was much happier when discovering the local wildlife, including the Marquesas’s feral horses. An island cowboy named Jeremy showed him how they tame the young stallions, leading them into the surf before attempting to ride them.

Maybe Martin was worried that he’d get bashed and despatched, too. He was already apologising for the incursions of European settlers, especially the French who conducted dozens of atomic tests on the neighbouring atolls

Maybe Martin was worried that he’d get bashed and despatched, too. He was already apologising for the incursions of European settlers, especially the French who conducted dozens of atomic tests on the neighbouring atolls

The foaming waves that crashed on the sands made the scene seem a remake of From Here To Eternity. 

Then he went swimming with sharks. He paddled an outrigger, too, and to his delight a pod of playful dolphins came to investigate.

‘It’s like being blessed,’ he beamed. The whole trip, which continues next week, looked a delight. I just wish he’d left the guilt at home.

The World’s Most Luxurious Holidays 

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There’s no room for guilt at the penthouse suite of the Mark Hotel in New York, where guests pay £55,000 a night.

‘Nobody tells these people what they can and can’t do,’ said a manager on The World’s Most Luxurious Holidays (More4). 

Meghan Markle threw her 2019 baby shower at the hotel, though not in this suite. One client hired the rooms — with five beds, six baths, a library, chauffeur and two butlers — for 18 months… at a cost of 30 million quid.

There’s no room for guilt at the penthouse suite of the Mark Hotel in New York, where guests pay £55,000 a night

There’s no room for guilt at the penthouse suite of the Mark Hotel in New York, where guests pay £55,000 a night

One client hired the rooms — with five beds, six baths, a library, chauffeur and two butlers — for 18 months... at a cost of 30 million quid.

One client hired the rooms — with five beds, six baths, a library, chauffeur and two butlers — for 18 months… at a cost of 30 million quid.

The sole purpose of this show appears to be stoking envy and resentment. 

The next hotel, the Vila Vita Parc in Portugal, made it plain it vets guests before arrival at its £180,000-a-week Azurine Villa. Even billionaires can be turned away.

Ordinary tourists have more chance of bedding down on Cristiano Ronaldo’s sofa than getting a pass to the Azurine Villa.

The next hotel, the Vila Vita Parc in Portugal (pictured), made it plain it vets guests before arrival at its £180,000-a-week Azurine Villa. Even billionaires can be turned away

The next hotel, the Vila Vita Parc in Portugal (pictured), made it plain it vets guests before arrival at its £180,000-a-week Azurine Villa. Even billionaires can be turned away

The £16,000-a-night lodge at South Africa’s Royal Malewane, in the heart of a wildlife reserve, did look magical — especially the swimming pool, where elephants come to drink as you bathe.

But apparently it’s popular with visiting heads of state. I wouldn’t fancy that.

Elephants are lovely, but think who else you might meet.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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