Wednesday 7 December 2016

Professor Green speaks out about severity of homelessness

Published 09/02/2016 | 00:06

Professor Green's latest documentary is on homelessness
Professor Green's latest documentary is on homelessness

Professor Green has said his latest documentary on homelessness made him realise that he had "no idea of the severity of the situation" or how "difficult it is to get out of that situation when you find yourself in it".

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The BBC Three documentary titled Professor Green: Hidden And Homeless, sees the singer, whose real name is Stephen Manderson, tackle the issue of homelessness among young people in the UK.

He meets and spends time with young people who have found themselves living on the streets or who are "sofa surfing" and living in temporary accommodation.

He told the Press Association: "The common misconception, there's a massive misrepresentation of the homeless and that is just that they are where they belong, it's their fault in the first place, when quite often it's not. We've all made bad decisions but some people don't have the support network that they need to allow them to mess up and that's really difficult, because we all mess up and there's no safety net."

The documentary is one of two commissions he is working on with BBC Three, and follows his successful 2015 documentary Professor Green: Suicide And Me, which highlighted the high rate of male suicide in the UK and helped raise awareness of the situation.

He said: "I think a lot of people just think they (homeless people) are all addicts and they are all drunks, and that's what landed them there. Quite often it's the opposite, they end up homeless and they use (drugs) to escape their reality which is not that hard to understand too, when you see it. Where are these people meant to get their self-esteem from, people walk past them and even if they do chuck them some change, they don't say hello or look them in the eye, how demoralising."

The 32-year-old, who is married to former Made in Chelsea star Millie Mackintosh, said he feels he has good perspective having seen "both sides of the coin".

When asked what he would say to Prime Minister David Cameron on the issue if he had the chance, he said: "It's really difficult because I'm not very politically educated, all of my education as far as politics is quite recent from having some perspective of seeing both sides of the coin literally.

"I grew up with nothing and now I'm better off. You get phrases like champagne socialist thrown around and people say stuff like that, and well, what right have you got to talk about my plight now because you have money.

"Well, actually I've got all the right because I'm the one with perspective. I've had nothing, I've made good money and I've nearly lost it all and made it again. So I've got quite a lot of right because I've got perspective on the situation."

Asked if he thinks his experiences will have any influence on his music in the future he said he hopes so.

He said: "People tend to talk about themselves and their experiences, which I get, because it's the one thing you can have a voice of authority on, but quite often it serves anyone creative well to look at someone else and write the song in their shoes, because then it's an endless pool of inspiration.

"If I only wrote about my experiences, I'd be quite limited. And also, I'm at a point in my life where I don't really want to talk about everything that goes on, people speculate enough as it is. So, I hope it has some input."

:: Professor Green: Hidden And Homeless airs on BBC Three on February 9 at 9pm.

Press Association

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