Wednesday 21 February 2018

Professor Green: I stumbled into my TV career

The chart star previously made a documentary on the suicide of his father, and has fronted programmes on the cannabis trade and child poverty.

Professor Green (Matt Crossick/PA)
Professor Green (Matt Crossick/PA)

By Sherna Noah, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Professor Green has admitted he had doubts at first about taking on his new documentary, Working Class White Men.

The rapper, 34, follows six working-class men in different parts of the country in the Channel 4 programme.

The star, who was raised by his grandmother on a council estate in Hackney, north London, said: “It was a weird one for me because where I grew up, being working class wasn’t being white. My area wasn’t predominantly white.

“So, when it was put to me, I was like, ‘This is a bit of an odd subject to pick, isn’t it?’.”

He said: “It felt a bit awkward for me in the beginning. My first question was, ‘Isn’t that excluding other groups of people?’.”

But he said it “began to make sense,” adding: “The point wasn’t to exclude.

“It was to really focus on this group of people who feel abandoned and completely disengaged and feel they are voiceless.”

The chart star, who previously made a documentary about the suicide of his father and has fronted programmes on the cannabis trade and child poverty for the BBC, said: “I stumbled into this career.

“When I did a documentary on my dad, it was a personal story.

“Beyond that I had to learn to ask questions… I’m an inquisitive person but I don’t like to pry… It’s not easy.”

He said that writing lyrics as a teenager gave him a sense of identity and self-worth.

“I am where I am now, I’m happy, content. I’ve made peace with the fact that I can’t go back and change anything,” said the star, previously married to Made In Chelsea’s Millie Mackintosh.

Professor Green and Millie Mackintosh (Jonathan Brady/PA)

He said of his hopes for the future: “I’m not turning my back on where I come from (but) if being working class means going through what I did… I wouldn’t want my children to be working class.”

He added: “I don’t want them to grow up with the insecurities and anxieties I had, hearing the shouting and swearing because there was so much stress in the household, being shuffled off into a room because their nan pays a debt collector.”

On the huge way his life has changed, he added: “I’ve got friends who own £40 million estates. I come from an estate, a council estate. It is crazy sometimes.

“From meeting people like that I’ve grown as a person. It’s removed some of the barriers I had about people more well-off than myself.”

Working Class White Men begins on Channel 4 on Tuesday January 9 at 10pm.

Press Association

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