TV review: Your kids will be doing the Viking Haka over the summer

Professor Green in a London Park with his dog Arthur. Photographer: Duncan Stingemore
Billy Foley

Professor Green: Dangerous Dogs, BBC 1, Tuesday at 10.35pm

It says something about the dominance of celebrity television documentary that the film makers didn’t feel the need to explain to viewers who Professor Green is.

They must have assumed everyone would know he’s a rapper from East London.

While I’m sure plenty know about Stephen Manderson’s music career and his celebrity relationship with Millie Mackintosh, there may have been the odd person who thought he was some kind of dog expert.

A canine professor perhaps?

Dangerous Dogs ticked all the celebrity documentary making boxes.

Professor Green was “on a journey” to find about about banned dogs in Britain and "wanted to discover" why pitbull-type dogs were outlawed in 1991.

The film was first made available on the BBC Three website (a channel which specialised in youth culture before it was dropped last year) but made its terrestrial television debut this week.

Green, who owns an English Bulldog called Arthur, was sympathetic to pitbull owners who argued that the dog was not automatically aggressive and that the law introduced by prime minister John Major was a knee-jerk reaction to a hard case.

Green argued that of the 27 people killed by dogs in the last decade, the majority were by legal dogs and he called for a law to target aggressive dogs and their owners rather than breeds.

If it doesn’t seem like an overblown analogy, this is similar to the American argument that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”.

The point about pitbulls and guns is that in the wrong hands they are both designed to kill. Labradors and baseball bats are not.


Euros 2016, BBC and UTV

It was a miserable weekend for football supporters on this island but what a television spectacle it was.

The schedules have been dominated by football for the last few weeks and have now been joined by Wimbledon, which is so craved by the BBC that at times it’s on both channels at once.

In fact, take out sport, the EU referendum and Glastonbury and there’s almost no room left for anything else.

It shows once again, however, that despite the rise of social media, youtube, streaming services and catch-up TV, that terrestrial television is still king.

Almost all of the key moments in the EU referendum campaign were on television.

One key moment was in a Sky News interview when Faisal Islam taunted David Cameron about the Remain side’s claims.

“What comes first - World War Three or the global Brexit recession?”

The audience erupted into laughter and applause.

Cameron accused him of being “glib” but the prime minister must have realised that when your arguments are being ridiculed three weeks before the most important vote of your career you are in trouble.

The most memorable moment of the Euros so far was the Iceland team celebration with their supporters after their incredible defeat of England.

Everyone loves the romantic tale of a country with a population the size of Belfast beating England, but then they threw in the best football supporters’ display since the Poznan.

It’s being called the ‘Viking haka’ and involves some rhythmic clapping and shouting.

I know that doesn’t sound too unusual but check it out on youtube for the full effect.

We may think that we are unique, sophisticated individuals but we have a deep need for group behaviour and like nothing better than getting together to shout and move in unison.

Your kids will be doing it in the street over the summer - that’s the power of television.


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