They’re ‘right on’ down the Rovers!

Midweek Sport - - SPORT -

Irony

was about car­a­van breaks which cost only slightly less than the en­tire bud­get of this doc­u­men­tary.

On BBC1, it ran like a 40-minute in­fomer­cial for a well-known chain of hol­i­day parks and the down­mar­ket tabloid news­pa­per through which it sup­plies cheapo hol­i­day vouch­ers.

The ba­sic prob­lem here was the in­evitable lack of con­flict.

If some­one pays £9.50 for a hol­i­day and has a nice time, they are happy. And that is bor­ing to watch.

If some­one pays £9.50 for a hol­i­day and has a crap time, they shrug their shoul­ders and say: “Well, what do you ex­pect for £9.50?” And that is even worse.

Hi-de-hi? No-di-no.

SO that was such a thriv­ing hot­bed of anti-racism?

Not me, for a start. I’d fool­ishly as­sumed that a mainly white, work­ing-class en­clave of a for­mer mill town in north west Eng­land might be a lit­tle “con­ser­va­tive” in such mat­ters.

Af­ter all, isn’t it in pre­cisely such ar­eas where the Bri­tish National Party or English De­fence League tends to find its core sup­port?

Wrong. ’ Ap­pen those cob­bled streets are packed with more pas­sion­ate cham­pi­ons of equal­ity than a Hu­man Rights Con­ven­tion in an Is­ling­ton muesli shop.

Frankly, I wouldn’t be sur­prised to learn there is a statue of Martin Luther King in the Red Rec, or that Weather­field is in fact twinned with Soweto.

It was fire­man Paul who un­earthed this hid­den se­cret by

who

knew fool­ishly telling Steve to “play the white man” dur­ing a game of darts.

He was taken to task by Lloyd, who is black, and soon dis­cov­ered the whole Street was up in arms.

Brian Packham, Ja­son Grimshaw, Steve McDon­ald, Peter Bar­low, even the usu­ally self-cen­tred Tracy McDon­ald.

They all lined up to have a pop at the Street’s an­swer to Adolf Hitler.

So­phie Web­ster joined in the fun, too, al­though she widened the goal posts and as­sumed he was ho­mo­pho­bic too.

Well, he prob­a­bly is. That is the thing with mid­dle-aged white men. They are all the same.

Paul’s only sup­port so far has come from Glo­ria, who reck­ons she is “part-Chero­kee but doesn’t make a fuss about it”.

They were a tribe of Red In­di­ans – al­though, of course, you wouldn’t be al­lowed to say that in Coro­na­tion Street ei­ther. The irony is that this un­likely plot­line comes just two weeks af­ter Chan­nel 4 hid­den cam­era show Eye Spy planted a racist waiter (re­ally an ac­tor) in a Manch­ester restau­rant to see how un­sus­pect­ing din­ers would re­act as he ver­bally abused a young black woman with com­ments far worse than Paul’s.

And how did they re­act? No-one said a damn thing.

The ITV1 show’s bosses are try­ing to have their cake and eat it here.

If they must fol­low the dreary Easten­ders route of “is­sue-led” sto­ry­lines, they should at least make the char­ac­ters’ re­ac­tions be­liev­able and real – not sani­tised by their own Metropoli­tan views.

In other words: come on Cor­rie, play the white man.

Or, you know, the black man. Or the Asian woman, the mixed-race her­maph­ro­dite, the Na­tive Amer­i­can child...

Play who­ever you like. But be hon­est.

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