They’re ‘right on’ down the Rovers!
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.
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
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.