A world of trouble
Ross Kemp on being caught in a riot and meeting the Klu Klux Klan in the final series of his investigative show
NEW documentary Ross Kemp: Extreme World sunday / sky 1 / 9.00Pm
Ross Kemp has reported from some of the most dangerous places in the world, but he’ll never forget the day he was in the middle of a race riot in America.
The opening film of his new sixpart Sky 1 series, Ross Kemp Extreme World, follows the former Eastenders star as he heads to Texas during the final months of Donald Trump’s divisive presidential campaign.
And, as racial tensions reached boiling point, Ross found himself trapped between a group of heavily armed white supremacists and a mass of furious anti-racism protesters.
‘Being in the centre of that riot was just as dangerous as being in Afghanistan,’ he explains. ‘The white nationalists were all carrying loaded automated weapons, as were the National Guard. No one pulled a trigger and thank God they didn’t.’
Here Ross tells TV Times more about his new series… America has a history of race problems, do you believe it’s got worse recently?
The election of President Trump has exacerbated the issue. If you have a President who is expressing controversial views, it allows the extremists to justify themselves. That’s a worry. Dallas feels like a bit of a powder keg at the moment.
You met Rowdy, the Imperial Wizard of Dallas’s Ku Klux Klan… There are so many different police organisations in America and each city has a police force, along with county, state and national police organisations. That’s why it’s easy for these groups to expand. Rowdy told me, ‘We are the hidden army, the army that no one knows.’ He was anti-islam, anti-jewish… everything. The film shows how those views are becoming more mainstream.
You had to agree to be taken to a secret location in the Texan wilderness at the dead of night… Yes – a similar thing happens on every film we do. People check you out to make sure you’re not police officers or informers. You’re on their turf and their terms, so you’re incredibly vulnerable and if you show fear they’ll bully you. You’ve got to stand firm together and not let yourselves be pushed about. That’s how you get out in one piece.
Where else do you go this time? We go to Madagascar to investigate cow rustling, we’re in the Philippines doing a film on government corruption and we’re also covering a spice [a synthetic cannabis substitute] epidemic in the West Bank. These are issues very few people even knew existed. This is the final run of Extreme World. Why end it here?
That’s a Sky decision. I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved. I’m not intending to stop because it’s taken 15 years to get where we are, so hopefully other broadcasters will want me to make documentaries for their channels. The relationship with Sky isn’t over, they want me to do something else.
Dallas feels like a bit of a powder keg at the moment ross Kemp finds himself trapped in a race riot in texas
ross meets the
Ku Klux Klan