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

TV Times - - Interview - Sean Mar­land

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

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