PREVIEW Hero Of The Hour Scottish, Thu 12 Mar, 8pm.
Despite the fact that Ross Kemp is starring in LWT’s TV film Hero Of The Hour and will doubtlessly play a host of different roles in the future, to some he will forever be Albert Square's baldy hardman and all- round bad boy Grant Mitchell.
An Eastenders stalwart for ten years, Kemp managed to make the character of ex-army nutjob Mitchell the best-known psycho on the box (not bad for a man who started his career in Fruit and Fibre commercials).
Though often spiteful and usually immoral, the antics of the middle Mitchell sibling added colour to the doom and gloom of Walford. His first marriage disintegrated after his wife Sharon had an affair with his ’bruvva’ and partner-in-crime Phil, he fathered a second child during a one-night stand, slept with his second wife’s mother and currently resides in a warm place where the extradition laws favour ex-cons.
Perhaps it’s understandable, given his faultless, sustained performanci: as a first class thug, that Kemp’s first role since leaving the Square will come as a surprise to many. Hero Of The Hour sees him as Richie Liddle, a downtrodden family man and security guard for a large supermarket chain. Married with four kids, he's especially close to Donna, his eldest daughter who has a disfiguring facial birthmark. He’s strapped for cash and can’t afford to pay for an operation to have Donna’s mark removed and money worries in general are beginning to gnaw away at the foundations of his marriage. Then one night Richie is attacked at work and shot in the leg while trying to fend off a couple of armed robbers. Immediately after his show of heroics he does something completely out of character; he steals £100,000.
Ruskin roulette: The Last Visionary
Hero worship: Ross Kemp
‘You could say that the character is the antithesis of Grant,’ says Kemp. ’l-le is very much a joker and not particularly strong. He lets his wife make most of the decisions and he’s quite happy going off and playing with his kids.’
‘Richie almost loses his soul,’ he adds ’but finds a simple truth about himself and his life, a truth so powerful that it drives him beyond the media-hyped, hollow heroics to a greater humanity.’ This version of events is perhaps a little high-falutin’, but is more or less what happens to the character during the course of the film.
Better than your average major, made-for-TV movie, Hero of the Hour is the perfect vehicle to enable Kemp to eschew his hardnut image. Rather ambitiously, it's billed as part satire, part love story and part thriller, but to its credit boasts an intriguing, if a little far fetched, plot and solid performances from a talented cast.
establishment scorn, but campaigned against industrial development and even foretold the 20th century's environmental problems.
The programme balances details from Ruskin's life \‘.lth examples of his uniciue painting and prose His legacy is apparent today, and his relentlessly tortured private life is a godsend for dOCui'nentary filmmakers. His marriage ended in public scandal, haying never been consummated tRuskin was allegedly disgusted by the sight of his wife's pubic haii'\_ He also suffered intermittently from mental :llness and was plagued by Visions, finally SLiCCumbing to madness while lecturing at Oxford
Forthcoming tales of triumph and tragedy Include a rare intei‘yiew \\’|Ih black Hollywood idol Sidney POitier, a
Omnibus BBCl, starts Mon 13 Mar, 10.40pm.
Wan huge cnunks of the licence fee 90mg :ntO nurturing Such 'essentiai' services as \Jll'tllal news, it's reassuring to KllOV. that tne BBC has the viisclOiii to spare some pennies for the
stistenance of flagship terrestrial
programmes lke Omnibus
The series returns with l'€\eallng prof-les of l!\€ giants of Western Culture, beginning with a seme- dramatised aCCOchT'. of John Ruskin, 19th century economist, social reformer and art criticism pioneer. The Last VlSi’O/Tdfj,’ is a fitting legend fOr a man who not only Supported Turner and the Pre-Raphaelites amidst
celebration of F Scott Fitzgerald's novels and an insight into the Lazarus- like career resurrection of John Trat'oita. There's also a behind-the- scenes glimpse at the work of Angel Of The North sCulptor Antony Gormley who will be disputing the notion that size isn't et'erything while promoting the joys Of self-clingfilming, iAllan RadCllllel
We put TV celebs on the couch. This Issue: Davina McCall
Big Break After iobs as a model booker, waitress and nightclub manager, McCall turned up as a \’J on MTV a few years ago, before popping into the insomniacs schedule With God’s Gift.
God’s What? A low rent, but nevertheless entertaining, bawdy, after the pub rewrite of Blind Date which saw McCall and team up with that TV legend Stuart It’s A Knockout Hall,
Not the old fella with the . .. He of the hysterical laughter, verbal diarrhoea and Willingness to shout ’here come the Belgians'.
But that's old news isn't it? Yes, but she’s been a buSy lass of late presenting Streetmate for Channel 4, Don’t Try This At Home for ITV and now she's taking the helm of the Brit Awards.
Don't fancy her's much Steady on She may be following in the footsteps of Such disastrous c0upl.ngs as Sam Fox and Mick Fleetwood, but McCall is up for the iob. She has held her own with masses of lairy Club 18—30 somethings, bungee JUlTlplng and regularly accosts people in the street for a llVlng, By comparison, The Brits \‘VIlI be a cinch.
Finest hour? Ended up domg a parachute Jump while filming Don’t Try This At Home when the contestant bottled out at the :ast mlDLlle. And she kept smiling throughout — what a pro. Little known fact She co-presented, with Julian Clary, an entire series Of cringeworthy game show Prick/y Heat, in a bikini
Not so little known fact All her match-making knowledge has been captured in one handy volume entitled The Dating Game published by Arrow last month,
Not to be mistaken for RS hlcColl, Stuart McCall, DIHHE‘ Dat'id.
E The Brits are broadcast On Scottish,
Sat 4 Mar, 8.55pm
" STAR RATINGS
t t t ir it unmissable
‘k s s it Very good
air i r: Worth a shot
it it Below average
it Youte been warned
".'a' 2033 THE lIST 101