Ross Kemp: ‘It’s dangerous, but a calculated risk’

Ross Kemp visits some of the world’s most dangerous places in a new series of Extreme World for Sky1. Here, the former EastEnders star talks about dodging bottles and bullets…

How pleased are you to be fronting a second series of Extreme World?

“I am very proud of the fact that Sky is brave enough to recommission it, but I’m fully aware that if no one watches because it’s so brutal then it probably won’t get another series.”

What do you think of the state of current affairs programming

“I think there’s been a lot of ‘dumbing down’ in terms of what current affairs shows are about. I think things used to be far more honest. These days, a lot of stuff on television is nice, but life isn’t always nice and I think, as a society, we have sheltered ourselves from it. Television should reflect the way the world is and Extreme World certainly ticks that box.”

The series kicks off with a visit to Karachi, Pakistan. What was it like there?

“Karachi is one of the most violent cities I’ve ever visited – its residents live in fear of being bombed, gunned down and even tortured. Every day an undermanned police force attempts to prevent extortion, kidnapping and murder.”

We hear you had a near miss when you visited the no-go area of Lyari?

“Yeah. Some shots were fired over our heads on this trip. But I was probably in more danger in Marseilles, when a frozen bottle was dropped from 19 storeys’ high and hit our vehicle. I was sitting in the back, but it destroyed the vehicle.”

Do you ever worry about putting yourself in very real danger filming these programmes?

“I know I’m putting myself in danger, but it’s a calculated risk I take – I can’t tell the stories unless I go to these places. But the thing I feel most guilty about is having to leave, knowing that the people of these countries have to live there 24/7.”

Ross Kemp: Extreme World starts on Monday, September 3 at 9pm on Sky1.

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