Celebrities shadow the police to tackle crime on the streets in C4’s new Famous and Fighting Crime
It’s not every day you see Loose Women panellist Penny Lancaster chasing a shoplifter through the streets, but this isn’t your average celebrity TV jolly.
Along with Made in Chelsea’s Jamie Laing, Gogglebox star Sandi Bogle, Strictly favourite Katie Piper and stand-up comic Marcus Brigstocke, Penny becomes a volunteer police officer in this new four-part series, and it’s certainly no picnic.
As part of the Cambridgeshire Constabulary, the celebrities experience the many challenging situations officers face every day, from drunken students to government cuts, before sampling the black humour that comes with a 12-hour night shift.
TV Times rating: *****
Here, Katie, 35, tells TV Times more about her experiences…
Why did you sign up?
I’ve always had a lot of respect for the police, but I had even more after this.
It annoys me when people have a go at them, because they do a fantastic job.
Most of them are just as frustrated by the cuts and lenient sentences for some criminals, but they work so hard.
How did you find the experience?
I knew it would be tough, but it surpassed my expectations!
None of us celebrities went on patrol with each other; we were doing long shifts with proper police officers and had no way of knowing what calls we were going to get.
In the first episode, we had to deal with a man who was arrested on suspicion of assaulting his partner and he was being very violent.
It was scary, but watching the way my colleagues dealt with him was amazing.
What was the scariest moment?
Every call out has the potential to go seriously wrong, so you have to be on your guard.
But running into a building that was on fire was probably the scariest thing I did.
I’ve met lots of burns victims through my foundation, so I know the dangers, but there were small children in there who were the same age as my kids [Katie has two daughters – Belle, four, and Penelope, one] so I had to act.
The police don’t have time to be scared – they just have to do it, which is why I respect them
Were you recognised when you were out on patrol?
Yes, but it was more the criminals than the victims who recognised me!
People would say, ‘Katie Piper, what are you doing here?’ and I’d reply, ‘I’ve come to