CHANCELLOR George Osborne’s emergency budget has already been ndubbed a ‘bonfire of the benefits’ for capping welfare claims. Nobody tell Dappy, he’ll be proper bare vex. Camden’s homegrown rapping hero was saying just last night on Channel 4’s Being NDubz headcam documentary how the last thing you want to do to the people living in the tower blocks of the Chalcot Estate – where he grew up and first jammed with his bandmates – is to cut their benefit entitlements. His thinking:
Here we are Bray tower block, let’s have a look at Bray tower block. There was a lot of depression and there was a lot of mad like obviously people are broke. People are broke and their life is super super hard. What’s going down in the world today. Gordon Brown has gone and whatnot. David Cameron’s on it. It’s all good but listen I do believe the people up there, they shouldn’t be taking the benefits away. It gives people, like I said, who grew up in a bad negative environment, no chance. You are taking away there chance.
Dappy should consult the councillors in Belsize, which covers the Chalcots. I’m sure Jonny Bucknell, recently re-elected as a Conservative member in the ward would love to help anybody in need. I suggest the pair of them meet.
Yet unfortunately, the transcript above pretty much amounts to the highlight of Being NDubz. The first edition at least. Within moments of Dappy’s street preaching, we were whisked on to see how Tulisa is getting on with her hair and before we have a chance to yawn on again to a train station where Dappy showing off the fact he has a fully paid up Oyster card. It’s all set to the whimsical narration of Lynda Bellingham, chuckling away as if she regrets never having been given the chance to do the speaking over Eurotrash. And this kind of stuff is to be stretched out over six shows.
By all accounts, NDubz’s story of rising from Haverstock school to a big, big deal in the United States is worth telling. There is the chance to inspire, especially if they can junk their habit of collecting negative headlines in national newspapers. It would be interesting to know, for example, more about what Dappy really thought of life growing up on the Chalcots.
But somewhere in the presentation, Channel 4 not for the first time in recent weeks, risks becoming a big telly Heat magazine. Add this to celeb docs on Tiger Woods and Kerry Katona – and a nightly dose of Big Brother – and its worthy founding principles about providing something different from the mainstream, programmes that didn’t rely on familiar faces, suddenly seem to hark back to another time.