Prescott: The North/South Divide, BBC2 | TV reviews, news & interviews
Prescott: The North/South Divide, BBC2
The return of the big fella and his lovely lady wife
The central irony here was that Prescott, the proud northerner, Rugby League club director and chip-butty connoisseur, has spent most of his adult life amongst the soft southerners in London – and to judge by his swanky new apartment near Lambeth Palace (“a bachelor pad”, noted Pauline without apparent rancour) intends to continue doing so. As in the first film he bearded his class enemies in their lair – confronting Brian Sewell, whose main problems with northerners is that they don’t speak like Brian Sewell, and Tim Leunig, one of the authors of the Conservative think tank report that advocated abandoning northern cities for mass migration southwards.
And then it was back to Prezza’s roots – quaffing Mackeson with former Hull stevedores, and witnessing the urban regeneration of the Liverpool docks from whence the young Prescott had worked the Cunard liners. Meanwhile Pauline, an ex-manicurist herself, it transpired, had her nails done in Manchester, bigging up the warmer, homelier qualities of Coronation Street over EastEnders and all that shouting. So this was never going to be unbiased, and, okay, until last year he may not have known what a “chav” was (all power to him for his unfeigned distaste at the term), but there is no doubting Prescott’s easy ability to talk comfortably with people from all walks of life. And to give the politician his due, behind his largely symbolic deployment by New Labour, Prescott did attempt to impose great regional autonomy on the North. It’s just that the North decided that it didn’t want it.
But back to the Prescotts’ television career. Having done class and the north-south divide, it’s hard to see what John and Pauline can tackle next without starting down the slippery slope that eventually leads to the Hamiltons. He certainly seems to care enough for what was once known as the working class to ever follow Kilroy into the proletariat gladiatorial arena. Perhaps he and Pauline should just spend some quality time together, travelling between their two lovely-looking homes and enjoying the best of both words – north and south.
Subscribe to theartsdesk.com
Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 7,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.
To take an annual subscription now simply click here.
And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?
Danish family saga promises heavy weather. Don't miss it
Entertaining enough, but this three-parter is about as vapid as its subject
At last: the cult 1960s science fiction series finally comes to DVD
Ask a policeman?
Entertaining but two-dimensional, Alan Yentob's account glosses over the artist's flaws
Gripping documentary series outstrips crime drama
Classic Sixties horror story about spawning the Antichrist fails to deliver
Len Goodman and Lucy Worsley trot gently through dance history
New sitcom about dogs and their owners
Dark and chilling return of the Belfast killer thriller
For all the holes in its hull, the Julian Fellowes juggernaut stays afloat
Colourful talking heads bring to life a music both familiar and exotic