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 10,000 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?
Impressive talents in remarkably gimmick-free Beeb competition
New puppet satire can barely drag itself to the finishing line
Pleasing travelogue with game presenter Christine Bleakley
Erudition and humour, pleasure and sin jostle in unashamedly intelligent television
The case in which DNA profiling was first used to catch a killer makes for gripping drama
An arts and broadcasting giant who was an inspired head of music at the BBC
Troubling investigation of the disaffection of French Muslims
Old Testament epic rendered as an animal-free northern soap
The presenter teases out the answers to the questions the viewer wants to ask
How traditional two-party politics was forced to confront the unthinkable
The fantasy drama returns without much fantasy, or drama
Awkward documentary draws few conclusions from a 20-year fight for women's rights