The only thing Keith Allen is more famous for, other than being Lily Allen’s father, is his refusal to discuss the fact he is Lily Allen’s father. Allen is notoriously frosty when asked to discuss anything to do with his daughter and whole interviews have been soured when death-wish journalists have probed him on the subject. So there’ll be no talk of Lily Allen, this isn’t Heat, get that, prick? Devoting several minutes to footage of not just Allen senior and junior, but a painful clip of Lily’s song ‘Racism Is Well Naughty, You Chief,’ should have served as some kind of warning that not a lot would be happening in the next 60 mins. Because it didn’t.
More filler followed with a history of racist Britain being condensed into archive footage of Enoch Powell and Patrick Truman off Eastenders. Allen asked the question if the BNP was “really a non-racist democratic party nowadays, or a repackaging of old prejudices?” Well, we could have saved ourselves the following precious 47 minutes of our lives that we will never get back, answered “NO” and ended it there and then, but as Keith himself pointed out, Channel 4 don’t pay up for rhetorical questions.
Disaster struck when Keith received the message that Nick Griffin had cancelled and would no longer be taking part in the programme. Would the production company go bust? The crew weren’t insured, who would get paid? Hold on a minute, didn’t the EXACT same thing happen when Allen met Floyd in his last film? Whilst that last programme, like this, was clearly a poorly-researched and thinly-veiled vanity project for Keith Allen, Keith Floyd DIED during the airing of that show, so I for one was happy to sit through this and again on +1, if similar results could be guaranteed this time round.
Forgetting he was making a film aiming to expose the bigotry and prejudices that Nick Griffin and the BNP have of others who originate from countries other than their own, Allen arrives by Eurostar and promptly describes Brussels as “a big hole,” before he even steps foot on the platform. For reasons never to be explained, he is not seen without a ukulele for the reminder of the show. With Euro 2012 around the corner, I did worry that Allen might ask Griffin to feature on this year’s Official England song (“Ivory and Ivory” anyone?) At this point, Griffin is still refusing to see Allen and I find myself in the dark place of empathising with a hateful, bloated fascist.
Seeing the pair on-screen together, it was difficult to establish the more odious of the two.
Eventually, Allen tracks Nick down at a conference centre. He chases him to a room where he has locked himself in. Allen pleads with Griffin to talk to him to no avail. Executive Producer, (dreadlocked gobshite Victor Lewis Smith,) decides the way to make Nick talk to the crew is by being a total pain in the arse until he relents and agrees to talk to Keith. A bunch of suited men, old enough to know better, begin thrashing around in the corridor. It was like one of the more adventurous scenes in Cocoon.
Back in Brussels, Nick has agreed to talk to Keith and the name of the programme begins to actually mean something and not be an indication that Allen received a copy of ‘The Secret’ for Christmas. Seeing the pair on-screen together, it was difficult to establish the more odious of the two. Despite brandishing a ukulele and basing his interview style on a scene from ‘Why Don’t You?’ Keith Allen managed to not be more of a freewheeling thundercunt than Nick Griffin, though he came a very close second.
Nick Griffin is wary of interviews, he was suspicious of the intentions of this programme (which he needn’t have been, there weren’t any) and he knows that essentially people hate his fucking face. So what question does Allen have for Griffin? I mean he could walk out at any minute, so these questions need to be good, tell the people what they want to hear! ‘What music do you like?’ Frost/Nixon this ain’t. Griffin is happy to share that he likes The Clash and The Stranglers. My suspicions are that he heard this question wrong; he would have given an identical answer to ‘what should we do to tackle the problem of newborn Muslim babies?’ Another reference is made to Allen’s daughter, strictly-off-topic-her-albums-remain-available-to-buy-in-all-good-branches-of-Sue-Ryder, Lily Allen.
As if the content of the show was not lacking enough (I’ve seen grittier episodes of Waybuloo), it was actually quite difficult to watch on an aesthetic level. The terrible use of split screen, shaky camerawork and titles that look like they’d been created by leaving an excitable cat in the same room as an Amstrad 646, were not making the process of any easier of watching belly-button-in-jumper Allen, with the face for Hyperthyroidism, Griffin. Nick blamed a lack of interest in the BNP on the credit crunch. Yeah, that’s right, the economic downturn has made us all more tolerant. We are all too poor to feed ourselves and therefore too weak to kick the shit out of young Asian men who dare to attempt to share our pavements, as seen in an election campaign by BNP candidate, Bob Bailey. When asked about if he changed his ways, having been part of the National Front in his youth, Griffin replies ‘all young men with ideals see things literally in black and white.’ Yes, but they don’t picture the black people as being skinned alive on a pay-per-view channel called BNP:THE HITS!
When Griffin becomes tired of pretending to not be a dangerous fuckbiscuit who would have me and my whole family expatriated (to a grain pit,), he resorts to patronising Allen and telling him he couldn’t possibly understand what he meant as Allen was ‘an airy-fairy media intellectual.’ You can actually see Allen thinking about challenging him on this, before realising he wants that on his fucking grave. Tenner says he’s had that made into GIF which he has been watching on a loop ever since.
I think it’s fair to say that the general consensus was that the show would work better/at all, if Keith Allen wasn’t such a grade-A wanker. Allen is a firework that never went off and you know what they say about those (they need to be ignored or they will go off in your face). Griffin decides to not continuing with filming. Again. The last thing to have actually happened since er, the first time this happened. Footage of Allen and the crew enjoying dinner follows and Allen receives a picture message of Griffin and his chubby Nazi mates who are also out on the lash. Again, challenging the views of BNP and everything Griffin stands for Allen makes up a song about how the picture looks like it should bee seen on a website called ‘Queers R Us’ Low-level homophobia, that’ll learn ‘em, Keith! Maybe for the next show he could hook up with Mugabe and sing a ditty about orchestrated rape? Griffin agrees, again, yawn, to see Allen the next day, in an interview that takes places with the Daily Mail’s website over Griffin’s shoulder. The next day, Griffin discusses the areas he thinks he has a chance of gaining a seat in. In a sort of anti-Guardian ‘Let’s Move To’ feature, he lists Stoke, all areas surrounding Birmingham and the whole of the North East, as being ripe for the racist picking.
In a shock move, Griffin claimed that he and his party were actually helping Muslim women who were the victims of oppression. Fuck! Was Nick Griffin being nice? Oh no wait, when asked to substantiate his claims, he states that the real issue is that Muslim paedo gangs are grooming all white children. Literally, all of them. Ah, so near, Nick, so near. Allen had grown quite close to Griffin (well he hadn’t kicked him in the perineum until he blacked out, which any normal person would have used this opportunity to do.) Would the show end with Keith singing excerpts from Mein Kampf on Coach 14 of the Eurostar, uploading pictures of him dressed as a Nazi to Queers R Us? Sadly not, in fact, nothing really happened after this at all. The programme ended abruptly, having made not much point at all, like a metaphor for Keith Allen’s career. Worse than this, at the time of writing, Griffin hasn’t done a Floyd.
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