Am I missing something? Jeremy Kyle’s visit to Norwich didn’t show us anything different to every other clubbing district in the UK
PUBLISHED: 16:08 14 March 2017 | UPDATED: 16:08 14 March 2017
Am I the only one who thinks Norwich was unfairly singled out in the professional wind-up merchant’s latest offering?
As if there wasn’t enough Jeremy Kyle on our TVs already, Mr Kyle swapped DNA tests for DFC on Tuesday night in his documentary The Kyle Files: Dangers Of A Night Out on Prince Of Wales Road.
The programme began with Jeremy standing on the top of an office block looking like someone nearby had just let one rip.
Complete with undertaker’s coat and mood lighting it was obvious from the start the message the ITV presenter wanted to portray.
This was followed by a juxtaposing scene of a tranquil summer’s day on the banks of the River Wensum and across Norwich Market, before contrasting to a typical Saturday night on Prince of Wales Road.
Jezza is seen walking down the street, named in 2015 as the fourth most dangerous drinking spot in the UK, with a crowd of clubbers surrounding him – wondering if someone has put something in their cheesy chips, or they really are seeing Britain’s most irritating daytime host on their home turf.
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He spends some of his night inside the SOS Norwich Bus, the voluntary organisation that provides a safe haven for inebriated folk to get home safely and frees time up for the ambulance service.
The charity was set up after two people drowned in the river in late 2000 after a night out in the city, and the work they do is truly remarkable.
Speaking to the paramedics it was clear the toll that binge drinking takes on Norwich, and a call out to a violent drunk man on the street showed the unacceptable abuse they have to endure.
But I couldn’t help but feel that this wasn’t unique to any other area of the UK – surely the problem is just magnified on Prince of Wales Road as all the clubs are crammed together in one place?
The road is a watering hole for party animals, but isn’t it a good thing that it’s self contained, both for policing and knowing where to avoid if you don’t like clubbing?
The half-hour documentary itself seemed like a very fleeting visit, also taking a trip to Birmingham, and two case studies in York and Glasgow where a night out gone wrong had changed families’ lives forever.
The documentary gave some interesting statistics - an increase from 39 to 253 calls to Norwich’s paramedics on a Saturday night, but delved no deeper.
There was no indication of how many of these were just from the road, or any attempt to get the other side of the story by talking to any of the thousands of people who enjoy a problem free night out in Norwich every weekend.
The show made sweeping statements about everyone that goes clubbing in Norwich, when most are just there to have a great time with their friends and never come to the attention of the emergency services.
MORE: ‘He was obviously going to focus on sensationalising those issues’ - Police, traders and revellers respond to Jeremy Kyle’s The Kyle Files on Norwich’s Prince of Wales Road
Just because some people want to recreate an episode of EastEnders on a Saturday night, it doesn’t mean all of us do.
In the final scenes he speaks to a club manager, not one from Norwich though as none would speak to him, where he is so confrontational he makes Katie Hopkins looks like a UN Ambassador.
During the interview, Kyle blames licensees for the crisis, but isn’t it time we started taking responsibility for our own actions?
Yes, if someone is sprawled across the bar covered in their own vomit then club owners and staff have a duty not to serve them.
But if someone voluntarily consumes vast quantities of alcohol, often before they get into the club, and then behaves like a moron, the only person to blame is surely themself?
Stick to the daytime telly, Jezza, and leave our nightlife alone.