Rap star Professor Green has filmed a documentary on homelessness – and says it’s made him realise just how tough life on the streets is.
The BBC Three programme, which screens tonight (Feb 9), follows the Read All About It hitmaker as he meets people who sleep rough and the so-called “hidden homeless” – those forced into hostels or sofa surfing because they don’t have anywhere to live.
“Imagine having to sleep without any security,” says the 32-year-old Londoner. “You can’t shut your door and feel safe. You’re out exposed to more than just the weather.
“A lot of people end up on the street and then suffer mental health issues. People are groomed, there’s prostitution, drugs. The people who are most vulnerable in our society and who need our help the most actually get it the least.
“All these people have faces and names and stories,” he adds.
According to the BBC, the idea for the documentary begins at a cash point in east London, when Professor Green – real name Stephen Manderson – hands his change to a homeless man.
Hearing a tutting coming from behind him in the queue, he turns round to see a smartly-suited young man shaking his head. The message? Don’t give money to the homeless.
And the rapper says it got him thinking.
“People on the street are often not looked at as humans,” he told BBC’s Newsbeat. “It was something I wanted to understand.”
Professor Green: Hidden and Homeless is on BBC Three at 9pm tonight (Feb 9)