The story behind the hit TV series For Life – Channel 4 News


A man imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit is a familiar theme for a courtroom drama – but what makes For Life distinctive is that it’s based on the real life story of Isaac Wright Junior.

He was wrongly convicted of being a drugs kingpin and while in prison he vowed to change the system that put him there.

We spoke to him and the actor Nicholas Pinnock who plays the character inspired by his life in the series.



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Former youth worker explores reality of child exploitation in debut film County Lines – Channel 4 News


They are children drawn into a dangerous, sometimes deadly world of drugs, crime and violence. County Lines is a new film which explores the reality of child criminal exploitation in all its grimness.

Fiction perhaps, but absolutely rooted in real life, as filmmaker Henry Blake draws on more than a decade’s experience on the frontline of youth work.

County Lines is released in cinemas and digitally on BFI Player and Curzon Home Cinema on 4 December.



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Tier system must be clear and fair, says psychologist – Channel 4 News


The Scottish government has announced that people hoping to form social bubbles over the Christmas holidays will be limited to a maximum of eight people, not including children.

We spoke to the social psychologist Prof Stephen Reicher and asked him whether knowing that the restrictions will be loosened at Christmas will make people more likely to abide by them, in the meantime.



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Benjamin Law’s Dicey Topics with Sydney comedian Nat, the force behind the “Nat’s What I Reckon” YouTube channel


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You’ve got a huge global following and people look up to you. If you were to run for political office, what issues would be part of your platform? To stop people like me entering politics. [Laughs]

Fair enough! What issues do you tend to vote on? Education is important. Access to support is important. All I know is the person who tends to be the kindest – to most people – is the person I’ll support.

DEATH

You travelled in India as a teenager, came home with tuberculosis that lay dormant for several years, then your health rapidly deteriorated in your 20s. How serious did things get? Pretty serious. My body was wasting pretty hard at one stage. My symptoms were of a glandular fever nature, but often that test can come back in a grey area, and it kept coming back in that grey area for me. I had chronic fatigue, was vomiting a lot and losing a lot of weight. You gotta keep looking for more answers, particularly when you’re that sick. I’m glad I found them. Scary.

When did doctors say you needed a lung removed? It’s a serious disease, tuberculosis. Thankfully, I did get on top of it, but a few years after I’d been cleared, I was having symptoms of something unpleasant in my lungs, and I ended up developing a big cyst in one. It collapsed and I had to have that removed in 2010. So that was another drama! [Laughs] But since then it’s been great. Well, not great. But I’m in better shape than I’ve been since I was a teenager.

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What can and can’t you do now? Well, I can’t smoke. [Laughs] My doctor says I can’t scuba dive and I can’t run a marathon. Only one of those really bothers me. My sister is a scuba diving instructor, so I’d like to do that. But that’s about it. I feel hugely capable.

How has that near-death experience affected you? It’s totally f…ed my head up. I have really chronic mental health problems. I’ve got bad medical anxiety, which is quite exhausting. I find going to the doctor quite traumatic. And I’ve always been scared of death, because I grew up in a church [Hillsong] that tells you that if you die – and you don’t have your f…ing shit in order – then you’re going to hell. So that’s carried on into this sick stuff and compiled into an almighty headache that’s pretty constant. But look, if anything, it’s also encouraged me to get back to the gym.

You’re known for your cooking. What would you want your last meal to be? Hmmm. [Thinks] My brain’s going cheeky and saying Sultana Bran. [Laughs] Fruit Loops!

Not a bad answer. No, I think it would be a meal my dad made. Anything he cooks is f…ing unbelievable.

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SEX

Given your YouTube fame, do you get thirsty comments on your videos? [Laughs] I suppose so. I’ve got a fairly low regard for myself, so that stuff doesn’t tend to stick. I find it a little overwhelming. People suggest all sorts of things they want to do to you, but you don’t reply to that stuff. Since having [partner] Jules on camera and part of the channel, that’s slowed that stuff up a bit.

She’s your shield. [Laughs] Yes! It’s weird; I’m not looking for that shit.

But it goes looking for you, obviously. Yeah! But I don’t really get it. I get marriage proposals a lot, and we just laugh. It’s like Married at First Sight – a f…ing bad idea.

You’ve said you enjoy smashing gender normatives as part of your work. What makes a good man? A good man is a man who listens, is aware of the space they take up, and is also a caring, gentle and loving person. I don’t think masculinity makes a good man. Being kind makes a good man.

Nat’s book, Un-Cook Yourself: A Ratbag’s Rules for Life (Ebury Australia, $33) is out December 1.

diceytopics@goodweekend.com.au

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Saudi women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul faces trial in terrorism court – Channel 4 News


A women’s rights activist, who has been held by authorities in Saudi Arabia, has been put on trial – just days after the kingdom hosted the G20 summit.

Loujain al-Hathloul was arrested in 2018, shortly before women were given the right to drive. Her family say she has been tortured and will now be tried in a terrorism court. But could the change in a US administration make a difference for her?



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Furloughed workers face challenge getting mortgages – Channel 4 News


If it wasn’t already a struggle to get onto the housing ladder, things just got that much harder for people on furlough.

While the pandemic has sent the wealthy rushing to snap up desirable countryside homes, many people – including the millions currently on furlough – are finding it a challenge to get a mortgage in the first place.

Even people who have viable jobs and expect to go back to full time work next year are being turned down by lenders.



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Former FA head says ‘lack of leadership’ over football’s handling of Covid – Channel 4 News


With fans banned from grounds and some lower league football clubs struggling to survive, the chairman of Tranmere Rovers says there’s been a “complete lack of leadership” from those in charge of the sport.

Mark Palios, who’s also a former Chief Executive of the FA wants stronger regulation of the sport. Our North of England correspondent Clare Fallon reports.



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