It’s Grime Up North, Channel 4

According to Blackpool newspaper The Gazette, the social media response to this two-part documentary about the town’s grime scene revealed that some viewers actually thought it was a mockumentary. Perhaps they were confusing it with the BBC Three’s BAFTA-winning People Just Do Nothing, set in a south London pirate radio station, which is exactly that. Still, it was an easy mistake to make given the characters and situations that episode one threw up – or rather given the way the film-makers chose to present those characters and to edit the footage they generated. You did have to ask yourself whether grime acts in East London, say, would have been treated in the same fashion, and their dreams of success and recognition presented as so unachievable. That was never made explicit but the impression was always there. Channel 4’s move to Leeds can’t come fast enough if this is the way they currently present stories from England's northern working class heartlands.

Filmed partly as a fly-on-the-wall documentary (with the odd interjection from a posh-sounding member of the film crew) and partly as a series of interviews (filmed, for some reason, on a gaudily-lit fairground dodgem car) it did at least try to delve into the Blackpool grime scene, actually a sizeable player within the wider UK scene. And so we were introduced to the group L.O.E (Loyalty Over Everything) and its leader Callyman, and solo acts such as Soph Aspin, KrazyOne Savage and Little T. T’s real name is Josh Tate, he’s 15 and lives in a crowded terraced house with his siblings and his mother. One of his Youtube videos has had over three million views, though as the breezy-sounding narrator pointed out, the expletives and subject matter have made advertisers cautious. It makes it impossible to convert those views into hard cash.

Of course editing decisions are one thing but you can only film what’s put in front of you and there were points at which all the documentary-makers had to do was keep the cameras running – such as when KrazyOne Savage’s brother (and manager) Colonel Fatz hired an open carriage to take him to the launch gig for his new single, persuaded him to sit in it dressed in a crown and a purple sash and then took him to a bowling club where he performed in front of a handful of children with a microphone that didn’t work properly. Give ’em enough rope, and all that. But too often the tone in this documentary was mocking. I suppose you could call it a fond look at an under-studied subject – but only if you were being as charitable and generous as a rap battle is not.