Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Prisoner: Will Mellor, Thursday 10pm, Virgin

Celebrity Big Brother? That's for wimps. Each week, new series The Prisoner: X, sees a different celebrity being sent to one the world's toughest prisons, aiming in the process to make CBB cabin fever look like a walk in a very large park.

As a lifelong enemy of both Hollyoaks and Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps, I was quite looking forward to seeing actor Will Mellor being sent to jail and bullied by bigger boys. But his trip to Dodds Prison in Barbados, where you get sent to solitary just for asking the guard a cheeky question, and an in-house gallows sits just round the corner (Barbados still has the death penalty), is actually a rather moving journey with some memorable moments.

Mellor tries to do things properly, getting handcuffed, undergoing a strip search, showering naked in front of the guards, receiving his toilet paper ration (one roll to last three weeks), being hauled off for the prison haircut and so on.

Of course, the hardship isn't real – there's an instance, for example, when it all gets too much and the actor's teary request to be let outside is promptly granted, a luxury your average convict would never be given. Whether he is actually living the prison life, or just dropping by for a cup of tea is all a bit unclear.

However, it's the interviews, including one with a man with despairing eyes sentenced to death for murder and down to his last appeal, which fascinate. And the sight of Mellor having his world view challenged right there is particularly compelling. By the end, you want to give him a slap on the back for having the balls to go through with it.

by Will Parkhouse, Wednesday 22 October 2008 

Originally published on


Anonymous said...


(This is not a comment on this specific post. I failed to find your email and therefore write you here instead. Please contact me by email.

My name is Carl and I represent factualTV. A themed intereset web tv site. We were recently mentioned in an article in c21.

I wonder if you would consider mentioning us in your blog or just post a link? Is there a mailadress on which I could contact you? If so please let me know, I would like to send you some material and also answer any questions that you might have.

All the best,


Will said...

Looks like you've already posted the link for me, Carl.

Please contact me on