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Strictly Come Dancing: Danny John Jules criticism is unjust

SHOWBIZ: Danny John-Jules was reportedly a ‘bully’ on Strictly

I CANNOT believe that Danny John Jules is being disrespected in the press the way he has been over the last week or two, for simply taking part in Strictly. They should be thankful that he agreed to participate in the dancing competition to bring a little bit of panache to the programme.

And yet, to read the headlines, anyone would think that he was guttersnipe rather than one of our most successful television actors ever. I can't just sit here and allow the media to tarnish his name like that, under spurious allegations of 'bullying'. I can't.

Danny John Jules a bully? Are you having a laugh? I know the man well. This is someone who has been round my house for tea and jokes and I can assure you he is one of the gentlest, kindest and most conscious souls you're going to have the pleasure to meet. Ask any of the tons of actors that have worked with him. I would be horrified if a single one has a bad word to say about him.

That doesn't mean that he suffers fools gladly. If you are some dustbin man coming to take away the trash too early and too loudly in the morning and you're waking up the whole neighbourhood, yes, he will leave his bedroom and come and confront you in his dressing gown. And he ain't going to confront you politely neither. You get me? He ain't no 'uncle Tom'  saying 'Yes, massa, no massa, three bags full massa'. Nah, you're the fool if you want that kind of obedience from him. Why would he? Like I say, he's one of the most successful black British actors on telly - ever - and he should get respect for that.

Just have a butchers at his resume and tell me if he does not deserve the utmost respect that you would give to anyone of them guys that are top dons in television.

I mean, we're talking here of Cat from Red Dwarf - an iconic role if ever there was one. Not to talk of the caretaker/secret spy chief in the children's series M.I. High and for those of you who go back that far he was one of the geezers on that series Tomorrow People way back in the seventies. Now, that was all long before he played one of the policemen in the series Death In Paradise which has seen him become one of the longest serving and best loved characters in a UK series. He's a national treasure.

So why would anyone want to besmirch his good name? If you believe what you read in the press, he apparently told his dancing partner "I'm the star here, not you." So what if he did? In the cutthroat world of showbiz you sometimes have to make it clear that you, and not someone else, is the boss. Just like the airline pilot has to make it clear to you that he and not anyone else is the captain. Before you get it twisted. But that does not amount to bullying. It amounts to being treated with respect.

Danny's beautiful wife, Petula Langlais, suggested that the Strictly bosses are behind the media headlines. She said as much in a tweet where she described them as having thrown her husband "under a bus". Is it because he is black and that the media would like to underline the stereotype that black men have 'anger management' issues?

After all it is a rod to which to beat the black man with - especially the successful black man, not to talk of the hugely successful black man. Isn't this the whole 'fear of a black planet' all over again? Played out in front of our very eyes? And, even though I try ti avoid conspiracy theories, I cannot help wondering if it is the same rod that the Home Secretary Sajid Javid is giving the police to beat our children with when he adapts the law to allow stop and search WITHOUT reasonable grounds. 

We have been here before. This new amendment to the law will give coppers carte blanche to disrespect black yutes without reason. As much as we all want to bring an end to the knife crime that is taking the lives of our kids, to allow the police to target black yutes without due reason whatsoever is to criminalize them not just in the law courts but in their minds and in the minds of everybody else - their neighbours, their employers, their teachers - everybody.

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