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Ideal: The Red Mist

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Jaine Sykes Jaine Sykes | 10:35 UK time, Thursday, 30 June 2011

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Creator Graham Duff writes...

Okay, you might want to stand back, because I am about to stick my neck out. I am going to do it by saying this; I believe IDEAL is the most ethnically diverse programme on British TV. Our huge cast of characters encompasses Black, Asian, Caucasian, Mixed-Race, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, American, Greek, Russian, heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual and blind. We even have a recovering necrophiliac.

This isn't a box-ticking exercise, rather, to state the dazzlingly obvious, simply a reflection of the world around us. Sadly, even now, many programmes still depict a world almost exclusively populated by, for want of a better phrase, middle class honkys. And comedy programmes can be particularly guilty of this.

Another sector of society which is strongly represented in the current series of IDEAL is gingers. And whilst they might initially seem like a glib addition to our list, it's worth remembering that gingers, along with the Welsh, still seem to exert a powerful allure for the more casual, low key racist. It was whilst pondering this thought, that I came up with the idea of the Red Mist.

The Red Mist

The Red Mist

The Red Mist is a very large, very powerful gang populated exclusively by red heads. I thought it would be interesting if, for once, the gingers had the power. If, for once, they were the people who everybody else was living in fear of.

When the time came to shoot the sequence in tonight's episode where Moz confronts the Red Mist, we assembled a group of over 20 ginger actors and the effect was truly stunning. It made me realise how seldom one sees more than two gingers in any one place.

I interviewed each member of the Red Mist for a documentary for the forthcoming Ideal 7 DVD. One question I asked was, what would be the collective noun for a group of gingers? Their answers ranged from, "A ketchup of gingers" to, "A blaze of gingers" and, "A carrot patch of gingers". But, perhaps unsuprisingly, it was Rula Lenska who nailed it with "A glory of gingers."

More from Ideal:

Graham Duff gives the lowdown on previous Ideal episodes.

Watch more clips from Ideal.

How to build an entire television set...in three minutes.

Ideal in 360 degrees.

Ideal series 7 concludes tonight at 22.30 on BBC Three.

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