Professor Green: ‘No ­matter how much I try to behave, I just can’t’

The rapper on why he’s still a man-child, coping with depression and his loathing for Jeremy Kyle

Hi, Pro. You’ve described your last album-delaying, tour-postponing 18 months as “mental, turbulent, up and down, round and round, amazing, horrible, happy, sad, frustrating, testing, trying and above all incredibly fucking stressful”.


I imagine getting sandwiched between two Mercedes (1) was the “fucking stressful” part.

It wasn’t the most fun. The gas and air was good. The morphine was OK. But three months of barely being able to use my leg, being on Tramadol and codeine and having conversations with people who were not there was quite stressful.

Have you got a groovy scar to impress the ladies?

No. I didn’t break anything. I’m like the bionic man. I got away so lightly. I pushed myself up on the bonnet of the parked car, so only my left leg got caught. I snapped my bilateral ligament and had a compression fracture the length of my shin. It led to really bad muscle wastage, so I’ve had to do all these silly exercises to get my leg working again.

Then there’s your whole stolen-Rolex/drink-driving/lying-to-police incident (2), which certainly sounds “frustrating, testing and mental”.

It was just stupid. I don’t like to look at myself as a victim, but Millie (3) and I were victims. The police victimised us just because some stupid copper was like, “Ooh, Professor Green” for a bit of coffee-room chat. Getting arrested for perverting the course of justice – which I was never charged with – made my life a misery. They were so embarrassed by the police’s behaviour, it wasn’t even brought up in court.

Now you’re on a ban, does Millie have to pick you up from parties and give you a lift to the shops?

I don’t like getting in the car with Millie. It’s a domestic waiting to happen. She asks questions like, “Can I overtake that?” She scares me. She’s definitely got dyspraxia.

Professor Green with his wife Millie
Mr and Mrs Green. Photograph: Joe Pepler/REX

In “amazing and happy” news, you got hitched. Er, any “turbulence” there?

It brought things back to the surface, which maybe I’d isolated rather than digesting and processing, like that my dad and mum weren’t going to be there. My mum’s with us but we don’t talk. It’s times like that when you miss people. But it was such a happy day. It highlighted the people who were there, not just the ones who weren’t. The honeymoon was amazing. All I did was drink wine and eat pasta for two weeks.

Which just leaves “round and round” and “up and down”: you wrote a hugely heartfelt piece for the Guardian recently on anxiety and depression. What did that teach you?

That one of the major problems with depression is this: if people think you’re perfect, then you’re made to feel guilty if you complain. People think you’re just another whining pop star. I didn’t know they were going to pay me (4), so I got them to give the money to

Have you done the most thorough ice bucket challenge yet?

I tried so hard not even flinch, but I still screamed like a child. I hate the cold. Some people swear by cold showers and the cold sea. I hate it. I nominated Katie Hopkins and she fucking did it. It just shows there’s some justice.

You’ve struck up an unlikely friendship with Kevin McCloud out of Grand Designs (5). Who’s next? Kirstie and Phil from Location, Location, Location? Martin Roberts from Homes Under the Hammer?

Loose Women? I tell you who I don’t want to make friends with: Jeremy Kyle. No one winds me up as much as he does. Hate is such a strong word, but I genuinely hate him.

You should have nominated him for the ice bucket!

I don’t want anything to do with him. We should just stop mentioning his name.

OK! One last thing: does the title of your new album, Growing Up in Public, kind of say it all?

I’m still a man-child. There’s this hugely juvenile part of me that won’t fuck off, like swearing in interviews (6). No matter how much I try to behave, I just can’t. I’ve had a lot of shit happen to me publicly over the last 18 months. I’m not sure everything happens for a reason, but it’s left me in a good place.

Maybe Kermit had it right when he sang, “It’s Not Easy Being Green”?

I wanted to sample Bein’ Green, but clearing the sample turned into a nightmare!


(1) While picking up a hire car on the way to a gig in May.

(2) When The Pro called the police to report a mugging in south London last November, they found his car had crashed into a van.

(3) Millie Mackintosh, the former Made in Chelsea star who is now Mrs Professor Green.

(4) Do rappers get paid more than us regular journos?

(5) After chumming up at the Baftas.

(6) Tut tut.


Rich Pelley

The GuardianTramp

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