Wikipedia, that cybernetic font of wisdom, is often more fun than strictly intended. Take this entry on British soap actor Ross Kemp, which may well make the finals for one of the most poorly written (or comically re-edited) Wikipedia entries ever:
‘Since 2006, Kemp has received international recognition as an investigative journalist for his critically acclaimed and award-winning documentary series Ross Kemp on Gangs.’
Really? An ‘investigative journalist’? Should that not be, ‘a presenter on a documentary series’? No offence but I can’t really see Ross Kemp as a card-carrying member of the NUJ, rubbing shoulders with Robert Fisk or John Pilger in the war zones of the Middle East. However that is the least of it.
‘He was infamously thrown off set of Emmerdale after reportedly stubbing his toe on a prop and proceeding to violently attack the prop and claim that all props should be ‘burnt alive’ . He then ironically made guest appearances in episodes of London’s Burning where he was seen throwing numerous props into the on-set fire, and Birds of a Feather.’
Err. Is that for real?
‘Kemp refused to rule out an eventual return to EastEnders, and various media reports over the next few years speculated that he would be returning to the series. In early 2005, the BBC confirmed that Kemp would be returning to EastEnders later that year after six years away. Kemp admitted that he originally auditioned to play the part of Wellard the dog. ‘
A joke? Yes? But an original one or…?
‘…on 27 October 1999, Kemp required treatment in the hospital after being shot in the face when a stunt went wrong. He suffered cuts to his chest and face after safety glass shattered, and was also hit in the face by the discharge from a blank round. He was treated at the scene by paramedics before being taken to Barnet Hospital in north London, but made a full recovery. although he was facing 2–5 months of recovery after the incident’
Hmm. Someone needs some lessons in grammar and writing. Did Ross write this himself?
‘He also starred as the lead in ITV’s Christmas edition of A Christmas Carol.He successfully played a Dalek for two series of Doctor Who. He took the lead roles in the television series, Without Motive and In Defence in 2000, and in 2002’s Ultimate Force, where he took the role of Army Staff sergeant Henry Garvie from the British Special Air Service. He continued to appear in this role until 2006. He also gained the role of “Cirra” in the 2004 TV film, Spartacus.’
Um. Dalek? For two series of Doctor Who?
‘In early 2007 Kemp published his experiences from the TV programme in book form, in ‘Ross Kemp. Gangs’. A second book, ‘Ross Kemp. I’m bald, deal with it’, was published in 2008.’
And last but by no means least:
‘The Pilot which was initially accepted by Sky was a home video of Ross Kemp and his own gang filming a music video for the then named Channel U On 21 January 2008,Sky broadcast the first episode of a five-part series Ross Kemp in Afghanistan, which entails Kemp following the 1st Battalion of the British Army’s Royal Anglian Regiment during their deployment to Afghanistan’s Helmand Province from March to August 2007.’
Now that is a music video I’d like to see.
So our conclusion is, Ross Kemp either draws very some strange fans with access to a computer (à la Alan Partridge), has a terrible PR company who have no idea how to write a Wikipedia entry, or someone somewhere has been having a wee bit of fun.
Either way it shows again, by all means use Wikipedia, but do so with a critical eye.
And that I need to get out more.