Channel 4 filmmaker flees after man pulls out gun and machete


Ed Stafford had a very frightening encounter while filming his new Channel 4 series (Picture: Channel 4)

Things got very scary for filmmaker Ed Stafford when a man pulled out a gun and machete on him as they chatted down a dark alley.

The presenter is fronting 60 Days on the Estates, a Channel 4 series in which he visits some of the UK’s most troubled estates.

In the first episode, Ed, 47, went to London to dig deeper into the issue of Northumberland Park’s gun and knife crime, stunned to discover that kids as young as 13 are still getting drawn in.

In a bid to understand more, the documentary maker agreed to meet a man in a private setting, as he wasn’t comfortable being named or identified on camera.

So, Ed made the trip in the dead of night.

‘Through some people that I’ve met, I’ve been put into contact with a guy who is, I guess he’s got underworld connections,’ Ed explained, noting that there’s ‘a big of a gang war going on.’

The documentary maker is exploring life in some of the UK’s most troubled estates (Picture: Channel 4)
He agreed to meet a man down a dark alleyway to get to know more about knife and gun crime (Picture: Channel 4)
The individual was impossible to identify (Picture: Channel 4)

‘He might be able to explain a bit more about the gun crime specifically that’s going on at the moment.’

Ed then told viewers: ‘The man I’m seeing is nervous about appearing on camera, so he’s chosen an isolated location to meet up.’

While driving down, Ed admitted his ‘adrenaline was pumping’ as he neared closer his destination.

Once he arrived, he introduced himself to the guy and they shook hands.

The man wore a large black coat and covered up his head with the hood, with a scarf covering his face.

‘People have told me that, at the moment, there’s a bit of a war going on. Are tensions high right now?’, Ed asked him.

He explained to Ed how he protects himself from gangs (Picture: Channel 4)
…and pulled out a machete (Picture: Channel 4)
He also uses a gun if there are ‘two or three’ others coming for him (Picture: Channel 4)

‘All of London’s under siege,’ the masked man said bluntly.

‘Everywhere’s f***ed so, it is what it is,’ he said.

‘You’ve gotta make money whatever way you can, sometimes, that’s robbing, man, that’s how it is.’

It was then that Ed asked how the man ‘protects himself’.

Deciding to show him rather than tell him, the individual pulled a machete out from his jacket, explaining that he’s got ‘a couple of options’.

He was then quizzed on how he uses the weapon, but refused to comment.

Instead, he said that when there are ‘two or three’ others after him, he’ll use a gun, also pulling that from his pocket.

‘It’s dangerous out here, bruv,’ he said.

Ed fled the scene, later saying in an interview that he was ‘annoyed’ the moment was included in the fina, cut (Picture: Channel 4)

Ed then fled the scene, explaining to his camera crew that he ‘wasn’t comfortable.’

Reflecting on the encounter later on, Ed confessed the ordeal was a ‘wake-up call’.

‘It’s not just people making it up, it’s something that everyone around here has to navigate in some respect.’

Ahead of the episode airing, Ed also spoke to The Sun’s TV Mag about what he saw.

‘Sometimes you actually find it quite difficult to think because you’re right in the middle of a situation,’ he explained after recalling how he needed to walk away from the man he was interviewing.

‘I beat myself up a bit about that, but then again it hammers it home – you hear about the shootings and stabbings but actually seeing the gun first hand it’s like, “Well, ok, that’s what he’s carrying in order to protect himself because he’s mixing in certain circles”.’

The former British Army Captain added that he was ‘annoyed’ the situation has been included in the final edit.

60 Days on the Estates airs next Sunday at 9pm on Channel 4 and is available to stream on All4.

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