TV comedy recounts the day Sheffield fan came to rap band Public Enemy's rescue

It was the Sheffield story that became an internet sensation - and still hasn't lost its capacity to amuse.

Saturday, 31st March 2018, 2:44 pm
Updated Saturday, 31st March 2018, 3:10 pm
Philip Glenister, Abdul Salis and Paterson Joseph in Urban Myths. Picture: Sky

When rap group Public Enemy became stranded in Broomhill just before they were due on stage for a performance supporting The Prodigy at the arena, gig photographer and fan Kevin Wells stepped in to ferry them to the venue in his reliable Ford Focus.

A disbelieving Kevin made sure he snapped an in-car selfie with the band - Chuck D and Flavor Flav, plus their entourage - which went viral and was seen across the world, generating ceaseless puns about the hip-hop troupe needing to 'fight the power' of Sheffield's evening traffic.

The real-life selfie from 2015, with Kevin Wells, left, and Public Enemy.

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And now the tale has been turned into a TV programme. An episode of the Sky Arts series Urban Myths is dedicated to a tongue-in-cheek retelling of the saga, with the part of Kevin taken by Life on Mars actor Philip Glenister. Paterson Joseph - a seasoned actor known for his role as boss Alan Johnson in Channel 4 sitcom Peep Show - plays Chuck D and Abdul Salis appears as Flavor Flav.

Public Enemy found themselves stuck in Broomhill following a signing session at Record Collector on Fulwood Road in November 2015. A taxi had been booked, but drove off without them, leading to a momentary panic before Kevin, of Killamarsh, volunteered.

The episode is described by Sky as 'a funny and thought-provoking road trip set against a soundtrack of Bohemian Rhapsody'. Queen's song came on the radio during the band's journey through Attercliffe, prompting a 'Wayne's World moment', as Kevin described it at the time. “I was looking in the rear view mirror thinking, ‘Is this actually happening?’”

The Sky episode, written by Neil Webster and directed by Ben Palmer, was filmed in London where a music shop was mocked up as a replica of Record Collector.

The real-life selfie from 2015, with Kevin Wells, left, and Public Enemy.

Urban Myths began in 2017, and is about to begin a second series of 'fictionalised accounts of mostly true events'. Other stories in the new run will revisit Bill Grundy's infamous TV interview with the Sex Pistols in 1976 as well as Live Aid and the set of Some Like It Hot. All eight instalments will be available on demand from April 12, with the Public Enemy show lined up for broadcast on May 24. A third series is already in the works.

Phil Edgar-Jones, director of Sky Arts, said: “With the first season we knew we’d hit comedy gold, mining the madcap worlds of urban folklore and once again viewers will get to see some of Britain’s most talented actors, writers and directors bring a selection of terrific tales, mostly true, to life. The episodes will be airing weekly on Sky Arts, but will also all be available on demand, perfect for binge-watching."