Could Gingers become extinct due to climate change ?

Scientists believe the gene that causes red hair could die out if temperatures continue to Rise according to genetic scientists Redheads are becoming rarer and could be extinct in 100 years’ time.

Polar bears and Emperor penguins aren’t the only species under threat due to climate change.

Scientists believe the gene that causes red hair is an evolutionary response to cloudy skies and allows inhabitants to get as much Vitamin D as possible.

But if predictions of rising temperatures and blazing sunshine across the British Isles turn out to be correct, flaming red heads could cease to exist within centuries.

While only 1% to 2% of the world’s population are ginger, in the north of the UK, where the weather tends to be more gloomy, this number is much higher.

In Scotland 650,000 (about 13% of the population) have red hair and, according to a study carried out last year, 40% of those living in Edinburgh are thought to carry the red hair/blue eye gene.

In the North and West of the UK, 29% of the population are believed to have the gene.

Red hair is caused by a mutation in the MC1R gene. It’s also a recessive trait, so it takes both parents passing on a mutated version of the MC1R gene to produce a redheaded child. Because it’s a recessive trait, red hair can easily skip a generation. It can then reappear after skipping one or more generations if both parents, no matter their hair color, carry the red hair gene.

“I think the reason for light skin and red hair is that we do not get enough sun and we have to get all the Vitamin D we can.

“If the climate is changing and it is to become more cloudy or less cloudy then this will affect the gene.

“If it was to get less cloudy and there was more sun, then yes, there would be fewer people carrying the gene.”

Another leading scientist, who asked not to be named because of the theoretical nature of the work, said: “I think the regressive gene is slowly dying out. Red hair and blue eyes are not adapted to a warm climate.

“It is just a theory but the recessive gene may likely be lost. The recessive gene could be in danger.”

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Vagina Flavored Beer!

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Would you drink this?

Most booze lovers would be quite open to trying different craft beers – and there are many to choose from these days.

But even the most adventurous of beer drinkers might have a hard time getting their head around this one, made from bacteria harvested from vaginas.

Although this sounds like a joke, rest assured it is not…in fact, this company is not the first company to try and market a food product that had the essence of vagina! However, we believe this is the first time we have ever come across anything that we were asked to eat or drink that includes the woman’s “juice” as an active ingredient in the product!

The name of the beer is The Order of Yoni. Wojtek Mann, the founder of the company explains that the word “yoni” means “vagina” in the Sanskrit language and the logo/artwork associated with the beer is also the symbol of a Hindu Goddess.

As you can imagine things only get weirder when you learn more about a vagina flavored beer.

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The creators behind ‘Bottled Instinct’ decided that they wanted to capture the essence of a woman (‘her charm, her sensuality, her passion… her taste, feel her smell… her voice’) and turn it into a drink.

The Order of Yoni’s website reads: “The secret of the beer lies in her vagina.

“Using hi-tech of microbiology, we isolate, examine and prepare lactic acid bacteria from vagina of a unique woman.

“The bacteria, lactobacillus, transfer woman’s features, allure, grace, glamour, and her instincts into beers and other products, turning them into dance with lovely goddess.”

10 Pedal Bikes That Might Cost More Than Your Car

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any better than this, you find out that car manufacturers have begun to branch out into bikes. In reality, carmakers have been producing and branding bikes for over 15 years. Mercedes-Benz started this trend by branding an AMP mountain bike.

The bike could be folded into a suitcase and put in the trunk of a car. Back in 1997, which was when this happened, the bike weighed 24 pounds. This wasn’t a bad weight at all for that day and age. The price wasn’t that out of this world either. It was just £3,300.

Soon, other car companies had begun to follow suit, with BMW creating an Olympic Games mountain bike that only cost $800. This was in 1997 as well. However, as car manufacturers began to rise in worth over the subsequent years, the cost of all their products increased as well.

Indeed, a Ferrari branded keychain soon cost as much as £30. This is a pretty big deal, considering that a keychain usually costs around £5. However, car companies actually began to make bikes for the wealthier consumer market.

They felt that this allowed them to promote their brand as caring about the environment. After all, it doesn’t get any greener than a bicycle. After a few years of creating mountain and road bikes, companies began to branch out into a relatively new technology.

This was the electric bike. The manufacturers did anything they could in order to appear environmentally friendly. Now, nearly all major automotive brands have manufactured bicycles that sport their logos. Sometimes, these bikes even share the same technology as the cars made by the automaker.

Of course, you aren’t going to find a bike from a major car company that costs £800 anymore. Today, most of the bikes from car manufacturers cost more than your family vehicle. They completely deserve the price tag, at times. Sometimes though it feels like the bike is only expensive because of the brand name.

Some people still go for these bikes as well, purely so that they can show off the flashy, premium logos that the bike features. While it is not recommended that you blow your retirement savings on a road bike made by Lamborghini that costs roughly the same as a mid-range sports car you can if you want to.

Without further ado, here are 10 bikes made by car companies, in recent years that are among the most expensive and innovative in the world. You can always find many more to come in the near future, as there are a number of concept auto bikes out there that may or may not be shelved later.

BMC Lamborghini Limited Edition Road Bike

1 – BMC Lamborghini Limited Edition Road Bike

Lamborghini has collaborated with BMC in order to design and produce this limited edition beauty of the streets. BMC is a Swiss company that is known for producing some of the best bikes in the world. One of their sub-brands, impec, is known for some of the best BMC bikes in the world.

Lamborghini has worked with impec to create a road bike that is definitely a step into the future. Exactly 50 of these premium bikes were made, in celebration of 50 years of Lamborghini. The bike is one of Lamborghini’s finest creations, and released with the Veneno supercar.

The frame, designed by impec, is made out of bespoke carbon fiber. It has been woven by robots and joined by their very own Shell Nodes. It features a 22 gear drivetrain, and Campagnolo Bora deep-section wheels. The bike is a truly sleek beauty, and is definitely one of the most exclusive out there.

It is true that the Lamborghini logo in itself is part of what imparts such a huge price on a road bike. However, it can’t be denied that the technology used to build the bike, as well as the branding on the build kit (Campagnolo Super Record EPS) make for a bike that is very nice indeed.

Price: £23,000 (on release)

Porsche Bike RS

2 – Porsche Bike RS

Porsche is one of the most famous brands of automobiles anywhere. It is the first bike with 2 accelerators to have been made by Porsche, which has actually been creating bikes for quite a while. Their bikes generally aren’t as expensive as you would expect, although they do still cost big bucks.

The bike frame is made out of high-end carbon, with carbon handlebars, stem and seat posts. All of these are ergonomically designed. The bike also features premium Shimano XTR drive, with 20 speed gears. The brakes are Magura MT8s, and the wheels are Crankbrothers Cobalt 3 wheels with Schwalbe Marathon Supreme Performance road tires.

It is a hybrid road bike, and is very beautifully made indeed. Although Porsche seems to have forgotten that roads have tiny bumps in them, leading to a noticeable lack of comfort, the lightweight fun to ride bike has definitely earned its place among the high rollers. The top speed of this bike has not been assessed, but it is definitely a speedster.

Price: 4K

Specialized S-Works McLaren Tarmac

3 – Specialized S-Works McLaren Tarmac

Specialized is a very famous premium sport bike manufacturing company. They have consistently been rated as one of the top bike manufacturers in the world. The bike maker and the world famous McLaren car company have joined forces to create the S-Works McLaren Tarmac road bike, which is one beautiful machine.

It comes in as a big brother to the S-Works Tarmac, one of the faster road bikes you will ever have the joy of riding. It offers 10% less weight than the standard bike, and uses a McLaren patented carbon fiber layup technology (FACT construction).

The handlebars are custom made by AeroFly, and the wheelset is a specially selected CLX40R tubular wheelset. The hubs and crankset are ceramic coated to reduce friction and make for a sleek, superfast road bike overall. The bike is limited edition, so only 250 are being made by Specialized.

The painting is done at the same location where the McLaren P1 is painted, and comes with an exclusive McLaren branded paint job. The bike comes with a custom fitted helmet, cycling shoes, and a name plate and wall plaque that are personalized to each buyer. This is definitely a bike worth buying, if you have the money for it.

Price: 15K

Aston Martin One-77 Bike

4 – Aston Martin One-77 Bike

The Aston Martin One 77 was one of the “sexiest cars ever made”. It sold out in record time after being released into the market. The British car manufacturer had truly outdone itself. Then, to celebrate the success of the car that was made famous for being James Bond’s ride of choice, they decided to go a step further.

Aston Martin partnered with Factor Bikes, one of the most premium bike makers in the UK, with a reputation for speed and elegant design. Together, they created and launched the Aston Martin One77 superbike. They called it the “most technologically advanced road bike ever”.

Like its namesake car, the One 77 bike also uses a carbon fiber build in order to minimize the weight, and features a high-end onboard computer to give riders a taste of the sheer luxury that the coupe offered when it was being sold.

The computer uses a range of sensors including those in the crank, rear wheel and GPS, in order to calculate and deliver accurate performance results to the cyclist. These results include a wide spectrum of calculations, including crank torque and force in each leg separately, along with wasted power, acceleration, friction, rate of climb and thrust.

Price: £28,600

Montante Maserati

5 – Montante Maserati

In 1940, Wilbur Shaw of the Maserati Racing Team won the Indy 500 with a crushing victory over 200 laps. 70 years later, Maserati decided to fly their colors by working with the Italian bike builders Montante Cicli to produce a truly retro road bike.

200 models of the bike were made, and all of them feature detailing that matched the Maserati 8CTF interior, as well as having a unique chassis plate for each example of the bike. The bikes aren’t even that expensive, for their carbon fiber frames and Maserati logo.

Price: £3750

BMW Cruise e-bike

6 – BMW Cruise e-bike

BMW has been producing electric bicycles for a while now, and they have always been top notch. The latest edition of the Cruise electric bike features a Bosch 400Wh battery, which is used in conjunction with the pedaling motion.

The top speed of this bike is 54kmph, which for a bike is downright fast. It boasts a gorgeous design, with the BMW logo adding a premium feel to an already great looking bike. It uses a lightweight aluminum frame and Shimano BR disc brakes. The bike is shipped only within Europe.

Price: £ 2800

Ford Super Cruiser e-bike

7 – Ford Super Cruiser e-bike

This bike was built by Pedego, and was designed by Tony Ellsworth himself. It is a gorgeous example of classic Ford quality. It uses a 500W motor to cruise around all day in the epitome of luxury and class. The throttle and the gear selector both have a very premium look and feel.

Unlike most of the bikes built by car companies, the Ford Super Cruiser isn’t your typical road bike. While most of the company’s focus on sleek, lightweight sports bikes or technological advancements like onboard computers, the super cruiser is a more humble electric cruiser, with some very cool looking Schwalbe Big Ben fat tires on it and the Ford logo sewn into the seat and emblazoned on the bike.

Price: £2800

Smart ebike

8 – Smart ebike

Smart is a company known for its….well, its smart way of getting its cars to be the greenest anywhere. This company is quite well celebrated for its innovation. The smart ebike is a prime example of this grand thinking.

The bike features a 300W electric motor that works when you use the pedals. It weighs 57 pounds, and uses an aluminum alloy frame as well as a 3 speed SRAM gear system. The pedals are Ergon PC2 platforms, and the brakes are Magura MT4 hydraulic disc brakes. It is definitely a bike that is worth considering as a step into the future.

Price: £2550

Ferrari CX60 Mountain Bike

9 – Ferrari CX60 Mountain Bike

This is the perfect bicycle for any enthusiasts in the field of trail and MTB riding, who are also fans of the famous Italian automobile manufacturer. It comes with a Rock Shox suspension system, and Suntour Epicon forks. The derailleurs and shifters are Shimano LX, and the frame is made from aluminum.

The bike also features Shimano Deore hydraulic disc brakes and Continental Explorer 26 tires, along with high density Wellgo pedals, and a Ferrari design saddle made out of high quality microfiber. Produced by Turbo in association with Colnago, this exclusive Ferrari MTB is everything you will ever need for the trails.

Price: £2850

Volkswagen Bik.e electric bike

10 – Volkswagen Bik.e electric bike

Volkswagen has come under a lot of fire recently because of “dieselgate”, a fiasco in which it was discovered that they had been using special devices to give false results on US emissions tests. The CEO of the company has already resigned, and it looks like there is no way out for what is the biggest automaker in the world.

Or is there? VW recently unveiled a concept electric bike in China called the Bik.e, which is a small, lightweight folding e-bike with rumored aluminum or magnesium construction and a weight of under 20 kilograms. Although not many details have been released concerning the bike, its release soon could coincide with the announcement of a new face for the company, one that is far greener.

Price: N/A

Are car company bikes an advertising gimmick?

It is doubtful that the bikes produced by car companies will ever gain traction in a world where people are already struggling to make ends meet. The hefty prices of the bikes they make will make anyone have second thoughts about getting one.

However, it is perfect as a marketing strategy to make themselves look better in the eyes of the public. To companies like VW, this is very crucial right now. If you have the funds to buy one of these bikes, do so if you absolutely have to. And then send us pictures.

The world has gone mad.

It’s been snowing all night.

So the morning goes like this;
8:00 I made a snowman.
8:10 A feminist passed by and asked me why I didn’t make a snow woman.
8:15 So, I made a snow woman.
8:17 The nanny of the neighbours complained about the snow woman’s
voluptuous chest.
8:20 The gay couple living nearby grumbled that it could have been two
snowmen instead.
8:25 The vegans at the end of the lane complained about the carrot nose,
as veggies are food and not to decorate snow figures with.
8:28 I am being called a racist because the snow couple is white.
8:31 The Muslim gent across the road wants the snow woman to wear a
headscarf.
8:40 Someone calls the cops who show up to see what’s going on.
8:42 I am told that the broomstick of the snowman needs to be removed
because it could be used as a deadly weapon. Things get worse after I mutter
: “Certainly, if it’s up your a***”
8:45 TV news crew from the BBC shows up. I am asked if I know the
difference between snowmen and snow-women? I reply, “Snowballs” and am
called a sexist.
8:52 My phone is seized and thoroughly checked while I am being handcuffed
and taken to the police station in a marked van.
9:00 I’m on the News as a suspected terrorist bent on stirring up trouble
during difficult weather.
9:10 I am asked if I have any accomplices.
9:29 A little-known jihadist group has claimed it was their plot.
Moral: There is no moral to this story. It’s just the world in which we live
today!

THESE ARE THE SIX NEW DRIVING LAWS COMING TO EFFECT IN 2018

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A lot is changing for motorists in 2018. With six new driving laws being introduced, here’s what every driver should know to avoid big penalty fines.

Motoring law changes all the time, but in 2018 there are some pretty big changes afoot. Here are six new changes to the law that will affect each and every one of us, so read up to ensure you stay on the right side of the rules…

British driving laws changes MOT

New MoT legislation

There are new MoT changes that come into force on May 20th, which introduce new testable items.

From this date, any diesel car that has had its DPF removed or tampered with will instantly fail the test, while aftermarket high definition headlamp bulbs will also be outlawed.

Reversing lights will be tested for the first time, and your car will also fail if the brake fluid is visually deteriorated.

Classic cars over 40 years old will now be exempt from testing, too.

Finally, the current system of advisories will be replaced with minor, major and dangerous faults. Minor faults will work the same as the current advisory system and won’t constitute a fail. A car with dangerous faults cannot be driven away from the test until the repairs have been carried out.

Here’s all you need to know about MOT tests and pre checks

Learner drivers to be allowed on motorways

Starting this year, learners will be allowed on motorways for the first time, though motorway driving won’t form part of the test as there are some regions of the country where this will be impractical, such as Western Wales and the Scottish Highlands.

All instructors will be encouraged to give drivers some motorway training, you can read more on this here.

Learner driver plate

 

Penalties for misusing motorways

New ANPR-based (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) cameras will be introduced on major motorways to monitor misuse of the hard shoulder. If a driver uses the hard shoulder on a managed motorway when it isn’t open, or drives in a lane with a red ‘X’ above it, the cameras will automatically trigger a penalty, which includes a £100 fine and three points on your driving licence. Keep an eye on those gantry signs to avoid an unpleasant surprise…

Changes to the driving test

As well as the independent driving element of the current test, where the examiner gives no instructions for 10 minutes, the new test laws will include a section where delegates are expected to follow instructions from a sat nav unit to prove they can follow the directions safely.

The test will also include a section where the driver is asked to demonstrate a function of the car, such as how the windscreen wipers work, or how to demist the windscreen.

Reversing into a car park bay is now also part of the test.

British driving laws changes child seat

Tax rises for diesel cars

First year car tax for all diesel cars that aren’t compliant with the Euro 6 emissions standard will rise by one tax bracket from April 1st, with rates to increase by anything from £20 to £560 in the first year depending on the model and its current emissions.

Unsurprisingly, the government hasn’t publicised this one very much!

Children’s car seats

Rules around child car seat safety have changes significantly.

You can now no longer buy new backless booster seats for children weighing less than 22kg, or shorter than 125cm, with high back seats featuring guides to lower the level of the seatbelt in line with the passenger’s shoulders.

In addition, all children below 15 months old must now travel in a backwards-facing car seat.

All children must use a child car seat until they’re 12 years old or 135 centimetres tall, whichever comes first. Children over 12 or more than 135cm tall must wear a seatbelt. The law states that children of all ages should not travel in the front of the car unless no other seat is available because it is far safer, but it is not illegal to do so.

8 Beneficial facts about consuming honey on a daily basis.

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With the recent news of the declining population of bees, it is no wonder that more people are creating awareness and looking for ways to conserve honey. Around the world, there is estimated to be more than 25,000 species of bees. An average bee colony will have about 30,000 to 60,000 bees with each worker bee estimated to live to about 45 days during the summer months.

At about 64 calories per one tablespoon, honey is not only great in tea and on waffles but they are also chock full of a lot of hidden benefits.

Here are 8 little known but beneficial facts about consuming honey on a daily basis.

1. Honey is considered to be a terrific antioxidant. Because of this, a regular consumption of honey will result in the body continually cleansing itself of toxins.

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Furthermore, honey has plenty of antibacterial properties that can help with keeping the skin clear and clean.

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2. The sugar that is found in honey is made of a different composition than that of other sweeteners and as such, it can help in boosting your metabolism and helping in weight loss.

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3. Honey helps to decrease levels of cholesterol because honey contains so many antioxidant properties that it can help fight off excess cholesterol.

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4. Drinking some honey with warm water can help protect your heart. The antioxidants found in honey have been shown to help prevent arteries from narrowing.

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Depending on the place where the arteries are narrowing, this can lead to a heart attack, memory deterioration and also headaches.

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5. Research has shown that honey can help stave off stress, rejuvenate the cellular antioxidant defense system and help improve memory.

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6. Honey has also been shown to help in the functioning of the brain since it is chock full of calcium which is easily processed and used by the brain.

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7. Honey can help with sleep as well because it will increase the level of insulin in the blood which will then release serotonin.

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Serotonin then forces the release of melatonin which is a hormone that helps one get into deep, sound sleep.

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8. Honey is great on an empty stomach not only for its strong antiseptic properties but also because it can destroy germs and heal small wounds in the membrane as it passes through the digestive system.

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Bonus: Combining honey with another food full of antiseptic and healing properties such as garlic will greatly enhance each other’s benefits. A garlic-infused honey remedy consumed on an empty stomach can result in some great energy and longevity.

ogi855

 

How Lenny McLean became the hardest man in Britain

East End hard-man Lenny McLean with his beloved dogs

There’s some footage towards the beginning of The Guv’nor, Paul Van Carter’s brutal yet measured documentary about Lenny McLean, which just about sums up the temperament of the famed East End hard-man.

In the clip, from 1986, McLean patiently bounces up and down in a boxing ring, looking slightly like a silverback gorilla about to be released into the wild, preparing to take on an undefeated fighter named Brian ‘Mad Gypsy’ Bradshaw in an unlicensed bout.

From the grainy video alone it is difficult to tell whether Bradshaw is a member of the traveller community, but it takes just a few seconds for the other half of his nickname to prove emphatically correct.

Striding forward to touch gloves with McLean in order to start the fight, Bradshaw – long before a bell has tolled – head-butts his opponent square on the chin.

In the course of human history, few decisions have proven less wise, and fewer still so instantly regretted. To a backdrop of gasps, McLean recoils, gently touching a glove to his mouth to check for blood, before unleashing utter mayhem.

Bradshaw is floored by the first punch, a huge right hook, before McLean boots him while he’s down, punches him a dozen more times, madly kicks him, picks him up a bit, punches him a lot more again, then repeatedly stamps on his head until four exceptionally plucky spectators intervene, restraining the victor just about long enough for the fight to be called to a halt.

It’s terrifying, but to many people, that was just the Guv’nor. The hardest man in Britain.

Lenny McLean
Lenny McLean ruled over the East End for decades

Defining Lenny McLean, who died in 1998, beyond calling him ‘hard’ is no easy task. Consult his online biography, for instance, and you’ll be met with the following list of pursuits – the like of which you’ll be pressed to match in 2016, no matter how long you spend on LinkedIn:

“A bare-knuckle fighter, bouncer, criminal and prisoner, author, businessman, bodyguard, enforcer, weightlifter, television presenter and actor.”

With The Guv’nor, a feature documentary that shows in cinemas tonight and sees release on DVD from Monday, Van Carter attempts to make some sense of that extraordinary life. To do so he collaborated with Jamie McLean, Lenny’s only son, who fronts the documentary, turning the film into not only an examination of its subject, but its presenter too.

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Jamie McLean, Lenny’s only son

The Guv’nor follows Jamie, 45, around the now heavily gentrified areas of east London where McLean grew up and spent most of his days, eventually becoming the most famous – and feared – man around. Through interviews with McLean’s old friends and family, Jamie builds a complex portrait of his father and discovers, in unflinching detail, how he became one of the most notorious men in London.

“It was an emotional thing to do, talking about my dad, especially as he isn’t here anymore,” Jamie says. “We got there in the end, but even going around those parts of London, bumping into people who had stories about him and remembered him as a kid, was very hard for me.”

Born into a working class family in Hoxton in 1949, Lenny McLean’s father died when he was six, leaving him to be raised by his mother, Rose, and later a stepfather, Jim Irwin. A local conman, Irwin physically abused McLean and his siblings (who refuse to speak on camera in the documentary) throughout his childhood, unleashing regular beatings until the children’s great-uncle, a gangster named Jimmy Spink, stepped in to deal with Irwin in a predictably forthright manner.

Consumed with rage, Lenny became a brawler as he grew older (and bigger, reaching 6’3” and over 20st at his peak), before mixing with criminals – at one point associating with the Kray twins – and serving a prison sentence for petty crimes.

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A 17-year-old Lenny in 1966

It didn’t take long for Lenny to make a name for himself as the toughest street fighter around, earning the nickname ‘Ten Men Len’ on account of it taking ten men to take him down. Turning to bare-knuckle and unlicensed boxing to earn money (a license was never possible for him, thanks to his criminal convictions), regularly knocking out opponents far larger than him.

Despite that local environment, Jamie – an honest and extremely likeable frontman for The Guv’nor, who admits to his own history of brushes with the law for violence – says the abuse Lenny suffered as a child ignited a rage his father was rarely able to escape from.

“My dad wasn’t a born fighter. He was uneducated and a product of his upbringing, traumatised by what he’d been through, and probably had mental health problems as a result of all that. Fighting was all he knew.”

In particular, through the course of the film Van Carter and Jamie discovered Lenny likely suffered from OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) as a direct result of his upbringing.

“The violence was a way of managing and concealing the OCD that directly sprung from abuse,” Van Carter, 40, says. “He almost satisfied the chaos of that psychological disorder through fighting, hiding any vulnerabilities he might have felt mentally.”

In the documentary, Jamie tells innumerable tales of his father’s extreme violence, never sugar-coating or seeking to present Lenny as less aggressive than his reputation. For instance, one fight outside a pub in Hoxton, started when a local asked to see him outside, ended with Lenny ripping the man’s windpipe out with his teeth.

lenny mclean 
Lenny McLean with the actors Craig Fairbrass and Frank Harper

As Lenny McLean grew older, he began using his considerable reputation to guard doors at nightclubs across London, including Camden Palace and the Hippodrome in Leicester Square, becoming a de facto leader for bouncers in the capital. In this period he was shot, accused of murder (later acquitted) and enjoyed another stint behind bars.

In his work, Jamie admits, it was all violence. As a father, though, Lenny was nothing but a big softie.

“He was gentle and funny to us and his friends, never raising a finger to my sister and me,” Jamie says. “What my dad did, in work and on the streets, was bully bullies. Unprovoked violence only ever came as a vigilante, clattering blokes on the estate who’d hit their wives or kids, sometimes even working with the police to sort out problems they couldn’t get near. People respected him in the area and still do; that was the old code of honour.”

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Jamie McLean with his parents, Lenny and Val, at a family Christmas

That safety didn’t allow Jamie to act as he liked as a kid, however. He may have had the hardest dad in town, but it came at a cost.

“We knew the consequences if we told him that we’d had a problem or someone had done something to us. Telling him someone had hit us would have resulted not just in violent revenge, but extreme violence, so we had to keep quiet,” he says, before admitting there was one perk: “Me and my mates never queued for a club anywhere in London.”

lenny mclean
McLean strikes a pose at a caravan park

After years of fighting, the late 1990s brought a remarkable change in Lenny’s life. Giving up violence and moving to Kent, he instead became something of a creative, writing a best-selling autobiography, also called The Guv’nor, and turning to acting, most famously in the TV series The Knock and as Barry the Baptist in Guy Ritchie’s 1998 gangster film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

“That’s what he always wanted to do. He was a good fighter, especially on the streets, but his lasting legacy was acting. When he arrived on the set of Lock Stock, someone asked him what drama school he attended. Without missing a beat, Len told him ‘I’ve been shot twice, stabbed 100 times and had 10,000 bar-room brawls – is that enough drama for you?’

“Guy Ritchie said he was a natural, with perfect timing. If he was around today he would’ve been a really accomplished British character actor, maybe in Game of Thrones or something. He’d probably have tried Shakespeare for all we know…”

As it is, we’ll never know what the future had in store. During filming on Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, he complained of flu symptoms that later turned out to be lung cancer, and died that July, aged 49. When Lock Stock was released a few weeks later, Ritchie dedicated it to Lenny.

“You don’t get Guv’nors like my dad any more,” Jamie says, wistfully. “He was the last of a dying breed. These days kids are so trivial. You can have a gun pulled on you in a club just for looking at someone, or being in the wrong postcode. And then everything’s on camera anyway. It’s all changed, and had started to even by the time he died.”

lenny mclean
The McLean family portrait in the late 90s

In addition to the documentary, Lenny’s story will return to the big screen next year with My Name Is Lenny, a biopic produced by Van Carter (who also co-wrote the screenplay) and Jamie, and starring Mad Max actor Josh Hellman in the titular role, alongside Sir John Hurt, and MMA fighter Michael Bisping in support.

Almost 17 years after his father’s death, both films are intended to add some depth to the fearsome character of Lenny McLean. Van Carter and Jamie admit they’re passion projects, but hold high hopes for the audience reaction.

“My dad was a working class kid in the East End with no positive role models, an abusive upbringing and OCD, and his journey was to fight and fight and fight to get away from that,” Jamie says. “In the end he did steer his life in a positive direction and a proper profession. It’s not rags to riches, we know that, but he got through the darkness and made something of himself. Even today, that’s inspiring for people.”