Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Dealing with India's 'Crush' Hour; PICK OF THE DAY WORLD'S BUSIEST RAILWAY (BBC2, 9pm)

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Dealing with India's 'Crush' Hour; PICK OF THE DAY WORLD'S BUSIEST RAILWAY (BBC2, 9pm)

Article excerpt

NEXT time you're squashed up against someone's armpit on a train into work, spare a thought for the commuters of Mumbai, who have to contend with the busiest railway on the planet.

Dan | As many as 14 people can be rammed into a space the size of a phone box and the rush hour journey is known as the 'super dense crush load'. Around nine people die every day from either being run over on the tracks as they dash across to other platforms, or simply falling out of carriages.

It makes commuting in Britain sound positively luxurious.

In this series, part of the BBC India Season, Dan Snow, Anita Rani and Robert Llewellyn are exploring the railway, from their base at the infamous Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.

"Trains coming in and out of this station carry the same amount of people every day as on the entire UK rail network," gasps Robert.

They plan to find out about the science, systems and staff responsible for keeping the supersized network running.

But in this opener, although John Sergeant rides a historic railway that brought tea to the English (he obviously got the nice, cushy job here), by far the most fascinating bit is when Dan, Anita and Robert tackle the crush load.

And as one by one they all fail to even get on the first train, it's clear they are completely terrified as people are hanging from the sides of the trains and jumping on and off while it's still moving.

Finally on board, Dan, who is lifted off his feet by the crowd, notes: "I don't think I've been pressed up against this many men since ladies' night at the Hammersmith Palais in the 90s. They should be playing Come On Eileen."

WE LOVE DOCUMENTARY MUSLIM DRAG QUEENS (Channel 4, 9pm) HIDING away in their own underground community is a group of Muslim drag queens, terrified to come out. Homosexuality is widely forbidden within Islam, and drag is the ultimate taboo, so the gay Asian (or "Gaysian") community provides a safe haven.

Narrated by Sir Ian McKellen, this sensitively-made film meets some of the drag queens who face the huge challenge of gaining acceptance.

"I receive constant death threats," says Asif Quraishi, 32, pictured, the first out and proud Muslim drag act. "I've heard people say my parents should burn in hell for bringing me into the world."

A leading figure in Gaysian community, Asif began performing four years ago as Asifa Lahore.

"I pray, I go to the mosque every week. I'm a good Muslim. But some people say stripping off a burkha isn't the right way forward," he says of his controversial act.

Meanwhile, 28-year-old Imran has loads of admirers online, some of them men who are married with kids. "I do get a lot of attention," he says. "Men think I'm a woman, and when I tell them I'm not, they're still interested."

WE LOVE COMEDY YONDERLAND (SKY1, 8pm) "I'VE got a bad feeling about this entire episode," comes the opening line from some unidentifiable creature in this hilarious comedy drama from the Horrible Histories crew. …

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