`Cop Killer' Ice-T to front C4 show

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THE controversial rap artist Ice-T, whose single ``Cop Killer'' was withdrawn from the United States market two years ago after widespread protests, is to present a Channel 4 programme for young people.

The decision has outraged police and Tory MPs, who argue that the singer should not be given a platform in Britain. ``Cop Killer'' was interpreted in America as an instruction to murder policemen - the lyrics included the words ``die, die pig, die'' - though it led, perversely, to more than 100 death threats against Lenny Waronker, the president of Warner Bros, which was Ice-T's record label.

David Shaw, Conservative MP for Dover, has protested in a letter to the Home Secretary, Michael Howard. ``People like this shouldn't have any public support. If he was white and a member of the National Front and said things like that he would be ostracised,'' Mr Shaw said. The Police Superintendents' Association is concerned that Ice-T might express similar sentiments on British television.

The new programme is called Baadasss TV and is produced by Rapido TV, which also makes the late-night Channel 4 show, Eurotrash. It will look at popular black culture through the eyes of Ice-T and his British co-presenter, the singer Andrea Oliver.

Much of the programme, which was filmed in Los Angeles and will be shown on 23 December, is unscripted.

David Stevenson, the Channel 4 commissioning editor who has bought the programme, said: ``I don't like to do `eat your greens' didactic TV. This is a bolder choice. It's Ice-T's world view. There will be a few white liberals who'll get upset.''

Black groups in Britain give the show a qualified welcome. William Trant, director of the West Indian Standing Conference, said: ``Providing the

image he promotes is a positive one and he does not incite young people to break the law that's all for the good. Ice-T is very sensitised to what's going on.''

(Photograph omitted)