Cutting Edge: Meet the Foxes

Channel 4, 9 - 10 pm
1.4 million, 6.1% Audience Share
Monday 16th April

RadioTimes: Though foxes are making their homes in towns and cities in increasing numbers, for them urban life can be nasty, brutish and short. Run over by cars, poisoned or shot by pest controllers, their average life span is 15 months, compared to the eight years they're more likely to enjoy in the country. This fascinating if occasionally irritatingly anthropomorphic film follows foxes who forage around the gardens of Lambeth, south London. It's described by Channel 4 as a "modern day fairy tale" so it's hard to know what's real, and what isn't, as the programme uses documentary footage of dozens of animals to piece together the "story" of a fictional family of foxes. Some householders leave out food and see the foxes almost as pets. Others, including one family that keeps hens, despise foxes as sneaky, deadly predators. "They're bastards, a bloody nuisance," says the hens' owner as he surveys yet another eviscerated bird. His neighbour, on the other hand, can't help a slight smile - the chickens are noisy and a fox has to eat. Disposing of foxes is a growing business. If they're lucky, two sweet old men who run a local fox sanctuary will get to them first and feed them swiss rolls. If they're not, then they could face pest controller Bruce Lindsay-Smith and his big gun. RT reviewer - Alison Graham

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