A riveting programme on Radio 4 this morning told the story of Frank Evans, Salford butcher's son turned matador. 'El Ingles', as he is known in the trade, was gripped by the glamour and danger of the bullring at an early age and resolved to make a career of it.
He's still going strong at the age of 67, despite a knee replacement and a quadruple heart bypass, as well as the best efforts of animal rights campaigners - although it has to be said, a man who goads bulls into charging him for a living is hardly likely to be daunted by the antics of a bunch of urban vegetarians.
A search for further information turned up this video; it's a trailer for a documentary that was never made and for those (like me) unfamiliar with the bullfighting world, it does offer an interesting perspective.
Note: the video contains footage of a bull being killed.
The documentary was never commissioned; El Ingles' liberal use of the F-word may have something to do with it, but it is more likely that no company viewing the final scenes was prepared to go ahead with it.
It's strangely low-key - a matter-of-fact killing accompanied by polite applause - but in today's climate it's hard to imagine any broadcaster taking the risk.
Of course, it's a different matter when the boot's on the other hoof, so to speak; no piece on matters bovine these days would be complete without a link to Mark Wadsworth, who features here and here bullfights that didn't exactly go according to plan.
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