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Dirty Jobs with Peter Schmeichel

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As our lives become a never-ending battle for increased hygiene and cleanliness, we move further and further away from the mess created from the by-products of processing food and the resulting waste. In fact, we don't usually want to see - or know - what goes on behind the scenes! All that is about to change with Discovery Channel's new series DIRTY JOBS WITH PETER SCHMEICHEL. Hosted by none other that the goalkeeping legend Peter Schmeichel himself, DIRTY JOBS WITH PETER SCHMEICHEL dishes the dirt on some of the filthiest jobs in Europe, to remind us of the mess we leave in our wake in almost everything we do. DIRTY JOBS WITH PETER SCHMEICHEL premieres every Monday at 2100hrs (9:00pm SIN/HK), starting August 10. Encores air on Tuesday at 0000hrs (12:00am SIN/HK) and 0800hrs (8:00am SIN/HK), Saturday at 1800hrs (6:00pm SIN/HK), Sunday at 1000hrs (10:00am SIN/HK) and Monday at 1700hrs (5:00pm SIN/HK).

Peter Schmeichel, voted ‘Best Goalkeeper in the World' two years in succession, is going from football pitch to filth. As our ever-willing guide around Europe's lesser-known occupations and industries, Peter will take you on an adventurous journey knee-deep in all the dirt you could ever want to see. From the coalmines of Poland to the tanneries of Italy, discover a new continent in the company of taxidermists, pig farmers, tanners and rubbish tip scroungers. A cultural exploration like no other, meet the unsung heroes in each region as they battle horrible conditions and nasty tasks to get their jobs done.

So what does an ex-professional footballer know about all this? Not a whole lot. Most of this is also new to Peter and our intrepid host learns a lot along the way as he gets to grips - sometimes hilariously - with the filth and squalor that is at the heart of Europe's dirtiest jobs.


HOLLAND AND BELGIUM Land of not-so-clean-to-make beers, windmills and... eels Peter goes fishing in the inland waters of Holland catching what, especially to Dutch and Belgian tastes, is one the greatest and most delicious of all seafood delicacies - eel. He struggles to get a hold on the eels as he hauls them aboard, and he has to go through the whole process of killing the eels, cleaning them, smoking them and packing them, ready for some of the most exclusive shops in Europe. And, of course, he ends the day by eating eels in the traditional Dutch way: cooked in their own fat!

Who would have imagined that the process of brewing beer would take you down a red hot copper tank (at nearly 100ºC), to clean out all the malt grain leftovers by hand? It's hard, hot and smelly... and wet, even more so when you have to clean out the wooden barrels with a high pressure cleaner. But the effort is worthwhile when you can end the day by enjoying a freshly drawn homemade pint of lager!

Heavy Fuel. It sounds dirty and it is dirty! First, he has to clean out an engine room on a Dutch inland coaster. Let's face it - climbing down into very narrow places is not the perfect job for a guy nearly two metres tall. But Peter does the best he can and levers himself slowly down into the filthy rooms found under a 4000 HP engine, then he slowly comes back up, a sight more dirty than before! After that Peter cleans out a tank ship that carries heavy fuel. The job is done with high-pressure machines and chemicals. But before entering the tank, the level of toxic gasses has to be measured, and then Peter is put into a full body security suit. So now the dirty part - the cleaning - can really start!

FRANCE Land of Joie de Vivre, La vie en Rose and... sewage Cordiste is French for ‘fearless men hanging from ropes in very high places'. Peter a) is not fearless; b) is not used to heights; and c) does not feel like "The Great Dane" the first time he has to climb down a wall, hanging by a 12-millimetre rope. But then, someone's got to do it! Otherwise docksides wouldn't get secured and the cranes in Marseilles harbour wouldn't get painted. After intensive training Peter is taken to work, although he is not a happy man when he realises that he is the chosen one who is going to paint the top of a crane, 45 metres above ground.

Oysters are so delicious to eat, yet so filthy to breed! Peter gets down and dirty with these little slimy and expensive creatures. The oyster fields are covered in eight metres of Atlantic water and then a few hours later are left exposed in the open air, thanks to the extreme tides of the Brittany coast. Here Peter has to loosen up the sacks with oysters and cover them in seaweed, all before the tide comes in. Peter then works in the factory sorting out the dead oysters from the live ones, and of course he ends up by having to taste an oyster, for the first time in his life.

POLAND Land of smoked Kurpianka, Damski and... stuffing animals Not many people in the world would choose to be a taxidermist, the profession that brings dead animals back to life, so to speak. Peter's first job is to clean out a polecat: a small animal with a very big smell! After that initiation, Peter gets ambitious when he stuffs the head of a cow. He starts by skinning the animal. After that, the skin has to be cleaned, tanned and cleansed of fat, before actually putting the cow's headskin on a ‘head stand'. The cow then has to have its eyes placed correctly back in their sockets, and is then airbrushed a bit before Peter can once more say hello to ‘Clarabell', before placing her on the wall next to all his other trophies.

Peter needs a bit of a break when he has to climb the rooftops of Warsaw as a part of a chimney sweeping team. A ventilation shaft has to be cleaned of dirt and a huge birds' nest. This is a truly dirty job and Peter has to make a hole in the wall to get it all out. After cleaning, a new tube has to be put in, and Peter has to close the hole he has made in the chimney wall. It is brutally clear to everybody after this that he should stick to his day job, rather than apprentice as a bricklayer.

850 metres underground, Peter faces what he later describes as one of the most horrifying experiences of his life. Working in a coalmine is, of course, one of the most dirty and dangerous jobs in the world. After a security course, Peter changes into his miner's gear and is taken down to "The Wall", the coalface where the miners actually cut the coal. He takes the controls of the machine that hews out 3,000 tons of coal everyday, all year. He has to work with a pickaxe, and gets to meet some of the people that do this every day. Back on the surface, Peter ends the day by drinking a large glass of milk to cleanse his body of all the coal dust that he has breathed in.

RUSSIA Land of onion domes and... Russian rubbish collecting When you throw rubbish in the bin, it's gone. Isn't it? But not for everybody. All over the world you can find people who will pick through rubbish for items to re-use and re-sell. In this story Peter is one of them and drives a truck around the city of Jaroslavl. Starting with collecting, and after that sorting, he loads the truck. Ladies work at a conveyer belt 12 hours a day separating the collected plastic from organic waste, and while Peter is working there, a cow's head passes him by, as well as used hypodermic needles. Peter's day ends with a big smile, when he is allowed to drive a 40-ton heavy full-track vehicle at full throttle at the rubbish dump.

Valenki boots are to Russians what baseball caps are for Americans, and the kilt is to Scots. Every Russian knows these sheep's wool boots. Peter is taking part in the production of the boots in a process that hasn't changed for generations. The Valenki factory is like a journey back in time, to the beginning of the industrial period. Peter is working with the ladies folding and steaming and the men who fold the wool into the right shape with wooden hammers and raw muscle.

By Europe's longest river, the Volga, Peter finds a diving company that specialises in doing the most difficult underwater jobs. He swims in water with visibility of less than half a metre. His first job is to get the rope out from a ship's propeller, after which he inspects some pipelines under the river. A current that runs faster than man can swim complicates his job immensely. Peter dons a microphoned helmet through which he can provide a play-by-play account of what he is doing and experiencing - you almost feel like you're right there in the murky river with him!

ITALY Land of opera and enchanted palaces, of La Dolce Vita and... pigeon droppings and rubbish cleaning In this episode, Peter joins the municipal cleaning team in Venice. Nearly 100,000 pigeons conveniently make the world their toilet approximately 15 times a day in the ‘City of Dreams', which makes a lot of work for the people trying to keep the city clean for the more than 20 million tourists that visit each year. Of course, those tourists produce a bit of waste too. Peter and the crew have to sweep the famous St Mark's Square, wash the statues, and transport all the rubbish left in a hot and humid Venice to the rubbish boat. Well someone's got to do it!

Italy is a world leader in leather products. But tanneries are not pretty to work in! Tanning a hide is a very smelly and dirty business. The skins have to be cooked and then cleaned of their fat. One container of skin produces half a container of fat! Of course, this doesn't happen unaided, as it is rendered by hand; and in this case - Mr Schmeichel's hand. Peter also learns how the leftovers are turned into fertilizer.

DENMARK Land of Hans Christian Andersen, of The Little Mermaid and... pig farming and slurry treatment Ever intrepid Peter is shown working for a full day as a pig farmer. Among other tasks, he has to feed and vaccinate the pigs in his care. In addition, he has to clean out the huts just after the pigs have given birth. And worst of all, he has to brace himself and inseminate a live pig. How do you explain to a pig that you are going to be its close companion, and get it to stand still for five minutes while you "do the deed"? Maybe life on a farm isn't as easy and idyllic as it looks!

He then helps to create and produce a fireworks display. But it is not all magic and sparkle. The firing ramps have to be cleaned with a hard to handle high-pressure cleaner and the show, in Copenhagen's famous Tivoli amusement park, has to go on, even in heavy rain. But it's worth it in the end as Peter produces his own special firework, ‘The Green Peter' and gets to hit the ‘start' button to fire it off.

Denmark is a big farming country. But farming isn't all it's cranked up to be. Farming means lots of animals and lots of animals means a lot of slurry. Peter joins the slurry spreading professionals. But not everything goes to plan. One of the hoses leaks and when the hose has to be connected to the spreading machine, it is hard not to get in physical contact with animal leftovers... especially if you are not a pro!