How Pro overcame a series of stepbacks to turn his life around
Despite winning a place at the prestigious St Paul’s School, Stephen Manderson aka Professor Green wasn’t interested in education and left school at just 13.
‘I was smart and I had the potential to do well,’ he says.
‘But school didn’t interest me. I got bored.’
After his mum had him at just 16, Professor Green was mostly brought up by his gran Patricia and great-gran Edie. Their influence in his life instilled so many values in him.
Wife Millie Mackintosh explains: ‘He’s a gentleman and has his nan to thank for that. She’s a strong woman – she taught him how to treat women.’
After dropping out of school as a teenager he begun selling drugs, namely marijuana, which earned him the nickname Professor Green.
He’d deal during the day and go to house parties at night. At the age of 18, it was at one of these house parties that he first stumbled into rapping.
After competing and winning several local freestyle battles, Professor Green was offered the chance in 2005 to appear at an international battle in the Bahamas.
Just before the battle his home was raided and he was arrested for intent to supply. However the charges were dropped a few days before the trip.
‘I could’ve lost everything, but thankfully I didn’t. That was the end of that part of my life right then,’ he says.
After coming second in the battle Professor Green was offered a record deal by The Streets signer Mike Skinner. Unfortunately, the label folded before he could release an album.
The rocky relationship between Professor Green and his dad Peter influenced a large part of his life.
As a child his father was in and out of his life and at the age of 23 Professor Green told him he never wanted to see him again.
The next time he did was in a mortuary after Peter commited suicide.
‘His death was either going to bury me or make me stronger. I’ve had to let it all go to stop it from destroying me’.
While promoting his album in 2009, Professor Green was stabbed in the neck with a broken bottle. The altercation left him with a 15cm gash just millimetres from his carotid artery.
‘I tried to relax but I really thought that was it’.
Ironically, he was stabbed millimetres from the ‘Lucky’ neck tattoo he’d had done just two weeks previously.
During his recovery in 2010 Professor Green befriended Lily Allen on Facebook and she asked him to join her on her tour.
He was then signed to Virgin and began work on his first album, aptly named Alive Till I’m Dead. Professor Green released his second album At Your Inconvenience in October 2011.
While his album was a hit, his love life was suffering and he split with his then girlfriend, ex-Hollyoaks actress Candy McCulloch.
The couple had been dating for 18 months. His refusal to settle down was said to be to blame.
Shortly after his break-up, Professor Green met and fell for Made in Chelsea star Millie Mackintosh.
Their new relationship initially raised eyebrows due to their different backgrounds. After dating for 16 months, the couple become engaged and they married in September 2013.
Professor Green has collaborated with several artists on his albums including Lily Alen, Example and Emeli Sandé.
His and Emeli’s single Read All About It was a huge success, reaching No 1 in the charts.