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Anger as TV bosses discuss 'Benefits Street' return

The first series caused a media storm when it was shown on Channel 4 earlier this year Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The TV company which made 'Benefits Street' in Birmingham has been speaking to residents about returning to the area.

A representative from Love Productions emailed a local councillor saying:

"We have been talking to some residents of James Turner Street about possibly doing some more filming.

“However, nothing at this stage is confirmed.”

The email has led to families who live on the street in Winson Green to organise an emergency meeting.

Emma Johnson, principal of Oasis Academy Foundry, the school in James Turner Street, said: “We’ve had enough of lights, camera, action.”

Channel 4, which screened Benefits Street, yesterday insisted there were no plans to return to Winson Green for a second series.


School boss has 'grave concerns' over 'Benefits Street'

This is a formal complaint about the very serious impact of the programmes on the students.

We have grave concerns about both the immediate and longer term impact of these ill-considered programmes on our whole Academy community, as well as individual students in our care.

– He spoke out after claims children, some as young as four, were being jeered and taunted through schoolgates.

These matters have caused unnecessary distress or anxiety to our whole student community.

It is impossible to measure, at this stage, the ongoing negative, longer term implications for both the physical and emotional welfare and dignity of our pupils.

Our purpose in writing such a letter is to protect other communities from such intrusive and irresponsible filming in the future.

– Rev Steve Clarke, executive chairman of the Oasis Academy Foundry

'Benefits Street' school boss complains to TV watchdog

'White Dee' from 'Benefits Street' Credit: PA

A formal complaint has been made to TV watchdog, Ofcom, by the man in charge of a school on 'Benefits Street'.

Reverend Steve Clarke, executive chairman of the Oasis Academy Foundry on James Turner Street, claims children are being jeered at by 'tourists' during playtime.

He believes programmes like 'Benefits Street' are 'irresponsible' and impact upon the 'dignity' of the school's students.

'Benefits Street' residents to appear in new documentary

'White Dee' from 'Benefits Street' Credit: PA

Residents of 'Benefits Street' will be given the chance to respond to critics in a follow-up documentary to the series which was set in Birmingham.

The show followed people living on benefits in Birmingham's James Turner Street over a 12 month period and attracted widespread media attention. It also prompted debate in parliament over welfare dependancy.

The one-off documentary, 'Benefits Street: The Last Word', will feature regulars from the show, who will discuss their experience of living on benefits and the reaction to the series.

A Channel 4 spokesman said a live debate which aims to "shine a spotlight on the range of issues brought to the fore by Benefits Street" will follow the documentary.


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Benefits Street star in election bid

James Turner Street in Birmingham where Benefits Street was filmed. Credit: PA

One of the stars of controversial reality TV show Benefits Street says she will run for Parliament as an independent candidate after a "patronising" response from a sitting MP.

Deirdre Kelly, also known as "White Dee", shot to fame on Channel 4's Benefits Street which followed a series of people living on social security in James Turner Street in the Winson Green area of Birmingham.

Writing in this week's Spectator, she said she was inspired when her daughter showed her a newspaper article where her chances of political success were written off.

She said: "The fuss about Benefits Street means Ladbrokes has made me 50-1 to be the next MP for Birmingham Ladywood, and until I read that patronising nonsense I wasn't going to stand. Now, I think I will."

Channel 4 has announced plans for a new series of the hit show but it will not be filmed in Birmingham.

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Benefits Street set for second series in new location

James Turner Street in Birmingham. Credit: PA

Controversial reality TV show Benefits Street looks set to return for a second series - but will not be filming in Birmingham.

Programme producers are researching new locations but confirmed cameras will not be returning to James Turner Street in the Winson Green area.

In a statement from Channel 4, a spokesman said: "The first series ignited an important debate about the welfare system and we are interested in seeing if we can revisit this through the experiences of residents of a street in a different part of Britain."

The show, which follows a series of people living on benefits, has been a ratings hit for Channel 4 but has been criticised for allegedly demonising those living on the breadline, while some of the residents claim they were misled into appearing.

Seven charged over 'Benefits Street' drug raids

James Turner Street has been the subject of a controversial Channel 4 documentary Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Police say they have charged several people with drug offences following a series of raids carried out in James Turner Street, Winson Green, Birmingham last year.

The street most recently featured in the Channel 4 documentary 'Benefits Street.'

The drugs raids took place in June 2013 and several people were arrested. On Wednesday they were charged with several offences and have been bailed to appear in court next month.

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