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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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