Residents in Middlesbrough approached by producers to appear in controversial show

The Northern Echo: 'White Dee' from the first series of Benefits Street 'White Dee' from the first series of Benefits Street

“POVERTY porn” could be coming to Middlesbrough as it emerged producers of Channel 4’s controversial Benefits Street programme have been scouring the town offering residents money to appear.

The bosses of Love Productions, which makes the series for Channel 4, have remained tight-lipped about whether they are considering the Teesside town – but locals have reported producers offering them cash.

Residents of two streets in particular – Milbrook Avenue in the Brambles Farm area, and Beaumont Road in North Ormesby – have been approached, according to local councillor Len Junier, who spoke to those involved with the programme.

He said he was concerned that they would just exploit people and make the East Middlesbrough area seem worse than it was.

“I bumped into them in the street – a woman who was a producer and a man taking notes,” he said. “They went into a couple of houses with a shoulder camera.

“I think they were looking at North Ormesby and Brambles Farm because they are on the police website as hotspot areas in East Middlesbrough.

“I am concerned because I saw the show and I couldn’t watch it after the first one – they were just painting people in such a bad light and I really don’t want that to happen here.

"East Middlesbrough is much better than it was a few years ago. We have got enough people wanting to knock the area and we have had that before – the southern media coming up and having a go.”

He said at least one woman had been offered money to appear in the show but he knew of three more who had turned it down.

But he said: “If they knock on enough doors offering incentives then they’ll get enough people.”

He said he would strongly oppose any licences producers might ask for, including road closures for filming, in a bid to stop the area being “exploited”.

The first series of Benefits Street saw almost 2,000 complaints to Ofcom, with thousands of people signing petitions asking for the show, which was filmed in Birmingham, to be scrapped, calling it “poverty porn”.

But it gave Channel 4 the highest viewing figures since 2012 and the rights for the show were sold across the world.

A spokeswoman for the show said they were looking at a “number of locations” around the UK for the next series.

Comments (11)

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4:43pm Sun 6 Apr 14

David Lacey says...

I couldn't think of a better place. Full of scutty, awful people. Unlike those nice folks in South Bank, Hendon etc.
I couldn't think of a better place. Full of scutty, awful people. Unlike those nice folks in South Bank, Hendon etc. David Lacey
  • Score: 0

4:50pm Sun 6 Apr 14

Dierdre says...

Cllr Junier is the Labour cllr responsible for looking after North Ormesby and Brambles Farm - keeping it clean etc - so no wonder he is opposing it !
Cllr Junier is the Labour cllr responsible for looking after North Ormesby and Brambles Farm - keeping it clean etc - so no wonder he is opposing it ! Dierdre
  • Score: 2

4:51pm Sun 6 Apr 14

little miss me says...

This is nothing to to be proud of
This is nothing to to be proud of little miss me
  • Score: 3

5:02pm Sun 6 Apr 14

Hunty1 says...

Well if they're offering to pay them that's great, am sure they'll all declare their earnings and perhaps think twice before being filmed!
Well if they're offering to pay them that's great, am sure they'll all declare their earnings and perhaps think twice before being filmed! Hunty1
  • Score: 6

5:45pm Sun 6 Apr 14

Jonn says...

How about a show called 'Expenses Street'? They could feature MP's who use the 'Hardworking Taxpayers' slogan in every third sentence to show how they themselves have used 'Hardworking Taxpayers' money to inflate their property portfolio, to pay for their horse paddocks, to pay for their moats to be cleaned, even to pay for their underpants!
How about a show called 'Expenses Street'? They could feature MP's who use the 'Hardworking Taxpayers' slogan in every third sentence to show how they themselves have used 'Hardworking Taxpayers' money to inflate their property portfolio, to pay for their horse paddocks, to pay for their moats to be cleaned, even to pay for their underpants! Jonn
  • Score: 20

6:34pm Sun 6 Apr 14

David Lacey says...

I agree Jonn. They could also show how the six Labour MPs imprisoned for fraud behaved.
I agree Jonn. They could also show how the six Labour MPs imprisoned for fraud behaved. David Lacey
  • Score: 11

8:23pm Sun 6 Apr 14

English lad says...

Could easily use ANY of the courts on red hall !
Could easily use ANY of the courts on red hall ! English lad
  • Score: 4

11:28pm Sun 6 Apr 14

bambara says...

David, at a time when an ex Troy minister is calling for a serving Tory minister to be sacked over her actions, not only in over-claiming expenses, but in then failing to answer questions to the parliamentary commitee, attempting to turn this into political points scoring is scraping the bottom of the barrel.
We all know that the whole lot of them have been snouts down in the trough, and it has been as bad on both sides of the chamber.
What we want to see is those who have been up to no good losing their cushy jobs. All of them, irrespective of the colour of the rosette, or the school tie.

But to get back to the subject of the article, the company producing this effluent which is supposed to pass for TV are worse by far than the people they are showing. The people they are exploiting, are largely low IQ, poor, desperate idiots. The people producing this tripe are relatively intelligent, well paid, and comfortable, yet they choose to produce something which is exploitative, gutter level garbage.
David, at a time when an ex Troy minister is calling for a serving Tory minister to be sacked over her actions, not only in over-claiming expenses, but in then failing to answer questions to the parliamentary commitee, attempting to turn this into political points scoring is scraping the bottom of the barrel. We all know that the whole lot of them have been snouts down in the trough, and it has been as bad on both sides of the chamber. What we want to see is those who have been up to no good losing their cushy jobs. All of them, irrespective of the colour of the rosette, or the school tie. But to get back to the subject of the article, the company producing this effluent which is supposed to pass for TV are worse by far than the people they are showing. The people they are exploiting, are largely low IQ, poor, desperate idiots. The people producing this tripe are relatively intelligent, well paid, and comfortable, yet they choose to produce something which is exploitative, gutter level garbage. bambara
  • Score: 8

7:05am Mon 7 Apr 14

darloboss says...

proof that this program is a put up for the likes of crazy to wet himself and poke fun at those less well off
proof that this program is a put up for the likes of crazy to wet himself and poke fun at those less well off darloboss
  • Score: 2

3:38pm Mon 7 Apr 14

cushybutterfield says...

I have a cunning plan, politically overlooked, ignored and side-tracked, and DENIED by 'left wingers and liberals' for decades lets have a Television Programme depicting some of the ***********WORKSHY BONE-IDLE BENEFIT STREET(S)********Mos
t British Cities and Towns have a flocks of them................
..costing the oppressed poor 'Mug' British WORKING Taxpayer MILLIONS in 'free nappy-nanny Benefit and Welfare payments.
I have a cunning plan, politically overlooked, ignored and side-tracked, and DENIED by 'left wingers and liberals' for decades lets have a Television Programme depicting some of the ***********WORKSHY BONE-IDLE BENEFIT STREET(S)********Mos t British Cities and Towns have a flocks of them................ ..costing the oppressed poor 'Mug' British WORKING Taxpayer MILLIONS in 'free nappy-nanny Benefit and Welfare payments. cushybutterfield
  • Score: -4

3:40pm Mon 7 Apr 14

cushybutterfield says...

Middlesborough. Hackney (London). Bradford would be ideal TV Starters.
Middlesborough. Hackney (London). Bradford would be ideal TV Starters. cushybutterfield
  • Score: 0

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