UK Channel Puts Immigration in Spotlight with Documentary on Growing Numbers

UK Channel Puts Immigration in Spotlight with Documentary on Growing Numbers

The British television channel behind a controversial documentary on benefits claimants is to film a new show on immigrants, which looks set to anger even more people.

Focussing on the residents of one British street, the Channel 4 documentary, it intends to show how immigrants are settling into Britain and how native Britons are reacting to them.

However, the Express reports that some fear the show will sensationalise the issue while other are accusing the makers of racial profiling. Local councillor Satvir Kaur said: “They are making assumptions about the colour of someone’s skin. They have chosen Derby Road where I went to school and they are claiming it is a street full of immigrants, but I take exception with that. My grandfather fought for this country in the Second World War.”

Love Productions, who are making the documentary for Channel 4, said, however, that Derby Road is “an ethnically diverse street where the majority of residents were not born in the UK”.

As well as depicting newly-arrived immigrants, the show will also focus on second and third-generation immigrants.

The show was inspired by the company’s previous documentary, Benefits Street, which focussed on the residents of one street, most of whom were on state benefits. It sparked a national debate, with some of those depicted achieving minor celebrity status.

When a group of 14 Romanian immigrants moved to the street during filming, the team were inspired to create Immigration Street.

Creative director Kieran Smith said: “We had no idea that was going to happen, and Immigration Street was born out of that.

“We spoke to C4 and, like benefits, we agreed immigration produced a wide spectrum of opinion.” 

Speaking of his hopes for the new documentary, Smith added: “With Benefits Street, we’re pleased we made a documentary with a story that made an impact.

“However, there’s a section of society that can’t deal with big debates. Immigration needs debate, although you’ll always get people talking in inflammatory and aggressive ways.”