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2 items from 2014

Benefits Street: immigration episode likely to spark fresh Twitter outrage

13 January 2014 9:20 AM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Channel 4 urges public to judge on entire series as second episode offers a largely positive portrait of Romanian immigrants

Warning: this preview of episode two contains spoilers

Despite a scene in which the camera crew is attacked by a man wielding a hammer, the second episode of Channel 4's controversial documentary series Benefits Street is a more sympathetic portrayal than last week's opener – but is still likely to prompt further Twitter outrage.

Immigration is the focus of the second of the five-part series about James Turner Street in Birmingham where, according to Channel 4, most of the residents claim benefits and more than half the homes are inhabited by someone who was born overseas.

Episode two zeroes in on number 151 which plays host, first to a family of Romanian Gypsies including a husband and his 15-year-old wife ("This scares people because she is a minor. In my country »

- John Plunkett

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Benefits Street draws sightseers and media to Birmingham neighbourhood

10 January 2014 4:09 PM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Channel 4 has been accused of exploiting contributors and pandering to prejudices about claimants with reality show

Dave Perkins and Lee Wheeler were on their way from Northampton to Wolverhampton delivering paint. When they realised they weren't too far from James Turner Street – which has been rebranded Benefits Street for the hugely controversial Channel 4 documentary – they couldn't resist making a detour to pose for pictures in front of the sign.

"I was born in the hospital down the road," said Perkins, "but luckily I got away. As far as I can see the programme's a fair portrayal of what is going on. There's a lot of people trying to get away with not working and just living on the state."

Roofers Ben and Seth were the next sightseers to park their white van on the corner of the Birmingham street, one of the most deprived in the UK, and snap pictures of each other. »

- Steven Morris

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2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

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