Benefits Street 2 goes ahead despite locals' protests
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing
Channel 4 has begun filming the second series of controversial show Benefits Street in Stockton-on-Tees - despite an outcry by local people.
The show's first series prompted over 1,800 viewer complaints, with critics labelling it "poverty porn" that demonised people claiming state welfare.
The decision to set the show's second series on Kingston Road in Stockton-on-Tees has been condemned by the borough council.
Council leader Bob Stock has said he is “deeply disappointed” that Channel 4 picked the town for the series.
He said: “They have ignored us in pursuit of their own needs and I am extremely concerned about the way in which the fantastic people who live and work in Stockton borough will be portrayed by this programme."
The first series, which followed the lives of people living on James Turner Street in Birmingham, was a massive ratings success for Channel 4, pulling in over five million viewers at its peak.
Producers have insisted that the new series is about "giving a voice" to people who are rarely heard from.
The decision to base the show in Stockton has also been slammed by the area's MP
Tory James Wharton said: “Lots of great things are happening in Stockton and I worry this programme will ignore that and reflect badly on the town.
“For the producers it’s easy ratings for a few weeks, but the damage they do can last much longer.”