Gateshead Council Estate, Felling

Channel 4 has commissioned Love Productions to make a second series of ‘controversial’ observational documentary Benefits Street, the  series that sparked a national debate around poverty and the welfare state in Britain earlier this year.

The new six part series has begun filming on a street in Stockton-On-Tees, near Middlesbrough in the North East of England, and is set to air next year. Series one of Benefits Street, transmitted on Channel 4 earlier this year, resulted in extensive media coverage and intense political debate about the state of the welfare system in Britain and whether Love Productions had edited the show to show a much more negative side to the people than any of their qualities. After episode one aired, other editions were reportedly edited to be ‘fairer’.

“Benefits Street fits perfectly with Channel 4’s remit of producing programming that stimulates discussion and debate, the first series did this on a national scale. It brought a very human focus to an issue that is at the heart of who we are in Britain today. I’m sure the new series will advance that debate and introduce viewers to a new group of compelling residents.” – Channel 4’s Head of Documentaries, Nick Mirsky

The first series attracted an audience of more than seven million viewers and the residents of James Turner Street in Birmingham, such as ‘White Dee’, became national figures. Dee is currently starring in Channel 5’s Celebrity Big Brother.

Pictured: Social Housing in the North East of England (Gateshead), complete with pet horse.

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