Immigration Street 2Channel 4 was accused of stirring up a ‘negative’ debate about immigration ahead of the general election and ‘ripping apart’ a community with its latest documentary-style reality TV show. A new series called ‘Immigration Street’ – from the producers of ‘Benefits Street’ – is set to air in early 2015.

Earlier this year, Channel 4’s head of documentaries, Nick Mirsky, commissioned Love Productions to make a new series of documentaries followings the lives of some of residents of Derby Road in the Bevois district of Southampton.

Speaking to www.thejusticegap.com, Labour MP for Southampton and former Home Office Minister, John Denham said Love Productions lacked ‘credibility’.

‘Everyone believes they’re trying to look for bad stories and that they are trying to exploit the situation. The very fact that they’ve gone to a street where some people are immigrants but many people are second or third generation, it’s like Channel 4 are saying: “If you’re black, you’re an immigrant.” We just don’t want them in Southampton.’
John Denham, Labour MP for Southampton

A spokesperson for Channel 4 said that immigration was ‘one of the most fiercely debated and divisive issues in Britain’. ‘It is vital that a public service broadcaster such as Channel 4 provides programming exploring these kinds of issues. However, Immigration Street does not purport to provide the definitive account of immigration in the UK – it will document life on a street in Southampton where the mix of residents has been transformed over time and continues to evolve as a result of immigration.’

‘Whilst the experience of the changes brought about by immigration differ across the UK, many of the themes that emerge from following life on Derby Road will be likely to resonate across the country.’
Channel 4 spokesman

Southampton City Council cabinet communities member, Satvir Kaur, who has lived in the area for over 30 years, accused the production company of going from community to community ‘ripping them apart’. Kaur told the JusticeGap that she was ‘beyond anger’ at production.

‘The debate needs to be fair. It needs to be balanced and you do not get that if you cherry-pick particular individuals, give them no editorial control, just to promote negative stereotypes around immigration – especially in the lead up to a general election where immigration is going to be widely discussed.’
Satvir Kaur, Southampton City Council

Satvir

Cllr Satvir Kaur, Cabinet Member for Communities at Southampton City Council

Channel 4 and Love Productions have been in discussions with the community about a possible name change for the programme. Kaur said that the working title ( ‘Immigration Street’) was ‘really toxic’. She said: ‘At what point will I be considered British? Do I have to be second generation, fifth generation or tenth generation? Do I have to be a certain colour, eat a certain way, or dress a certain way? At what point will I stop being classed as an immigrant?’

Makeshift posters are displayed in many windows along the street, reading: ‘Not Immigration Street Here’, ‘Go Home Love Productions, No Filming or Photography Here.’

 

Profile photo of Bracken Stockley About Bracken Stockley
Bracken is police and crime reporter for Winchester News Online and student at the University of Winchester

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3 Comments

  • shirley jones November 21, 2014 3:42 pm

    Could someone please inform Channel 4 that there are many ‘bad stories’ very worthy stories that desperately need the kind of publicity that can give, that would enable matters being raised in the public interest and not to it’s detriment as this kind f news hounding does. They don’t need to ‘look’ for them or to fuel the fire where it’s unnecessary.

    Contact me I can give them several, one in particular that has the potential to be huge and have a massive impact if handled correctly.

  • george skelly November 21, 2014 4:37 pm

    The crazy Politically Correct Left are at it again! The programme hasn’t even been transmitted or made yet and they are already screaming their hysterical, Nazi banning-of-free speech chorus.
    If it were up to them immigration (the greatest issue facing this country today)would never ever be discussed and the nation would collapse under the strain.
    As for the pathetic MP John Denham, he should be ashamed of himself – being a member of Blair’s government which encouraged uncontrolled mass immigration and even went touting worldwide for more immigrants!! I am appalled he even has the nerve to open his mouth on the subject. He should be hiding under a stone.
    Immigration is an important matter for debate and I hope Channel4 is not cowed into abandoning this programme by a Marxist/Politically Correct/Common Purpose mob of so-called “liberals”

  • Mike February 25, 2015 12:09 am

    I think people have taken this to the extreme. There is immigration all across the country from the South to the North. Second or third generation immigration still stems from immigration, my grandparents were immigrants many years ago. I am proud of my heritage, are these not? All the residents of Derby Road have done is to show that any sign to provoke violence is acceptable and with local MP’s and dignitaries almost accepting this. People have the right to speak freely, the opposers freely exposed their opinion, what gives them the right to take others opinion away from them? Is that not dictatorship?

    I can see that almost labelling a street as an immigration street will upset people but taking it to the extremes of beating people up, threatening behaviour is more bullying and unacceptable. That is only my opinion, by writing this and putting it online does that make me a victim of their vigilante behaviour?

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