TELEVISION BRIEFING / Bursting at the seams

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The Independent Culture
Cairo's City of the Dead is bustling with life. Three million people are squatting down among the dead men; in one mausoleum, children live side by side with 10 corpses. This is just one of the many bizarre housing arrangements revealed in 'Mother of Megacities', this week's NATURE (7.30pm BBC2). Andrea Brown's documentary uses the Egyptian capital as a model for cities undergoing a population explosion. Cairo expands by 1,000 people every day; half a million of these highly adaptable people have made their homes on rooftops where they rear rabbits and chickens for their cooking-pots. The city even boasts a tribe of rag- and-bone men - the Zaballeen - who recycle rubbish for 500 factories. Last year they won a UN Environment Award at the Earth Summit in Rio. No one could accuse their work of being a load of old rubbish.

DISPATCHES (9pm C4), produced by Neil Cameron, this week reports from Moss Side, the crime-ridden area of Manchester that has helped the city to be known in some quarters as 'Gunchester'. Earlier this year Moss Side saw the shocking murder of 14-year-old Benji Stanley, and residents say the sound of gunfire keeps them awake as often as five nights a week. Not likely to be used as a promotional video for the city's bid to host the Olympics.

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