Benefits Street series 2: Filming begins in Stockton despite complaints from locals

Some residents are concerned that Channel 4 is 'exploiting for entertainment'

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The Independent Culture

The second series of controversial Channel 4 documentary Benefits Street is being filmed in Stockton-on-Tees, producers have confirmed.

Deprived Kingston Road on the Tilery Estate is the area under scrutiny, despite many local people opposing the camera crews and accusing them of “exploiting people’s often difficult lives for the sake of entertainment”. 

The first series was investigated by TV standards regulator Ofcom after it received 1,800 complaints earlier this year. Ofcom concluded that material capable of causing offence was justified by context and did not breach broadcasting rules.

Many viewers described Benefits Street as “poverty porn”, while some residents of the targeted James Turner Street in Birmingham claimed they had been misled about the programme’s intentions.

Production company Love Productions has responded to criticism by insisting that their main aim is “to give a voice to a community that don’t really have a voice”.


The new six-part series is set to air in 2015, with Channel 4 defending it as “programming that stimulates discussion and debate on a national scale”.

The broadcaster enjoyed its highest ratings since the 2012 Paralympics with Benefits Street, attracting more than five million viewers.

One of the ‘stars’, Deirdre ‘White Dee’ Kelly, is appearing on Celebrity Big Brother for a reported £100,000, after also taking part in several televised panel debates about benefits.