Benefits Street star Lee Nutley found dead in Stockton road where controversial show was filmed

The death is not believed to be suspicious, say police

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Lee Nutley, a resident who featured on Benefits Street, has been found dead on the road where the show was filmed. 

Nutley appeared on the second series of the controversial programme in 2015, who followed his life from his home on Kingston Road, Stockton, Middlesborough – where he was found dead on Monday.

A spokesperson for Cleveland Police said: “Police were called to an address on Kingston Road, Stockton, by ambulance service colleagues at around 5.40pm last night.

“A man in his 40s was sadly pronounced deceased at the scene and there are not believed to be any suspicious circumstances. A file will therefore be prepared for the Coroner.”

In the programme information about Benefits Street ahead of its showing, Channel 4 described Nutley as reliant on his neighbours as he was unable to cook for himself because every appliance in his house was broken. The broadcaster said he had been claiming Job Seekers Allowance for the year leading up to the show and lived on £45 a week after being laid off by the construction company he had worked for.

He as quoted on the website saying: “I’ve worked half my life, I haven’t just sat on my a*se since leaving school, I’ve worked all over the country. I need to earn some dollars, it’s no good walking the streets and that, I like work.” 

After the show was screened, Nutley, who had epilepsy and was on anti-depressants during filming, spoke of his regret at taking part in the show. 

“If I could take it all back I think I probably would,” he told the Evening Gazette. “It took months for the producers to convince me to take part. And I only really did because some of my family were already in it […] as far as I’m concerned you don’t need money to be happy and us lot being filmed here will prove it.”

Benefits Street aired two series on Channel 4 in 2014 and 2015. The first was set on James Turner Street in Birmingham and sparked a debate about “poverty porn”, a petition signed by thousands for the show to be dropped and a flurry of Ofcom complaints. Nevertheless, the show was renewed for a second series which took place in Stockton.

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