Channel 4 to air ‘Benefits Street’ live debate

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Channel 4 has commissioned Mentorn Media to produce a one-off live debate about their controversial observational documentary series, Benefits Street.

The series, filmed over the course of 12 months, documents the reality of life on a street in Birmingham where the majority of households are dependent on benefits and in an area of Birmingham that has had the highest rate of unemployment in the country for the last eight years.

Hosted by Richard Bacon, the live and interactive debate will broadcast
10pm on Monday 10th February, straight after the final episode of the 5 – part series allowing viewers to submit questions. The panellists are yet to be confirmed but will represent the views across the political spectrum – and crucially those who claim benefits.

Channel 4 Head of Factual, Ralph Lee says: “This is a series which reflects the reality of day-to-day life for some of the residents of a single street who, for the most part, rely on benefits to survive. It does not and never has set out to reflect the experiences of every person who receives benefits yet it has triggered a national debate about state welfare at a time in which further welfare reforms are being proposed. We feel it is timely to provide a forum in which these issues can be raised and discussed.”

The Executive Producer is Mentorn Media’s Director of Current Affairs Hayley Valentine, she says: “It is vital that voices on all sides are heard, and we are pleased to be providing a forum for both public figures and viewers to debate the series that has brought a pertinent political issue to life so vividly.”