Benefits Street residents plan PROTEST against TV crews returning to film a follow-up

June 11, 2014 | by | 0 Comments

Furious residents on Benefits Street are planning to protest against TV producers filming a catch-up show – by wearing White Dee MASKS whenever the cameras are rolling.

Dozens of people living on the now notorious James Turner Street in Winson Green, Birmingham, have vowed to scupper any future filming project.

The six-part series, which aired on Channel 4 in January, sparked national debate and made household names of residents including White Dee.

Benefits Street scrounger White Dee aka Deidre Kelly smokes outside her home

Benefits Street scrounger White Dee aka Deidre Kelly smokes outside her home. Residents are angry such a bad example of a citizen was used excessively in the series to portray their community

The 42-year-old mum-of-two, whose real name is Deirdre White, has carved out a career for herself on the reality TV celebrity circuit and even recruited her own PR agent.

But residents who were not included in the programme are furious at the show’s creators Love Productions plotting to return to the street for a catch-up show.

Other tactics being discussed to foil any future show includes putting up posters in windows which read: ‘C4 stay out’.

One resident, who refused to be named, said: “A lot of the people on the street have been left devastated by the impact of the show which has portrayed the street in the worst possible light.

Dark clouds loom over James Turner Street in Birmingham which featured in the Channel 4 documentary 'Benefits Street'

Dark clouds loom over James Turner Street in Birmingham which featured in the Channel 4 documentary ‘Benefits Street’





“If you look at the shows which went out they generally featured the same few people – White Dee was in almost every scene which is obviously because no one else wanted to be filmed.

“The point the residents want to make is that the show is not really about the street at all, it was about a few people who made everyone else look bad.

“If the cameras come back to the street we’ve got plans in place to peacefully protest against it, one of the plans includes people wearing White Dee masks whenever the cameras are out.”

An emergency meeting has also been called at Oasis Academy Foundry, which featured in the opening credits of the show.

Principal Emma Johnson said: “To have the street turned into a circus has been horrible for the children. The street it united in its opposition to any more filming.

“In Winson Green, we’ve had quite enough of lights, camera, action. I know full well how detrimental the impact of the first series was.

“By failing to portray the real story of our community, Channel 4 broke trust with us.

“It’s time for Love Productions to pack up their cameras for good, and go home.”

After the programme aired dozens of parents expressed concerns their children were bullied as a result of going to the school on the street.

Channel 4 claim there are no plans to screen a second series of Benefits Street but an email to local councillor Sharon Thompson on June 2 read: “We have been talking to some residents of James Turner Street about possibly doing some more filming.

“However, nothing at this stage is confirmed.”

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