Tagged: controversial TV show

Stockton cameraman hits back at Benefits Street being filmed in Stockton with positive video

A cameraman has hit back at controversial TV show Benefits Street being filmed in the North with his own homage to his beloved hometown.

Crews from Love Productions are filming the second series of the TV show, which follows people living off benefits, on Kingston Road in Stockton for Channel Four.

But Karl Coates, who has worked as a cameraman and producer for Sky News and BBC, said he fears the controversial TV show will only show Stockton in a negative light.

In a rebuttal to the image he expects the programme to portray of his beloved hometown, the cameraman has gone out to film his own short video to show all the great things about the area.

In the short videos  Karl states that Stockton, Teesside and the North East “will yet again be hung out to dry”.

The video has already had more than 8,300 views since being published on YouTube in August and initially shows shots of a street, believed to be the one the crew of Benefits Street are filming on. Karl then changes the tone of the video and words flash across the screen saying:

You will not however see any of these shots. The real Stockton my hometown”.

He then goes on to show landmarks such as the Infinity Bridge, by day and night, as well as the Tees Barrage,the Teesside Princess, the North Shore development, and the £38m regeneration of the high street.

In the video he says some residents are keen to be involved in a film showing Stockton in a positive light and are proud of where they live.

Karl said:

“An entire generation are about to be stigmatised, and that’s online globally through social media and within seconds when these programmes are broadcast to the outside world and for those who don’t know Stockton, its history and proud people, it will be forever associated as the town that’s on benefits.

Not as the home of the world’s first passenger railway or the invention of the friction match that lit up our planet, or indeed the town that’s having a 40 million pound make over that looks absolutely stunning.

“This program will have a direct impact on inward investment, jobs, trade, tourism and self-esteem.”



Karl added:

“Sometimes in life you have to jump off that fence and stand up for what you believe is right and I could give you a hundred reasons why filming Benefit’s Street in Stockton is simply wrong.

Love Productions say they are giving the minority a voice, well we all have a voice and its up to us to choose whether or not we use it, I’m afraid Love Productions, we have all seen the last series and are simply not stupid.”

Concerns have already been raised by MPs and other residents in the area about the filming of the show in Stockton following the first series which followed residents in an area of Birmingham.

He added:

“There is massive support from people who see the damage this programme will do to our community and I have a camera and all we can do it inform people what is going on and paint Stockton in the most picture perfect light possible. We can show people our Stockton, the real Stockton before the entire nation judges us.”

Source –  Middlesbrough Evening Gazette,  12 Oct 2014

Benefits Street: Kingston Road residents urged to quit controversial TV show by MP

Stockton residents being filmed for Benefits Street are being urged by their MP to quit the controversial TV show.

Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham has written to every resident of Kingston Road asking them to “think again” about taking part in the Channel 4 documentary.

The Labour MP has already suggested the makers of the programme, Love Productions, should “get out of the town” after accusing them of setting people up for “entertainment purposes only”.

And yesterday he paid a visit to the street in Tilery to make sure residents “understand exactly what they have got themselves into.”


He said: “I spoke with several residents who told me they and their neighbours were opposed to the programme and wanted no part of it.

“They said just a few people wanted it, but the area was already suffering from troublemakers coming in from other areas to play up to the cameras.”

The MP said he left the street after two Love Production camera crews “followed my every step”.

In his letter to the residents he says: “The television executives claim a high moral purpose to give people who they say don’t have a voice a chance to speak out about their problems and how they feel let down.

“But what they haven’t outlined is the immense intrusion there will be into participants’ lives by themselves and large parts of the media who won’t be there to do the people of our area any favours.”

He goes on: “I hope that if you are one of the people thinking of taking part that you will think again, recognise what it will really mean for you, your family and local residents, and tell Love Productions their programme isn’t for you or our community.”

Helen Goodman MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Culture, was in Stockton yesterday visiting Preston Hall Museum and took time out of her schedule to meet Louise Baldock, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Stockton South, to discuss Benefits Street.

Helen said: “A lot of good things are happening in Stockton at Preston Hall and the Arc, so why does Channel 4 persist in perpetuating these dreary negative stereotypes? Benefits Street is not a serious documentary and serves only to make entertainment out of poverty and hardship.”

Source – Middlesbrough Evening Gazette,  30 Aug 2014