Nick Hewer: Benefits Street shows people in 'worst light'

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 30 January 2014
Nick Hewer and Margaret Mountford

Nick Hewer and Margaret Mountford

Nick Hewer believes Channel 4's 'Benefits Street' is showing welfare claimants in the "worst possible light"

Nick Hewer thinks 'Benefits Street' is showing benefits claimants in the "worst possible light".

The 69-year-old 'Apprentice' star has expressed concern the controversial new Channel 4 documentary series is preying on those who need help from the government.

Nick and former 'Apprentice' colleague Margaret Mountford fronted their own two-part documentary for BBC One last year which examined the welfare system and those who claim benefits.

He told BANG Showbiz: "We really tried to examine what the situation is. This [documentary] seems to be determined, perhaps, to show people who are in trouble in the worst possible light.

"There will always be a section of society that can't cope. What are we to do, kick them in the head and throw them in a ditch? We've got to look after them if we're any part of a civilised democracy in the developed world."

'Benefits Street' - which follows the residents of James Turner Street in Birmingham, many of whom are unemployed and living off welfare - has been a ratings hit for Channel 4, but the show has come under fire from viewers at a time when benefits continue to be cut across the country.

Nick added: "I think it's gathered the title of 'poverty porn'. When in an unhappy society, which I think we're in, there's a great temptation to have a look around to see who we can scapegoat - if they're immigrants, or benefit claimants - to make everybody feel better about themselves. I'm not altogether sure 'Benefits Street' isn't in that category."

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