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

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

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Nick Hewer and Margaret Mountford

Nick Hewer and Margaret Mountford

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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