Exploring the phenomenal rise in public affection for everything fried chicken through a single shop in South London, The Fried Chicken Shop: Life in a Day offers a unique and intriguing insight into contemporary London life through the window of a busy chicken shop.
In a fast food market worth over £4billion annually and with over 2,100 different chicken shops in the UK, Roosters Spot is an up and coming franchise in the increasingly competitive market of fried chicken. Using a ‘mini-rig’ of fixed cameras we gain unprecedented access to their flagship store on Clapham High Street. The chicken shop is booming – flooded with regulars in the week and revellers on the weekend, a space that feels unpredictable at times and life affirming at others.
British Pakistani Ali, aged 31, runs the shop and manages a team of seven staff. Open on average 17 hours a day, 7 days a week, 364 days a year (they close on Christmas Day), this chicken shop is a busy and bustling hub of the south London community, serving a diverse range of customers from all walks of life. A single day or night is never the same and come the weekend Ali and his team could serve up to a thousand customers a night and stay open until 6am, as the queue for the biggest club in Clapham conveniently stretches right outside their front door.
And it’s not just the crispy wings, breasts and grilled chicken that create the buzz – the shop has an array of regulars who are as surprisingly diverse as London itself - including William, the local ex-bus driver who’s rapidly losing his sight; local boys Rayon and Reece who watch their Clapham world go by over a combo meal on a rainy Saturday morning; giggly college girls Tina and Monique who visit the shop at lunch every day talking boys and making noise as they devour their favourite dish The shops also gets visits from drag queens, school kids and even well-spoken graduates who bark orders at 4am.
And finally, the staff who are working on both the frontline and breadline of Britain share their personal testimony of what it’s like to serve the Great British public. The chicken shop is a space anyone can enter and anything can happen.
Alongside the programme, Mentorn Media are running a multi-platform viral campaign with the Channel 4 online team, capturing the spirit of popular and funny chicken-related videos like Red Hot's Junior Spesh, Ed Sheeran and Example's Nandos Skank and Chipmunk's Chicken Shop Challenge.