Make Bradford British

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Make Bradford British is a major two-part series exploring what it means to be British today

About the Show

Make Bradford British is a major two-part series exploring what it means to be British today

Series 1 Summary

Make Bradford British is a major two-part series exploring what it means to be British.

It brings together some of Bradford's residents - all British citizens, but from different races and backgrounds - to see if they can come up with a common notion of the thread that binds them all together; what it means to be British.

The series uses the Government's Life in the UK Test as a prism to explore British-ness, overcoming stereotypes and preconceptions to uncover the shared values and common ground in what it means to be British.

  • Episode 1

    To define what it means to be British, the series begins with the Government's UK Citizenship Test - the Life in the UK Test.

    Over 100 people from across Bradford, all British citizens, are invited to sit the test, in which the questions include: 'What percentage of the British population is under the age of 19?' and 'When were women given the right to vote?'.

    Eight people who fail the test are invited to live together in a microcosm of multicultural society.

    After debating what being a British citizen means, from exploring use of language through to accommodating religious and dietary requirements, they'll experience a side of life in Great Britain they've never seen before.

    In pairs, the eight residents of Bradford, ranging from a pub landlady to a former magistrate, will live each other's lives.

    From visiting a mosque for the first time, to experiencing a traditional dinner party, each person opens their eyes to the world that exists around them, right on their doorstep.

    Can eight people from different worlds but the same city really define what it means to be British in 2012?

    Diversity and community experts Taiba Yasseen and Laurie Trott help guide the eight through the experience, to see if, by uniting people within the city, they can create a blueprint for a genuinely multicultural Great Britain.

  • Episode 2

    The group is split into pairs, to live each other's lives as they continue to search for what makes us all British.

    'I'm British,' says Desmond, 'I was born here. But there's more to it than that.'

    When he shows retired policeman Jens around his majority-white estate and points out where he was once attacked, for being black, Jens begins to realise the full implications of his use of language.

    Landlady Audrey invites Muslim Sabbiyah to one of Bradford's pubs.

    But while Sabbiyah sees herself as 'more British than anyone that you can see,' and is looking forward to her shift in the pub, for the first time she's challenged over her dress.

    A customer asks her: 'Why are you dressed like that? So you're born over here. Why not take our identity? Why not take our ways? When was the last time you came out in a mini skirt and a low cut top?'

    Sabbiyah is moved to tears, prompting Audrey, who has a black father and a white mother, to confront the racism that she has experienced all her life and that is now directed at the Asian community.

    Steel welder Damon's stay with Rashid will include his first visit to any of the city's 80 mosques.

    'Because of what you read in the papers, you do have a bad view in your head. Not so much a terror camp but you think they talk about things, it's a secretive place.'

    Damon's stay with Rashid, working out in the gym and not drinking, has a profound effect on the 24-year-old.

    As he learns more about Islam, he says 'Islam doesn't seem like a bad religion. The ways of life are the old British ways. It's how I look at the simple life and I wish I was born in my grandma and granddad's era.'

    Former magistrate Maura is paired with taxi driver Mohammed, and it's her first taste of Asian hospitality. Self-styled feminist Maura challenges Mohammed over how the women of the house do all the work.

    When Maura has Mohammed to stay, she shows him a traditional British dinner party - but will Mohammed stay long enough to enjoy the meal?

    For those who took part, Make Bradford British is an emotional journey that challenges each person's personal set of beliefs as they seek to find an answer to one of the most challenging questions of our time; what makes us British?

    Can what they learn be a blueprint for a truly integrated Britain?

Make Bradford British synopsis

Make Bradford British is a major two-part series exploring what it means to be British today

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