One of the most controversial and talked about documentary series of recent years returns for a second series.
Last year the first series of Benefits Street, filmed on James Turner Street in Birmingham, sparked a political and media debate about poverty and welfare with one of the street’s residents, ‘White Dee’, becoming a national figure.
This time the series focuses on Kingston Road on the Tilery Estate in Stockton-On-Tees, an area hit hard by recession and economic decline.
For those reliant on benefits new government regulations are making life even harder but despite the challenges they face Kingston Road is a place with a real sense of community where residents look out for each other.
In the first episode we meet the residents and regulars of Kingston Road. Mother of six Julie, her friend Sue and the other women of the street are setting the world to rights on Sue’s doorstep as usual.
Unemployed Lee has been denied a crisis loan and is relying on the food bank and his neighbours for something to eat. Meanwhile the street’s ‘King of Kids’ Maxwell is dividing his time between exercising, taking drugs and the sunbed salon as well as risking arrest by turning up late for his court appearance.
And when news of the road being the location of the new Benefits Street breaks the press descends and promptly dubs local woman Dorothy Taylor, ‘Orange Dot’, much to her bemusement.
Benefits Street is a Love Productions series for Channel 4.