Channel 4 to 'Make Bradford British'

Category: News Release

Two-part documentary series asking: ‘What it means to be British'

Ten years after the riots, Channel 4 returns to Bradford, regarded as one of the most segregated cities in Europe, to see if it can address the most inflammatory issue of today - the fact that the future of Britain is no longer majority white. 

Britain is changing faster than ever before; it's estimated that in the next few years Britain will have its first city with a non-white British majority population: Leicester.

To examine the changing face of Britain and explore how we should live together, Channel 4 is conducting a radical social experiment in Bradford. Over 100 people across the city took the citizenship test - the vast majority (over 90%) failed. Of those that failed the test, eight were invited to live in a house together, to see what happens when you bring people who usually live segregated lives together for the first time.

In the second week of filming the contributors are paired up and sent to live each other's lives, leading to life-changing encounters, the results of which are eye-opening and revealing.

Make Bradford British (w/t) 2x60 is made by Love Productions and uses the Citizenship test as an entry point to explore what it means to be British today and asking if people of different racial, religious and cultural backgrounds can live happily together, or is it better to live apart?

The test hit the headlines recently when questions like What percentage of the British population is under the age of 19? When were women given the right to vote? were at the forefront of a furore over what ‘Britishness' has been distilled down to.

Executive producer Richard McKerrow said: "Our ambition is to uncover a common notion of what it means to be British in the 21st Century. And we felt that Bradford was an interesting and ideal place to explore this idea. Is there a core set of values or a shared knowledge that underpins the British identity?"

Chief Creative Officer Jay Hunt said: "In a speech earlier this year, Prime Minister David Cameron launched an attack on state multiculturalism saying it has allowed the weakening of our collective identity. This is exactly the area that documentaries should be probing - asking difficult and challenging questions through an engaging and interesting format."

Make Bradford British (2x60) will be broadcast in January, 2012 and has been commissioned by Channel 4 Head of Documentaries, Hamish Mykura.