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BBC’s return to Harpurhey for new documentary is “scandalous”, say locals


Plans by the BBC to return to Harpurhey for a documentary about families on benefits have been slammed as “scandalous”.

People in the inner-city Manchester town have been approached by ITV-owned The Garden Productions about a new two-part programme looking at how “lively individuals and families spend their money”.

harpur People Like Us was filmed in Harpurhey in 2013

It’s thought to feature a number of places around the country, but local politicians are not happy about Harpurhey’s involvement after the uncomplimentary spotlight shone by BBC3 series People Like Us in 2013.

Harpurhey councillor Pat Karney and Blackley and Broughton election candidate Graham Stringer have written to BBC director general Tony Hall in protest.

Stringer said: “We have learnt our lesson about these programmes that come and misrepresent and mislead local people. We had to go up to BBC HQ to get People Like Us stopped. We will do the same with this one.”

Karney added that the plans were “scandalous”, while Coun Joanne Green said: “I don’t trust these London TV companies one bit. They promise the earth at the beginning and then trash our areas. They are not wanted in Harpurhey.”

A BBC spokesman said: “An independent production company is making a factual series about spending habits in the UK. They’ve visited lots of areas around the country while researching the programme. No filming has taken place in North Manchester.”

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