Grayson Perry: Benefits Street and My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding are unhelpful titles

The Turner prize winning artist and TV presenter says shows which portray real people “have an ethical responsibility”


Grayson Perry has worked for Channel 4 for many years, recently fronting an acclaimed series called In the Best Possible Taste.


However, the artist who delivered this year’s Reith Lecture for Radio 4 has revealed that he believes the “hooky” titles of C4’s hit shows like Benefits Street and My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding can be problematic.

Speaking at the Radio Times covers party, the Turner Prize winner said: “People who do shows like Benefits Street and [My Big Fat] Gypsy weddings have an ethical responsibility.

“A lot [of the problem] are the titles which are are usually put in later by editors. They want a hooky title, they want shock and outrage.”

Perry said this meant that with shows like Benefits Street “a lot of the outrage is created by people who didn’t watch the programme, which is even-handed.”

The artist revealed he has just shot a three-part series for C4 with the working title Grayson Perry: Identity.

He said he has been careful not to be “exploitative…ridicule or belittle” the contributors to the series, which according to Channel 4, will chronicle the creation of a series of works of art featuring a range of Britons from across the UK, all of whom embody a particularly potent aspect of contemporary British identity.

The series is likely to air in the autumn and comes on the back of a two year exclusive deal with C4 signed by the artist.