Channel 4’s controversial factual sensation Benefits Street will not be returning.
The broadcaster was not averse to the idea of a third series, but could not find a street or story inspiring enough to justify another one a run so has decided not to bring it back, sources have told RadioTimes.com.
The show ran for two series and was a ratings sensation when it first aired in 2014.
In series one, the cameras followed life in Birmingham’s James Turner Street, becoming a national talking point and making household names of residents like Deirdre “White Dee” Kelly and Mark and Becky Howe.
It opened up the debate around welfare payments and austerity and was severely criticised by a number of people, including Grimsby MP Austin Mitchell who said that Benefits Street represented “deplorable, dishonest poverty tourism”.
Series two was filmed in Kingston Road in Stockton-On-Tees and was also a success when it aired last year. It concluded with the heartbreaking death of Reagan, the teenage son of Tilery Estate stalwart Julie Young, who had been left seriously disabled following a heart attack when he was a baby 15 years before.
Channel 4 is not believed to have formally decommissioned the series but sources say that while it is promising to continue focusing on the same “arena” of austerity and poverty with other factual shows, Benefits Street will not be among them.
In other news it will not air another instalment in its Educating… series this autumn, following Educating Essex, Yorkshire, Cardiff and the East End.
However, there are promising signs that a new school will be found in time for a series towards the end of 2017. “They want to take time out to think about how they do it,” a source claims.
The four series were very successful for Channel 4, with highlights including the moment pupil Musharaf Ashgar conquered his stammer in Educating Yorkshire.
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