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BBC3 to make a docudrama about the damage wrought by debt

Following in the footsteps of the acclaimed Murdered by my Father, Killed by my Debt will tell the true story of a London worker on a zero hours contract who took his own life

Published: Thursday, 7th September 2017 at 4:16 pm

BBC3 is to make a docudrama about the real-life tragedy of a young man whose life was destroyed by debt and low wages.


Killed by My Debt promises to follow in the tradition of powerful factual dramas on the channel such as Murdered by my Father and Murdered for Being Different and will examine the true story of the damage wrought on one family by ultra-low wages.

The single film will tell the true story of a zero hours worker from south London trying to provide for his family on earnings ranging from between £39 and £89 per week.

When he picks up two traffic fines at work, totalling £130 and can’t pay them, his debts spiral and he takes drastic action.

“In the hands of debt collectors, his debt rises to more than £1,000,” said the BBC in a statement. “He desperately takes out payday loans, but they aren’t enough to cover his escalating debt. Faced with a bailiff waiting outside his house for hours on end, what lengths will he go to to escape his debts?"

The commission was announced by BBC3 controller Damian Kavanagh at a Broadcasting Press Guild lunch today where he also unveiled a return of the Life and Death Row strand which tells the story of the death penalty by young people for young people.

Life and Death Row – The Arkansas Killings examines the real story of the controversial so-called ‘batch’ executions of eight men in the state of Arkansas over just 10 days in April 2017.

The authorities were accused of hurrying executions because the drug used was reaching its expiry date.


Kavanagh has also recommissioned the series Love and Hate Crime which tells true stories of crimes of hate, passion and prejudice in the US. It is getting a new three-part run before the first series has even aired.


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