‘Benefits Britain’ presented a distorted view of our city

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From: Mrs W Abbott, Boulsworth Avenue, Kingston Upon Hull.

Hull North MP Diana Johnson speaks for everyone here in the city of Hull when she describes the recently televised programme Benefits Britain as “depicting a narrow and selective segment of Hull life” (The Yorkshire Post, July 11).

A team from Channel 4 came to Hull sometime ago to film Location, Location, Location and was similarly scathing about our fine city.

A couple of years ago I was contacted by the production team of Restoration Homes with a view to taking part in a programme. A local house which had previously been used as a health centre was in the process of being restored back to a private dwelling.

The team had contacted other people who had once been associated with the property when it was being used as a health centre.

Between us we gave a detailed account of the building when it was used for that purpose. 
The filming took three 
hours.

However, I was amazed to discover when the programme was broadcast that we had been edited out in favour of a local entrepreneur who 
had previously owned the property.

Here was a chance to show viewers how the building had been used to provide essential medical care for local children in Hull and in my view this was a wasted opportunity.

I am therefore not surprised to learn that those who took part in Benefits Britain were disappointed and angry with the results, which did present a distorted view of the city.

Participants are usually asked to sign a disclaimer, so unfortunately if you are dissatisfied with the outcome there can be no avenue of redress whatsoever.

Many programme makers are, in my opinion, self-serving. They are immune to criticism and their main aim is to show viewers what they want you to see which is not necessarily accurate or realistic, and in my view amounts to serious exploitation of the people involved.

For this reason I would advise anyone who was considering taking part in a similar production to think carefully before committing to it.

Finally I fully endorse all the positive points which Diana Johnson raised in her article.

The lights are still on in Hull, we are open for business and offer a warm welcome to all visitors, and also to those who intend coming to join us in the celebrations of Hull The City of Culture in 2017.