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01st Jun 2015

Almost 25,000 people sign petition to scrap new BBC show Britain’s Hardest Grafter


An online petition urging the BBC to abandon its new show Britain’s Hardest Grafter has reached almost 25,000 signatures.

The forthcoming series plans to pit 25 low-paid workers against each other in a range of challenges for a prize of £15,000 – the estimated living wage outside of London.

But the programme has provoked outrage across Twitter and Facebook, with many referring to it as “poverty porn” similar to Channel 4’s Benefits Street.


A campaign was started by James Pauley, calling for the BBC to scrap the ‘Hunger Games-style’ show.

And over 23,000 people have signed the petition in just a few days.

“This is the next rung down the ladder in the disturbing trend of voyeuristic ‘poverty porn’ made popular in programmes like Benefits Street,” writes Pauley.

“Unemployment and poverty are serious social issues and should not be the subject of a cheap game show format, designed to exploit some of the most impoverished in our society for the purposes of dubious ‘entertainment’.


The BBC and producers Twenty Twenty have defended the show, suggesting that its purpose has been misinterpreted.

“Britain’s Hardest Grafter is a current affairs commission and not an entertainment format, and is at the very earliest stages of production,” said a statement.

“The welfare of those taking part is of paramount importance and it is a misinterpretation of the concept of the series to suggest it is exploitative.”

H/T Digital Spy