Last night, a rather controversial programme was aired on television. It was called “Make Leicester British” and was about racial integration and assimilation in modern Britain. It was a spin off from a previous programme called “Make Bradford British” which was equally as provocative.
The show focused on eight hand-picked individuals from all walks of life, ethnic groups and backgrounds to come together in a radical social experiment. The aim? To see if different ethnic groups could live together in harmony and how they each overcame/addressed social issues. These ranged from not eating certain meats to whether or not one should have their national flag flying outside.
Identity is subjective, malleable and fluid. It evolves with changes in society and culture.
The experiment was divided into two halves: the first half saw all eight participants live together in a house which made for an uncomfortable and explosive watch as the group were rocked by controversial opinions and arguments. The second half, saw members being paired off and spending two days in the life of their experiment buddy.
I don’t usually mind programmes like this; it’s healthy to have a debate and give everyone a voice. However, whilst there were many elements of the show which really aggravated me, the main issue I had was with the title of the programme. “Make Leicester British” – it’s as controversial as TV show names get. From a commercial perspective, a title needs to hook in viewers as that equates to higher viewings and more money, but as one of my followers on Twitter pointed out:
“Even the title itself is insulting since it assumes Leicester’s Britishness is somehow in question due to immigration.” @SaritaAgerman
“Oh my gosh #MakeLeicesterBritish is a very uncomfortable watch” @SejAsar