‘Make Leicester British’ Reaction


Heated debate surrounds the Channel 4 show that aimed to discuss diversity

The controversial show ‘Make Leicester British’ aired on Monday night and has split opinion on how much it contributed to the discussion on immigration and integration.

The Channel 4 documentary had eight people from different ethnic backgrounds live under the same roof before moving into each other’s homes for short periods. They ranged from being British born to being immigrants, some holding stringent views on matters of immigration.

Indian-born café owner Sukiy claimed the UK had “too many immigrants, flooded with them”. Fellow Indian Kit shared similar views stating that immigrants and asylum seekers must not be let into the country, she also berated immigrants for relying on benefits whilst her family who came into the UK, according to her, worked tirelessly to support themselves.

All participants held varying views, but the programme has been accused of wrongly labeling Leicester a “divided city”.

Suleman Nagdi, spokesman for the Leicestershire Federation of Muslim Organisations said, “Leicester is not a divided city.”

“Not everything is perfect of course, but it is regarded across Europe as a successful multicultural city.”

“The Somali community has arrived in the city relatively recently and has settled pretty well and has moved into the worlds of work and enterprise.”

“But it is still a very young community, as are the Afghan and Iraqi communities which have settled here.”

One Somali immigrant woman, Sagal, endured tirades of abuse from Sukiy and Kit due to her refugee status and sympathetic views on immigration. Some have argued it made for uncomfortable viewing.

However the show did allow the participants to reveal their stories about coming into the country and the hardships they had endured. This made for a more open minded discussion about the issues the show had raised.

Whilst some left the show with changed views others such left on a sour terms, notably Sagal and Kit who clashed heavily.

Whether the show depicted Leicester in an accurate way or not, it has no doubt sparked fierce debate on a hot topic.


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