Is BBC planning Hunger Games style reality show for young unemployed?PARTICIPANTS WILL BE CHALLENGED TO “SHOW THEIR WORTH” IN EVERY EPISODE


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The BBC is seeking applicants for a new reality TV show where some of the UK’s lowest paid workers will compete to “show their worth” and be crowned ‘Britain’s Hardest Grafter’. Only those currently earning less than £15,500 per year may apply.

Graduate Fog has learned that the BBC2 show will give 25 British workers — a mix of the unemployed, under-employed and those earning the minimum wage — the chance to “prove yourself through a series of challenges and win cash prizes”. Details of the format are sketchy but a representative for Twenty Twenty (the production company creating the programme) — told us:

“In each episode, people will be put to the test in a series of challenges and tasks. At the end of each episode, those who have produced the least will be eliminated and by the end of the process, just one worker will remain. The winner will receive in the region of £15,000 which is a year’s living wage (outside of London).”

Now, this may be a perfectly decent show (Graduate Fog is a fan of Twenty Twenty’s other output, including Channel 4’s First Dates) — but something about it feels distinctly Hunger Games. So we asked some questions. How will the participants be paid during the series? What will they receive for taking part — or will they be followed by cameras as they do their current job (if they have one)? The Twenty Twenty representative replied:

“All contributors will receive compensation for their time as part of filming for the show (it will be filmed across two weeks) — we’re still working out the specifics but obviously it will not be below the national minimum wage. Sorry I can’t be more specific at this stage.

“I have attached one of our flyers- this one is specifically aimed at young people but we’re trying to get people of all ages and backgrounds to take part — let me know what you think. It would be amazing if you would consider putting it on your website so we can attract more graduates who are struggling to secure a decent living wage– do you think that might be possible?”

Here is the flyer:

Britains Hardest Grafter flyer

Hmm. The final cut of Britain’s Hardest Grafter (which we understand is the working title – although the show is also referred to as Britain’s Hardest Worker) may end up being more sensitive and thought-provoking than this advert suggests. We certainly hope so. Channel 4 has been heavily criticised for so-called ‘poverty porn’ programmes such as Benefits Street. Graduate Fog does not want to see youth unemployment given the same treatment by the BBC (or anyone else). Desperate young workers must not be exploited for entertainment value.

What do you think of the plans for this BBC2 programme? Do you think it will be a decent show — or do you fear it will exploit desperate young workers for entertainment value? Have your say below…

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