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Michelle Mone started off poor. How will her daughter find life in Glasgow’s East End?

7 5 68

Television producers and the media in general must always take great care when attempting to portray the reality of poverty and multi-deprivation in 21st-century Britain. There also needs to be a degree of compassion at all stages of the production process and in the filming, as there is a very thin line between making such programmes audience-friendly and merely exploitative.

The best programmes are those that resist the temptation to apply too much makeup and direction and that allow their subjects to speak in their own language and on issues of their own choosing. BBC Scotland’s 2010 series The Scheme, I think, managed to get the balance right. Here, we followed the lives of six families on a working-class housing estate in Kilmarnock as they daily met a spectrum of social challenges beyond the imagination and experience of many in the media who were paid to judge the programme’s worth. By no means was it perfect and there were some queasy moments in the course of the four programmes but there were moments of genuine hope and humanity that lifted it beyond a lazy human-zoo perspective. It was clear, too, that the producers had displayed genuine empathy for the cast of memorable characters that fell beneath their gaze.

Last week, it was revealed that Michelle Mone, the Glaswegian former lingerie entrepreneur who has gained fame and amassed a fortune from building a business empire, is to add her own vivid stamp to this programme genre. Her daughter Bethany will visit Bridgeton in Glasgow’s East End for a four-part reality television........

© The Guardian