The makers of BENEFITS STREET racked up a £5.5million profit last year – and didn’t give a penny to it’s stars.
The production company is set to rake in even more when a second series of the poverty porn show goes out on Channel 4 latert his year.
But Barry Tomes, agent to series one star Deidre Kelly, said: “The company has made an obscene amount of money out of Benefits Street but not shared a single penny with the residents.
“They were nominated for an award and didn’t even tell the residents. They could have asked them to come to the ceremony and laid on a meal as a thank you.
“They just don’t care about the people involved once they have filmed their programme.”
Love Productions turned over £15million in 2014, with a £2million increase in profits on the year before. Producers werer slammed for cashing in on struggling occupants like young parents Mark Thomas and Becky Howe of James Turner Street, Birmingham, for entertainment value.
One commentator described it as “medieval stocks updated for the modern format” but that hasn’t stopped Channel 4 commissioning a second series set in Stockton-on-Tees in North East England.
Labour MP Austin Mitchell said: “There’s money in it. Love productions made big profits last year.
“That’s easily done by demonising the poor to stir the anger of an audience which sees them enjoying beer, drugs and huge flat-screen tellies, all, they feel, at their expense.”
Mr Mitchell accused Channnel 4 of abandoning its reputation for innovative shows. He said: “This is a nasty reversal of the channels previously progressive and stimulating role.”
Richard McKerrow and wife Anne Beattle run Love Productions, whose portfolio includes such documentaies as Make Bradford British and Underage And Having Sex.
The company also produces The Great British Bake Off.
Last night a spokesman said: “We’re very proud of our documentary series such as Benefits Street, though in reality they represent only a small part of our output.
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“We should thank Channel 4 for showing documentaries which highlight concerns regarding the wellbeing of our society. That being said, was a better deal appropriate for the ‘stars’ of Benefits Street?”