Dewsbury girls in the TV spotlight

Dewsbury girls in the TV spotlight

DEWSBURY was in the national spotlight once again this week after a Channel 4 documentary.

White Kid, Brown Kid aired on Monday night and followed two teenagers growing up in separate parts of North Kirklees to see if they could bridge the religious and ethnic divide in Dewsbury - described as one of the most racially segregated towns in the UK.

Siobhan is a 16-year-old living in Chickenley, a predominantly white community and Farhana, 17, lives in Batley Carr in a mostly British Asian community.

The two could not have been more different - Siobhan likes going to parties and drinking, and Farhana is a devout Muslim who had never travelled on public transport.

As the programme went on, despite initial meetings being a little nervous and awkward, the pair managed to put aside their differences and began to talk more openly, learning about each other’s lives. 

At one point, Farhana even fixed a headscarf onto Siobhan.

Midway through Farhana’s mother asked for filming to stop altogether, concerned that the documentary might have an adverse effect on her daughter’s reputation.

But by the end of the show the girls had managed to form a friendship and their families had spent positive time with each other.

Both teens have earned a place on the same college course, so will be spending more time together - and not just for the sake of the one-off programme. 

The documentary provoked plenty of debate, as expected, and viewers told us their thoughts.

Louise Roberts wrote on our Facebook page: “We need more programmes like this one. I live and work in Dewsbury, this is, in my mind, exactly like our town and community. It shows outsiders the true side of how we get on with life around our town. Not only our Muslim friends but our European friends here in Dewsbury also. We are a multicultural town and this is good press.”

Rachael Ainsworth added: “I really enjoyed this programme and I hope the girls manage to maintain a friendship.”

Linda Harrison commented: “The families had nothing in common and the girls spending time together was obviously a big issue for one family who had to answer to the community ... they will never be able to be real friends.”

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