Airdate: Life on the Dole

It's not often Nine follows the programming lead of SBS -but here comes the British series accused of 'poverty porn.'


It’s not often Nine follows the programming lead of SBS.

But how else do we explain Nine programming the UK doco Life on the Dole: Benefits Brits by the Sea for next Wednesday – in the same timeslot where SBS had Struggle Street?

In the UK the series was called Benefits Britain: Life on the Dole and ran for 9 episodes but attracted plenty of controversy and was branded ‘poverty porn.’

Nine has scheduled the series for 8:40pm next Wednesday.

The final episode of The Amazing 90s moves to 9:40pm and the last ever episode of Forever to 10:40pm. Believe screens at 11:40pm.

In Britain there are now more people living off benefits than at any time since the introduction of the nation’s welfare system. Many of those claiming the dole spend longer on benefits than in jobs; others have never known what it’s like to be employed; and some have found that a job doesn’t pay enough in comparison to the dole.

Today their social welfare system is undergoing a radical overhaul and the changes are beginning to hit home hard. Thousands of people who rely on benefits are finding life tougher than ever.

This series gets up close and very personal with the struggling people in the dole queues and behind the headlines. It explores the lives of those fighting for scarce jobs and trying to live on less than £5 ($10) a day – and reveals the smarties who know how to beat the system.

12 Responses

  1. I saw the ad for the show late on tv a couple of nights ago and went “Gee, would this have ever aired if it wasn’t for Struggle Street ratings late week” and when I looked to see that it was made in the UK. I went “Can’t see it relating to viewers as Struggle Street did”. Am now guessing to how many of the 9 episodes will actually air on 9?

  2. At this rate, it won’t be long before the 2000 film The Wog Boy gets a screening on a Wednesday night. Synopsis: “A jobless Australian loafer (Nick Giannopoulos) inadvertently becomes a spokesman for the unemployed.”

  3. The whole appeal of struggle street is that it is Australian and many us know or have known people like those on the show in our lives.

    Life on the Dole is not going to appeal to anyone here other than a few English migrants – and yes – it belongs on GEM and will pull figures on NIne much the same as it would have on had it aired on GEM (in other words – shocking for Nine, OK for GEM).

  4. So how is this different from the SBS show, apart from being worse and an import that Nine just bought to ride the SBS bandwagon on the topic? I won’t be watching this imported crap which has little to do with the situation here in Australia.

    I agree some (not many) use this as a ‘life style’ but there are others are out there looking for work that doesn’t exist no matter how hard you try.

  5. Two words: Hyp ocrisy.

    ACA has a dig at SBS about how the participants are depicted on Struggle Street without watching all of it, then it gets bumper ratings, and Nine suddenly rushes this to air.

  6. Nine’s reactionary programming at its best

    God forbid an original thought could cross their minds… remember when they where “still the one”? That’s when they used to copy ideas and made them uniquely Nine in execution. Now what do they stand for…?

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