The Day The Immigrants Left

Evan Davis (the nice one from Dragons Den who waits at the bottom of the stairs like a worried landlady) is to front a documentary on BBC One which will see 11 unemployed people take the jobs of immigrant workers in the Cambridgeshire town of Wisbech.


The programme, called The Day The Immigrants Left, is being billed as a “fresh and engaging approach” to the issue of immigration and its impact on the UK economy.

Participants will spend a few days in a range of jobs, including working at one of the UK’s largest potato companies, an asparagus farm, a building site and an Indian restaurant.

Why Wisbech? No, it’s not Paul Daniels’ talking magic hat! It’s a place near Peterborough. It was chosen because of the large number of immigrants who live in the area and also because there’s been a sharp rise in unemployment of late.

“Of course immigration is a topic that arouses complex emotions and unwanted tensions,” said Davis, the BBC’s former economics editor and a presenter on BBC Radio 4’s Today. “But that is why broadcasters should tackle it and not avoid it. This programme is an attempt to get beyond the abstract arguments one hears for or against immigration, and to illustrate why it occurs and what it means in human terms.”

This, of course, takes the lead from Tim Samuels’ ‘Help! The Poles Are Coming!’ show, which highlighted unemployed British people refusing jobs, despite bemoaning the fact that ‘the immigrants have taken ’em all’.

The Day The Immigrants Left will air at 9pm on Wednesday 24 February on BBC1.

  • BBC One
  • BBC Two
  • BBC Three
  • ITV1
  • ITV2
  • 4
  • E4
  • Film4
  • More4
  • Five
  • Fiver
  • Sky1