It’s always good to watch out when the national media comes to Croydon. Laden with preconceptions and unfortunate stereotypes, their tone is normally unhelpful about Croydon’s difficulties.
Another exploitative effort comes from Channel 4 on Tuesday night, when the second series of The Undateables comes to our screens.
The first series was controversial, regarded by some critics as a 21st century version of the Victorian freak show, exploiting public revulsion in much the same way as circus ring-masters once did.
The first episode of the second series will focus on Michael Selwyn, a 26-year-old Croydon resident whose autism leaves him bright but distracted by detail.
Let’s hope that Selwyn’s intelligence will shine through, as he is interviewed at Matthew’s Yard, a Croydon coffee shop off Surrey Street that is a popular haunt for local Conservative party supporters and members of its “Glee Club” – a clique, many with vested interests, with some who try to deny the town’s short-comings. Matthew’s Yard hyper-active publicity machine has already been boasting publicly of the venue’s involvement with the TV show.
Talking of exploitation, it is unknown whether the businessman who is the sole owner of Matthew’s Yard sought a “facility fee” for use of his location by the TV producers, or whether it was done at no charge as a “community” project. #cushty, as DelBoy might have said.
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