Channel 4 to explore the UK’s homelessness epidemic with ex-soldier Ed Stafford
30th January 2019
Channel 4 today announces they are spending 60 Days on the Streets with ex-soldier and adventurer Ed Stafford.
The 3 x 60’ series, a Boundless and Motion Content Group production, will see self-shooting ex-soldier Ed Stafford spend 60 winter days and nights on the streets with no money, no food and no shelter to get a first-hand view of Britain’s growing homeless crisis. Ed served his country as an Army captain and homelessness is an issue close to his heart given that around 13,000 ex-military personnel are homeless.
Now Ed’s putting himself on the streets through the harsh British winter and filming his experiences. Risking his physical and mental health, Ed will live alongside the homeless to capture the reality of their day-to-day existence. At the age of 43, Ed is at the upper limit of the life expectancy of rough sleepers.
60 Days on the Streets will endeavour to show the human face of homelessness across London, Manchester and Glasgow, telling the stories of those on the streets, how they ended up there and how they survive at a time of increasing crisis. The number of rough sleepers in the UK has more than doubled since 2010, with a seven-fold increase in Manchester. In central London numbers have rocketed by 647% in just one year.
Alf Lawrie, Head of Factual Entertainment at Channel 4 said,“None of us can fail to notice the growing numbers of people living on the streets across the country but what we don’t know is what life is truly like for them. By immersing Ed in this world, this series will provide a raw, honest and at times deeply shocking portrait of this marginalised community.”
Neil Smith, MD of Boundless said: “This is a hugely important project for us, which uses a Fact Ent device to shine a light on a chronic problem that we see every day but still know very little about.”
Melanie Darlaston, Executive Producer for Motion said: “Most of us pass homeless people on a daily basis but how often do we stop and question who they really are and how they came to be living on the streets? Ed’s immersive experience will help shine a light on the complex issue and give the homeless a voice.”.
Ed Stafford said: ‘'Homelessness today has reached new levels of concern, with more people sleeping rough than any point since World War II. As a country we have reached a stage where the statistics are so high that we are cutting ourselves off emotionally from what is truly going on around us. It is time for something to change, I’m ready to meet this issue face to face and not turn a blind eye.”
60 Days on the Streets is a 3 x 60’ part series produced by Boundless (part of Fremantle in the UK) and Motion Content Group. It was commissioned by Alf Lawrie, Head of Factual Entertainment at Channel 4 and Ian Dunkley, Commissioning Editor for Factual Entertainment at Channel 4. The Executive Producer for Boundless are Rod Williams and Ben Mitchell and the Executive Producer for Motion Content Group is Melanie Darlaston.