You don’t have to read many headlines orspend much time on social media to see that immigration is a tinderbox issue.Luckily, we had the help of Rahil Ghazni, who’s spent the past decade teachingforeign nationals to pass the Life in the UK test in order to gain Britishcitizenship. His enviable insight into the topic helped form the basis of thescript which we then worked with local writer Sarah Daoud to flesh out theconcept and characters.
As a topic which is often covered in areductive and heavy-handed manner we wanted to take an opposing approach,bringing a levity and light humour to the proceedings. Alan Bennett was atouchstone for some of the dialogue, as was Mind Your Language, a 70s BBCsitcom.
Set in the present day, in a fictional cityin the UK, the show forms a melting pot of cultures with characters from Ghana,Afghanistan, Bulgaria and India. This meant throwing our casting net broadly tofind the right talent, bringing in actors and non-professional talent from farand wide, some of whom had recently passed the citizenship themselves in reallife!
Transforming a community centre into aclassroom for a shoot, we were also blessed to have a Sikh parade passingthrough which added a level of energy and vibrancy to the show.