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Channel 4 postpones Smuggled broadcast after bodies found in lorry

Show in which people try to evade UK border checks was due to air on Monday

WT24 Desk

The discovery of 39 bodies inside a container lorry in Essex has prompted Channel 4 to postpone the broadcast of a programme in which members of the public attempt to enter the UK by evading border checks, The Guardian reports.

Smuggled was due to have its first screening on Monday and was billed by the broadcaster as the largest test of the UK’s borders ever conducted by the media.

Promotional material for the two-part series said it would follow eight British citizens as they attempted to enter Britain from a variety of locations around continental Europe.

It asked: “Without using their passport, evading Border Force authorities altogether, how many of them will make it undetected?”

Channel 4 said it had commissioned the show, made by ScreenDog Productions, at a time when the UK was preparing to “take back control” through Brexit and border security had become a major political concern.

The promotional material added: “From boats to lorries, ferries to car boots, all of the contributors attempt routes that have been used by those seeking to enter the country clandestinely or by people traffickers and drug dealers.”

Alf Lawrie, the head of factual entertainment at Channel 4, said in August: “This dramatic series has real purpose at its heart. Extreme, authentic and utterly timely, it is a standout experiment that we hope will inform the national conversation.”

A Channel 4 spokesperson said on Wednesday: “In light of the tragic events today, we have postponed the transmission of the series.”

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