A family filmed being abruptly evicted from their home for Channel 5 series Can’t Pay? We’ll Take It Away has won a high court legal battle, which could force broadcasters to tone down the content of observational documentaries.
The episode of the show, which says it features “Britain’s favourite high court enforcement agents”, involved the filming of the eviction of a married couple for failing to pay rent.
Shakir Ali and Shahida Aslam, who have two children, were caught by surprise by the landlord and filmed by Channel 5 for the show.
The one-hour episode featured shots of Ali having just woken up, wearing pyjama bottoms and a vest, and shots of their bedroom and their children’s rooms and of family possessions stored in bags. It also showed the landlord’s son humiliating the couple, and revealed details including that the couple were unemployed and receiving housing benefit.