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New Windrush scandal drama ‘needs to be seen by white people’

(Ian West/PA)
(Ian West/PA)

A new BBC drama about the Windrush immigration scandal needs to be seen by white people, according to its star Patrick Robinson.

The actor, who plays a man who is detained by the Home Office and threatened with deportation in Sitting In Limbo, said he is “proud” of the story, adding that it “needs to be told”.

He told the PA news agency that the drama is “really important for the whole country to see”.

Strictly Come Dancing Photocall – London
(Ian West/PA)

He added: “I’m not talking about the West Indians and the brothers, I’m talking white folk.”

Robinson said there are “hundreds” or “thousands” of stories in the UK similar to the one shown in Sitting In Limbo.

“It’s a story as far as I’m concerned that is crucial for people to see right up and down this land. Right up and down,” he said.

The feature-length drama was written by Stephen S Thompson and is based on the true story of his brother Anthony Bryan’s personal struggle to be accepted as a British citizen.

The programme is set in 2016, four years after the coalition government introduced the hostile environment policy.

Robinson, who has starred in Casualty and Strictly Come Dancing, said the drama depicts “one man’s plight in dealing with injustice in this country”, adding the telling of the story is “long overdue”.

He added that as a black person you do not feel you are “accepted wherever you go in this country”.

Strictly Come Dancing 2013
(Ray Burmiston/BBC/PA)

“Just imagine that when you walked out of wherever you live, people are going to look at you as if to say what are you doing here? Wherever you are, what are you doing here?” he said.

“They don’t obviously ask that question, but they look at you because that’s a questioning look that you know.”

He added that his response is to think he has not “done anything wrong”.

“I’ve gone to school, I’ve paid my tax, I’ve paid my dues, what’s going on?” he said.

The actor also said he thinks historic reparations should be paid by those who have profited from slavery.

“We worked for nothing for hundreds of years, it’s time to pay us,” he said.

“Simple as that.

“And when you acknowledge money, that tells me you acknowledge us.”

Sitting In Limbo airs on BBC One at 8.30pm on Monday.

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