clock menu more-arrow no yes

BBC is turning grueling factory work into a competitive show for the unemployed

Why did the BBC build a fake factory to pit unemployed and minimum-wage workers in Britain against one another for a cash prize? For the entertainment of television audiences, of course!

BBC Two's new show Britain’s Hardest Worker welcomes candidates who want to work in a "specially created factory" to work until they are thrown off the show and all but one is declared not Britain's hardest worker:

BBC Two explores the front line of our nation's low wage economy in this new series which follows Brits from across the country through a series of real-world jobs to find Britain’s Hardest Worker.

These jobs will take place both out in the workplace and within the confines of a specially created factory, a warehouse space which over the course of five episodes will be transformed to cover the UK's largest blue collar sectors.

The contestants are all there for one reason: to make money. The least effective workers will be asked to leave until only one is left, to be declared Britain’s Hardest Worker.

In case you're worried about possible opportunities for ethnic, generational, or other stereotypes to shine, rest assured! They are included:

The series will tackle some of the most pressing issues of our time: why is British productivity low? Is the benefits system providing many with a reason not to work or hindering their working opportunity? Is the hidden truth about immigrants simply that they work harder than Brits – and we need them as much as they need us - or are they simply prepared to work for a lower wage? And have the young simply not inherited the work ethic of older generations or have working conditions just got too hard? Who in Britain still knows how to graft? It’s time to find out.

The show, originally announced this past January, will reportedly reward the winner with £15,000, which is about $23,000. As if to underscore the show's point that life is a competition for which our toil is rarely rewarded, the prize is described as "a year’s living wage (outside of London)."

If you're not convinced of the show's chances of success, a review of BBC Two's lineup may provide some insight: it includes shows like The Great British Bake Off and The Hairy Bikers. The audience is described confidently as people "who are definitely not couch potatoes."

(h/t Jezebel)

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for The Weeds

Get our essential policy newsletter delivered Fridays.