The Great Big Romanian Invasion

Confirmed for BBC One on 17 July at 10.35pm to 11.25pm

Thursday 17 July



At the tail end of 2013, some of the UK papers were full of headlines about the prospect of millions of Romanians waiting to invade our shores, take our jobs and fleece our Welfare System once EU border controls were relaxed on 1 January 2014.

Journalist and filmmaker Tim Samuels, himself a descendent of Romanian immigrants, looks behind the headlines, following the experiences of Romanians who have headed to British shores to live and work here for the first time, as well as exploring the UK’s continuing unease with the thorny issue of immigration.

Tim uncovers friction between the business owners of London’s Park Lane and the Roma gypsies who’ve made their home on one of Britain’s most exclusive streets; joins the media scrum at Luton Airport on 1 January to witness the much-hyped invasion; and travels to Romania to find out why people want to leave their homeland in search of a new life - from those hoping to become taxi drivers in out-of-the-way English towns, to the Roma Gypsies desperate to get away from the discrimination and poverty they experience in their home country.

Immersing himself with Britain’s newest immigrants, he experiences what it’s really like for the newest Romanian arrivals to become part of UK society, and also gets a sense of what genuinely worries some of us Brits about mass immigration.

Irreverent, insightful and warm, The Great Big Romanian Invasion reveals some surprising sides to our own national psyche as well as that of our newest neighbours.