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Debt

Jenny Kleeman explores places at the extremes of UK society, uncovering the stories behind a revealing statistic.

Brighton has the most internet searches for the word lonely. Plymouth is top for debt problems. Aldershot has the most Buddhists. Jenny Kleeman explores locations at the extremes of UK society, uncovering the stories behind a revealing statistic.

The Office for National Statistics gathers data on everything - the economy, employment, even our wellbeing. We have more data available than ever before, including from search engines, and increasingly the government and big businesses are making crucial judgments based on these statistics. But these numbers can't tell us everything. In this series, Jenny explores the true stories behind the figures.

Episode 3: Debt
Jenny is in Plymouth. According to government statistics, it has the highest rate of personal insolvency in the country. She meets John Sanderson, a man in his 50s who moved to the city over a decade ago. A recent chain of unfortunate life events has left him in unsustainable credit card debt. With bailiffs circling his home and his mental health deteriorating, Jenny joins him as he seeks help. He describes Plymouth as "a city with its back to the sea". What does John's story tell us about the culture of debt here?

Produced by Paul Smith

A Somethin' Else production for BBC Radio 4.

Available now

15 minutes

Last on

Wed 29 Aug 2018 13:45