Under new proposals from the department of Work and Pensions, future benefit claimants will be auditioned after criticism that some of the participants in Channel 4's "Benefits Street" Just weren't "Paupery" enough.
New guidelines will require claimants to be auditioned and screen-tested before being approved for benefits. Tracey Hepple, Benefits officer at Smethwick Jobcentre described a typical audition as being "A 2 minute contemporary drama piece plus a Shakespeare. Then a brief workshop in Tap, contemporary or Jazz dance. Claimants will then be screen tested in front of a panel of documentary film makers looking for that elusive "something" that makes the auditionee stand out from the average dead-eyed pov scrounger."
Linda Dribley was one of the first claimants at Smethwick to be denied benefits on the grounds of her audition. "They told me I just wasn't feckless enough and to come back when I'd had what little remains of my hope and dignity squeezed out of me. My agent's not going to be happy. Still, I got a walk-on in a new Channel 5 called "Food Bank Frauds" on the strength of it. They gave me a tenner for some tattoos. I just have to stand around looking morose while Edwina Currie hurls abuse at me. That's showbiz eh?"