“We never asked the rest of the world to come here, but seeing as you’re coming let’s make a party of it – involve us, just get us involved!” says Darrell – ex gang member from east London.
Ten minutes away from the London Olympics there is a deprived inner city housing estate, there are actually quite a few as there are pockets of east London which rank as the poorest in Britain. I reported and produced a series of documentaries over two years which examined how poor people who lived here were viewing the Games and how their lives were affected by the billions of investment being ploughed into the area. It was called ‘Great Expectations’ and there were 9 episodes in total.
So I went to meet some of the people who lived and worked on the estate. In the beginning, they were excited and full of hope as politicians made promises of regeneration and lifting the area out of poverty. But as time wore on, there were more doubts and fears. Would they be able to afford the facilities being built? Would they be able to afford to carry on living here? Would they be priced out of the area? Was this the best use of taxpayer’s money?