Polish TV Soap on Immigration

Polish immigration experience in England goes on TV. 22 October 2008. Londynczycy (Londoners) is new TV show about the difficulties faced by hundreds of thousands of Poles who come to England to seek a fortune.

The show will be broadcast for the first time tomorrow in Poland and its producers are hoping to sell it to a British television channel.

It is the Poland’s first screened attempt to tackle the exodus of bright young Poles to Britain who often end up working in menial jobs for which they are vastly over-qualified.

Much of the filming was done in London, with plot lines drawn from real-life stories told to writers by a group of Poles living in Finchley.

With a relatively huge budget of 13.5 million zlotys (£3 million), the series features numerous shots of Wembley stadium, the London Eye and the Southbank Centre, as well as less glamorous shots of Victoria bus station and a Polish delicatessen.

Andrzej Szajna, London-based producer of the series, said it was not an advert for Britain, but that it did paint a favourable picture of Britons.

He said: "All the scenarios are based on true stories. The baddies are all Poles. It is Polish people screwing over other Poles, which is so often the case in real life.

The series features leading Polish actors including Robert Wieckiewicz who plays Marcin, a history teacher who follows his wife and son to England, but struggles to get a job and ends up drinking on park benches.

Grazyna Barszczewska plays a woman who arrived in London during the Second World War and makes a living by renting cheap rooms to her countrymen.

The drama also follows the fortunes of Darek, a 30-year-old Polish builder who lives in Ealing being worked to the bone by his demanding boss, and Mariola a blonde 25-year-old who arrives in the capital with two goals: to become a star and marry a rich Englishman.

Half of the dialogue is in English, which will help the chances of production company Twilight Films, based in Ealing Studios, to sell the show here.

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