Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

United Kingdom Airs Television Series about Environmental Health Professionals

Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

United Kingdom Airs Television Series about Environmental Health Professionals

Article excerpt

Contrary to the concerns of many environmental health professionals, the BBC documentary, A Life of Grime, has significantly raised both the profile and the prestige of the environmental health profession, according to series producer Julian Mercer.

A Life of Grime was commissioned in 1998. Mr. Mercer originally feared that some of the darker story lines might deter the public from tuning in. On the contrary, ratings have consistently exceeded expectations. The extraordinary success of the first two series has resulted in the BBC commissioning a third, which is being filmed in Salford to be released at the end of the year. A fourth series returning to the London Borough of Haringey also is planned.

Concerns have been raised that the documentary has had a damaging impact on the environmental health profession. Mercer rejects this claim and argues that the success of the program is an indication of enormous public interest in--and respect for--environmental health professionals and the services they provide.

"Audiences have warmed to the characters in the series; they want to know how environmental health professionals go about solving public-health problems, how they improve the lives of people, and how they recharge their batteries for another day in the life of grime," he says. …

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