The Beauty Queen Riots
A five-part series looking at the Lozells and Handsworth riots of 2005 in Birmingham.
In October 2005 news about a rape in a shop filled the pirate radio airwaves. The allegation was that South Asian shopkeepers had assaulted a schoolgirl of Jamaican heritage. The story struck a nerve and soon people were protesting outside the shop - a hair and beauty supply shop named Beauty Queen. Over the subsequent days, the protests would morph into something else entirely, a riot which brought hundreds to the streets and left two people dead.
Beauty Queen Riots is a five-part series looking at the Lozells and Handsworth riots of 2005 in Birmingham. It’s a story that takes us into the conflicting and sometimes uncomfortable world of interethnic conflict in modern Britain. Journalist Amardeep Bassey returns to investigate a story he first covered eighteen years ago. What happened and what did we miss back then which might have explained why people took to the streets with such force? And what lessons can be learned twenty years on? This series looks at how one spark can make a neighbourhood explode.
- Producer: Ben Tulloh
- Executive Editor: Bridget Harney
- Music and Mix: Alex Portfelix