BBC coverage of the Calais Jungle

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Event.png "2015 European refugee crisis"
BBC coverage of the Calais Jungle(TV programme,  BBC/Propaganda) Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Lily Allen.png
“I apologise on behalf of my country, I’m sorry for what we’ve put you through.”
Date12 October 2016
DescriptionCoverage of the European migrant crisis from the BBC.

The most memorable part of the BBC's coverage of the Calais Jungle was a 10 minute segment aired on 12 October 2016 on the Victoria Derbyshire morning programme. Its intention was to encourage support for humanitarian intervention abroad and Immigration from those countries into Europe.[1]

Lily Allen was labelled a virtue signaller, and the BBC was accused of misrepresenting the Afghanistan war.


After the 2011 Attacks on Libya, the 2015 European refugee crisis occurred. European politicians like Angela Merkel encouraged many migrants to come, but other countries were more sceptical. The media coverage was slanted, focusing on refugees particularly Syrian ones, who made up a small minority of those in Calais, and misportraying the situation on the ground.


English singer Lily Allen visited the Calais Jungle to talk to migrants for a BBC segment. The most notable part was in which Allen told a 13 year old Afghan boy that she was "sorry the UK had ruined his life". He had supposedly fled the Taliban who had persecuted his family and was trying to join his father in Britain. He praised Britain's involvement in the Afghanistan war, removing the Taliban from power.[2] She told him "We’ve bombed your country, put you in the hands of the Taliban and now put you in danger of risking your life to get into our country."[3]

She also cried in it, which made people guess that it was emotive propaganda. She was trolled on Twitter, being branded a hypocrite but was defended by Diane Abbott.[4] She was also accused trying to boost her flailing career[5]

It transpired later on that the boys father was a former warlord and commander in the Islamist militia Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin, a group aligned with Muslim Brotherhood which had long challenged the tribe-oriented Taliban for dominance in Afghanistan. The father, Hazrat Gul Sherin, lived in Britain since 2005.[6] Despite having asylum due to threat of Taliban persecution, he had gone back to the country on holiday.[7] Soon after the programme aired, he joined his father in Birmingham.

In 2018, Allen apologised for her involvement with the production, saying she was “foolish” and “clumsy” but participated with “good intentions in mind".[8]

External links

  • The segment in its entirety: [1]