Blood, Sweat and Takeaways Review: Gutted

May 19, 2009 by  
Filed under - Home, Reviews


BLOOD, SWEAT AND TAKEAWAYS, Tuesday 19th May, BBC3, 9.00pm Alert Me

Let it never be said that there are no glimmers of hope in BBC3’s ‘yoof-friendly’ output.

In amongst the super fat, scarily thin, freaky eating, make-under shows, there are programmes which attempt to challenge the stereotypical young person’s perspective.

However, the title of the show doesn’t quite sum up what the programme is about – in this first episode the group are given a gut-heaving insight into the stinky world of tuna production – “Errr, but what does that have to do with takeaways?” I hear you cry.

Ummm nothing, actually…that’s kind of my point.

As the six youngsters are given a crash-course in one of the world’s most arduous jobs, with no talking (for fear of tuna contamination), processing 600 tins each per day,  in the hope of earning less than 40p per hour (or getting demoted) – most of the group are overwhelmed by the heat, smell and pace of work – with Lauren passing out after ten minutes.

Manos reveals his cocky credentials early on – as he raps about being an “anarchist” and believing in “equality over poverty” and “abolishing hypocrisy” – he then neatly follows this up by stating that if economic exploitation is necessary to keep him in cheap burgers, so be it. “It’s a dog eat dog world”, he says.

If you eat a lot of chinese, my boy, it certainly is.

Our antagonist goes on to cheat at the tuna loining test and is challenged by the ‘roided up Olu (suitably decked in a “Get Hench Or Die Trying” t-shirt in an introductory weight-lifting montage) who promptly smashes Manos into a glass window; proving the “Brit abroad” pandemic is noticeably more problematic than swine flu.

As the girls return to their boarding house, line manager Ratmi is forced to work late to make up for the day’s drama. As Ratmi explains her dedication to work to attain her goal of buying a house for her whole family, the girls are instantly moved. For Ratmi, seeing her children is a weekly luxury. Despite the girls’ best intentions -using their money to buy chocolate and snacks for Ratmi, I’m sure she would have preferred to put the cash towards her dream house. After the show is over, these girls can disappear back home and forget all about their two days of hell. I’d like to see one of them pledge to send Ratmi a month of UK wages, and really do some good.

Alas, as with most other BBC shows Blood, Sweat and Takeaways is all mouth and no trousers.

Sally McIlhone

Iloo says:

Sorry, I don’t mean to have an ugly attitude; I do see value in any steps you might take, including making comments in this forum. Thank you.

Iloo says:

Making a comment or asking a question about how to donate to Ratmi on this forum is, like, a really weak way to go to the source. If you want to reach her, then click your way to the show’s production company and start sending some emails. Follow up with replies, and you might get the email addresses of the Brit. kids who did the show. Maybe, they’ll email you an address or two, or some advice in getting your pounds/dollars in touch with Ratmi or all the Ratmis who are in places like Indonesia, but never appeared on the show.

Mike Ansell says:

Does anyone know how to donate to Ratmi?

Stephen Keenan says:

I would like to help Ratmi out as she is an incredible woman. Her job is demanding and if £9 can help her see her kids lets find out what she needs to get her dream house and I would gladly start the ball rolling.

Stephen Keenan
County Fermanagh
Northern Ireland