mainpromoThe BBC Wales sitcom ‘High Hopes’ last night injected a dose of hard realism into its usual anarchic mix of surreal comedy. The show, made by Boyd Clack and Gareth Gwenlan, is now in its 5th season, and yesterday it tackled the UK’s increasingly harsh Border regime. The episode’s synopsis reads:

The local Indian restaurant is in danger when the Immigration Department, in the guise of Adam Mosley, plot to deport its elderly patriarch. The community, led by Mam, must band together to save him before it is too late.

As it turns out this episode is so like real life it’s uncomfortable. The portrayal of UK Border Agents breaking down doors, turfing families out of their beds, using aggressive and bigoted language, though played for laughs, is remarkably familiar.

Thankfully another familiar thing in the show was the portrayal of the response of friends and neighbours of people facing deportation. As we’ve seen in Cardiff and across the country, when the Border Agency goons come knocking there’s often a concerted effort by local communities to band together to protect their neighbours.

The episode is available via BBC iPlayer until 22nd December – watch it while you can!