ENTERTAINMENT
09/06/2020 13:24 BST

Sitting In Limbo: BBC's Windrush Scandal Drama Praised As 'Powerful' And 'Important' Watch

The one-off drama was inspired by the real-life story of Anthony Bryan and written by his brother Stephen S Thompson.

Sitting In Limbo has been widely praised for telling the important and heartbreaking story of one man’s experience during the Windrush immigration scandal.

The BBC drama aired on Monday night and was written by Stephen S Thompson, whose brother Anthony Bryan was wrongfully detained by the Home Office and threatened with deportation. 

Like thousands of other British Caribbeans, Anthony arrived in the UK as a child with his mother following the post-war call for workers in the 1950s and 1960s.

The Windrush scandal exposed that the government’s “hostile environment” policies had wrongly classed some British Caribbeans who had been in the country for decades as illegal immigrants, who were denied healthcare and benefits, and in some cases, were detained or deported.

In Sitting In Limbo, viewers saw the devastating impact this had on the lives of Anthony – played by Patrick Robinson – and his family, and their fight to keep him in the country. 

BBC/Left Bank Pictures/Des Willie

The drama was met with a huge reaction online, trending at number one on Twitter in the UK on Monday night, with viewers and commentators highlighting how important it was to tell this story. 

Thompson previously told how he hoped viewers would take away “the fact that this is an authentic slice of the Black British experience in the early part of the 21st century”. 

He added: “The Windrush scandal has affected my perception on Black British identity quite fundamentally. For the first time in my life I had to question whether I’m British or not. It doesn’t get more fundamental than that and it’s because of what has happened to my brother. I’m still dealing with that.”

A pre-credits sequence revealed that Anthony has only received an offer of compensation for just one part of his application to the Windrush Compensation Scheme, for unlawful detention. 

In May, the Home Office revealed that there had been 1,275 applications to the scheme, but only 60 had received any compensation. 

Sitting In Limbo is available to watch on BBC iPlayer now.