'Bradford City of Dreams' TV review

Bradford City of Dreams Episode 2, BBC2 The BBC’s much-vaunted “positive” look at Bradford drew to a close last night with its chirpy and cheerful insight into the lives of some of the city’s new breed of entrepreneurs.

Make no bones about it, this programme is not and did not set out to be about Bradford’s indigenous white population – if such a thing can be said to exist any more. City of Dreams was always going to be about immigration – just not treated in the boring old “divided city” way that so many programmes have before.

Thus we meet Dinesh Patel, who runs the Patson Local supermarket in Girlington.

The Patson family have an entrepreneurial spirit going back decades, owning video rental shops in the 80s and mobile phone shops in the 90s, finally spying an opportunity in the wave of Eastern European immigration and repositioning their business as purveyors of Polish, Slovakian and Czech fare.

“You can’t afford to be complacent,” says Dinesh, who sometimes goes by the name Dennis for his customers. “You’ve always got to be thinking ahead.”

Thus the big trucks from Eastern Europe roll in, and Dinesh buys in bulk and shifts the comforts of home for his new customers. Marcin, on the other hand, is trying to sell his native Polish fare – specifically, sausage products – over here, to restaurants and butchers across Bradford. His day starts at 6am: “I pick up some pig and start working,” he says in the cab of his van on the pre-dawn streets. “Working, working, working.”

Sahida runs Zara’s Bridal Studio – “where Bradford brides become Bollywood beauties”, the voice-over informs us. Sahida now has seven outlets across the north. “In life,” she says, “you have to take risks.”

City of Dreams achieves exactly what it sets out to do – portray Bradford’s people in a positive light. It shows a diverse range of people who have one thing in common – good old Yorkshire grit and the belief that hard work breeds success. And for that, you’d really have to have a heart of stone to knock it.