See the Hartlepool workers who star in a new documentary about life in London office complex

Workers from Hartlepool feature in a new fly-on-the-wall documentary about life in a London office complex.

Thursday, 21st November 2019, 9:34 am
Entrepreneur Paul Hopper from Hartlepool outside his Vietnamese street food restaurant in the City of London.

A group of cable pullers and a former city analyst turned restaurant owner from the town appear in The Bankers’ Fortress: Boom, Bust and Bankers, which aired on Channel Four last night.

The hour-long documentary focuses on workers from the top to the bottom at Broadgate, a 32-acre site in the heart of London’s financial district.

Among those shown are Owen Coverdale, one of a group of cable pullers who work in London during the week and travel home to Hartlepool at weekends.

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Also featured is entrepreneur Paul Hopper who worked as an investment analyst in the City, and now runs a Vietnamese street food restaurant in Broadgate.

Producer Laura McCutcheon said: “We wanted to tell the stories of everyone who works at Broadgate from the upper echelons; the CEO and bankers, all the way down to the security guards, cleaners and construction workers.

“The idea being that all these people spend a lot of time rubbing shoulders but no-one really has any idea what’s going on in each other’s lives.”

The programme films Owen and his Hartlepool workmates in their digs in Ilford. They talk about how a lack of work in the town takes them to London.

Laura added: “We thought it’s not something a lot of people know about unless you are from Hartlepool or are in the construction industry.

“Everyone knows about migrants from other countries coming to London in need of work but didn’t think many people know about this internal migration.”

And Paul Hopper tells the programme about how he hit upon his idea for a super-fast service restaurant for busy bankers while travelling in Asia after quitting the rat race.

He said: “I was in Hanoi watching this little old lady serving hundreds and hundreds of bowls of soup.

“I must have counted a couple of hundred people. The light bulb came on then I realised, actually I know that customer, I was one.”

His restaurant aims to serve customers in under 45 seconds.

The programme makers also filmed in Hartlepool.