Brits Abroad

1.45pm 20th-24th July 2015 – BBC Radio 4

Writer/commentator Sarfraz Manzoor travels to five European countries to investigate the lives of the Brits who live abroad

Programme 1
Berlin - 20th July 2015, 13.45

There are nearly 300,000 Brits in Germany but for young musicians and artists, Berlin is the 'happening' place, offering creative opportunities, cheap living, good music and a 24/7 party culture. In the first of this new series, Sarfraz Manzoor talks to Brits Abroad in Berlin as he looks at the other side of EU immigration. The city has always lured young Brits and when the wall came down 25 years ago, empty buildings to squat and cheap rents proved an added attraction. But what is the impact on existing communities and the effect of the English speaking bubble within the city?

Sarfraz talks to Brits like Asian comedian Dharmander Singh who is part of a new emerging comedy scene, as well as musician Lucas Hunter and three brothers who've set up a successful café-cum-fashion business-cum-nightclub funded by a variety of jobs including working in a call centre. He finds how expats like the Brits have led to gentrification in some of Berlin's poorest areas, pricing out existing communities - and through German comedian Karsten Kaie's satirical show, he discovers  'How to become a Berliner in One Hour'.

Presenter: Sarfraz Manzoor 
Producer: Sara Parker
A Juniper Production for BBC Radio 4

Programme 2 
France – 21st July 2015, 13.45

There are so many retired Brits in the South West of France that it has been  dubbed ‘little England’. Sarfraz Manzoor meets British builders and  tradespeople who are meeting the needs of such Brits renovating retirement  and second homes. As well as seeing business opportunities, many come to  secure a better life for their children with small village schools and a  safe rural environment. They come for a better life but often don’t speak  French and stick together in English speaking cliques. So how different are  they from the immigrants in Britain who are often criticised for not  integrating? Are they under-cutting French builders or offering different  skills? And why is that the Brits prefer British builders – and even  British hairdressers?

Presenter: Sarfraz Manzoor 
Producer: Sara Parker
A Juniper Production for BBC Radio 4

Programme 3
Ibiza – 22nd July 2015, 13.45

Ibiza has long been associated with clubbing and Brits behaving badly  but it has a very different side.  One of tranquil beauty which is  increasingly attracting the rich and famous as well as Brits who live on the  island and commute to UK.  In the 50s Ibiza was a poor island where locals  made a meagre living through farming and fishing.  Now many have become rich  through tourism and selling their land and farms; and whilst mainland Spain  has high unemployment, Ibiza has seasonal jobs and a service industry  supporting those living there all year round. What will be the  long-term impact of the new influx of Brits searching for peace which include  Cathal Smyth (Chas Smash) from the very London band Madness to a single  mother with her teenage son starting a new life

Presenter: Sarfraz Manzoor 
Producer: Sara Parker
A Juniper Production for BBC Radio 4

Programme 4 
Warsaw – 23rd July 2015, 13.45

Poland’s growing economy is attracting an increasing number of  Brits to Warsaw in search of business opportunities. Sarfraz Manzoor meets  them and compares their experience with the half a million or so Poles who  have settled in the UK. Some like the Cowen brothers have brought British  expertise to the Poland through business clubs – and an expanding chain of  fitness gyms. Two other brothers also teach English which is seen by Poles  as a passport to success and even a job requirement in Warsaw. Other Brits  have left family and friends behind in UK to develop themselves and their  careers. Whatever the reason the Polish offer a much warmer welcome to  Brits than the Poles get in Britain.

Presenter: Sarfraz Manzoor 
Producer: Sara Parker
A Juniper Production for BBC Radio 4

Programme 5 
Bulgaria - 24th July 2015, 13.45

Sarfraz Manzoor meets the British retirees who are moving to rural  villages in Bulgaria and can have a good life on their UK pensions. They  can buy a house for as little as the cost of a ‘second hand car’ as  younger Bulgarians abandon their homes for the city lights or opportunities  in the cities or countries like Britain. Despite the fact that life is hard  for Bulgarians, they welcome the Brits, recognising the benefits they bring  to village life and the local economy. Retired Brits also benefit from the  reciprocal health care and when Sally Rickard had breast cancer all her  treatment was free and there were no waiting lists. By contrast Bulgarians  often have to pay for medication and towards treatment. Such is the plight  of some of their Bulgarian neighbours that a group of Brits have set up a  charity to help them. None want to go back to UK and are worried that if  Britain left the EU they wouldn’t be able to afford to continue living in  Bulgaria

Presenter: Sarfraz Manzoor 
Producer: Sara Parker
A Juniper Production for BBC Radio 4