Sitting In Limbo Brother Turns Windrush Scandal Into A Very Personal TV Drama


Sitting In Limbo Brother Turns Windrush Scandal Into A Very Personal TV Drama

Anthony Bryan had lived and worked in Britain for 50 years when he was suddenly detained and almost deported. His brother has now told his story in a feature-length TV drama that brings home the impact of the Windrush scandal.

Anthony Bryan’s story has been told in newspaper articles and a TV documentary and at a damning House of Commons hearing – but a TV drama has the power to really plunge you into a person’s life.

In BBC One’s Sitting In Limbo, we follow Bryan, a painter-decorator who had never been in trouble with the law, as he is told he can no longer work, before being arrested in his London home, detained for five weeks and booked on a plane to Jamaica, a country he hadn’t visited since 1965, when he was eight.

Patrick Robinson, who plays Bryan, says: “When I read the script, I was in tears easily halfway through and blubbing at the end, knowing that I wanted to be involved in this piece, because it made me feel.”

Bryan was one of many people to be caught up in the Windrush scandal – people who had moved from the Caribbean to the UK, mostly as children, and became collateral damage as the government created a “hostile environment” towards immigration.

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The government has said more than 160 people may have been wrongly detained or deported. More than 1,270 claims have been made to a compensation scheme.

An independent review found there was a “profound institutional failure” which turned thousands of people’s lives upside down, and Home Secretary Priti Patel said “on behalf of this and successive governments I am truly sorry for the actions that span decades”.

“It broke me,” Bryan said of the ordeal in a 2019 BBC documentary, which is being repeated five days after the drama.

His younger brother, novelist Stephen S Thompson, used his first-hand insight to write the script for Sitting In Limbo.

He originally heard about the arrest from Bryan’s partner Janet.

Sitting In Limbo Brother Turns Windrush Scandal Into A Very Personal TV Drama


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