White Girl

White Girl

This is the inspirational story of 11 year old Leah McNeil and her family’s relocation to an entirely Muslim community in Bradford. A touching and emotional drama which explores the hope as well as the tension that can arise when two very different cultures collide.

Leaving her home in Leeds and a broken, dead-end relationship, Debbie McNeil begins a new life as a benefit mum with her three kids. Despite being illiterate and and struggling with an alcohol problem she is determined to build a better life for the children she loves so dearly… But somehow being the only white family in an entirely Asian community has never been part of the plan.

With their fierce loyalty to each other and a heritage of alcopops and scratchcards the McNeil family are instantly an object of curiosity. On the clotheslines of Bradford never before has a mini-skirt been seen hanging amongst the hijabs…

For Leah this feeling of isolation is heightened at school when she discovers that she and her siblings are the only white kids. But Leah is an extraordinary child and views the Muslim culture and faith with innocent fascination, finding a refuge of calm and safety which is in sharp contrast to the pain and sadness of her home. Befriending Yasmin, her young Asian neighbour, and with the gentle guidance of teachers at school Leah learns that her new world is not as alien as she first feared.

This is a tender exploration of Islam through the eyes of a child; it is about finding acceptance in the least likely of places. Ultimately this is a journey of self discovery, of a child and a family searching for comfort and stability in an otherwise turbulent world.

  • programme details
    Abi Morgan
    Andrew Woodhead
    Hettie Macdonald
    Executive Producer
    Greg Brenman
    Anna Maxwell Martin
    Daniel Mays
    Holly Kenny
    Melanie Hill
    Transmission Date
    10th March 2008
    UK Transmission Channel
    Number of Episodes
    Length of Episode
    90 minutes
  • licensing & distribution
    International TV Distributor
    Channel 4 International