13/02/2012 Inside Out Yorkshire and Lincolnshire


Jamie Coulson follows the Border Agency as they break up sham marriages. Plus the progress of a man whose estranged father saved his life ten years ago by giving him a kidney.

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This week we investigate why some marriages are For Love, while


We joined the the Borders agency and as they disrupt the weddings


that they expect are simply to get into the UK.


Also tonight, would you give up a kidney for a loved one? We meet the


families donating their own organs because of a shortage of people on


the register. I don't know how to say thank you, really. I just hope


that you know. And, Shakespeare with the northern twang. We'd look


back at 20 years of Northern Broadsides bringing Shakespeare to


life. I think I was scared of Shakespeare as this construct for


For most people getting married would be one of the most important


days of their lives, but for others it is seen as an easy way of


entering the country by the back door. A Sham marriages, where


people tie the knot just to get residency in Britain, has become an


increasing problem. We joined the UK Border Agency in their latest


attempt to tackle the problem. The historic chapel of Hazlewood


Castle in North Yorkshire and childhood sweethearts Amy McHale


and Anthony Blasket are living the romantic dream. Would you take


Anthony as your husband? I will. With all their family and friends


sharing in the Big Day, their wedding is an experience they hope


to treasure for the rest of their lives. Possibly the most exciting


day. Nothing has topped it yet. not everyone sees life in such


romantic terms. Others have a completely different agenda. Sham


marriages are run by big international gangs who look at


ways to hang trade exploiter West Yorkshire, a world away from


Amy and Anthony's special day, preparations for an entirely


different kind of wedding are taking place. I'm at the Border


Agency HQ in Leeds city centre, where members of their specialist


Criminal and Financial Investigations team are preparing


to launch their latest operation on sham marriages. This operation will


take place this afternoon. Inside, more than 30 officers from the


agency are finalising their plan of action. Operation Polo involves an


Indian national and a French bride. Today, two suspect weddings are


scheduled in quick succession and the operation needs to be carefully


choreographed. How can you be sure that these are a sham marriages are


not normal ones? We have done an awful lot of work beforehand,


intelligence work. We have got excellent co-operation with the


registrars. It is the registrars to inform us of their suspicions. We


do all the checks with the police and other intelligence systems


dissatisfied herself the what we will be disrupting today is a sham


marriage. Briefing over, the team are now on their way to Leeds city


centre and the Registry Office where they believe the two sham


weddings are booked in. From here we need to be very discreet. Some


sham marriages are run by syndicates who employ spotters to


alert bogus brides and grooms if they are suspicious the Border


Agency are on their case. With plenty of time to go before the


first wedding takes place, the team enter via a back door and begin to


take up their position. We are all gathered in a room just down the


hall from where the wedding will take place. Now it is a waiting


game. The groom has turned up with another man. We have the bride as


well and three bridesmaids or witnesses. We are just waiting now


for confirmation that they have gone into the hall. A at what stage


do you decide it is time to go in? When they're inside and prepared to


be married. Two o'clock strikes. The first team are given the signal


to move in. I am from the Border Agency. We believe a sham marriages


about to take place and my officers will speak to you shortly. Sham


weddings are big business, with figures of up to �10,000 a time


changing hands. Typically, it's an Eastern European bride and a non-


European groom who will often pay a fixer to try and seek a way of


obtaining a marriage certificate to stay in this country. Just go with


my officer. All the parties are being split up and talk to about


the wedding. The groom has not objected at all. The key to this is


quick questioning, finding out what part everyone has here, and


deciding he is going to be arrested as part of a conspiracy. We will


get them out if you straight away and be ready for the next one.


are lead away, to be taken to separate police cells in West


Yorkshire. In operations over two separate fortnights in Leeds last


year Border Agency staff estimate they prevented 70 sham marriages


from going ahead. This second group has arrived so we are ready to go


on disrupt the second sham marriage of the day. Like the first


operation, there is a feeling of stunned silence as the officers go


about their work. It is a big deal to interrupt the wedding day.


It is not something we take lightly. With today's arrests coming to a


close, officers will continue their investigations into how the couples


came to this point. Charges vary from perjury to conspiring to


breach immigration law, with those convicted facing a maximum jail


sentence of 14 years. How has the operation gone? Both operations


were a success. How easy is it to disrupt these marriages? Certainly


since we have started doing this since March there has been an


increase and they have been brought to our attention on a more regular


basis, probably because the registrars are more aware of the


problem. Less than a mile from the Registry Office, the Parish Church


are also having to be more rigorous about who walks down the aisle.


Because of some of the abuses that did take place, we are now required


to check that the address that they have given us is a genuine address


by going to visit them, going to both houses of the bride and groom,


and we are required to check their identity by a series of documentary


evidence that proves they are who they say they are. Canon Bundock


says as a society we have a duty to ensure people seeking genuine


refuge in this country are given a chance. We have a sympathy for


everybody because you want to help people as Christians, especially


people in need. We are required to help strangers. We don't like


having to say no in any circumstance, but we can help


people to be dishonest and break the law. With 300 people arrested


for offences related to sham marriages in the past year, they


have become an increasing priority for the Government. The operations


that we went on, they were probably 30 officers to disrupt to sham


marriages. It seems to come expensive way to tackle the problem.


Disrupting an individual sham marriage, you obviously stop that


one and might arrest the facilitator, but it does send a


signal around the World's so it acts as a deterrent. A should more


Paras be given to register as to try and stop this process before it


even gets going? It is possible in the long run we might need to have


new legislation. Registrars are obliged to marry people who appear


legally to have the right to be married. That is something we are


looking at. For Amy and Anthony, marriage should mean a commitment


for life. It means different things for different people, but we have


been together a long time so it meant a long -- meant a lot to us.


Marriages are very precious thing that cement society together and


love is the thing that most of all makes the world go round. We have


seen to sham marriages here in Leeds. For many people are it


should be happiest day of their lives, but there has not been much


romance here. Following those nine arrests, the groom at the first


sham wedding has been deported while the bride and witnesses have


been released. The bridegroom and two witnesses at the second wedding


have been charged with conspiracy to breach immigration rules. In


addition, the bride and groom have Coming up: Shakespeare from the


heart of Halifax. We celebrate 20 years of Northern Broadsides bring


in the classics to live with them nor the and tone.


How would you feel that their loved one was dying and the only way to


save their life was to give up one of your own kidneys. It is a


difficult choice and one that people are being increasingly


forced to meet due to a lack of people being on the organ register.


Keeley Donovan has been to meet some remarkable donors and the


loved ones whose lives have been saved by their selfless acts of


giving. Without a donor kidney, this man's future was bleak. He had


tracked down his long-lost brother that he had not seen for 35 years.


He wanted to meet the man before it was too late. It would turn out to


be a life-saving reunion. He phoned the up out of the blue and offered


be one of his kidneys. We were speaking on the telephone and I


said to him, what about if I give you one of mine. The answer was


complete silence. It was a reunion that led father and son here hands


the story was picked up across the world. When he had his transplant


originally there were very few transplants at that time that it


happened. The gate that they give to the person who needs the


transplant, people must see the benefits that that creates an altar


doors to the person who has a successful transplant. 10 years on


and two sisters from Sheffield are preparing for the same operation.


Helen Thacker suffers from a rare genetic disorder that is destroying


In 20th March 10 I was told my kidney function was down to 20%.


They wanted to know if everybody would be able to be a living donor.


Tomorrow she's due to receive a donor kidney from Claire, her older


sister. It was hardly a decision. I knew I


was going to do it a long time ago. It just happens to have come at


this time. The operation to remove Claire's


kidney is the first of the day. She knows it could change her sister's


life but is aware it's not without risks for her. Helen faces an


anxious wait for news of how the surgery has gone.


This is a gift which I cannot describe personally in words,


Clare's altruism, her willingness to offer a kidney to her sister is


going to transform her life. Donor transplants are unique in


requiring perfectly healthy patients to undergo serious surgery


that cannot benefit them. It will be 20 minutes before the


anaesthetic takes affect, and then it will be up to four hours to


remove the Khedive. Meanwhile, Helen has a very anxious wait. --


removed the kidney. It's now Helen's turn to be wheeled


to the operating theatre. And she hears the news she's been waiting


for. I have had the news that she is out


and everything has gone well. I'm relieved about that. I just want to


get to the theatre and get it all done.


As Helen is being prepared for surgery, the organ is here in this


box. In 2001, David had to leave his


that family and friends in Australia and fly to England to


give his life-saving gift. Everyone is praying he comes back


safe and well. Everybody, give Dave a round of applause.


With as much to lose as his son had to gain, the day of the operation


arrived. I was scared. I'm pretty sure he


was. We held hands. He was in his bed and I was in mind. I just said


a few words to him of encouragement, and Mark squeezed my hand, and for


me, that was it, that was the moment. And we had not done it yet.


What would life have been like without the transplant? I think I


would not have had a life. It was going downhill that fast. On the


10th anniversary of the transplant, Mike and -- Mark has a normal life.


He can see his daughter grow up, which is something... I did not


know I had a granddaughter when I did this.


It was a life saving gift. I'm just grateful that my dad was there at


the time. I never dreamed of a day when I


would be called Dad because of a kidney.


Back at Northern General Hospital, Helen's transplant is well under


way. An opening is made in her side, into which the kidney will be


inserted. The organ is taken out of its protective wrapping and


prepared for transplantation. The blood vessels which once supplied


Claire's kidney are prepared to make the organ work inside her


sister. Less than one. Are -- 1.5 hours


after the initial surgery, the doctors are almost finished. The


delicate job of stitching the tiny vessels into place to connect the


kidney is a painstaking process. The renal artery, vein and


connection to the bladder must all be secured before it can function.


Finally, the moment Claire's kidney becomes part of her sister's


anatomy. The change of colour shows it is successfully plumbed into


Helen's abdomen. We can see the colour is now read.


I do not expect the kidney to work straight away. It will take a


little while. With the kidney successfully


connected, it's time to stitch Helen's side up, having closed the


deep wound. I think it took three hours, which


is good. I am pleased. In transplantation, you can tell the


difference. The patient has not been feeling well before the


transplantation. After transplantation, they are a


different person. But Helen is one of the fortunate


few. Most transplant organs are made available because of untimely


deaths. If you ask people in the street in


the UK, about 90% of people would support organ donation and


transportation, but only about a third are signed up and on the


register. If Mark or Helen wonder about how


long their kidneys could last, they could do worse than come here for


inspiration. This is the home of a woman who received her kidney


nearly 36 years ago. Jennifer Oxby was five months


pregnant with her second child when she suffered a double kidney


failure. She lost her baby, but after years of dialysis her brother


David offered her a kidney. She went on to have three daughters


after the operation. It's believed hers is the longest surviving


transplant kidney in the UK. So, all these years later, how do


you feel about what your brother did? Without his beard, I would not


be here and have my three daughters. -- his gift.


It is marvellous what he has done for us.


It's 12 days on from Helen's transplant, and she and her sister


Claire are recovering from their surgery.


Even if it had not worked, I would be happy we had tried. But for it


to work is just the best thing. That is what you do it for. I think


she has been very selfless, and I don't know whether I could have


done it. I am sure I would have done in the circumstances. I like


to think I would have done that. I don't know how to say thank you,


really, I just hope that you know. To add your name to the register,


Back in 1992, if you went to see a Shakespeare play, you expected all


the actors to speak in a very particular way. But 20 years ago


all that changed when Barrie Rutter set out to shake things up with a


new theatre company which spoke the Bard's words with a northern accent.


Lucy Hester has been to meet the man who created Northern Broadsides.


Now is the winter of our discontent, made glorious summer by this son of


York. And all the clouds that lowered upon our House in the deep


bosom of the ocean buried. Now are our brows bound with victorious


wreath, our bruised arms hung up for monuments. Our stern alarums


turned to merry meetings, our desperate marches to delightful


measures. I think I'd been scared of


Shakespeare as a construct for posh people who wear tights and have a


cabbage down their front and speak with a lisp. "My lord, my liege,"


etc. I didn't imagine for a second that Shakespeare was for people


like me, who talked a bit like this. What was great was he said, "Let's


approach it like work. My dad was a trawlerman, your dad was a


foundryman. Let's go to work." And that's what we did.


Barrie Rutter is the artistic director and founder of the


Northern Broadsides theatre company. Richard III was the first play ever


to be produced by Northern Broadsides, here in a boatyard in


Hull. Fellow actors thought I was mad. It


was a sort of revolutionary thing to do in 1992 - classic plays in a


non-theatrical setting with a bunch of Northern actors all genuinely


using their Northern cadences. A newspaper had printed "Mah kingdumm


for an hoss!" Of course I didn't do the line like that. It was: "A


horse, boom, boom, a horse, boom, boom, my kingdom for a horse, boom


boom!" Fast forward 20 years and Northern


Broadsides is about to embark on a five-month tour. We catch up with


Barrie again in Stoke rehearsing Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost.


It's a real box of fireworks, verbal fireworks and you can't hope


to get every witty conceit in it, but it's delightful to play and I


hope it's going to be delightful to Barrie is playing the part of the


schoolmaster, but he's also directing a company of 17 actors.


I play Don Adriano de Amado. To congratulate the princess in her


pavilion in the posteriors of the day which the rude multitude call


the afternoon. He is a fantastical Spaniard and he


is full of himself, but possibly not as intelligent as he things.


I'm Sophia and I play the princess. She's a bit bolshy. She's not one


of the fainting, falling in love, running after men kind of girls.


She's got an old head on her shoulders.


One thing everyone seems to be struggling with is a musical number


featuring a rather unusual instrument.


You've got to practise the bottle. If a day goes by without you


practising the bottle or plucking a string, it's too long, it's too


Everybody who's not playing a main instrument has a bottle that's


filled up to a point, and when you blow in it, it doesn't workWhen you


blow in it, it makes a certain note. When it's fine-tuned, it'll sound


And there's a bit of extra pressure today as the rehearsal will be


watched by a small audience. We always had a day when we invite


our friends to come and observed. It doesn't matter what state we are


in. In fact, the less polished the better. This afternoon, we will see


the beach events before this messenger comes in with the news.


Messenger? For those of you who've never seen Love's Labour's


Lost,here's what's happens. Turn the sound down if you don't want to


know how it ends. Me and Adam, who plays Costard,


have a bit of a set-to. We have a fight that turns into a Morris


dance - as all good fights do. I bet you didn't know that happened


in Shakespeare, did you? They've got me dancing, fighting with


sticks, throwing knives - all sorts of stuff.


So where does the messenger fit into all this merriment?


There's a famous interruption near the end of the play where the


princess gets the news of her dad's death and they all say, "But we're


in love with you" And that's the "lost" of the title.


Northern Broadsides has worked with many actors over the years. But one


in particular launched his career in a very different direction after


playing a famous Shakespearean lead. Comedian Lenny Henry surprised


everyone back in 2009 when he took the role of Othello for Northern


Broadsides. Othello launched my career as a


serious actor. It was fantastic because for the first time people


saw me in a different light. I love being a comedian because it's my


job, but I love movies and drama. I'm always the one crying and


saying "I'm really moved." And I wanted a chance to move people.


Barrie gave me that chance and I'll always be grateful for that.


What was it like to work with Barrie?


Barrie is very hands-on. He'll stop you and move your hands and push


your bum in. Suddenly you're standing taller and he says, "Stop


crying! Stop shuffling!" He directs It's now the day before opening


night in Stoke and everyone's busy getting ready for the dress


rehearsal. This is the last chance to put


things right. If you haven't learnt it by now, it's your own stupid


fault, really. I'm feeling surprisingly calm. For


a couple of weeks I've been pretending to be a glamorous


princess, but now the hair and make-up team have swooped in and


made me into one. There's a general sense of But I


want the actors to be comfortable, know what they're doing. And


through the next 36 hours you get the inspiration of an audience and


the extra sparkle and twinkle that The moment when everything comes


together it's like, "Ahh, it's landed." It's quite delightful when


that happens, whether you're doing Othello or whether you're doing


this play. The fact that Northern Broadsides


allows people from all parts of the country to participate meant that


my resistance was broken down. They're part of the landscape now


and we're to be thankful to them because they've opened the door to


people who don't necessarily speak with a Received Pronunciation


accent. And Love's Labours Lost will soon


be on tour, returning to perform here in Halifax, its spiritual home,


They've come a long way since that first performance of Richard III


back in 1992. It was not all plain sailing. There


were problems and cynicism. But the Arts one out in the end, as they


should. Our strong arms be our conscience,


swords our law! March on, join bravely. Let us to it, Pellmell. If


not to heaven, then hand in hand to hell!" If you want to contact us


about any of tonight's stories, you can do so through Facebook or


Twitter. That is all from Halifax, but make


sure you join us for next week's programme.


Jamie Coulson follows the Border Agency as they burst into two weddings in an attempt to thwart sham marriages by illegal immigrants looking for UK visas. Also, ten years on, Keeley Donovan catches up with a man whose estranged father, living on the other side of the world, saved his life by donating a kidney. And Lucy Hester experiences the joy of Shakespeare with a northern accent.

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