Louis Theroux regrets how he addressed transgender inmate while filming prison doc

"Now I would have phrased it properly"

Louis Theroux has said he regrets the way in which he spoke to a transgender inmate when filming his 2008 documentary Life Behind Bars.

The documentarian recalled a conversation he had with Deborah, a transgender woman who started transitioning after being incarcerated.

“There’s moments where because of the nature of sensitivities now, and how much more educated we are, the conversation would take place in a different way,” Theroux told UniLad.


“I arrive at the cell and I’m told that this person is called Deborah. And Deborah comes out with long hair and with a kind of traditional feminine affect.

“And I say, ‘Do you consider yourself a woman?’ And she says, ‘Yes, I’m a trans woman now.’”

He continued: “It is completely in the context of the time, kind of unexceptionable exchange, but now I would have phrased it properly.

“‘Do you identify as a woman?’ Or you use a different language.”

Louis Theroux reflected on the moment ahead of his new documentary Life on The Edge, looking back on his own career spanning 25 years.


“For years I’ve wanted to go back and make sense of the programmes I’ve made,” Theroux previously explained in a statement, “find out what happened to some of the contributors, update their stories, and see what all these many hours of making TV might add up to.”

The new project will see the filmmaker reunite with former subjects in new interviews, and will premiere unseen footage across four hour-long episodes.

Louis Theroux: Life on the Edge will begin this Sunday night (September 6) at 9PM on BBC2.