A man who appeared in the controversial Channel 4 TV series Benefits Street has been found dead. Lee Nutley was pronounced dead at the scene in a house on Kingston Road, in Stockton, where the second series of the show was filmed.

Police said there are no suspicious circumstances behind his death. Nutley, a former heroin addict who spoke of being on and off anti-depressants for eight years, was one of six people to take in the second season of the documentary, which followed the lives of residents who claimed welfare benefits on the street in Stockton-on-Tees.

The show attracted a huge amount of criticism while on air following accusations it promoted "poverty porn" and was an unfair representation of what life on benefits is like.

A biography about Nutley on the Channel 4 website before the second series aired said: "Lee relies on his next-door neighbour Julie and the other residents of Kingston Road more than ever. With every appliance in his home broken he can't even cook himself a meal.

"Lee has been claiming Jobseeker's Allowance for the past year, living on £45 a week after being laid off by the construction company he worked for. Now Lee finds himself in a constant battle with both ill health and the benefits system.

"He has been 'sanctioned' for missing an appointment, a new government policy designed to encourage people off of benefits. He denies missing the appointment but his benefits have been cut anyway.

"He says: 'I've worked half my life, I've haven't just sat on my arse since leaving school, I've worked all over the country. I need to earn some dollars, it's no good walking the streets and that, I like work'."

A Cleveland Police spokesperson said: "Police were called to an address on Kingston Road, Stockton, by ambulance service colleagues at around 5.40pm last night.

"A man in his 40s was sadly pronounced deceased at the scene and there are not believed to be any suspicious circumstances. A file will therefore be prepared for the coroner."