56 Up (2012) Movie Script

They are now 56.
Lynn, Sue and Jackie grew up
in London's East End
and were friends
at school.
In this school,
we do metalwork
and woodwork
and the boys
do cookery.
All you girls want to do
is walk out, get married,
have babies and push
a pram down the street
with a fag hanging out
the side of your mouth.
I think that we all
could have gone
any way that we wanted to
at the time
within our
But we only had
a limited choice anyway.
Truth be told...
we didn't have the choice
or private education
because they couldn't have
afforded it anyway.
Our lives are changing
far too much.
All of us.
To be honest, when you look
at the 7-year-old us,
it's difficult to believe
it is us.
I've got to say, girls,
I wanted to work
in Woolworth's.
I'm glad you said that, 'cause
everyone thinks it was me.
Sometimes we go out and play
nasty with the boys
and sometimes we go out
and argue with the boys.
I don't think I'll get married
too early.
I'd like to have
a full life first.
Marriage means a different thing
to me.
I've still got my ideals
about marriage.
I don't know
what it's all about.
Sue was 24
when she married Billy
and they had two children,
William and Katherine.
I think that
to get married young,
there must be things
that you miss.
You must miss that crucial stage
of being yourself,
because the minute you
get married,
you're no longer a single being,
you're a partnership,
and that should be
the idea behind it.
By the time Sue was 35,
she was divorced.
I've never sat down
and thought,
"What was it?
Was it this, was it that?"
I just knew
it wasn't working.
There have been relationships
when I could have settled,
but they didn't feel
quite right.
So I've always come away
and pulled away
and just waited until
the right one come along.
If they ever do.
Said you'd be comin' back...
At 42, when we filmed Sue
in the karaoke bar,
she brought Glen along
to watch her sing.
Oh, baby
We just met and things are going well,
but now, obviously,
things are going very well.
Well, we've been engaged now
for about...
14 years.
I'm not beating any records,
but it's quite a long time, isn't it, yeah.
Come on!
Jessie, come on!
We're completely different
He's very energetic
and tidy-minded,
and I'm lazy
and completely un...
You're lazy?
I am completely,
absolutely lazy.
Anything you want me
to do?
What about the romance
of getting married?
Yeah, I mean,
I do admit it would be a nice party
and I quite relish the idea
of having everyone round
and having a good old drink
and a celebration.
But I can have
a party anytime.
Who are you on the phone to?
Never you mind.
When I got married,
the primary reason was because
I wanted to have a child.
The two to me went together.
Have you and Glen thought
of having your own child?
Glen would have
made a great dad.
When we first got together,
he sort of asked me
if we could have a family
and all that,
but I felt that I was past it,
to be honest.
I mean, I had two teenagers and didn't want
to do that again.
But he's loved
bringing them up.
Last time we talked about
a bit of tension in that area.
No, I think that was
probably just the age they were
and every family goes
through that.
There was nothing in particular,
I don't think.
It's just the whole part
of growing up, really.
Wasn't easy being
a single mother, was it?
No, it wasn't.
I look back on it now
and I'm just amazed
at how I got through it,
you know.
What was
the toughest part of it?
Probably a combination of not having
enough money to do what you want
and being alone and scared
when things happen
and things go wrong, which they
always do when you've got kids.
You've got no one there
to turn to, you know,
to talk about things
like that.
And you had to work.
Yeah, but I was always
only part-time,
so that I could fit it
around school.
So who was
the biggest help to you
during this whole
There's no doubt at all,
without my mum and dad,
I would never have survived it.
They were brilliant.
They were really good.
They mean the world to the kids
and they used to look
after them.
Always be there if something happened
and I had to go somewhere.
Yeah, nice, ain't they?
And how
are they doing now?
Yeah, they're fine.
Dad's 80 now.
And mum's 78.
I think I'm so lucky that
they're still reasonably active.
There you go.
That's lovely, that one,
isn't it?
I've still got Katherine
with me
because she hasn't found
anywhere else to go.
I mean, I'm sure she would
love to leave me,
but I love it,
the fact that she's here.
We go shopping
and do girlie things.
Do each other's hair
and things like that,
so I would miss her,
but I know
that she needs to get out
and move on.
Only had to have one filling.
That's about the only thing
that I had done.
What about William?
Well, he went
to Australia for a year.
And he never settled back in,
being independent.
I think it was too much.
Plus his room here
was far too small.
And his computer was bigger
than the room, you know.
So, um...
Yes, he's renting.
It's just so hard for him to
be able to afford something,
so in the future, your kids
are going to be with you
for a long, long time.
But a lot of my work is involved
in making bookings
and dealing with
hotels abroad.
At 21, Sue worked
for a travel agent.
At 35, part-time
for a building society.
Everything's changed for me
because I'm now
supporting myself a lot more
than I was, say, a year ago.
At 42, she went back to work
helping to run the courses
in the legal faculty
of Queen Mary College,
University of London.
At 49, she was
the main administrator
for their
post-graduate program.
Do you like
the responsibility?
Yeah, I love
the responsibility.
I think I was born
for the responsibility.
I'm now sort of
the coordinator
of the entire program.
So, sort of "Marge in charge,"
really, of the LLM.
It's like my baby, really.
You know, I've nurtured it from its
small beginnings into what it is now.
Thank you very much.
See you at graduation, yeah?
I really do enjoy it.
I get up of a morning
and I don't ever think, "oh,
I can't face going to work. "
But that happens to a lot of
people, so I'm lucky, really.
Someone's having trouble
downloading this attachment
so I'll take this down
for them.
Sue, you've got
a lot of responsibility.
Is there stress
attached to it?
Sometimes. I mean,
some parts of the year
are busier than others,
and you've got deadlines
to meet.
But then, in a way,
that's good,
because it keeps you
on your toes, you know.
Never get bored.
Where does the life of my
respectable, middle-class mother
overlap with
a working-class slapper
who leaves her illegitimate
child on a church doorstep?
- She was not!
- You don't know!
She was young and frail...
It started not long after
the last program with Tony,
my neighbor, and he belonged
to the group.
And I said,
"Oh, I've been wishing
I could do dramas for years,"
you know,
since I was at school,
and he said, "Come along. "
That's the time you must
keep on trying
What's the use of crying...
To stand on the stage
and sing
and have people, hopefully,
appreciate it, hopefully,
you know, but there's still
that little nervous thing,
the butterflies in your stomach
when you're waiting
for the curtains to open
and, you know,
it's a buzz, really.
Realistically, this is the point
you really do have to consider.
You can't do two modules
that are taught
at the same time, obviously.
When I get on the stage to speak
to 500 students,
some people would find that
very daunting.
But I actually don't
because I think if you know they
can never ask you something
you don't know the answer to,
then I think that helps build
your confidence.
And I'm not exactly shy,
am I?
It always takes one, you see.
Once you get one,
other people tend to ask.
You never went
to university and now
you're right in the middle of
a huge university machine.
I suppose I should count
my blessings
that I'm actually in
a university,
having not done it myself,
Looking at it,
do you wish you had had that opportunity?
Not really.
It's the same as anything.
Why look back and say, "I wish
I did this or had done that"?
I've had a good career.
At least I'll have my own home.
Which is a new thing
for my family.
My mom and dad are obviously
still in Council Place.
I'll never be a rich pensioner;
I'll never be able
to travel the world once
I retire, I'm afraid,
but as long as I can keep
the house warm
and we can feed ourselves,
that will be fine.
I don't like the big boys
hitting us
and the prefects
sending us out for nothing.
When he was 7,
Paul was in care
in a children's home
in London.
Were you happy at
the children's home in England?
We didn't mind that, really,
because we didn't know
what was going on
'cause we were a bit young.
Well, as far as I know,
my mother and father...
Well, they separated
originally, I think.
And they eventually
got divorced.
I went to the boarding school
for one year
and then we emigrated
to Australia.
Paul settled with his father
and stepmother
in a suburb of Melbourne.
Would you like to get
married, Paul?
Tell me why not.
I don't like like, um...
Say you had a wife.
Like, say you had to eat
what they cooked you.
And say I don't like greens.
Well, I don't.
I know I'd prefer
to be alone, really.
I can't say I don't want
to get married,
'cause I think I do, but I want
to be happily married,
and not before
when I'm not sure.
What was it that you
fell in love with?
What is it about him?
His helplessness,
I suppose.
Just the motherly instinct
in me,
to pick him up
and cuddle him.
He's also very good-looking,
I think,
but he doesn't agree with me.
In the summer, he's got this
cute little bum in shorts.
I mean, I can tell
quite a few stories,
but the one that really
irritates me the most is,
when we have an argument,
he says, "That's it, leave me. "
I say, "Fine, all right,
I will one day. "
We had our 20th wedding
just before Christmas.
Which is
the life sentence.
And one reckons that we
should be out of jail by now.
To a certain extent,
we started thinking,
well, do we really know
each other now?
Because you just get in
the humdrum
of going to work,
coming back home.
Running kids here...
Kids here and there.
I don't think you mean to be,
probably stop thinking
about each other a lot.
It's still the last
person you want to see at night
before you go to sleep
and the first person
you want to see
when you wake up.
Do you still like to
cuddle and love and all that?
Yeah, but not in public.
No. Yes.
But is
the chemistry still there?
You don't sound sure.
Well, we like
to keep it private.
I had to wait
for the answer.
I find it hard to express
emotion most of the time.
Although I'm getting on top of
that more now, you know.
Just the simple things
to say to Susan.
"I love you,"
something like that.
I mean, I can tell you
about it,
but I really haven't been able
to say it
to Sue, you know.
I did end up having to get
a bit of help.
It wasn't directly due
to our relationship.
It started at work,
Which brought
my self-esteem down,
which tended to affect
everything else.
I know the lack of confidence
is there.
It still applies to me.
But I don't dwell on it.
It's there, and I have
to put up with it.
I just think you take on
a little bit more of
each other's personality.
'Cause whenever I was decisive
and made a decision and said,
"Let's do this," because Paul,
not that he couldn't make
the decision
but he had all these questions
to ask, and I used to think,
"Oh, stop asking questions,"
and I suppose now I start to question myself,
"maybe he should
ask the questions. "
So it is that bit of living
with the other personality.
I was going to be
a policeman
but I thought how hard it would
be to join in.
I was going to be
a phys-ed teacher,
but one of the teachers
told me that
you had to get up
into university.
As a young man,
Paul spent many years
in the building trade
and then moved on
into factory work.
Okay, the question was,
Gracie Fields' sang...
"In the what
in the Moonlight?"
It's a retirement village
with independent living.
And then it's got
assisted living in the hostel,
which is mainly
where I work.
It's got six letters.
Gracie Fields sang...
They have their own laundry.
It's a complete unit.
They have their own
lockup garage.
So there's a couple
of parcels there...
And that's why Paul's there.
I call him "the man about
the house" at work,
because he changes
light globes.
Problems with your taps,
they go check it out.
Cleans the gutterings,
fixes squeaky doors,
'cause the village is now
25 years old.
So the maintenance is starting
to gather.
How are you doing
up there, Paul?
When the job came up,
I said to Susan
that if there was
any problem at all
with us working together,
then I'd leave.
But so far we've found it
really quite good.
- Hi, Lola, how are you?
- I'm good, Paul.
I've probably always been
a little bit more relaxed
around older people, probably.
Always liked older people as I
was growing up, funny enough.
By the time they were 28,
Paul and Sue had two children,
Katie and Robert.
Katie did well at school
and went on to university,
the first person
in her entire family
ever to do so.
Robert trained
as a car mechanic.
He met his wife Stacey
when they were teenagers
and now they have
five children.
So there's Lucas,
who is 9.
Then there's Ryan,
who is about to turn 7
at the end of this month.
Then there's Haley, who's just
turned 5.
And she'll start school
in the new year.
Then there's Shane,
known as Shane-o,
and he is 3 this week.
He's the joker out of
the lot of them.
If he does something
and you laugh,
he'll laugh with you,
and he loves a joke.
And then there's little Troy
that's 12 weeks old.
I look back at my grandmother
and I've taken some wonderful
lessons from her.
Grandma made us all feel that we
were her special number one,
but I think that's the secret
to being a grandparent is to
make every child feel that they
have someone that they
can relax with,
be themselves with.
Grandparents now have a really
huge part to play
in their parents' lives because
the pressure's on them
to work so much,
and grandparents fill that hole
of mum not being home every day.
I've already made them, so there
they are for the kiddies.
And your Rich likes
fairy bread.
Get some spoilers
and snakes in there.
Happy birthday,
dear Shannon
Happy birthday to you
Not you!
It's a real struggle
for them, financially.
But at the same time, like all
young kids, there's areas
we look at and go,
"We didn't have that. "
I've got 23 threepenny pieces,
and I don't know how many
ha'penny pieces I've got now.
Look, there's a whole
stack of duckies over there.
None of our kids have got
credit cards.
They don't live
a credit life, yet.
They try and pay as they go,
which is what we've
always thought,
and that's kept our head
above water, just.
We always thought if we were
unemployed or out of work,
if you own your house,
you've got a huge buffer.
And Robert's
of the same belief.
In their 20s,
Paul and Sue sold up,
bought an old van, and traveled
across Australia.
We were close together,
because we really got
to know each other and relied
on each other so much.
One of the most important
things we ever did
with our children,
we spent time with them,
and particularly when
you've got holidays.
You know, go camping with them.
Well, we went over
to visit Katie,
because she was working up in the top
end of Yorkshire on a community farm.
We were missing her.
We just didn't want
to tell her that.
Well, they miss you
when you're away.
Do you miss them?
I didn't miss them, like,
God, I wanna be around them,
but I thought about them a lot
and appreciated them a lot,
which is probably good.
So are the three of you
getting on well?
Yeah, most of the time.
As long as we're not
in the car.
Getting lost.
We're atrocious
in the car.
But other than that,
we're good.
It is good.
When we were in London,
we went to Greenwich.
It was built as a maritime
retirement village, almost,
for the sailors from
the Napoleonic Wars,
so that was all
really interesting
because we work in
retirement villages.
These buildings here were built
before Australia was even
So that's pretty amazing.
Katie was in awe of it
in her degree,
she did art history,
so she just loved it.
What does "university" mean?
Are you going to try and point
your grandchildren into education?
You want them to have
a good education
no matter what they do.
than you had, maybe?
But that's my fault,
I mean, I just didn't
work hard enough, I guess.
You hope the school systems
have changed
to encourage kids to go on,
because one thing
you can't take away from people
is an education.
I mean, the one thing
my daughter's taught me
is that it doesn't
matter what you do,
there's room for all of us,
even to the point
if you don't work, you're still
teaching us something.
You're teaching
other people to care.
How are you dealing
with getting old?
I don't think
you really notice it.
You still think
you're the same.
Maybe when you try
to do something
physically too quickly
and pull a muscle,
that just reminds you
that you're getting older.
Are you fearful of
the future of disability
or unable to do things?
You hope that you're
going to be
one of the fortunate ones
and not get ill in any way.
- Hello, Ken.
- Hello, Paul.
Maybe where I work
may have helped that recently
because people just tend to
get on with their lives
no matter what.
And then that's the one
with the palace.
You got a nice shot
of the bin, there.
That one's good.
You're getting better.
Shut up.
Do you measure your life
in terms of success
and failure in any sense?
I don't really.
I suppose the success is that
we're sitting here together
and that we haven't had
tragedy happen to us.
It's just about getting on
with life
and then enjoy
our grandchildren,
our children, and our friends,
you know.
Yeah. Our goals
of life have never...
And then work
just gets in the way.
Well, we pretend we've
got swords
and we make the noise
of the swords fighting,
and then once we get stabbed,
we go, "aaaah!"
Neil grew up in
a Liverpool suburb
and had dreams
of going to Oxford
but didn't get in.
Instead, he went
to Aberdeen University,
but dropped out
after the first term.
At 21, Neil was working
on a building site
and living in a squat.
I would like to be somebody in
a position of importance,
and I've always thought it,
but I don't think I'm
the right sort of person
to carry the responsibility
for whatever it is...
I always thought,
well, I'd love to be possibly
in politics
or something like this.
At 28,
we found Neil homeless,
wandering around
the west coast of Scotland.
If the money runs out,
then for a few days,
there's nowhere to go to
and that's all you can do.
I simply have to find
the warmest shed I can find.
At 35, he was living
in a Council estate
on the most northerly part
of Britain,
the Shetland Islands.
And what would you like
to be doing, say in seven years?
I can think of all kinds
of things I'd like to be doing.
The real question is, what am I
likely to be doing?
What are you likely
to be doing?
That's a horrible question.
I tend to think the most likely
answer is that
I'll be wandering homeless
around the streets of London.
Can I just point out some of
the considerable disadvantages?
First of all...
At 42, Neil had moved
to London
and was a Liberal Democrat
on Hackney Council.
While I was in Shetland,
I felt very strongly
that I should become
involved in politics.
Simply because I felt
I was not achieving anything
in the ways I really wanted to.
By 49, Neil had left London.
Moved to Cumbria
in the northwest of England,
and was a Liberal Democrat
of his local district council.
It was a committee decision,
a majority decision.
His own group on
the Establishment Committee
agreed with the decision.
Councilor Hughes?
The Councilor Cook has
reconsidered his opinion
he ventured at that meeting.
Here we are in the center
of the ward I represent
on the council.
These are
our public toilets.
I can assure you that no more
fierce battle has been fought,
either on the playing fields
or indeed
on the battlefields
of England, to save
what might appear to be
a comparatively
local amenity.
It sounds vaguely comic,
but presumably it's not to you.
But when you live
in a small community,
you become very proud,
rightly, of the facilities here.
And people are willing to play
a part
in helping to keep them going,
but they don't want
to be ignored, they don't want
to be marginalized.
My strength is being able
to keep going, really.
My weakness is not being able
to take any positive course
of action.
No formal education can prepare
anybody for life.
Only life can prepare you
for what comes.
And sooner or later,
you're going
to have to cross
certain barriers.
There are a few things
I would like to say.
And the first thing to say is,
there's been
tremendous good will
toward the series.
But I'm also aware that I'm
not the only participant
who wants to set the record
straight in a number of ways.
For so many millions of people,
I'm here wearing my heart
on my sleeve.
And they think they know
absolutely everything about me.
There were countless people
writing me, saying,
"I know exactly how
you feel. "
And actually,
from those letters,
I would say none of them,
not a single one of them,
knew exactly how
I was feeling.
I've got a great deal of respect
for the Liberal Democrats,
but I think that I won't
vote for them this time...
Here in Cumbria,
I'm really glad to be doing
what I do to be representing
at local political level.
But in one sense I'm doing that
because it's the only way I've
been able to make any money.
I get a derisory amount of money
for being a councilor.
I do enjoy the work, but I've
been completely unsuccessful
in trying to find a paid career
of any kind.
I have always wanted to write
as a career
and indeed have written
huge amounts.
And ironically, despite
appearing in this program
so frequently, nobody
has ever shown
any serious interest in any
of the work I do.
And believe me, it's a great
deal more important to me
than anything I can say
on the television screen.
Even if somebody sent it back
to me and said,
"Well, I read it,
and it's rubbish, actually,"
that would be very demoralizing,
but at least some interaction
would have taken place.
There's hardly a day goes by
when I don't write.
That's a great gift,
isn't it?
It is, but it shouldn't be
a sort of masturbation
about which nobody else
knows anything.
Neil Hughes is
the Liberal Democrat candidate.
I and the Liberal Democrats want
to see a just and fair society.
In 2006, I was invited to go to
Australia to give a talk,
and the chap
who introduced me said,
"Neil is clearly such a
profoundly motivated politician
that we can all expect to see
him as Prime Minister
of the United Kingdom. "
This wasn't a joke, I assure you
he said this
with absolute seriousness.
Now, it was ludicrous,
but this is how wildly skewed
the perceptions have become.
Do you think I would
really have been
invited to Australia if they
were aware that I was someone
who lives on a few quid a week
benefit and has
as much chance of changing the
future of the United Kingdom
I don't know,
someone who's serving
a lifetime jail sentence?
Yes, I'd say
I believed in God.
Are you religious?
Well, I go to church with
my parents on Sundays.
I don't know even now whether I
do believe in God or not.
I've thought an awful lot
about it, actually.
And I still don't know.
And how has he been
treating you?
Well, I said to somebody last
week that I preferred
the Old Testament
to the New Testament.
Because in the Old Testament,
God is very unpredictable.
And that's, I think,
how I've seen Him in my life.
And Doreen as well...
I was first a lay reader
in London.
After completing
a little more training,
I was relicensed by
the bishop of Carlisle.
Well, good morning.
Welcome to our service today.
Just a couple of notices first.
If you haven't already
been told,
the proposed pet show
is, unfortunately, cancelled.
I'm the lay minister.
I'm licensed to carry out
quite a number of functions.
That includes leading services, preaching,
taking part in the readings,
helping to distribute
the communion, and so on.
In fact, I can do more or less
everything a priest can do.
To what extent
am I a good model for others?
I don't know.
On the other hand,
I am angry that so many doors
have been closed,
not just for me,
but for so many people.
I do feel nobody's
listening out there.
There seem to be
few currents
that are encouraging people to
stand up for their rights,
not just their strict
legal rights,
but their rights
to be human.
In the name of the Father and of
the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
I'm not unappreciative of
the honor it's been
to be able to serve
the church,
to be able
to serve my community,
and I want to make that
absolutely clear.
And it's true, I think it was Albert
Camus who said that life is what happens
while you're waiting for
something else.
But it's not the sort of place
where someone
who wants to change society
is best employed.
I would have thought
that was pretty obvious.
In the winter, if you live in the country,
it was just all wet
and there wouldn't be anything
for miles around.
We're a very quiet village.
There's always room for more
activity and for more people
being involved, but I think
we do fairly well
as a diversity of groups.
They're still trying to
persuade me to go in.
Apparently Alan has cried off
at the last minute,
so there's just
the two of them.
I think it was Pascal, the great
philosopher and mathematician,
who said that if a man can live
happily in his own living room
most of his life, then he's achieved
the utmost philosophical breakthrough,
and philosophically speaking,
that's true, but I can't.
You stick me in my living room
for one hour on my own
and I want to be out
doing something.
I want to be out
changing things.
I have always had
a nervous complaint.
I've had it since I was 16.
It was responsible for my
leaving university
and for some of my difficulties
with work.
Do you worry about
your sanity?
Other people sometimes
worry about it.
Like who?
As I said, I sometimes can
be found behaving in...
in an erratic fashion.
Sometimes I get very frustrated.
Very angry.
For no apparent reason.
For a reason which won't be apparent
to other people around me.
I don't see any way out.
I've thought of everything
I possibly could.
It seemed to me for a long time
that getting a reliable job
and a nice place to live
would be the solution.
Well, I haven't succeeded.
I can't see any immediate future
at all.
Although there have been times
in my life
when I've been suicidal,
that wasn't one of them.
So there have been
worse than...
Yes, but it's not for
this program
to expose my private feelings,
and yet many people feel
it has.
Although this time round,
I've been far more candid
than I perhaps ever have
in the past.
My formal contact with
the psychiatric establishment
belongs mostly to my mid
and later teens
and a short period
of my early 20s.
But I soon came
to the opinion
that I could help myself
far better
than those who were
purporting to help me.
But I was aware even then that a
lot of the therapeutic technique
is about leading people
to exactly this conclusion,
if it's done well.
So I'm not going down the line
of criticizing
the medical establishment.
But did you refuse to go
into any sort of treatment?
No, I did have contact.
But then you
discontinued it.
Do you still think
that was wise?
Are you scared
of getting old?
Yeah, I don't want to live
to be that old.
I think if I can reach
something like 70
or 75 in reasonable health,
that will be quite enough
for me.
When I get married,
I don't want to have
any children,
because they're always doing
naughty things
and making
the whole house untidy.
I always told myself that I
would never have children.
Well, because children inherit
something from their parents.
And even if my wife were
the most high-spirited
and ordinary and normal
of people,
the child would still stand
a very fair chance
of being not totally full
of happiness
because of what he or she will
have inherited from me.
Have you ever really had
a romantic emotional
Oh, I've had several,
but the fact that I'm living
alone still
obviously betrays the fact that
none of them has endured.
Is there a reason
for that?
Relationships always involve
two people.
But the string of
does that tell us something?
Well, I'm sure it does.
Any fool can see that.
I'm not saying you're a fool.
What does it tell us?
It tells you what you like.
It tells you that I haven't been
successful in relationships.
It may tell you that I'm
But it more likely tells you
that I don't have
the capacity for making
a relationship work.
But I must stress again
that it does take two.
I have never walked out of any
relationship with anyone.
It sounds like ghostly
colored people.
'Cause you think of
a purple person
with red eyes
and yellow feet.
You can't really think of what
they really look like.
I find it hard to believe
that I was ever like that,
but there's the evidence.
Probably when I was 7, I just
lived in a wonderful world
where everything
was a sensation.
I could be happy and I could be
miserable the next minute.
What makes you happy?
is a difficult word.
How many people are happy?
Perhaps we're most happy
when we're not aware of it
and enjoying a relaxed meal
with some friends.
Just being with friends.
I think the few weekends
in the year
when I'm lucky to be able to
go and stay
with some of my long-term friends,
I'm really happy.
I can think of hardly
anything better
than walking across
the fields
when we just chat about the
things we're both interested in
and our aspirations, and I think
that's the noblest
and in many ways most satisfying
of relationships
you can possibly have.
How it would be if we lived
next-door to each other
I don't know,
it might be very different.
Maybe the joy in some
relationships is that
you see some people only
I don't think you ought to go
to university
if you want to be
an astronaut.
Watch this.
Peter and Neil
were childhood friends
growing up in Liverpool.
Peter went
to a comprehensive school
and went on to get a history
degree from London University.
I would like to think that
democracy is here to stay.
Perhaps we haven't got
full democracy.
In fact, we probably haven't,
It's a pretty good system.
Are you surprised by the
way England's being governed?
I'm not surprised with
the people who govern it
at the moment right now.
I've even stopped being amazed.
Well, I don't want to get
dragged into party politics,
but basically this is the most
uncaring bloody shower
we've ever had.
After "28 Up,"
Peter decided not to continue
in the film.
Why did you pull out?
I pulled out because of...
the responses
and the reactions
that my participation drew
in the weeks afterwards.
Particularly in
the tabloid press.
They decided they were
going to portray me
as the angry young rad
in Thatcher's England.
Well, it's just the principle,
that's all there is to it.
I think I was articulating
at the time
what a lot of people of my age
and my background were thinking.
And I was an easy target.
They're part of it.
They perpetuate it.
But I was absolutely taken back,
completely, genuinely shocked,
at what I saw as
the level of malice
and ill-will
directed towards me.
Until you've experienced it
you can't begin to appreciate
how it feels.
So now you're back.
So why did you come back?
I feel a lot happier
with myself.
Happier in my own skin.
And then secondly,
more specifically,
because I want to promote
the music and the band I'm in.
It was a ghost town
And what are you called?
We're called
the Good Intentions.
But when he hit that bank...
I'd always played
in rock bands.
Some of them
spectacularly bad bands.
What really got me into
this music
was being exposed to
the music of Graham Parsons,
'cause way back in the day,
I was a big Elvis Costello fan.
And I read an interview with him
in which he said, "if you think
I'm a good songwriter,
listen to Graham Parsons. "
It was almost like an epiphany.
It was like I was hearing
the music I'd been waiting to
hear all my life.
Once, Caroline Sheffield said
she loved me.
And I'm going to marry...
marry her when I grow up.
Doesn't appeal to me at all
at the moment,
but I mean, what,
I'm just gone 20.
Haven't even been abroad yet
in my life.
There's no way I'm going to
get settled down.
So, Paul, what do you want
to do?
Do you just want me and Peter to record
what we're doing and you'll work round it?
We were working in an office
when we joined
the office band
and that's how we got
to know each other.
So, Gabby, was it
love at first sight?
Well, I had a sneaking suspicion
that Pete liked me
because he was really rude and
sarcastic to me all the time,
so I thought, "I think he's
probably quite keen. "
You know that's not true.
And you've always played
together since then?
Yeah, more or less.
We probably stopped for a while
when the kids were little.
Our boy is 19,
our daughter's 16.
And how
are they doing?
Great. Doing really good.
They're doing remarkably well.
Our son is in his first year
at university.
And our daughter is coming up
to her GCSEs.
Once you have your own kids,
you have this huge realization
of how your own parents
felt about you
and what they did for you.
What's the greatest gift
a parent can give a child?
It's their unstinting love
and support and their time.
Their time because I think
children value that
more than anything.
you giving them your time.
Well, if I can't be
an astronaut,
I'd like to be a Bridewell
sergeant in the police force,
like my dad is.
So are you under pressure
to get a job?
Yeah, I suspect I am
from my parents.
Keep dropping hints.
Teachers are undervalued
and underrated.
And the system's
beginning to crumble.
You know, people outside of it
don't realize that, but it is.
And it's...
it's very disillusioning.
I left teaching not long after
that program.
And it was actually nothing
to do with the program.
That was a misunderstanding
at the time,
I think, which took hold
in the press.
I'd been planning to leave
teaching anyway.
And I just didn't see
a long-term future in it
for myself.
And I thought I had been honest
with myself about that
and honest to the kids I was
teaching at the time
and move on
to something else.
After teaching,
Peter studied law
and joined
the civil service.
Gabby also works there.
Civil service, despite changes
currently taking place,
is still comparatively
a pretty decent employer.
What area of
the civil service are you in?
Department of Work
and Pensions.
I've changed the key...
an F sharp, sorry about that.
When Pete writes,
he often wants to share that
and at a fairly early stage talk
about what he's writing.
And if it's no good,
I have to tell him.
And that's quite difficult,
isn't it?
I'm sure it is, yeah.
She was running down roads
I didn't know
So when we started work
on the album we're doing now,
Pete said to me, "I've got 120
song ideas to go through,"
and I said, "But of those 120,
we need to get it down
to about 10 so I'm going to have
to tell you
that 110 are no good. "
How do you take
Well, I think I take it
better than I used to.
That's not setting the bar
very high, though.
What have been for you
the best times?
Tommy Smith scoring
the second goal in Rome.
One of the all-times.
Which game was that?
That was the European Cup final,
That's still up there,
by the way.
But along with what?
But, well...
Getting married
for the second time
and having
two children
have been hugely significant
moments in my life.
What do you want
out of life?
The satisfaction of knowing
that I've left
some sort of imprint
rather than just lived out
my life.
You've been gone
for so long, Evangeline
No one's looking for you
I hesitate to say I think I have
made my mark now,
because that sounds
horrendously vain.
But I've created a body of work
of which I feel very proud.
I feel I've achieved something
of lasting value.
And in the last two
or three years,
we have begun to become
reasonably successful
in terms of
critical responses.
We were voted the U.K.'s
Americana Act of the Year
at the British
Country Music Awards.
From time to time,
like anybody else,
I look back and think,
"I wish I hadn't done that,
I wish I'd done that
differently," but I don't think
really life is there
to be regretted.
Life is there to be lived, and I
feel the most important thing
is to feel that by and large
you haven't
compromised too much
and that you've
moved your life on
where you want
your life to go.
I would like to get married
when I grow up.
Well, I don't know
what sort of boy,
but I think one that...
That's not got a lot of money,
but has got some money,
not a lot.
Jackie grew up
in London's East End.
Have you got
any boyfriends?
That's personal, isn't it?
By the time she was 21,
Jackie had married Mick
and moved to the outskirts
of London.
She and Mick had decided
early on
that they didn't want
to have children.
Basically, I would say that
would be far too selfish.
By 35, she was divorced.
We decided ourselves, I mean,
just between the two of us.
We knew it wasn't going
any further.
We both knew, I think,
at the end of the day,
we would be happier
leading our own lives.
And this one on, oh, yeah.
Here we go.
Had a brief but very sweet
the result of which
was Charlie.
I don't really want
Charlie to be an only.
I'd love him to
have brothers and sisters.
But not necessarily
loads of them.
One would do, actually.
Right, Charlie, there's yours.
Please eat it all up.
And, James.
Thanks, Mum.
Good boy.
And last but not least...
You going to eat
that one for me?
After her relationship with
Charlie's father ended,
she met Ian, and they moved
to Scotland and had two sons.
By 42, they had split up.
Go and get 'em!
At 49, despite the split,
the family were living
in the same area
of Scotland.
Seven years later,
they're still there.
So tell me
who lives where.
Um, Lee will be here
until October.
James is here
until he moves in with
his girlfriend,
which I'm hoping
won't be too long.
Charlie's actually
already moved out
because of his dad.
Or their dad,
I should say.
Um, because Ian's been
diagnosed with cancer.
And it's stage four,
so it's quite advanced.
The strange part about this is,
his mother has also got
cancer as well.
Your grandmother?
Their grandmother.
Come on, swans!
She's brilliant.
If I could have chosen
a mother-in-law,
she was the one
I would have chosen.
She's great for me,
she's absolutely brilliant with the children.
And she's just always there when
I need her to be.
She's terminal.
How long has she got?
Don't know.
They don't know how long.
I think they're talking months
rather than years.
And to have mother and son
suffering the same sort of thing
is very difficult.
She doesn't want us
to be sorry
and be sad, she wants us
to go on and live our lives
and it's not stopped her
from trying to live her life.
It seems to have been
one thing after another.
My stepmom died,
my brother-in-law died,
my sister's died.
She wasn't 50.
She'd actually gone downstairs
and made herself a cup of tea
and collapsed on her way back up
to her bedroom
with a major brain hemorrhage.
So, boys, how is your
mother handling all this?
Uh, in her stride.
Nothing seems to be getting
to her.
She's always been
a strong woman.
She will be upset, but she won't
let us see it.
She's always a brave face
in front of us,
and then when she's alone
or with her friends,
that's when she
gets the sadness out.
This is a period when
the four of you feel close?
All: Mm-hmm.
Got to be there for each other
in things like this.
Actually, I would say
in the last six months,
they've all suddenly seemed to
have gotten maturity.
My mum, 'cause she got
five girls,
she has seven years bad luck.
That's why she's got five girls.
Two club sandwiches
on brown bread,
one Hilton burger with cheese.
Yes, chef.
Charlie is a sous chef
in a nearby hotel.
And James works part-time
as a security guard
in a local supermarket.
Check two aisles up
from your current location.
I expect my baby in December.
We're still young, obviously,
so it's a bit
of a shock, but I am excited
about it.
How old are you now?
19, coming on 20.
Are you excited
to be a gran?
Couldn't bear that.
She doesn't like
being called "granny. "
No, I will be "gran,"
not "granny," thank you.
Not nappy full now,
please, madam.
Oh, look at the face.
Well, since you were here
we've had a new addition
to the family.
Her name is Mia.
Mia was born
on the 21st of November.
And unfortunately, on the 18th
of November, her granddad,
Ian, the boys' dad,
was severely injured
in a road traffic accident.
He subsequently died
of those injuries.
Unfortunately, he never regained
so he never even met her.
But he took a photo of her
in his coffin, and I dare say
he's looking down and saying,
"Ha, I got away with it.
I've not got all those nights. "
I'm due to go into the Army
on the 17th of October,
where I'll learn to become
a medic.
I can't stop him now.
He's 18, he can do what
he likes.
He can sign on
without my approval.
But it's a chance he takes,
and he knows that there's
a possibility
that he won't come home.
At the end of the day,
you're a soldier
and going to war is part
of being a soldier
and that's what
you got to do.
I want you to do it, but it's
not going to stop me worrying.
You know that.
You know that.
I took a year off when
I had Charlie
and the state kept me
for that year.
But I went back to work,
and although,
to be honest, by the time
I pay everything out,
I'm not actually that much
better off, but I feel better.
James, you watch,
you're catching up to him.
Go on, Lee.
I was working up here
until very recently.
But then discovered that I've
got rheumatoid arthritis.
So at the moment,
that's put work on hold.
Misty, come on then.
For every one good day I have,
I can have two bad.
Which means I can't get out
of bed very well.
It takes me two, three hours
to get ready.
The poor,
if you don't help them, they'll
sort of die, wouldn't they?
Jackie has been living
on disability benefits
for over 14 years.
I don't cope financially.
Without my mother-in-law
stepping in to fill the gap,
I wouldn't be coping.
It's really hard to explain
to anyone
who's not had to do it.
You get to a point where,
either that bill doesn't get
paid or your children don't eat;
so, obviously,
your children eat.
So, looking
at the world of cutbacks,
how is this affecting you?
I, along with probably millions
of other people in this country,
have had my benefits reviewed.
And they sent me for a medical
and have come back and told me
I'm fit to work.
Which is a bit of a shock.
What job can I do?
I can't use my hands.
I can't sit for long.
I can't stand for long.
I can't walk very far.
I don't know how they expect
anybody to employ me.
Because I couldn't guarantee
being there five days a week.
I mean, I'm lucky inasmuch
as I've got three sons
all working,
whilst James here has got
Mia and a family of his own.
Charlie and Lee don't,
so they help me out.
They have to.
By all means,
cut the benefits.
But you've got people out there
that are healthy
and are milking the system.
And they're not touching them.
They're getting away with it.
If David Cameron can find me
a job, then I'll go to work.
You tell him to come get me
a job and I'll do it.
I know he loves her
and he loves her.
I don't, I love him.
I'd like to be able
to have a happy family.
I mean, I know it's not possible
to be happy all the time,
but as much of the time
as possible.
What about your own life?
What about relationships
for you?
I would like
a relationship.
I've been trying
for the last five years
to build up a social life
of my own.
Because I knew
that this time would come.
I've been using the Internet,
which is interesting,
to say the least.
Is it scary?
I mean, some people
have obviously
had bad experiences with it.
There was a chap
that we filmed when we were
looking at you and Liz...
what happened to him?
He decided
he needed space.
So I gave him that space.
So that was a bit of
a disaster.
But that's the way
of relationships... sometimes
they work, sometimes they don't.
What are you
looking for in a fella?
Pulse would be nice.
If I said that I love you
and you know it's true
You look great,
you seem optimistic.
Yeah, no, I am.
My glass is always half full,
never half empty.
And that's the way it will
continue to be, I hope.
Life's too short
and you just have to try and go
on the best you can.
And I think my life
is going to be good.
What sort of things
do you do?
Ride, swim,
play tennis.
And I might play croquet.
Things like that.
I don't think my father wants me
to be a farmer.
My youngest brother's
the deaf one,
if he can't do anything else,
he can probably run a farm.
I thought that you and I were
both in the film as being
rural, in the sense that
your family
had some big connections
to sort of rural Scotland.
I think also,
when we were 21,
I remember having to go
to some reunion somewhere,
and I remember you just
stuck out as being
the one person that I had more
in common with
and spoke to the most.
We'd been e-mailing
each other
since forty-something...
It was one night,
I think it was quite late,
and I just threw a line at Nick,
I said,
"I'm going to bed now.
Perhaps you and I ought to do
a double act on the sofa. "
I mean...
And he wrote back some
funny message.
No wonder!
I would, wouldn't I?
When I leave the school,
I'm down for Heathfield
and Southover Manor.
And then maybe I may want
to go to an university,
but I don't know
which one yet.
My home life
wasn't very easy then.
I'd been sent off to boarding
school when I was quite young.
My parents' marriage
was breaking up.
And like
a lot of children,
I think you feel that you take
the blame
for why they've broken up.
That's just the way it was,
and I hated the two years
I was away at this first
boarding school, and I think
that was probably
what changed me.
Well, I hated boarding school,
too, with a passion.
I was forced to grow,
I didn't choose it.
I definitely got some messages
that said,
"You're going to be
in trouble
if you don't do well,"
and so on.
But you don't regret it.
And you wouldn't have
the life you have now.
Hey, I'm grateful for it,
but it was very uncomfortable.
I was never one
to push myself forward.
And nobody else
was pushing.
And no one else
pushed me.
I left school when I was 16.
I went to Paris.
I went to secretarial college
and got a job.
What made you decide to
leave school and go to Paris?
Well, I just wasn't interested
in school
and just wanted to get away.
If you had had no choice
but to get out there and support
the chances would
have been greater
that you would have forced
yourself to do it.
Yeah, that's possibly true,
but at the age of...
11, 12, 13, are you really
aware of that?
Now, that's
a very telling question.
In my world, you betcha.
When I grow up,
I'd like to find out
all about the moon and all that.
And I said I was interested
in physics and chemistry,
I'm not going
to do that here.
At 14, Nick was away
at boarding school.
At 21, reading physics
at Oxford.
His road to Oxford started
in a one-room village school.
My father was here.
A long time ago, he must be
somewhere in these pictures.
I remember distinctly
coming here one day
and I'd missed a day
for some reason
and they'd been talking about
something to do with aeroplanes.
And the teacher said,
"We missed you
because you would have known
about aeroplanes. "
I knew nothing about aeroplanes,
but I thought,
"Oh, I know about aeroplanes,
do I?"
So then I went off
and read about aeroplanes.
That could easily have been
the start of,
"I want to go
to the moon. "
I think she planted
that idea in me.
Do you have
a girlfriend?
I don't want to answer that.
I don't want to answer
those kind of questions.
I thought that one would
come up,
because when I was doing
the other one, somebody said,
"What do you think about girls?"
And I said, "I don't answer
questions like that. "
Is that the reason
you're asking it?
The best answer would be to say
that I don't answer questions
like that.
You know, it was what I said
when I was 7,
and it's still
the most sensible,
but what about them?
If you'd been somebody who
had had fixed ideas
of a woman's role in marriage
that meant
dinner on the table
at 6:00 every evening...
Didn't I tell you
about that?
By 28, Nick had married Jackie,
a fellow student from Oxford.
They had a son, Adam.
By 42, they were divorced.
What I've concluded, and
I've talked to other people
about this
who've gone through it...
I'm not sure if they feel it as strongly
as I did, but it was like a death.
Anything could happen.
We could easily drift apart.
There are so many pressures...
If your spouse died,
you could look back and think,
"well, it was wonderful
while it lasted. "
But in a divorce,
you can't look back and say,
"these are all happy memories. "
Cryss is my new wife.
I don't mean to be superficial,
but I think
she's the most beautiful woman
I've ever seen.
Is he sexy?
Oh, man.
Didn't you have fun
with that one?
I always need to learn
patience and...
What do I need to learn?
Shall I get out my list?
Yeah, we need the list.
Go on.
Tell me, do you have
any boyfriends, Suzy?
Tell me about him.
But he lives off in Scotland
and I think he's 13.
Have you got
any boyfriends, Suzy?
What is your attitude
towards marriage for yourself?
I haven't given it
a lot of thought,
because I'm very, very
cynical about it.
When I last saw you
at 21, you were nervous,
you were chain-smoking,
you were uptight,
and now you seem happy?
What's happened to you over
these last seven years?
I suppose Rupert.
I'll give you some credit.
I'm now chain-smoking.
I think you can't just walk
through a marriage
and think once you get married,
it's all going to be
roses and everything forever.
It's very hard to actually say
what it is
that goes on
between a couple.
It's either there
or it's not.
Any marriage
has its ups and downs.
But somehow,
whether it's through luck
or determination, we've
worked through
the difficult times.
One of my favorite
places in Oxford,
Merton Chapel.
Here's this lovely top part
of the cross.
And there was going to be
the main part of the cross.
This is one of the places
in England
that just is tremendously
important to me.
After I left the Dales,
this was where I spent
the next six years,
and then I went to America.
Look, isn't this beautiful?
This is Mob Quad.
I believe that it's
a historical fact
that quite a lot students were
massacred in the middle ages.
When I came here, I thought I'd
died and gone to heaven.
But I was under an awful lot
of stress
all the time I was here
trying to succeed in this place
as well.
So this was my staircase
in my first year
and also in my third year.
There was this fellow
who lived in the room nextdoor to me
and he came in one day
to tell me some story.
And on his way out, he said, "Do you know,
I don't associate intelligence
with your accent. "
It would seem really ridiculous
to any of my friends
who watch this if I said,
"Christ, aren't I
a great success?
Look at me!"
You know, what success?
By the time he was 28,
Nick had emigrated to America.
He was doing research
into nuclear fusion
at the University
of Wisconsin.
If you'd been offered
a similar type of job
over here...
In a heartbeat.
You would have stayed.
In a heartbeat.
I mean, I dreamed of getting
a university job over here.
Maggie Thatcher was squeezing
the universities
like crazy at that very moment
in time.
And it was the worst time to be
working in a university
in generations.
England doesn't seem
to concern itself
with training people like me
and wanting them around.
There doesn't seem to be
a sense of urgency
or a strong will to have people
developing technology
to help keep the country going.
The fusion reaction
gives off energy and produces
the power that would
be turned into electrical...
I was on a mission, you know,
to get extremely cheap, clean,
plentiful electricity.
So nuclear fusion looked like
it was going to do that.
But even then, they were saying
"it's 20 years away. "
I would say absolutely not
in my lifetime.
It was kind of heartbreaking.
So I had to find
something else to do.
So the area that I'm looking at
is this times this.
When I go into a classroom
full of undergraduates,
I try and explain to them
why they might want
to try and do it.
That's my attempt to open
a little door for them.
Nick is a professor
of electrical engineering.
My ambition as a scientist
is to be
more famous for doing science
than for being in this film.
Unfortunately, Michael,
it's not going to happen.
When I get married,
I'd like to have two children.
I'm not very
children-minded at the moment.
I don't know
if I ever will be.
What do you think
about them?
Well, I don't like babies.
At 28, Suzy had two sons...
Thomas and Oliver.
Come catch it.
By the time she was 35, she
also had a daughter, Laura.
Mummy? Laura wants you.
We were lucky.
We had a very good family unit
with them growing up.
And that meant an awful lot
to me,
that I was able to do that
for them,
'cause I never had it
for myself.
And you've done it, you've been
tremendously successful at it.
Well, see, that's my problem.
I don't think of myself
as being...
I just do my best and do
what I can for them.
Did all your children
go to university
or your daughter did?
Yes, and my son did,
the eldest one.
I haven't had a successful
career, but I do feel fulfilled.
I've done quite
a lot of different things
over the last seven years.
You know, we all make mistakes,
in everything, from parenting
to decisions in life.
You make mistakes,
and that's how you become the person you are.
You can talk to me outside,
but I'll just meet you by
the garage, okay?
All right, bye.
Nick's son Adam was 10
when his parents divorced.
When he was first told,
he was terribly, terribly upset.
And then he just
pulled himself together
and didn't want to talk
about it anymore.
Take it easy, Adam.
Main thing is not to crash.
Really? You don't want me
to crash right now?
How does he
deal with it now?
He doesn't talk to me
about it very much at all.
He's a private person.
He's getting more mature, and he
has to be very patient with me.
Can you imagine having me
for a dad?
Do you think it would be
a low-pressure existence?
This is my little school.
I'm nuts, and I would drive
a kid nuts with all my nagging.
Do you think you've pushed
him too far,
which is why he's now
backing away?
Anything I push him to do,
he's going to do the opposite.
So there's a real...
You know.
They'd like to come out for
a holiday in the country
when I'd like to have
a holiday in the town.
It's a fixed reference point,
in a sense,
that sort of earthy
life-and-death cycle you get
living on a farm.
If something dies, it rots
and feeds back into the earth.
He has a density
to him.
One of the first things
he said to me is,
"My feet are in the mud. "
The whole idea of being
deep in the mud
and very attached to a foundation
makes good sense to me.
Nick has two younger brothers,
Andrew and Christopher.
I come up most weekends.
Then Chris gets up usually
in midweek,
so he helps with shopping
and stuff like that.
We don't get over
to England very often,
and so you can count
on one hand
how many times you're gonna see
your family
before somebody dies.
And that's getting more and more
pressing every time we come.
You know, so, yeah,
this is tricky.
How are they doing?
Not well.
They're very old.
Yeah, I don't really want
to elaborate on that.
'Cause it's full
of emotion, I guess.
It's all the stuff that we
repress as hard as we can,
isn't it, but...
Yeah, it really is.
I'm looking at these names,
who they all are...
This, of course,
is Granny Hitchon
and Grandpa Hitchon.
When I was a little guy,
I got up at the crack of dawn
and scooted nextdoor to spend
the morning with her.
So, yes.
She died when I was 5 or 6,
I think.
So I think I was devastated.
And you still
remember her?
I know you should
let these things out.
And I don't.
I store them up.
But that's the character
with me now,
and I can't change it.
Thank you very much.
Nick is truly English.
I mean, my father is English
and I was probably in my late
20s, maybe early 30s,
before I uttered the words
"I love you"
to either one of my parents.
There is a difference,
a distinct difference between
the type of English person
he is
and the type of American people
I've been with.
You may know the difference,
too, Michael,
because you've been
in both settings.
If I said that I love you
What do you think about
making this program?
I think it's just ridiculous.
I don't see any point
in doing it.
Why is it that we are so
annoyed about this program?
I think the problem
I have is that you don't get
a very rounded picture.
You get the odd comment that
comes out on a particular topic.
But because of the time
that this program
obviously has,
otherwise we'd be on for a couple of months
if you were trying to get
everybody's real thoughts
on things.
It's just that the limitations
of such things
as what the audience require
and the time don't allow it
to be a real study.
I think I'd like to say this
and I'd like to say that.
And then they film me doing
all this daft stuff.
And it goes on seven days
out of every seven years,
it's sort of biblical
something or other,
and it's all
this excitement
and so on, and then they present
this tiny snippet of your life
and it's like,
"That's all there is to me?"
When I go home,
I go and see my mother.
Then I have tea
and watch TV.
And then I, um...
do my homework, and then
I go and see my father.
Were they, in the '60s,
trying to say
that the fact that I supposedly
had a more
privileged upbringing,
that I should have been the one
who'd become the high flyer?
You having come... I just think
that's so wrong,
but is that what they were
trying to get at?
The idea of looking
at a bunch of people over time
and how they evolve, that was
a really nifty idea.
It isn't a picture really
of the essence of Nick
or Suzy, it's a picture
of Everyman.
It's how a person, any person,
how they change.
You know, just seeing me
this age and the next age
with more wrinkles
and more... oh!
I think we have all got
a few of those.
- Oops!
- Oops!
Just, it's not an absolute
accurate picture of me,
but it's a picture of somebody,
and that's the value of it.
But then we're putting ourselves
out to be that person.
Well, I didn't want to do it
when I was 14.
I know I was very difficult
because I was very
anti doing it.
I was pressurized into doing it
by my parents.
And I hated it.
And I vowed I'd never do it now.
But here I am.
I mean, who knows in seven years
whether it will be done again.
But this is me saying
hopefully I'll reach
my half-century next year
and I shall bow out.
I don't know what happened.
I was quite adamant
I wasn't going to do it.
And then...
I don't know.
I suppose I have this ridiculous
sense of loyalty to it,
even though I hate it.
And that's just such
a contradiction, isn't it?
And also I think...
It's like reading a bad book.
I'll still read it,
I'll still see it through.
And I guess I'll put this down to being
a bad book, but I'll see it through.
Symon was brought up
in a children's home,
the only child
of a single parent.
They say,
"Where's your father, then?
You know, when your mum's
out at work,
you stay with
your father?"
And I just tell 'em
I ain't got one.
See, I can get on well
with my mother sometimes.
We talk very well
with each other,
but it's sometimes
not quite as mother-and-son,
sort of more like friends.
When he was 35,
Symon's mother died of cancer.
There was so many things
I never actually said to my mum
that... just things that,
you know, you think about after,
but it's too late
because they're
not there anymore.
What sort of things?
Dunno, just "I love you,"
every day.
Uh, when I was born,
an illegitimate child,
that's something that
somebody whispered about.
People, you know, feel strongly
about in those days.
But nowadays, you...
It's not a serious matter.
The serious point is whether
you stay with somebody
or you leave them.
Um, since 21, I've got married,
had a couple of kids, and, um...
By 28,
he had married Yvonne
and they had
five children.
They've got everything, then.
They've even got
what I never had.
- Which is what?
- A father, innit?
So, I mean,
they've had everything.
By 35,
they were divorced.
At one stage, they all
stopped seeing me at all.
But now,
bit older, bit wiser...
And I'm a bit older
and wiser,
and now three of them
see me.
At 42,
he married Vienetta.
We used to go out
when we were younger.
We met in the launderette.
- Once a week.
- Once a week.
Vienetta already had
a daughter, Muriel.
And she and Symon
had a son, Daniel.
Is there
anything of you in him?
Ah, his dashing
good looks, yeah.
That's me.
And his love of sport,
as well.
Well, today's
Daniel's big, big day.
He's now 18,
and he's a young man.
He says.
And he's done
very, very well
with his schooling
and everything.
The beginning of the week,
I received the e-mail
saying that I got into my apprenticeship
with Procter & Gamble,
which I'm very...
I'm excited about.
And I start that in
the next couple of weeks.
All I want to say is
that I have had
the proudest week
of my life.
With my son passing
his exams,
he's passed his test,
and if
the money runs through,
he might get a car.
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday
to you
But here, people are undecided
about you.
They can be your friend one day
and not the next.
Obviously, when children
come into foster care,
family and friends
are involved, as well,
and we have to ensure that
the children are kept safe.
By 49,
Simon and Vienetta had decided
to train as foster parents.
Went to boarding school
when I was young,
and I always felt that
that was regimental.
They didn't allow for
personal care,
for loving
from the adult carers,
so I wanted to do something
like that for myself,
you know, in my own home.
And we always say
to foster carers,
please do not
cut the children's hair
without the permission
of the parents.
So, what's
the toughest thing
about being
a foster parent?
You're taking a chance
when you do it,
'cause you don't... you really
don't know what you're getting.
It's something that
all children want,
is to be loved.
Is to be wanted.
So, if you can
give that to them,
then everything else
is second.
You know why
Uncle Symon looks younger?
'Cause he's so laid-back.
Some of them come
back, ring you up and say,
"Hello, Auntie. Hello, Uncle.
How are you?"
They come and have
Sunday dinner,
come and visit us,
which is good.
I once
tried to count,
and I got up to 65,
and I stopped.
Because if you know that you're going to get
50 people...
She's like a mother to me.
She's always been there.
There was a time where
I felt like
I want to give up
and everything,
and she kept
saying to me, like,
"You have to keep on going. "
Like, "You have to
keep on trying. "
Oh, I get emotional.
When I came for the airport
and that, like,
my family wasn't at the airport
to collect me and that,
so, you know, I just
had to stay somewhere
for, like
a temporary base.
I was there for, about, I think,
five to six years?
I couldn't ask anything better,
to be honest.
Yeah, they were really nice,
you know, yeah, really nice.
Were you looked after
at some point?
My real mother
died at birth,
and my dad remarried,
and my mother
is the person who made me
the person I am today.
Because she was always helping
other young people.
And she used to always
say to us,
"Don't be jealous,
'cause you've got my love,
but they've got
no one to love them. "
You know?
As well as fostering,
Vienetta also works for
an organization
that takes homeless young
people off the streets.
And what happens to
the fostering children
when you're here
full days?
Symon and I balance them
together, we juggle.
Symon sometimes works late,
sometimes I rush home.
He'll do the school run
in the morning,
I'll do the school run
in the afternoon.
But my job is
very flexible.
So, you have an
incredibly busy life, don't you?
Very busy.
Well, we started to feel
that we were getting
sort of tense and tight,
you know,
and that normally means
you need a holiday.
Because we found ourselves
doing too much.
So, at some stage,
you've got to chill out.
Symon took the family
to Portugal.
Oh, look at this.
- That's nice.
- That's quite...
- What do you think?
- That's blingy.
That's really nice.
So, Jess is by
your first marriage,
and Minnie is your child
by your marriage.
And the relationship's strong?
They know each other
from being young.
They did things together,
went out together.
So, they're not, like,
Before I'm old enough
to get a job,
I just walk around and see
what I can find.
Was going to be
a film star, but...
Now, I'm going to be
an electrical engineer...
which is more to reality,
By 21, Symon was working
in the freezer room
of Wall's Sausages
in London.
I know I can't
stay at Wall's forever.
It's just not me.
I couldn't stay there
for that long.
My mind would go dead.
Do you never feel you should be doing
better jobs than these?
Aren't you worth
more than this?
No, I haven't really.
I suppose I just like hard work,
I don't know.
The factory closed down.
Since then he has worked near
Heathrow Airport
handling freight.
If I'd pushed myself
at school,
probably I could have done
a lot better.
Does that give you
pause for thought?
No, that means I was a lazy sod
when I was younger.
If we'd got together
when we should have got together
there's no way he'd have been
a forklift driver.
Not where I'm with,
no way.
Not with all that brains.
I've got common sense
and he's got the brains.
I am the proof that you need to
push yourself and go on.
If you want to get on,
if you want things in life,
you have to push yourself
to keep going.
I should have been
an accountant.
But I went in this office,
I looked at this gray,
grubby office,
and the people there looked
gray suited and miserable,
and I thought,
"This isn't for me. "
I want to stay out
in the fresh air.
I don't want this.
Years later I realized that
not every office is like that.
Some offices are vibrant
and moving.
But it was too late then...
I'd already sort of...
stagnated myself
driving forklifts
and working in a warehouse.
You could have made a lot
of money being an accountant.
Yes, he could have.
She looks after me.
She doesn't just push me,
she looks after me.
You know?
She would never let anything
be wrong for me.
Baked beans.
At one stage we went to marriage guidance
because the pressures of being together
were getting to us,
because we are two
completely different people.
I'm very, um...
laid back.
You know,
she always says,
if I go any further back,
I'll fall over.
Is the chemistry
still there between you?
Yeah, I think so.
I hope so.
- Yeah.
- Is it?
- Yes, darling.
- All right.
Yeah, the chemistry's
still there.
We've been saying that,
what, nearly 20 years?
- Is that all it is?
- Yeah.
Oh, come on, Symon,
hurry up!
Catch up!
Come on,
Jess and Daniel!
Do you think
you could ever retire
and ever just
chill out?
There's people who I've
noticed, they stop work,
and they have no other
they suddenly get old.
Yeah, so you're old,
you've got a few bulges,
a few wrinkles,
but life still goes on.
Enjoy life.
So, who won?
I came here first.
I think that was me.
Did I win and just allow you
to come...
No, no.
Dad, you was, like,
the person that comes round on the tractor.
I think I admire people
with great determination.
You know, like, people who have
just come up from nothing.
They build up their life
from absolutely nothing.
Well, do you see some
parts of life as success
and some parts a failure,
or do you not
think like that?
No, you don't stop life
because you've made a mistake.
If you go
down the wrong road
it doesn't mean that's
the end of the road.
There's no chance, you have to
turn round and come back.
- Start again, isn't it?
- Do a u-turn.
And, to be honest,
what do you think about
our life?
I think it's been
more ups than downs.
And hopefully there's
a lot more ups to come.
Well, my girlfriend
is in Africa,
and I won't...
I don't think I'll have
another chance
of seeing her again.
You got
any girlfriends?
No, no, not yet.
I'm sure it will come.
But not yet.
I mean, I do think a lot of
people think too much about it.
I think I would
very much like to, um,
become involved in a family,
my own family, for a start.
That's a need that I feel
I ought to fulfill
and would like to fulfill,
and would do it well.
Yes, I haven't got married
or whatever,
and I suppose, you know, that
that would have been
something which
I hoped had happened.
Well, you're getting on
a bit, are you getting worried?
Well, not particularly, I mean,
I'm always optimistic.
I mean, who knows who
I might meet tomorrow?
And, in the middle
of a conversation
about something
completely different,
he just asked if, um,
if I'd like to
marry him.
And if I hadn't been
listening carefully,
I would have
missed it completely.
"To love
and to cherish. "
To love and to cherish.
"Till death us do part. "
Till death
us do part.
Don't argue very much.
Not really, I mean,
we haven't really had
a sort of
full-blown row.
Our arguments sort of
tend to be two sentences
and I go off and sulk
for 24 hours.
So, is Bruce
getting any better
at expressing his feelings
to you?
Um... Uh...
Not... not really,
by the sound of that.
We may have children,
I don't know.
I mean, if in
seven years' time or so,
we're living in
a slightly bigger house
with a young family,
that would be nice.
I mean, I don't want to pin all my
hopes on it and nothing happens.
We are quite old.
I can see bringing up,
say, teenage children
when you're in your fifties,
might be a bit strange.
Go on, then, Henry,
get on.
Bruce and Penny have two sons,
Henry and George.
I mean, seven years ago,
you were taking a bit of
a pasting from them.
Well, yes, exactly,
And that's, you know,
if they sat on me now,
I wouldn't be able
to get up again.
And in the second year,
I was in the rooms
at the top of
that staircase there.
Bruce and Penny took the boys
away for a weekend to Oxford,
to see Bruce's old college
and to watch their father
play cricket.
It's just nice drifting along the river
without making
too much noise, you know?
If you can see
the old wildlife,
and so, when you come up
on it unawares,
kind of thing.
Muddy water
and a spider, ta.
One of you link up one,
and one of you...
I think it's more of
a father-son thing
to go along and watch
and support,
and we always have lunch, then tea,
then a barbecue afterwards.
We're not very good
at this, are we?
Ever since Cornwall, there was
to be no more camping.
My heart's desire
is to see my daddy,
who is 6,000 miles away.
What happened
between you and your dad?
I suppose the separation
and the distance...
when I was 14,
I went out to Zimbabwe,
and then later,
when he retired to England,
we felt that it was a lot of
distance between us
and ground to make up.
I think it's going to take
quite a while.
The boys are
still young enough
for us all three
to fit into a small tent.
I suppose it's a bit of "dads and lads,"
and getting to know each other
and forming a relationship
and so on.
I think you're
the wrong way.
Oh, lord, that's not
going to go in there.
Okay, boys.
What's that, then?
They always come first.
I mean, we've got
our work and so on.
So, we'll do a variety
of things with them.
We'll do it later, dear.
I'm off
to play cricket.
Is the forecast
to rain tonight?
We're rising on our toes,
we go sideways.
When he was seven,
Bruce was at boarding school.
He went on to Oxford,
where he got
a maths degree.
You can show that
this is irreducible.
Then you do a transformation
on this polynomial,
After Oxford, he worked
in the city for a year,
then decided to teach.
He taught
an estate school.
Yes, sir!
General education is
better for society, I think.
There is
a class society,
and I think private schools
may help its continuance.
At 35,
Bruce took a sabbatical
and taught in
The straight line,
yes, keep going.
At 42, he was
back in the East End
as head of the maths department
at a girls
comprehensive school.
At 49,
we found him teaching
at St Albans,
an independent school.
In the early days,
the school was in the abbey,
going back
to 948.
Yes, so, the head
quite likes to say
we're in
our third millennium, you know.
So, the school
is over 1,000 years old?
Yes, in one form
or another.
Now, you have to make "X"
the subject of this equation.
You've got to get
"X" on its own.
So, what's the first
thing we do?
Has it been
a kind of compromise
of political principles
for you, this?
Well, I would say,
you know,
have a million angels
in front of every teacher
who's prepared to slog away
at an inner-city comprehensive.
Make way, make way,
this is somebody who is prepared to
turn up each day
and do that job.
Do your old friends give you a hard time
about what you've done?
They certainly do,
they absolutely do.
They say, oh, you know,
"Have we joined the Tory party,
the golf club, the Masons?"
You know.
I'm quite happy just being
an ordinary maths teacher
for the not many years
I've got left, actually.
Um... so, I'm quite happy.
I'm not ambitious now.
So, do you enjoy
watching cricket?
Mm, I can watch it
for short periods.
But it's a,
sort of a sport tax
on Bruce.
He plays cricket,
I go and shop.
So, is he playing as
much, Bruce, as he used to?
No, and when he does, he usually
manages to pull a muscle.
But they lost by about 70 runs,
and our team lost by about 70 runs.
At the end of the game,
somebody is nominated
to wear that ridiculous garment.
I think bringing you lot
along for the weekend
had a lot to do with
me wearing the...
wearing the jacket
this time.
So, the jacket is not
an enviable thing to wear?
No, no.
Well, going to Africa,
and try and teach people
who are not civilized
to be more or less good.
It all springs from, uh...
loving God and Christ,
I suppose.
Some people
often will say that
the bully is upset about
something in their own lives,
and so, when they're bullying,
I suppose I'm taking them
to Quakers
so that they learn
the Christian stories
and a lot of what's embedded
in our culture.
They're good moral tales
that we should, when they reflect upon,
you know, they may give them
a sense of right and wrong
and so on.
We like the ethos of
tolerance and understanding.
The boys go to
a local Quaker school
where Penny teaches.
Everybody in the school,
from the youngest 2-1/2 year old
in the nursery to the headmaster,
is known by
their first names,
and there is no uniform
and very few
formal rules.
Oh, pull up,
because he'll take...
Are you ambitious
for them?
Yeah, I mean, some people
work ferociously hard,
and while that's rewarding
and they enjoy that
and they enjoy the success
and so on,
you just hope they get a nice
balance to their lives.
What are your fears
for the future
with the boys?
That they don't
fulfill their potential,
that they're led astray
in some way...
drugs or something.
They end up unhappy,
with regrets about
not having done
as well as they could.
What a night
we're going to have here!
Right, if I wake up to find
anybody clutching my genitals!
They're very good company,
but they will grow apart.
You know,
eventually leave home,
and we won't see them
so often.
And in a way,
I'll miss them dreadfully,
but that's the natural
order of things.
Just think how comfortable Mummy
is in her bed-and-breakfast.
But just remember,
when we're in a tent,
the Balden family
are a non-farting family.
- Thank you, father.
- Dad, shut up.
I'm going to work
in Woolworth's.
Lynn grew up in
the East End of London.
Why am I using a wooden spoon, please,
to stir this saucepan?
Well, in a grammar school,
I don't think you'll find
many girls that really want to
do all that hard woodwork.
At 21, she began a career as
a children's librarian,
starting off
in a mobile library
in East London.
I've not stamped yours.
"Sleeping Beauty. "
Teaching children
the beauty of books
is just fantastic.
To work with children
at that age,
you've got to love 'em,
and I love children.
Because of cuts
in the education budget,
the mobile library
was shut down.
At 42, Lynn was working
at Bethnal Green.
You can draw,
better than I can.
Good morning!
When we went back at 49,
she was still there.
Good morning!
For the last
30 years, bang my head
against a brick wall
to maintain children's services,
but this time round,
no one's listening.
They say that the work that
I do, that anybody can do it.
There would be no specialist
running it.
I may not have a job.
At that library review,
I got a job.
Two years later,
another review.
And cutting departments again.
That time
I didn't get the job.
But has it
been worth it all?
Yeah, very much.
All these things
that I've said
over the years, flying through
my mind at the moment,
but yes,
it has been worth it.
And you better cut it, because
otherwise I'm going to cry.
Fortunately, I was over 50
and I could draw my pension.
We decided, we can downsize,
we'll move out,
smaller property,
it's only the two of us
at home now.
And we'd be great.
Then the crash came.
And then Riley was born.
And what I thought
was stress
was nothing.
Riley is one of Lynn's
three grandsons.
How much did he weigh
when he was born?
Two pounds
and a quarter ounce.
As soon as he was born,
they took him straight through
to the neonatal
intensive care unit.
Three! How many you got?
He was put on
oxygen, monitors on,
tubes coming
out of everywhere.
And he's absolutely fine,
thanks to the NICU unit
at William Harvey Hospital
in Ashford.
Mummy's going to work,
say "Bye-bye, Mummy. "
Riley has an older brother,
For the last
18 months or so,
I've actually
had Riley full-time.
If I could, I would have, um,
two girls and two boys.
I've been married a year
and a couple of months.
You do think,
"Christ, what have I done?"
When she was 19,
she married Russ.
They had two daughters,
Sarah and Emma.
I'm very much
geared to the family unit.
I mean, us all,
we do things
together all the time.
At 42,
the girls were both doing
very well at school.
Neither of the girls
went to university?
No, no.
Was that
disappointing to you?
No, their choice.
We discussed it.
It's what they wanted to do.
They felt that the academic side
wasn't for them.
So, was the arrival of
Connor a shock to you?
No! Well, yeah, but...
She was 19.
She's old enough.
Oh, look, he's coming
after you, look,
he's coming over here to see.
And how is
old Connor doing?
He's doing great.
He's off to his new
secondary school.
Keeps telling me he's nearly as tall as me,
but I keep saying,
"No, you've got
a while to go yet. "
How does
he deal with Riley?
He loves Riley to bits.
But Riley is just
a two-year-old.
Sarah and Adam have got married
since we last saw you.
They have got
a little boy
called Harry.
He's getting on fine.
Sarah, having just
had Harry,
was put in the same boat
as I was.
The day before she was due
to go back to work
after maternity leave,
made redundant.
Yeah, so, there used to
be a lot more subspecies,
but for various reasons...
And she's now trained as
a child minder.
She's doing
absolutely brilliantly.
And is Emma
still in the same job?
- Yeah.
- Is that going okay?
I mean,
with the recession,
work dropped off
an awful lot,
but seems to be
picking up again now.
So, Russ took
early retirement, too,
so, what's happened
with him?
Because of the crash,
he picked up a job,
and instead of
the two part-time jobs,
he got a full-time job.
So, we are looking at
a much longer working life
than perhaps we thought.
Yeah, for everyone.
The goalposts keep climbing.
People that thought
when they started work
that they were going to
retire at 60,
draw their state pension
as well,
it's totally changed.
They come round
and mop the floor,
and then a couple minutes later
another waitress...
I'm not politically minded,
but I still believe
that they haven't got a clue
what they're doing.
Some people are never, ever
going to recover from it.
It's unfortunately
going to be quite
devastating for them.
We've no left-wing
Labour Party anymore.
Tony Blair saw to that.
They all veer to the right.
Didn't know I was
getting into this!
Are you all right?
Yeah, I think so.
This is unbelievable!
No, look out.
Russ is still
such a great support for me.
And he is still
my soulmate.
You take care, I love you!
After all this time.
We've flourished
I had an all-white wedding.
All white.
We were both in white,
and my bridesmaid was in white.
37 years.
Gone extremely quickly.
We've just grown together.
We learnt to be friends
before we had children.
We established
a solid foundation
from which to work from.
Think of how fit
it's going to make you.
So, for you, that's...
I'm happy with the way
my life has gone.
I'm still a governor.
I'm still Chair of Governors
at St Xavier's.
Just been appointed for another
four-year term of office
from the London Diocesan
Board of Schools.
Must be doing something right.
I read the Financial Times.
I read the Observer
and the Times.
What do you like about it, John?
Well, I like... I usually look
at the headlines
and then read about them...
what... about it.
When I leave this school,
I'm going to Colet Court,
and then I will be going
to Westminster Boarding School
if I pass the exam.
And then we think I'm going to
Cambridge in Trinity Hall.
John went to Westminster,
then on to read law
at Christ Church, Oxford.
I'm thinking of following
a legal career,
with a view to ending
in Parliament.
Might be at the bar.
Doing what?
Perhaps chancery practice.
I now have a career.
I'm a barrister.
Other than that, life chugs
along in varying degrees.
Well, in a sense, not very much has changed
in my career over the last 14 years.
I'm still a barrister, and I
still wear a curly white wig.
The only visible difference,
I suppose,
is I wear a silk gown,
because I'm now a QC.
So, week after next is ideal,
except for Monday.
I do largely litigation.
I enjoy the work, which is
intellectually stimulating
and always interesting.
I'm blessed with
an exceptionally nice
group of people
in these chambers
who I really get on with.
I've been ushers at many
Members of Chambers' weddings.
I've been godfather to at least
three Chambers' children.
It's a really nice, close set
of friends here, and that...
I think I'm very blessed
in my work environment.
I'm going to Charterhouse,
and after that,
to Trinity Hall, Cambridge.
Andrew went
to Charterhouse and Cambridge,
where he read law.
I'd like to be
a solicitor
and also fairly successful.
At 28, Andrew was
a solicitor.
By 35, he'd become
a partner.
Later, he joined
the legal department
of a large British
industrial company.
A few years after,
they were taken over
by a German firm.
There was a bit
of uncertainty when you get
two large organizations
coming together.
You know, who was going to have
a job at the end of it?
Who was going to be made
I was fortunate enough
that I still had a job at the end of it,
and it's worked very well.
When boys go round with girls,
they don't pay attention
to what they're doing.
For instance, my grandmother had
an accident because a boyfriend
was kissing his girlfriend
in the street.
By 35,
John had married Claire,
the daughter of a former
ambassador to Bulgaria.
It is coincidental
that we met, but it's obvious
that the Balkan connection was
a strong mutual interest.
who was the first Prime Minister
of Bulgaria
when the country was liberated
from the Turks in 1879.
Well, I think everyone
needs to have a feeling
that they belong somewhere...
there's a plot of land
or somewhere
where they hail from
and their roots are.
People who go on about the government
butchering the National Health Service,
I think, should come over
to Bulgaria to see what
being kept short of necessary
supplies and funds
really does mean.
We're at the Centre
for the Rehabilitation
of Disabled Children
at Dalbok Dol
near Troyan
in the Balkan Mountains,
which our charity in London
has helped quite a bit.
We feel we can help in all sorts
of smaller ways, particularly
with art classes or pottery
classes or dancing classes.
You can revolutionize the life
of a child
without actually having to raise
huge sums of money.
What do you think about
girlfriends at your age?
I've got one, but I don't think
much of her.
They're no longer just bores
who won't play this,
or something.
They're over half
of the community,
and they're there.
You can begin to talk to them.
I don't think I financially
come from the same background.
Um, Andrew didn't go for
a haughty deb.
He went for a good
Yorkshire lass.
Does money concern you
a lot?
No, I think as long as one has
enough to be comfortable,
that's really
all one should aim for.
the most difficult thing
about keeping the marriage
I don't think it is particularly
difficult, actually.
We seem to manage all right.
Would you say?
I think so.
We talk, don't we?
So, how is married life?
Well, I still love him,
if that's what you're asking.
And likewise.
I think the most important thing
to us,
apart from our marriage,
is our children.
So we look at them, and we see
that they seem to be happy
and getting on well.
We're pleased to be sitting here
after however many years
it is...
28 years...
still happily together.
Andrew and Jane have two sons,
Alexander and Timothy.
And you can never be sure
of leaving your children
any worldly goods,
but at least
you can be sure that,
once you give them
a good education.
That's something that no one
can take away.
Alexander is now working
in Canary Wharf
in the city of London.
And Timothy has just left
St Andrews,
graduated this year,
and he's going on
to do a postgraduate degree
at Durham University.
I'd quite like
to go into politics,
but, I mean,
that's easier said than done.
Who knows?
I haven't written myself off
as a potential politician,
even though I'm already 49.
I always wanted
to go into politics,
but whether I'll ever
do anything about it...
I'm afraid I'm too old now.
That's the truth, I mean...
But it's depressing.
My two oldest friends are both
ministers at the moment.
One I've known since 4,
one I've known since 5,
and obviously one can't help
feeling one's a bit of a failure
by comparison.
I think it's more fair
if they're elected.
Yes, so do I, but I think
it's better to be appointed.
Yes, because it doesn't take
such a lot of time.
- It doesn't...
- Appointed?
I'm pleased
that we have a coalition,
because I've always, at heart,
believed in consensus politics.
One thing that really does worry me
is their attempts to solve
economic stagnation
at the moment in this country
by building all over
the green belt and other areas
of countryside.
I've no doubt that, whether it's
five years or ten years,
this recession is going to be
over one day,
but if the countryside is
ruined, it's ruined forever
and for our children and our
children's children and so on.
Andrew and Jane
live in London,
but they have a second home
in the country.
Well, we bought it about
just when we got married.
And it was a 200-year-old barn
that we bought in an auction,
completely derelict,
nothing in it at all
except for manure.
We've been here now
28 years.
Time has gone by, but the thing has
obviously got more mature over the years.
So, is it done?
It's never done.
There is always
the problem of weeds.
As a couple, are you
concerned by the destruction
of the environment...
is that something that...
I'm very interested about it,
and I think what worries me is
that we have the opportunity now
to save animals,
flora and fauna
that will be lost, and we don't know
what benefit they will be to us.
I think a lot of people say, "Well,
global warming is bad," but are they actually
prepared to do anything
about it?
The company I work for
is developing hydrogen-powered
fuel cells
for cars in the future.
It's still some way off,
but I think that's the way
that cars will go.
There must be times,
you know, when you look
and think,
"Well, I did well with this,"
or, "I should have done that
differently. "
Well, I think, when there are
sort of events in your life,
like when, for example,
Timothy graduated recently,
and we thought,
"Well, that's quite nice. "
You know, here he is, he's
at the next stage of his life.
You know, he's done quite well
to get there,
and he seems well balanced.
And that's... it's those sorts
of things that make you reflect.
When Alexander got his
first job was very exciting.
Yes, absolutely.
He got the phone call,
and he screamed
down the staircase,
"I got the job!"
And a tear came to my eye.
It still does now.
It was such a lovely feeling,
I've been very fortunate
that Andrew has provided
very well for us
without me having to go to work,
and I've been able
to nurture the boys.
But I'm not sure whether,
looking at the next generation,
you feel a lot of women
have to work.
And I admire them for doing it.
But in some ways, I think maybe
it would be good to work...
not necessarily full-time,
maybe take time off
until the children
are at school.
But then you get to my stage,
and you think,
"Well, it would be nice
to have something to do. "
I mean, are you grateful
she made that decision?
Yes, I am, but I can see that
now maybe she'd enjoy more
having some sort of career
at this stage.
Is that doable?
No, I don't think so.
I would say it probably is...
it's a matter
of self-confidence.
But obviously in the mid-50s,
it's a bit more difficult.
I'm not in the mid-50s yet,
Does she lack
self-confidence, do you think?
Um, to a certain extent.
I think she doesn't realize
how capable she is, really.
I think it's not a bad idea
to pay for schools,
because if we didn't, schools
would be so nasty and crowded.
I think that the premise
on which the program
was based...
namely, that England,
that was still in the grips
of a Dickensian class system...
was outmoded even in 1964.
It didn't reflect realities
in '64.
The hounds are over there,
I think.
Insofar as the program
touches me,
I feel it's a complete fraud.
It all appeared
part of some indestructible
What viewers were never told is
that my father died
when I was aged 9,
leaving my mother
in very uncomfortable
financial circumstances.
She had to go out to work
in order to see us
through school,
and that, you know,
I got a scholarship to Oxford.
Then the rich children
always make fun
of poor children, I think.
- Yes.
Yes, they say,
"Oh, look at that lovely... "
I think the premise of the original film was
that there was a very strong
class system at that time,
and I think that's
absolutely true.
There is still a class system,
but I think it's based more
on financial success.
there's an underclass,
where people can't work.
It's true, but there are
extremes at either end.
And there are very successful
people, extremely rich,
and there are people who have
very poor prospects.
It's true,
but it's been ever thus.
I don't think... I don't think
that's going to change
in the future, and it's always
been like that.
Last time I appeared
on the program,
a very generous film director
based in San Francisco
saw the program
and sent us a large check
running to many thousands
of pounds,
which we were able to do
a great deal of good with
in Bulgaria at the time,
so that was
a wonderful byproduct
of the program,
and perhaps it's slightly
softened my objections.
It's not something
I look forward to
every seven years,
appearing in this program.
I'm always surprised that,
you know, you appear
for five or ten minutes
and anyone remembers your face.
But apparently they do.
I'll get you back
Well, I suppose the only thing for me
is that I've seen what my
husband looked like at 7
and 14 and 21,
before I knew him,
and then when I had
my own children,
I could see which of them looked like
their father at those stages of life,
and a lot of women
just don't have that.
I think what's undesirable is,
people who have had options
don't make advantage of...
take best advantage of them,
but I can't see
there's anything wrong,
as long as people don't abuse
the opportunities and privileges
they've had.
It's a very nonchalant little
theme, you know,
butter wouldn't melt
in its mouth.
So take it very quietly,
and it'll just present itself.
If one descants, one can be a train driver
or a major opera singer,
a concert pianist...
it would have been nice.
I mean,
I was never good enough.
I'm enjoying my professional
career very much indeed,
but, you know, doing something
for other people
gives you a satisfaction
that even
winning a fantastic case on some
ludicrous arcane point of law
won't quite deliver.
I think the thing where I would
regard myself most successful
is that I'm blessed
with wonderful friends.
I'm happily married.
I think I'm an incredibly lucky
person in all sorts of respects.
Is it important to fight?
Tony was brought up
in the East End of London.
When I grow up, yeah, I wanna be
a jockey when I grow up.
At 14, he was already
an apprentice
at Tommy Gosling's racing
stable at Epsom.
At 15, he'd left school.
This is a photo-finish
when I rode at Newbury.
I'm the one
with the white cap.
I was limping off in third
and I had
a photo-finish.
Do you regret
not making it?
I would have given
my right arm
at the time
to become a jockey.
But now...
I wasn't good enough.
My greatest fulfillment
in life...
when I rode at Kempton in
the same race as Lester Piggott.
Proudest day of my life.
And you let it go?
I let it go.
What will you do if you
don't make it as a jockey?
I don't know.
If I knew I couldn't be one,
I'd get out of it.
I wouldn't bother.
What do you think
you would do then?
London taxis.
At 21,
he was on the Knowledge,
and by 28,
he owned his own cab.
Surprising who you pick up.
I once met Kojak,
I picked him up.
I'll give you a story
which happened.
The doorman called me up,
and it was Buzz Aldrin,
the spaceman, and we drove out
the forecourt of the hotel
and a cab pulled up,
and taxi driver said,
"Can you get his autograph?"
so I heard him
and, "Mr. Aldrin," I said, "can
I have your autograph, please?"
And the cabbie said, "No, I don't want
his autograph, I want your autograph. "
And I couldn't believe it,
I said, "You're joking,
ain't ya?"
And to this day I thought
to myself, you know,
I'm more famous than
Buzz Aldrin.
He was the second man
to land on the moon.
Have you got
a girlfriend?
Would you like
to have a girlfriend?
You understand the four F's?
Find them, feel them...
then forget them.
For the other f, I'll let you
use your own discriminish.
But I mean, this one,
I try to do the three f's,
but I couldn't forget her.
I went to a discotheque.
He was in the pub earlier on.
And afterwards we went
to a discotheque
and Tony was
standing there.
And from there I just...
that was it.
By 42, Tony and Debbie
had left the East End
and moved
to Widford in Essex.
At 49, they'd taken out
a second mortgage
on their London house
and put the money
into a holiday home
in Spain.
From here, it's about
200 yards long.
It's going to be all
commercial units here.
My intentions will be to turn
one of these units
into a sports bar.
We're putting all tellies around
in a sports sort of way.
Football shirts and all that
Aldi come along and built
a brand-new supermarket there.
So all my aspirations and dreams
went out the window.
But, Michael,
that used to be my bank.
And that's been closed now
for about 18 months.
As you probably understand,
there is a world recession,
and they were affected
like everybody else.
My character seems to have
slowed down while I'm out here.
And the pace is different.
And everything's
slower here.
You know, just go to the beach.
Everyone sort of mingles in
and it's lovely.
Our jobs are to make it
where we can come four hours
door to door,
from Spain back to England.
We can work three weeks,
a commitment of getting
our money
and still, you know, having
a life out here.
It's a bit quiet, though,
for you two, isn't it?
Yeah, but then you got
your bingo.
It's not quiet
when we get here.
There's only one ambition,
I want a baby son.
If I see my baby son,
then my ambition's fulfilled.
No one knows that.
Only you now.
Debbie and Tony
have three children...
Nicky, Jodie, and Perry.
Nicky, as you know,
he was a French polisher,
which is a dying trade
in England.
So we funded him,
me and Debbie, on the Knowledge.
- Cheers, everyone.
- Cheers.
We got him the bike.
We got him the runs.
We paid his tutoring.
And I couldn't ask for more,
to be more proud
when he got his badge.
It was a gift from God
for what happened.
I'm very proud
of Perry as well.
She got in the post office,
and that's what she's doing.
Postman Pell,
that's our Postman Pell.
She's got
a lovely boyfriend
and he's certainly got
my blessing.
Big lad, very nice guy.
Loves his football, you know.
Typical East End kid.
You're not lazy.
Far from it.
But I just think it's easier...
No, you pays to get
your own done,
like you still do today...
you always have paid.
So how is it, all of you
in the house together?
Yeah, it's all right.
She's only here
because she's pregnant
and she doesn't carry
too well.
Sometimes she gets
on my nerves.
Sometimes they all get
on my nerves.
Sometimes I get
on their nerves.
It's just what happens.
- Well done!
- The ironing board give way.
Well done!
Jodie, I mean,
at this present time,
she just relies on us
a great deal.
She's been very scarred with
a relationship that she
was in.
A relationship with her first
love of her own life was...
very terminal, but he's
the father of her kid.
Jodie has a daughter, Toni.
Toni, as you appreciate,
she's living with us.
My daughter Jodie,
she's at this present time
having emotional problems
and various other problems.
And most of all, I've got
to make sure my Toni grows up
with a safe environment.
Once her mother does get better,
I will certainly
bond them back, and hopefully,
which we pray,
they'll become mother
and daughter
and everything will be fine
after that.
She's growing up
at an alarming rate.
When she's with any one
of her friends, I'll go to her
and say, "Toni, no, no. "
"Stop it, Grandad!
You're embarrassing me!"
And I have to sort of
pull the reins in for me.
How is
the cabbing going?
We had an influx of Arabs
come for Ramadan.
Without them
and the injection of wealth,
I think the cabs line
would have sunk.
- It's been so bad out there.
- It's very hard.
The ratio before was about
10 cabs to 7 jobs.
When the Arabs come, it was
about 10 cabs to 9 jobs.
When they go away
and the recession came,
it's 10 cabs to 2 jobs.
I feel that the economy will
bust within five years.
Because people like myself
have been giving and giving
all the time.
We're paying.
Now, someone's getting it
at our expense.
How did you prophesy what
was going to happen
in this last program?
You seemed to know that the
economy was going to go bust.
I feel the Labour government
has got a lot to answer for.
Draining the system dry.
Giving out aid to all
the countries around the world.
Hemorraghing money
through your war effort.
Giving money to the banks
and no regulation on the banks.
You can see the "drip, drip, drip" situation
at the end of the tap.
And by the time there's no water
left in the tank,
they want us
to put it all back in.
Sometimes on Saturday
morning, I go to the pictures.
Sometimes with my friends,
sometimes with him.
You don't.
I do!
She don't.
And why did you fall
in love with him?
I don't know now.
You bothered me for so long.
Sometimes I don't know
how I stand him.
He was just saying,
another 10 years,
me and him might have split up.
Quite possible.
You don't know.
I'm not proud at all
to say this, but...
Situations arise that...
I have had regretful behavior
various times, but...
You got caught,
and that was it.
You must appreciate,
32 years
is a long time I've been
And most of all,
I've got a...
an open characteristic way
about me.
And sometimes it has got me
into trouble,
which has been
well documented before.
I owe Debbie everything because,
good or bad,
high or low,
rain or shine,
she stuck by me.
And then...
At the end of it...
I still love her so.
And that's the reason why.
And that will always be
the reason why.
Were the kids angry
with you?
Yes, they were angry
with me and...
The situation was, it was
an hard pill to swallow.
Because the kids are
my life.
Nicky, Jodie, Perry.
The grandchildren.
I draw a circle...
they're all mine,
and I'm lucky...
I'm very, very lucky, Michael.
Michael, up there's my old flat
I used to live in.
I lived up there for 28 years.
For me, it's so small
around here now.
I mean, I come back, and
the memories I've got in here
is unbelievable.
Would everybody please
sit round now
and get on with their work?
I don't want to see any backs
to me.
Shouldn't be anybody
turning round.
do you hear as well?
I want your work in front.
Tony! Don't turn round again.
As you can see, Michael, the
Bethnal Green I knew as a kid
growing up, now it's changed
quite dramatically.
Not one East Ender,
Cockney person like myself,
or anyone in the East End,
ever had a say in immigration.
No one had a say of
the popularization,
as far as was there too many,
was there too less?
Listening to you,
sometimes you sound racist.
Wait a minute...
you talk about Asians,
you talk about Japanese,
and yet here in Spain
you seem to really work to
integrate into the community.
Well, Michael,
with respect to you,
that word "racist" covers leaps
and bounds of characteristics.
I've never been racist
in a million years.
In a million years... I love
people, I'm a people lover.
And I think that, with respect
to you, is over the top.
Michael, this is the food
and veg shop.
When I was 7 years old,
I had my first wage in there.
10 bob a week.
This here was a pub.
This is where the dray horses
used to deliver the beer.
I used to run in and get them
my apples
and I used to feed them.
And when I was so small,
they were mammoth.
That's where I got
my love for horses from.
4.5, 50s; 4.5, 50s.
If your father gambles, you
always look how he gambles.
I'll try my luck
and see what it does.
And I took it from there.
This is the pub and area
where my dad used to meet.
And what they used to do,
get an orange box
with three cards on it,
a queen and two fours,
and what they'd do is called "Find the Lady,"
a three-card trick.
And consequently they'd just
sort of take the money
off of all
the general public.
He used to go in the nick
once a week at least.
And the firm used to
take their money out, pay the fine,
and he was back out on
the street
to do his
sort of devily ways.
I've come back here again
and it's
really a travesty
what's happened here.
I mean, it makes you
feel like crying.
For me, it's quite sad,
you know, but I mean, if that's
what they call progress,
well, so be it.
Where are we now,
I'm back at
the old dog track.
We're at
the Olympic stadium, Michael.
This is where the old dog track
used to be, on this site.
I'm here today and I cannot
believe the transformation.
It's a dream.
It's just spectacular.
And the torch
from these games
shall be now passed
to the East End
for a new generation
to come through.
At the end of their very
special day in London,
after their trip to the zoo
and the party,
we took our children
to an adventure playground,
where they could do
just what they liked.
Those from the children's home
set about building a house.
There's Nicholas.
And Tony.
And Bruce.
Jackie and her friends.
Give me a child
until he is 7,
and I will
give you the man.
This has been a glimpse
of Britain's future.