28 Up (1984) Movie Script

- I wanna be a jockey when I grow up.
Yeah, I wanna be a jockey when I grow up.
- I'm down for Heathfield
and Southall Manor.
- Well, going to Africa,
and try and teach people.
- I don't think you
want to go to university
if you want to be an astronaut.
- I'd like to find out all
about the moon, and all that.
- Is it important to fight, yes.
These are the actions they must do
- I just wanna be a jockey when I grow up.
Yeah, I wanna be a jockey when I grow up.
- Tony was already an apprentice
at Tommy Gosling's Racing Stables in Epsom
when he left school at 14.
- This is a photo finish
when I rode at Newbury.
I'm the one with the white cap.
I was beaten a length
and a half for third,
and I had a photo finish,
so I took it out of the box
and kept it as a souvenir.
- 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 the game.
I wouldn't bother.
- And what do
you think you would do then?
- Learn taxis.
- Tony didn't
make it as a jockey.
He had three races, wasn't
placed, and gave it up.
At 21 he was doing the Knowledge,
learning to be a London cabbie.
- I will be a cab driver,
and I know I will.
And I want to prove every person
who think I can't be a cab driver wrong,
and I'll get that badge,
and I'm gonna put it right in their face,
just to tell 'em how wrong they can be,
and how underestimated I am.
It's surprising who you pick up, you see.
I once met Kojak, I picked him up.
And Warren Mitchell, or
Alf Garnett, you know?
And I said, "Oh, hello,
Warren, how are you, mate?
"Good to see ya."
So he ends up saying, "I wanna
go to Langan's Brasserie."
You know, Stratton Street, Langan's.
So half way there I
said, "Listen," I said,
"Warren, it wouldn't,"
I said, "It wouldn't be you
"if you don't sort of come
out with Alf, you know?
"I mean, give us a, let us
see how he's going, you know?"
So straight away he's
brought Alf Garnett to life
in the back of me cab.
So, we're on the way
to Langan's, you know.
All I can hear is Alf Garnett, you know.
"It's the Labour government,"
and, "Your lot up here."
When we get there, I said, like,
"Thanks, Warren, terrific, mate, 1.80."
So, he gave me exactly 1.80.
"Listen," I said, "I
know you're Alf Garnett.
"I know you're having trouble."
So I, like, I said,
"But I want you to become
Warren Mitchell now."
"Like, my tip's all like
20-odd pence," or whatever.
He said, "Son," as in Alf Garnett still,
"you know Alf's doing bad at
the moment, I can't afford it,"
and he walked away, and like,
he done me like a kipper.
- What does
it take to be a good cabbie?
- I think, meself,
happy-go-lucky character,
and to take as much as
what any other person
couldn't take in a normal job,
because it's a big world out there,
and everyone's a different character,
all that I pick up.
Their attitudes, some of
'em, like the city gents,
the typical, "Waterloo, driver,
please, in five minutes,"
I'll sort of say, "Hold on, mate,
"I'll get me helicopter out of the boot."
I love being a taxi driver,
I like the outdoor life, the independence.
There's no one to govern me, or say, like,
"You've gotta be in at a certain time."
- Sometimes on a Saturday
morning I go to the pictures.
Sometimes with my friends,
sometimes with him.
- You don't!
- I do!
- She don't
I don't ever see ya!
You go to a different pictures.
- Have you got a girlfriend?
- No.
- Would you
like to have a girlfriend?
- No.
Do you understand the four Fs?
Find 'em, feed 'em, and forget
'em, but for the other F,
I'll let you use your own discrimination.
I mean, this one, I
tried to do the three Fs,
but I couldn't forget her.
- I used to work in a pub,
just on Friday nights,
barmaids, barmaiding.
And then from there one night
I went to a discotheque.
He was in the pub earlier on,
and then afterwards we
went to a discotheque,
and Tony was standing there.
And I just, from there
I just, that was it.
I couldn't get rid of him.
- Bee around honey, you know?
- And why did
you fall in love with him?
- I don't know.
- I don't know, either.
I don't know how you put
up with me for so long.
- I don't know, right?
Sometimes I don't know how I stand him.
- But what is it that you
love about him?
- I like his personality.
It doesn't matter who it is,
he don't change for nobody.
- There's only one ambition,
really, I want a baby son.
If I see my baby son, that
is my ambition fulfilled.
No one knows it, only you now.
- We've got two children.
Nicky's 6 1/2, Jodi's 2 1/2, nearly three,
and I'm having another one in March.
- Who looks after
them, or do you share it up?
- Me, basically, yeah.
He does take 'em out quite a lot, but,
telling offs and smacks is all left to me.
I have to do all of that.
He don't like smacking 'em.
He don't like telling them off,
unless it's really, really...
- Anything serious, then I...
- Serious, then he would.
- They all got, see that baby one?
- So what
advantages do you think you've had
over some of the other
people that we've filmed?
- Well, academically,
probably they've had
more advantages over me.
I don't know, the fact
they've had prep schools
at a very early age, you
know, they've benefited by it,
which, you know, it tells
obviously in this film.
But as far as, you know,
the stability and the
backgrounds with their parents,
they've missed out on that.
- Tone, I
don't like 'em near me.
- Come on.
- Have a piece of bread each.
Here, Jodi.
Jodi, come on.
- Being in the prep school,
they're missing the love and the care
what every East Ender
always gets, you know,
gives their children each
time they come home from work.
And the parents, you know,
sometimes obviously
are not gonna be there,
'cause they're away at prep school.
They're missing the love and affection,
you know, what they are craving for.
When my kids are growing up,
I wanna see the change
in 'em all the time,
so I have my own memories
of when they was a kid,
and how they were, you know,
and what they were like.
- Would everybody
please sit round now,
get on with their work.
I don't want to see any backs to me.
There shouldn't be anyone turning round.
Tony, do you hear as well?
Get on with your work in front.
Don't turn around again.
- Education is, it's just a thing to say,
"My son is higher than him," or,
"My son had a better background than him."
I mean, I'm as good or even
better than most of them people.
Especially on this programme.
I mean, I'm one of the tail-enders.
You'll think, oh, the
East End boy, you know,
and he ain't got a no-good education.
But all of a sudden the East
End boy's got a car, motorbike,
and he goes to Spain
every year, and whatever.
And have I worked for it?
No, I'm here putting bets on.
And you think, "How does he do it?"
And there's a boy, who
was at Eaton, and all, whatever.
He's studying to be a professor,
he's making up the things.
And where's the education?
There's no education in this world.
It's just one big rat race,
and you've gotta kill your man next to you
to get in front of him.
Education, when I said,
"There's no education,"
yes, there is an education.
I made a grave mistake in saying that.
But I didn't mean to say
there's no education
as far as academically.
Yes, there is.
The area, the environment, and education,
makes a person have more
opportunities in this world.
You know what I mean, that's obvious.
- Let's talk about the kids.
Do you want for them what
you had for yourself,
in terms of schooling and everything?
- You're talking about my childhood?
Five years old, upwards
to seven, eight, nine,
I had no money, my father had no money,
and I had my brother's
clothes for 10 years.
His hand-me-downs are
sorta going on my arms
with holes in, you see?
I've never had any
opportunities to better myself,
'cause I was a kid.
I never knew no better.
And my mum and dad, you know,
my dad's got ill health,
you know, he couldn't work.
I'm not making a violin story out of this.
I mean, that's the way it was.
And I'm more stronger
it happened that way.
I mean, I'm a more stronger person.
I appreciate things more now.
And now I'm in a position,
through my job, you know,
to give my kids the life I
never had, like lovely clothes.
I go to holidays, you know,
I go to Portugal, and I go to Spain,
hopefully America next year.
I mean, I want everything I never had,
to go, you know, on my kids,
to say that, you know,
let them know the
benefits of the nice life,
what it's all about.
The poshens, "Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes."
They're nuts!
You just have to touch 'em.
Yeah, they, well, they can get
what they want, can't they?
If you have gotta work for it,
and it's them, they can just
ask for money and get it,
and they can buy what they want.
I've learnt through driving a cab
that people are individuals,
whatever they are,
upper class or, you
know, middle class, or,
as in my case, you know, East Ender.
But I'm only glad, you know,
that I've found out the
difference at an early age,
so I can judge people
on what they are rather than who they are.
I'm not a politician,
so let them worry about what's
coming for the next day.
All I understand is dogs, prices, girls,
Knowledge, roads, streets, squares,
and Mum and Dad, and love.
That's all I understand,
that's all I wanna understand.
- Four to one, Cooladine.
- 4 1/250s, 4 1/250s, four to one.
- At 21 he
was earning a bit extra
as a bookie's runner at Hackney Wick.
- What do they call you here?
- I reckon a pest, or something like that.
I don't mean to make a nuisance of myself.
I mean, it's for the other
patrons in the place.
I mean, they don't want to see
a little boy nipping
between their feet, running,
putting a bet on here for
a face, you understand?
They think, "Oh, what's
he doing, is he mad?"
I mean, I walk up there
and I order the teas.
There could be eight people
in front of me, I just go,
"Can I have a tea please, tea please,"
five times, "tea please, tea please."
And they've gotta serve me before them,
or get rid of me, do you understand?
So that's how you've gotta do it.
I'm in two golf societies, and each month,
all the members of each society
meet to play a game of golf.
- Oh!
- Too close.
- And who
are the guys you play with?
- Well, they're mostly publicans,
or taxi drivers, you know?
And, we always end up, you
know, having a small bet.
- Do you like
the whole social side of it?
- Only with my mates,
because on a golf course,
it becomes very snooty type, you know?
I mean, I understand they've gotta pay
400 pound a year membership.
And they don't, you know,
really want people without any etiquette
to go on a golf course
and ruin their so-called
golf course, right?
- It's good.
Great shot, great shot.
- Fore!
- Fore!
- It does get a bit, a
pain sometimes, you know,
when they keep saying, "Excuse
me sir, are you a member?"
It comes out like that.
But obviously etiquette's etiquette,
so you've gotta conduct yourself
on these type of courses.
- Because, I think, you're a
bit smaller than most people,
you try to hit the ball hard.
You've gotta just, it'll get there.
- Where'd you go, Ken?
- I'm over here.
- Oh, I missed that one.
- Unlucky, keep hold of her.
- It's about an eight to the right.
- Too much mate, too much.
- No it ain't, no it ain't, no.
Tone, hit an eight, here.
It's definitely an eight.
- No that's too much.
Too much club, Ken.
- Eight, hit an eight.
- No, no,
get us a nine, mate.
- What are you gonna hit, then?
- Nine-iron, I
think that's about right.
- Yeah, go on, then.
If you hit a nine, hit it to the right.
That's it, that's it, that's perfect.
Great shot!
That's a great shot.
- Now I am a young fella, and
I come to you, and I just,
I heard that you're a big,
successful taxi driver...
- You want advice.
- And I say to you, yes.
- I've been a film
extra now for six years.
It may not go no further.
I mean, I'm just having acting lessons.
- You give me the benefit
of all of your experience.
All right, now, you've
gotta feel pretty big,
bigger than me.
- Just go?
- Right then, here we go.
- Tell me, son, what do you
wanna be a cab driver for, mate?
- Well, make a lot of money,
you know, have a good life.
- Son, look at me, I may be
a successful businessman.
I might have the suit, I might have the,
all the holidays in Spain every year,
but son, it's hard work out there, mate.
- Come on, you're not reaching me yet.
- Not getting to you?
- You're not getting to me.
All right, now be bigger,
dominate me, all right?
- Son.
- Yeah?
- Son, it's a big world out
there, and obviously I'm not...
I can't get into it, Warren.
- All right, don't worry, don't worry.
- When I was in "The Sweeney,"
and when I was in "Churchill:
The Wilderness Years,"
I'd see the actors, and yeah,
I thought, like, you know,
it's not quite easy to act on stage.
Of course, it's, you know,
you need time and dedication.
It's very hard.
Son, tell me, why do you
wanna be a taxi driver?
- Well, you know, you've got success.
- Don't let looks go impressing,
you know what I mean, listen.
- What excites you about acting?
- I like it, I
mean, I think of meself,
you know, like, I can do that,
and I still wanna have a go of it.
I mean, nothing for sort
of fame and fortune,
or anything like that,
you know, big Hollywood and bright lights.
It's nothing like that, just a sideline.
- So what drives you then
through all these various ambitions?
- It's the philosophy
of not keeping still.
I mean, I'm a very
overactive type of person.
I mean, I like to feel that
I don't wanna keep still,
'cause life, you know,
don't wait for nobody,
so you've gotta cram it
in as much as you can
before your days are numbered.
I mean, I'm made to be
a happy-go-lucky type
of fellow, which I am.
I'm an East Ender, which, the attitude is,
"Hello, mate, all right,
how are ya," type of thing,
and I wouldn't wanna lose that.
- How long are
you gonna be a cab driver?
Is this what you wanna do
for the rest of your life?
- Well, at the moment, I'm
very happy in driving a cab.
But my wife and I always
considered owning our own pub,
so obviously, I think,
within two or three years,
once I get financially straightened out,
I'm gonna have a go at being a publican.
And if I don't like it,
say, if I give it a go for
a year, or even six months,
if I don't like being a publican,
I'm in a good position to say, well,
I'll get rid of the pub and
go back to taxi driving.
I don't wanna change, because if I change,
it proves the other Tony
Walker was all fake.
54 to 20, Boris.
- What are
the best times for you?
- Well, two, really.
The best time was when the
kids, first baby was born.
The next one, obviously, Jodi.
But my greatest fulfilment in life,
when I rode at Kempton in the
same race as Lester Piggott.
I was a naive,
wet-behind-the-ears apprentice,
and the governor told me,
"You've gotta ride, son.
"Friday, you've gotta
lose X amount of weight,"
which I did, eight pound in four days.
And he says, like, I go in there,
and they're all there, you know.
I'm part of it.
All my years, from seven, all my ambition,
is fulfilled in one moment,
when the long fellow come out,
and I'm in with him, like in the same...
The starter's calling the
register of the names,
and he'll sorta go like
"Piggott, draw, eight.
"Walker, draw, 10."
And your idol, like,
you're there, and the big man's
there, you know what I mean?
Money in the whole
world couldn't buy that.
Proudest day of my life, which,
my ambition fulfilled
to the highest level.
And I eventually finished last.
Tailed off obviously,
but it didn't make any difference to me.
Just to be part of it,
be with the man himself.
You couldn't buy it.
That was the proudest
day of my whole life.
- Well, going to Africa,
and try and teach people
who are not civilised
to be more or less good.
No, I don't want to be a missionary,
because I just can't
talk about it to people.
You know, I'm interested in it myself,
but I wouldn't be very good at it, at all.
- Chris Awalambe.
- Yes, sir!
- Mohan Ali.
- Yes, sir!
- Kasim Mahir.
- Yes, sir!
- Oscar Ali.
- Yes, sir!
- Nasril.
- Yes, sir.
- Sultan.
- Yes, sir.
- Abdul Khair.
I was working at an insurance
company at the time,
and I decided to go into teaching,
without any experience at all,
and I didn't think they
would allow somebody
to walk off the street into a classroom.
Six times three is 18,
shared by two is nine,
plus seven is 16, so you put the 16 there.
They were crying out for maths teachers.
They interviewed me.
They phoned me up the next day,
and said, would I like the job?
I said yes, within five
weeks I was in a classroom.
They took one look at me,
and thought it was Christmas, I think.
Okay, so once you're done, all right?
- What's the most
enjoyable thing about teaching?
- Just being a part of the
pupils' advancement and learning,
and watching them understand
more, and being more confident,
then getting some enjoyment
and satisfaction from mathematics.
- After working
in the City for three years,
Bruce started teaching
at Tony's old school,
in the East End of London.
He lives in a local council flat,
within walking distance of the school.
- Balden, let's have
the present tense of vasto.
Yes, speak up.
- They don't sort of
enforce being upper class,
and things like that,
at St. Paul's, you know.
They suggest that you
don't have long hair,
and they do get it cut if.
And they teach you to be
reasonably well mannered,
but not to sniff on the poorer people.
- When we filmed him at 21,
Bruce was in his last year
at Oxford, reading maths.
- And by Eisenstein.
You can show that this is irreducible.
Then you do a transformation
on this polynomial,
x equals t plus two.
- Good, that's a nice way of doing it,
particularly using Eisenstein down here,
because his test is very powerful.
- Yes.
- 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.
- And to here, 25, right,
so if you get across to 25.
- It's so
different from your own education
where you're teaching now, why?
- General education is
better for society, I think.
Public schools are divisive.
That's with no statement
about my education.
My education was academically excellent,
and I was very grateful for it.
I think there is a class society,
and I think public schools
may help its continuance.
So you're in the lead, you see,
because DSE CABS has got
a profit of two pounds,
and GOODB CABS has got
no profit at all, okay?
Now, can you explain that just to Abdul,
'cause I want him to
understand what it is.
I don't know whether I said,
"Right, I must do something
"which is against what I
have been brought up to do,"
or whatever.
I don't know, I've just found
something I find rewarding.
I didn't agree with the Conservatives
about what they were doing
with the black people,
you know, the racial policy.
- Do you
have to defend immigration
to a lot of people in this area?
- Yes, I think you do,
but those who say there are
too many coming in, and so on,
I think, really, are uneducated
about the whole question.
They should see the positive benefits
that they're having in this country,
and see that as a result
of all of this immigration,
they're not being denied opportunities.
It's not the fault of immigrants
that there is unemployment.
It's part of a political
party's responsibility,
is to explain that,
and show people what is
the more truthful way
of representing the situation.
None of the parties really
seem to agree with me,
but I think if I had voted,
I'd have voted Labour.
I am about the only
socialist in my village.
And I go into the pub,
and I sort of expect to stand up
and defend all socialist policies.
Sort of, this is the village socialist,
no, village idiot, sorry.
I just see there are a
lack of opportunities
for a lot of people.
Obviously unemployment is a great
feature in many people's
lives, and many family's lives.
And teaching children,
sometimes you wonder,
what's going to happen to them.
It seems to me that the leader
of the country at the moment
should be one of the most
unpopular persons in the country,
and yet she gets away with everything.
She, as far as I can see,
has done lots of damage,
and yet, nobody can oppose her.
My heart's desire is to see my daddy,
who is 6,000 miles away.
And I can remember being happy there.
I can remember also being miserable,
because I can remember crying.
- Squad, steady!
- And I always
seemed to be beaten on.
I never used to understand why.
- Did it give you
an overdeveloped sense of authority?
- If you look at society in general,
I've always probably been
on the side of authority.
And you know, it's been,
an education, learning
that authority can be bad,
and can be corrupt.
- Squad, left foot inward, please!
Squad, breathe in!
- Well, my girlfriend is in Africa,
and I won't,
I don't think I'll have another
chance of seeing her again.
- Have you got any girlfriends?
- No, no, not yet.
I'm sure it will come, but not yet.
I think I would very much like to
become involved in a family,
my own family, for a start.
That's a need that I
feel I ought to fulfil,
and would like to fulfil,
and would do it well.
I mean, I do think a lot of
people think too much about it.
- What happened
when you burnt your fingers?
- I'd rather not talk about it, really.
Well, no, I didn't really mean that.
I mean, I don't mean that I
don't want to talk about it.
Just, I'd need quite a long
time to think about it, really.
I think I possibly get a little serious.
I don't quite understand the modern,
sort of, way of behaving,
the modern manner.
I think I'm a little old fashioned.
Now, at three o'clock
I'm going to come and
pick you up from art.
You'll only have one art lesson.
So if your art teacher
forgets, at five to three,
ask her to say, "We should
be packing away now,"
and I'll come and get you.
- So there you were,
you went to a posh preparatory school,
and a major public school,
and then to Oxford,
and now you're in a council flat,
teaching in this school
in the East End of London.
You don't feel any
sense of disappointment?
- No, because what I am
trying to do at the moment
and achieve is difficult.
It may not sound difficult
in the sense that
you could sum up what I do quite simply,
but behind all that, it is very difficult.
I certainly find it satisfying
achieving successes.
There may come a time when
I decide I can't do it,
and that's not necessarily a weakness.
That may be a strength, that you realise,
you can't do it as well as you would wish.
I think the most important
thing in the world
is everyone should know about God.
It all springs from,
loving God and Christ, I suppose,
that you try and do that
as best as possible,
and let that lead your actions in life.
- Does it sadden
you when you meet people
who don't believe in Christianity?
- Yes, if they dismiss it casually.
If they dismiss it as
just being something...
"Oh, well, we know about that.
"We got a bit of that at school,"
and it doesn't really mean very much,
then it does sadden me, because, you know,
it's much, much more than that.
- What is it about
it that's important to you?
- Well, the belief in...
The belief that in goodness
and in love, as being two,
well, great positive forces,
and that, you know, people...
Well, just the simple belief, like,
a good act is never wasted.
Certainly, you can observe
somebody when they're seven,
and identify particular things,
which maybe are then always with them,
whatever else happens to them.
People possibly say I'm little
innocent at times, or naive.
I used to get worried
about this, and think,
perhaps I ought not to be
taken in, or deceived, or...
I'm not talking about love now,
I'm just talking about generally speaking.
I feel that's a strength in a way.
I think, you know,
if there are people who
are willing to trust,
then, you know, we should be encouraged.
- Tell me, do
you have any boyfriends, Suzi?
- Yes.
- Tell me about him.
- Well, he lives up in
Scotland, and I think he's 13.
I'm rather lonely up there,
because he usually goes to school.
But we usually play till
about half past six,
when he comes home from school.
Then we go in, and then he
goes home to do his homework.
- Have you
got any boyfriends, Suzi?
What is your attitude towards
marriage, for yourself?
- Well, I don't know.
I mean, I haven't given
it a lot of thought,
'cause I'm very, very cynical about it.
But then, you know,
you get a certain amount
of faith restored in it.
Well, I mean, I've got friends,
and their parents are happily married,
and so it does put faith back into you,
but me, myself, I'm very cynical about it.
We were friends for about two years.
- Rupert and Suzi
were married five years ago.
- And, I think the nice thing was
that we knew each other very well before.
We knew quite a lot of
the faults of each other,
which I think is very important.
I don't sort of sit down and think,
or, you know, analyse marriage.
It's not something I've had
to come up and think about,
or that I was going to get married,
and I've got no desire to at the moment.
I think 20 is far too young.
I suppose 22 is considered quite young.
I felt it was the right time.
I don't see what I would've gained
by waiting another three years.
- What gave you that feeling?
- I just felt I was doing the right thing,
which, as you said, was extraordinary,
when only about 18 months
before I was very anti it.
I came to London when I
left school after Paris,
and at the moment I could
never live in the country.
I'm happy down here.
I mean, the country is nice for four days,
to go for healthy long walks, but I mean,
I could never live up there now.
- They live in
a small village near Bath,
where Rupert is a partner
in a firm of solicitors.
- I had seven years up
in London, I suppose.
It was fantastic, but
I've just had enough.
It's a much slower way of life down here,
and I'd had enough of the rat race.
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.
- What was
the biggest shocks to you
when you suddenly were
confronted with a small baby
that you had to be responsible for?
- Panic set in, I think,
that I wasn't going to be able to cope.
- Would you like to have
a nanny to look after them,
or do you want to look after them?
- No, I want a nanny to look after them.
I felt that we'd taken the decision
to bring a child into the world,
and I feel that I wanted to
bring him up, not somebody else.
I feel that it's my
responsibility to start him off.
Whether that'll make any
difference to how he turns out,
I don't know.
I just felt I wanted to do it.
- Is it everything you wanted?
- For the moment, yes.
I mean, I don't think I'll have any more,
for the reason that I will
get pleasure out of these two,
but I can't see me going on and on and on,
with sort of four or five children.
I think I feel that I'd want to move on
and try and do something else.
When I leave this school,
I'm down for Heathfield
and Southall Manor.
And then maybe I may want
to go to a university,
but I don't know which one yet.
I'd like to do,
maybe shorthand typing,
or something like that.
I left school when I was
16, and 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.
- And why did you choose Paris?
- I don't know, it was my parents, really.
Now I've got to a stage in my life
where I've got to make my own decisions.
You've got to learn to
fend for yourself one day.
I went to prep school
boarding when I was nine.
Rupert went at eight,
and both of us hated it.
I hated my prep school.
I just feel it's too
young to send a child off,
and we both feel we'd never
send Thomas and Oliver off,
probably maybe till they're 13.
I think eight's much too young,
so we will definitely keep them at home.
- Do you still want to send them
in the private sector to school?
- I think we will, yes, but as
I said, not till they're 13.
- Why do you
choose the private sector,
as opposed to the state?
- I suppose it's what we
had, it's what we know.
I think both of us probably
were very sheltered.
It's only having been abroad
that you can appreciate more
that people are very different,
cultures are different.
But I think, as I was growing up,
I think probably I was far too sheltered.
- What do you think
about making this programme?
- I just think it's just ridiculous.
I don't see any point in doing it.
I've been very lucky
up to a certain point,
but everyone has their bad times.
And I'm only just beginning,
I mean, I'm only young,
and I'll probably have a lot worse
than I've been through now.
When you're a child, you always
think how nice it would be
to be grown up and independent, and these.
But there are times when I
wish I was sort of three again.
- It just seems a miracle to me.
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 him some credit.
- I'm now chain smoking ever since.
- No, I didn't know
where I was going at 21.
I mean, I suppose I thought
I was reasonably happy at 21,
but I had no kind of direction, no...
I obviously hadn't
found what I had wanted,
and I don't think most people have at 21.
You're still very, very young.
- As a teenager,
Suzi spent her school holidays
on her father's estate in Scotland.
- What sort of things do you do?
- Ride, swim, play tennis, ping-pong.
I might play croquet, things like that.
- What about
the social life, what's that?
- What, in Perthshire?
- Yeah.
- Hmm, it's quite fun.
Well, obviously any child going through
their parents splitting up, age 14,
you're at a very vulnerable age,
and it does, I mean, it
does cut you up, but,
you know, you get over it.
It's not, I mean, there's no point,
there was no point in them
staying together for me,
'cause it was worse, I
mean the rows, and...
It's worse, so if two
people can't live together,
there's no point making yourself.
My father died three years ago.
It's very hard to describe to somebody
how you just take the loss.
It is terribly hard, and even now,
I still can't believe
my father's not here.
It's still sinking in, I think,
even after two and a half years.
He was off in Scotland.
It was in that very bad winter of '81,
and we were literally snowed
in, and I couldn't get out,
and it was three weeks
before Thomas was born.
I wasn't allowed to fly,
no airline would take me,
and the trains were blocked with the snow,
and so I couldn't get there.
And I feel...
I still feel guilty
that I didn't try and get
myself out of here to go, but,
you know, when you're told you
could endanger a baby's life,
you have to rather sit, sit still.
The death of one of your close family
is probably something
you don't ever get over,
and it's a different kind of
problem than anything else.
And it is hard to come to terms with.
And it was really last
year that it sunk in
that he really wasn't around anymore.
- What do
you want most out of life?
- To be happy, and get on with life.
I mean, I don't want to just sit back,
and let it all whiz past.
I mean, you don't know how
long you've got your life for.
I mean, you know, you could
get run over by a bus tomorrow,
so you've gotta make the most
of it while you've got it.
- Do you have any fears
for the future, for yourself?
- No, not so much for myself at all.
I feel if I was going to
have fallen by the wayside,
I'd have done it by now.
I think probably I'm too
staid now to do that.
But maybe I'm wrong.
- When I grow up,
I'd like to find out all
about the moon, and all that.
- At seven,
Nick, a farmer's son,
was at a one-room village
school in the Dales.
- And I said I was interested
in physics and chemistry.
Well, I'm not gonna do that here.
- At 14 he was going
to a Yorkshire boarding school,
and at 21 was reading physics at Oxford.
- Plug it in.
- We'll give it a whirl.
- So what
career are you gonna pursue?
- It depends on
whether I'll be good enough
to do what I want to really do.
I would like, if I can, to do research.
- He is now in America,
an assistant professor at
the University of Wisconsin,
earning $30,000 a year.
- The gas in these experiments
is at a temperature
comparable with that of the sun,
whereas in a power
reactor it would be maybe
10 times the temperature of the sun,
and we're trying to
induce that gas to fuse.
The fusion reaction gives off
energy and produces the power
that would be turned
into electrical energy,
and sent out to the consumer.
- How hot is it in there?
- In there, it's at
about 10 million degrees.
- Nick is a nuclear physicist.
He's using these high
temperatures to fuse atoms,
to try to produce energy which
is free from radioactivity.
- Have to be precisely coordinated
with the positive decay.
- I finished my degree in physics,
and I went on to do a PhD
And having got the PhD,
after, so it took 2 1/2 years to get that,
which was relatively quick,
I went to work at the United Kingdom
Atomic Energy Authority's
Culham laboratory,
which is where they do fusion research,
and that is what I've been
aiming to do throughout my PhD.
But I found when I got there that,
I got a big shock when I found
that my standard of living
went down when I started work.
So, when some people here
had offered me a job,
I thought this might be a good opportunity
to go somewhere else where
the research environment
was a bit more vigorous.
So I came here in November
of 1982, into a blizzard.
The university is substantially different
from an English university
for several reasons.
It's a much bigger university.
Oxford had 10,000, people,
this has 40,000 people.
I guess the mixture of people
who come here are different.
A far bigger fraction of the population
go to university here.
Oxford is full of people
who really are trying
to prove something, I
suppose, or be something,
a lot of people with social
or intellectual pretensions.
You're less aware of
that sort of thing here.
On the other hand, the American system
is much more like the
comprehensive system in England
would set out to try and be.
It takes many more people,
and gets a huge section of the population
to a level where they're really
technically very competent,
and can go out and make
Silicon Valley work.
- 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 will come
up, because when I was...
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?
Yeah, I thought so.
The best answer would be to say
that I don't answer questions like that,
but I mean, you know, it was
what I said when I was seven,
and it's still the most sensible,
but I mean, what about them?
- Nick was only 17 when I first met him,
and I knew he was a nice person.
I find him very attractive, and...
He uses his intelligence in
his relationship with me,
which is very important.
A lot of people can be very bright.
- Nick and Jackie met
when they were students at Oxford.
Jackie is doing a post-graduate
course in business studies.
- And what about you, Nick?
Why did you marry Jackie?
- Because she's, I find her attractive,
she's bright and independent, and...
- I mean, if you'd been somebody who,
that had fixed ideas of a
woman's role in marriage,
that meant dinner on the
table at six every evening...
- Ah, didn't I tell you about that?
- I think we would've had problems.
Or if one of us had not wanted children.
- When I grow up,
I'd like to find out all
about the moon, and all that.
- Where did
you get all this brain power?
- All this brain power?
I don't know, did it just happen?
All this brain power,
that's a hard one to answer,
because first I have to accept
that I've got all this brain power,
and that's not the sort of thing
I tend to go around saying.
But I've always been interested in,
from a very early age, in
technical or scientific things.
When I was very young,
I had a big picture
book about the planets,
and I thought this was wonderful.
And I've just been interested
in that sort of thing,
and reading technical
or scientific material
for a long, long time.
I was the only child my
of age in my village,
but I managed to spend my time
talking to adults who were around.
If one is wandering down a country lane,
there is an awful lot to look
at in the world around you.
I remember looking at
various natural phenomena,
and being intrigued to try and understand
what made them tick.
One time I was particularly wrapped up
in how a particular cloud,
which was a very unusual shape,
and how did that work, and
that was the sort of thing
that made me want to go
further into natural sciences.
I think that if I'd been in a city,
I probably would've had more
interaction with people,
and might've developed more
skills in dealing with other kids.
Trying to become a reasonably
well-adjusted person
was for me a bit of a
struggle for a while.
I was given a fantastic opportunity
when I went to university,
and that really saved my bacon.
They'd like to come out for
a holiday in the country,
when we'd like, when I'd like
to have a holiday in the town.
I've been to Leeds a couple of times.
I haven't been to Manchester.
I went to London with the others,
when you did the first programme,
but that's the only time I've been.
- What
attracts you about America?
- It's an exciting place to
be, there's a lot going on,
in terms of research, and other things.
But I really came here to do research,
but there are more opportunities,
and just a general
feeling of more going on
than I had previously.
The place is less hidebound,
it's less bureaucratically tied down,
so it's much easier to go out
and get things done than in England.
- Do you get lonely here?
- You just tend to get stuck
here into your everyday routine
and you don't think about it.
But when you call home,
then you realise how far away you are.
And now it seems acute,
because both our families
are getting older.
Even if you think in terms of seeing them
once every two years.
- That's not so many times.
- You're thinking only
about 10 times, and that's awful,
when you think in those terms,
and realise, you know,
you really are in exile.
- Does this put a pressure
on your relationship?
- No, I think it binds us together,
because we just have
one another over here.
- In 21, some
of the people were saying
that they felt it was immoral
to emigrate, immoral to leave.
Do you have any feelings about that,
since you are the one who's left?
- In my position,
I don't feel that I'm
letting England down,
because I don't think that England
particularly wanted me there,
doing what I was doing.
It had trained me marvellously.
I'd gone through a wonderful
educational system.
Particularly Oxford was a
fantastic experience socially.
Again, it was a great place to
try and develop emotionally,
and the academic standards
there are absolutely superb.
Having trained in a very
academic fashion there,
and I then went out to try
and do something with all that training,
and found that society just
wasn't terribly interested
in what I was trying to do,
so how can I feel that
I'm betraying a country
when it doesn't want me to do
what it's trained me to do?
The big issue for us at the moment is
how we're going to manage to
have kids and run two careers.
We don't want to miss out on the chance
of having a significant career,
and we don't want to miss out
on the chance to have kids,
and to be involved with them.
- But in
those early formative years,
would you be happy for your children
to be brought up by Jackie,
and Jackie not be able to
give them her full attention?
- Well it's not, I mean, that's putting it
in a rather strange way.
- He's bringing them up, too,
you know, it's not just me.
- This is an area,
I pay lip service to the idea
of equal shares on this as well,
and it remains to be seen
whether I would actually
live up to my intention.
- There are several things,
I think, to be said here.
If we both work in academia,
that will make life much easier,
because as things are at
the moment in the States,
if you have a computer at
home, you can come in to teach,
and to give office hours to your students,
but you can work half
of the day from home.
But I don't want to be
the person left behind,
while Nick flies in and
shares an adult life,
with his children, at
college, and working.
I want to be there, too.
- Is she difficult?
- At times, yes.
Whenever we have an argument,
she does have a tendency
to explode, I suppose.
No, to get really miserable
about it, and not...
- We've only been married four years.
Anything could happen, we
could easily drift apart.
There are so many pressures on people.
You just have to work at it.
That's why it's important
that you have the same ideas,
that you want the same kind of life.
- When we were in England,
our big source of arguments was money.
We were always squabbling about money.
But that one, mercifully,
seems to have gone away pretty well.
And we still disagree, but it
isn't a major source of rows.
I mean, a person with one million pounds
is not gonna be much,
is not going to be more unhappy
than a person with two million pounds.
I've never really been aiming for money,
and that's curiously enough
why it was such a surprise.
It really surprised me when I found
that my standard of living mattered to me.
When I finished university,
and I found that I couldn't afford
what I'd been able to afford as a student,
it suddenly caught up with me
for the first time in my life
that I really did care about
how much money I was getting,
and it didn't ever occur
to me that I would.
If I can change the world,
I'd change it into a diamond.
I'd like to think that I, I mean,
I'm hoping that I might do at some stage,
but I don't really think
that I've done anything
you can call a great success.
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."
- When I first met you,
I remember I thought,
this was very idealistic, but
it was rather interesting.
While, I asked you why
you're working on fusion,
you said that you wanted
to save the world.
And I think that's a bit embarrassing now,
but I don't think you'd feel the same way
about something that you
didn't feel mattered.
- That's right, I picked
it because I thought
it really was something that
could be useful to people,
hopefully, eventually.
Yes, it would be a disappointment
if I didn't achieve very much,
but I'm not worrying about it very much.
I've just got to go
out and make it happen.
- I don't think you
want to go to university
if you want to be an astronaut.
- Well, I've changed my
mind completely, of course.
I think it was just the
imagination a seven-year-old has.
I might be living in cloud
cuckoo land, you know.
Sort of, Mum and Dad might
say, "No son, that's not life.
"You don't get a job you like."
But I'd like to think I could.
Teachers are undervalued, underrated.
The system is beginning to crumble.
People outside of it don't
realise that, but it is,
and it's very disillusioning.
You know, you don't feel
you're getting anywhere.
And of course, the money as well,
which, whatever the papers
tell you, is abysmal.
- Peter left
his comprehensive school
in Liverpool,
and at 21 was studying
history at London University,
living in student digs.
- The facts were
that I'm not particularly
an intelligent person.
Just reasonably, I suppose,
but I'm not a genius,
and I just went to college
on three reasonable A levels,
and just didn't do very
much work for three years,
just did the bare minimum.
Turned up to lectures, wrote a few essays,
and you get a degree for
it, and it's a joke, really.
Once Carolyn Setford said she loved me.
And I'm going to marry her when I grow up.
Doesn't appeal to me at all at the moment.
But I mean, well, I've just gone 20.
I haven't even been abroad yet in my life,
so there's no way I'm
gonna get settled down.
- What was it about Peter
that you fell in love with?
- Who said anything about love?
I don't know.
We have a very, much the same attitude,
much the same general attitude to life,
even though we're very
different in personality,
and in the things we like to do.
- What is
it about his personality
that attracted you?
- Well, nothing, really, I don't know.
Not a great deal.
- Peter and Rachel
have been married four years,
and met at teacher-training college.
They have just bought their first home,
a terraced house in the
centre of Leicester.
They both have careers.
Peter teaches in a comprehensive school,
Rachel in a college of further education.
- There are two risks,
either for one of us to
follow the other around,
and therefore perhaps become
frustrated and dissatisfied
that you didn't initially
follow your own line,
or your own individual wants,
or there's the risk that you take
that you perhaps do
have to part sometimes,
for jobs, or whatever,
or for what you particularly want to do.
I think the latter risk
is much more worth taking.
- So you
would be prepared to part?
- Yeah, I mean, obviously there
is an element of compromise.
Otherwise, why get married?
- And do you
have any plans for children?
- Not at the moment, no.
I don't suppose we've really
thought about it seriously.
- Why is that?
- Well, I suppose 'cause
we've both got, you know,
things we'd still prefer to be doing.
You know, if you have children,
that immediately limits you.
I don't wanna be limited yet.
- If you choose to have a family,
then you also have a
responsibility to children.
So you know, it's a
very difficult decision.
And although I think most liberated men
would say that they, too, are
involved in that decision,
I think ultimately the responsibility
still comes down on the woman's head.
- Is Peter liberated?
- Well, I think
a lot of men such as Peter
like to think they're liberated,
and I'm not in any way
saying that he's not.
But I think when it comes to the crunch,
you know, the absolute crunch,
are you gonna give up your job
to look after these children?
And then I think it, more often than not,
that decision is made by the
woman rather than the man.
- If you do have children,
would you want them educated
in the way that you've been educated?
- I don't know if things have changed,
but basically you've
still got this emphasis
on just getting through exams, you know,
which isn't really education.
'Cause most of the stuff
you come out of school with
is absolutely useless.
You just don't need it.
- So how
would you bring them up,
educate them?
- Well I don't know, I
suppose the easy answer is,
teach them more relevant things, you know,
get them to think for
themselves a bit more,
which schools don't do enough.
- I mean, would you contemplate
putting them into the
private sector of education?
- No, no, definitely not.
- Why?
- Well, it's just the principle,
that's all there is to it.
- I mean, what is the principle?
- Well, the principle is
that the private schools
help to keep the old class system going.
They're part of it, they perpetuate it,
so I'm certainly not
gonna be involved in that.
- When I came through school
at the end, perhaps, of the...
Well, let's say that the ideals
of the 60s were still there,
even though it was the 70s,
and that one was always led to believe
that there were golden opportunities.
But of course there
aren't, and very much now,
people of my generation
are beginning to realise
what perhaps 16-year-olds know now at 16.
I am only just beginning
to see that now at 27,
that in fact, you know, there aren't,
there's no such thing as, sort of,
mobility, in any sense of the word.
You know, it's very difficult to move up.
- Do you think you've had
as fair an opportunity
as other people?
- Oh god, no.
Of course not.
- In what way?
- A lot of people have
got it made for 'em still,
haven't they?
They've got it all lined up.
- How?
- Well, um...
Like the public school lads.
I don't want to slag off people
in the programme with me,
not slag them off personally.
But I mean, they had it set
up for them, didn't they?
It's a big problem.
It requires a lot of discussion, I think.
The workers do tend to
take a few liberties
as regards strikes.
I would like to think that
democracy's here to stay.
Perhaps we haven't got a full democracy.
In fact, we probably haven't,
but 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 us at the moment, no.
- Why?
- I've even stopped
being amazed.
- Why?
- Why?
Well, I don't wanna get
dragged into party politics,
but basically this is
the most incompetent,
uncaring, bloody show we've ever had.
Well, if I can't be an astronaut,
I'd like to be a bridewell
sergeant in the police force,
like my dad is.
- Do you want to be rich?
I wouldn't mind, no.
I think once I can get myself
going, I can work solid, yeah.
But it's the motive which
is very hard to acquire.
I'm dead lazy.
- Well, what
are you gonna do about it?
- Not much.
I'm just hard to get.
You know, I'm not the sort of person
who can get charged up very quickly.
I am really lazy, you know.
If I've got things to do,
I'd sooner make a cup of tea
first, and read the paper.
- He always looks on the
negative side of life
before he looks on the positive,
whereas perhaps I'm the opposite,
and that in a sense is
an area of conflict, yes.
Yeah, a clash of personalities, yeah.
- And how do you deal with that?
- Well, as you deal with
all people like that.
You just give them a good
kick, and say, you know,
"Wake up," so, you know,
that kind of thing.
- And do you
see any areas of conflict
in the future for you, in personality?
- No, no, I don't, not really,
because I think we both,
we both appreciate each
other's personalities.
In fact, it would be quite
dull to be exactly the same.
I mean, there's something quite
exciting in being different,
in that it isn't as predictable.
We're not along the
same track all the time.
- On the grass we play
international wrestling.
- Yeah, that's only at summertime, though.
- What have
been for you the best times?
- Tommy Smith scoring the
second goal in Rome, definitely.
One of the all-times.
- Which game was that?
- Which game was that?
That was the European Cup Final, 1977.
You know, after that it was all,
nothing else compares with it, really,
so it's hard to think of anything else.
Oh, I'll tell you what
was another good moment.
A group I played with
were doing quite well,
a few occasions, that was good.
- Tell me about that.
- It's just a local band I
was in till fairly recently.
You know, we just played pubs and that,
but it was very enjoyable.
You know, when you get a
good reaction from people,
it's just one of the best
things you can have, really.
- Do you
ever get that in your work?
- No, god, no.
- Why?
- Well, what are you asking?
If they applaud at the end
of each lesson, or something?
- No, just that excitement.
It's that communication.
- No, no, I don't.
- Do you
think people change much,
or do you think we saw you, the man,
in a seven-year-old boy?
- I thought for a while
that was a bit too simple,
but I think it's true,
because after that, you know,
your barriers begin to go up,
and you learn how to fend off things,
like I was just saying.
And obviously when you're
seven you don't think about it.
You just come out with it.
So yeah, to a point
you reflect that, yeah.
- So the boy at seven
is in a sense the real you?
- Yeah, I suppose, yeah, the sort of,
the essential Peter Davies.
- Whoopee!
- There were nine
other children filmed in 1963.
What of them?
- If we did all love Geoffrey,
and we all want to marry him,
I think I know the one that
he likes best, and that's her.
- And I wasn't talking today,
and Mr. Brown sent me out for nothing.
- I feel like bundling when
there's already a fight.
- If I can't be an astronaut,
I think I'll be a coach driver.
- I read the Financial Times.
- What's
happened to these children?
Where are they, and what are they doing?
We'll see tomorrow night.
- If someone comes up
and starts fightin' 'em,
I think it serves her right.
- I know the one that he'd like, best.
And that's her.
- I think it's not a bad
idea to pay for school.
- I'm going to work in Woolworths.
- I just walk around
and see what I can find.
- I think I'll be a coach driver.
- I don't like the big boys hitting us
and our prefects sending
us out for nothing.
I know I've preferred to be alone really.
And I when I said that,
I know, I know even now,
I meant that.
Now if someone dropped me
out in the Sahara Desert,
I probably would've been
happy, more or less,
if you get the point.
Say you had a wife.
They say you had to eat
what they cooked you.
And say I don't like greens.
Well, I don't.
And say she said, "You have
to eat what you get, give."
So, like, I don't like greens.
Say she gives me greens and that's it.
I find it hard to express
emotion most of the time.
Although, I'm getting on top
of that, more now, you know.
I mean, just the simple things.
To say to Susan.
You know, I love
you, something like that.
I mean, I can tell you about it,
but I really haven't been
able to say it for really,
to Sue, you know?
- Did he propose to you?
- Yeah, it was strange.
We went off and bought the
engagement ring, first.
And then I said to him, "You
haven't really proposed to me."
- Tongue tied.
- As you can gather,
he's sort of very shy.
- What was it
that you fell in love with?
What is it about him?
- His helplessness, I suppose.
It was the motherly instinct in me,
to pick him up and cuddle him.
And he was also very good looking,
I think, but he doesn't agree with me.
And I'm sorry, he's got this
cute little bum in shorts.
- Paul and Susan
live in Melbourne, Australia.
Four years ago, they
sold everything they had,
bought an old Bedford
van and went on a trip
through Western and Central Australia.
It took seven months and
they travelled 14,000 miles.
- I think it
brought us closer together,
because, you know, we really
got to know each other,
and relied on each other so much.
- I'd never been
so relaxed in my life.
I felt a lot more confident in myself.
Just great fun, really.
No pressures or worries, you know,
everything was forgotten.
- When we got to Perth,
I was ready to fly home.
Being together so much, it was hard.
But then we settled down,
and we must have settled down really well,
'cause I got pregnant and everything,
So something must have been going right.
- We made up.
- I think it's,
now, why people like to get
back to nature, and like to feel that,
that they aren't living
in the 20th century.
To me, it's just like an old dream
that you wish it could
come true, you know?
Living next to nature and
like pioneers type of thing.
- I love the place, you know?
I find it hard to put into
words, really, what it is.
You've got the country,
you've got the bush,
outback, you can do more or less
anything you want, I think, here.
Whether you can do that
in England, I don't know.
- I think that this the
part we enjoyed the most
because we really went out
in the middle of nowhere,
where we had to carry our
own petrol and our own water
to do us for the three or four days
that we were out that way.
And while we were up in Canarvon,
we went and stayed on a sheep's station
up there with our friend
from Melbourne, Bruce.
And it was about a million acres,
just under a million acres,
the sheep station.
- Bruce, from Yannarie Station,
he got a hold of some tails
from the 'roos herder so we
could try kangaroo tail stew.
- Yeah, it was a bit rough,
we had nothing to throw it in.
- Bit sinewy.
- It gave us our own piece of mind
that we could settle down
and now have a family,
that we had done something.
We hadn't just been nobodies
and lived in suburbia
all our lives.
We'd done something that we were proud of
that we'd accomplished on our own.
- Do you
want this for the children?
- I'd love it for the children.
I was once taught when I was at school
that travel could be the best education,
and living in conditions where
you have to fend for yourself
and you have to use your
own initiative is very good.
And I would like it.
- I was gonna be a policeman,
but I thought how hard
it would be to join in.
I just hadn't made up my mind, yet.
I was was gonna be a phys ed teacher,
but one of the teachers told me
that I had to get up into university.
- At 21, Paul was working
as a junior partner for a firm
of bricklayers in Melbourne.
- I'm not great,
bricklayin', right?
But if I wasn't good enough
and my boss didn't think
I was good enough, he
would've never have made me
a junior partner.
I went out on my own as a subcontractor,
not long after the last show,
but then I started with a partner.
I organised everything, I
bought all the equipment,
'cause I didn't wanna be
dependent on someone else.
Things didn't work out
between the two of us,
he was a bit lazy.
- You have
the right temperament,
do you think, to run your own business?
- If you're talkin'
about employing other people,
I'm not hard enough.
I'm a little bit slow with
working out things on the job.
Not particularly the laying of the bricks,
but a fairly slow thinker
when you've gotta work something out.
I think that'll end up being
my job for life, probably.
Not that I want it that way,
'cause it gets harder as
you get older, I think.
I got 23 new pieces and I don't know
how many ha'penny pieces I got now.
- 3DB 26 past
10 with Doug Arkaleed,
14 degrees in Melbourne
at the moment, 25 '...
- They live
in a working-class suburb
of Melbourne.
Paul earns 12,000 pounds a year,
owns two cars, and bought
his house for 34,000 pounds
18 months ago.
- We're Mr and Mrs
average, that's just true.
We probably earn an average
income, just an average family.
- Oh, a good fist away by Russo,
up towards centre wing.
Robertson is tied behind...
- Susan works
part-time as hair dresser
and they have two
children, Katie and Robert.
- Taken by Watson
who shoots for goal.
- Are you ambitious
for your children, Paul?
- I've said some, about wanting Robert
to be a brain surgeon.
That was a joke.
I mean, like if he's a brain surgeon,
up in Melbourne, it'd
be nice to let them go
one step up from us, I think.
Put it this way: I hope he's better
at schoolwork than I was,
so that he's got a choice, you know?
'Cause really, with the
education standard I got,
I didn't have a choice.
What does university mean?
- Paul started his school life
at a children's home near London.
When he was eight, he
emigrated to Australia
with his father.
- Were you
happy at the children's home
in England?
- I didn't mind that, really,
'cause we didn't know what was going on,
'cause I was a big young.
- What regrets do you have
about your education, then?
- I didn't work hard enough.
I was just very lazy at school.
You know, if you're lazy and
you don't work at school,
you suffer for it.
There needs to be a little
bit more discipline.
If private schools are better,
you'd be far better off
spending your money,
sending your kids there,
than getting a video, or a new television,
swimming pool, or something
like that, I think.
- What else
do you want for your kids
that you didn't have?
- A happier family life, I think.
Well, don't get me wrong,
I wasn't miserable.
I think it could have been better.
I think that'd be one of
the most important things.
My mother and father got,
well, they separated originally, I think.
They eventually got divorced.
I went to the boarding school for one year
and then we emigrated to Australia.
My father got remarried.
- And how'd you
get on with your step-mother?
- Pretty well, but like I said before,
I mean, I'm not, just not
close, I'm not really close
to my father, either.
- Do you have any regrets
about the fact that you
weren't closer to him
when you were younger?
- Yeah, I suppose that's all
a waste of time, in a way,
I suppose.
I mean, he was always there, you know.
I could always talk to
him but it was different.
We were sort of distant friends.
I mean, we always got along fairly well.
We didn't see much of each other.
- Say hi to Pop.
- Say hello to Pop.
Here's grand-dad.
- Hey.
- Here's grand-dad.
- He said, actually,
to his wife, Barbara,
that had come, he missed
out on his own children,
he's not gonna miss out on these.
- Divorce was something
new to me until I grew up
and knew what the meaning
of it all really was.
There was no divorces in our family.
I think of what Paul's been through.
I mean, Paul doesn't say it's very bad,
but I wouldn't like that for my children.
It does worry me.
You know, because it
happens so much these days.
Only time will tell what happens.
- Divorcing your
wife, what does it get ya?
It messes up your own life,
messes up your kids' life,
your wife's life.
I don't think half the
people that get divorced
didn't think about it properly.
- What mark has it left on you,
the fact that you were brought
up within a bad marriage?
- The only thing I can say
that I think might have come from that
is just my lack of confidence.
And being able to show my
feelings, really, I suppose.
- He is down on himself.
He has this excuse where he says,
"Oh, I'm only a bricklayer, I don't,
"it's got nothing to do with me."
I don't know why it is;
I get really frustrated with him
and I want to wring his neck
sometimes when he does it.
But, he's getting better.
- So do you feel
there's any conflict ahead
if Sue wants a job and a career?
- What's come up so far,
since we've been married,
we've handled that.
Really, I think Susan would
probably be the best one
to start a, be a business woman
and I stay at home, you know?
- One up!
- I have to push
him out the house sometimes.
I think he needs a bit of
extra male companionship
because, being a bricklayer,
he only works with one fellow,
and we don't have a social
life with work type of thing,
or he doesn't, because
he's only just one person
as well as himself, and his basketball.
I think he really enjoys it,
but he doesn't really let
on how much he enjoys it.
- I suppose you could see me now
when I was seven, in a way.
Like, I think it was pretty obvious
I wasn't gonna be a doctor.
- You seem
such a sad little boy.
- That's me, though.
Well, now, I was pretty
long-faced, sort of thing.
Oh, it's like that
sometimes, out here, too.
I was always getting
knocked about, though.
I don't like greens, well I don't.
- The first show I saw was at 21.
When I saw him at seven,
I just wanted to cry,
he seemed so pathetic.
I suppose it's, I don't
know, it's hard to say.
It really made me go to
jelly inside, you know,
to see him like that.
- Do you think it's true
that we can the man in
the seven-year-old boy?
- Yeah, yes it is, because in that,
he was a very gentle and, not gentle,
caring person.
Yeah, he's always cared
about other people,
and always been able to
work his way, toward his,
tried to give an explanation
for saying something
he doesn't really wanna do, you know?
Like, what if I didn't
like to eat my greens,
and all that sort of thing.
I mean, he's always, still does that,
the what if, you know, what if?
And then you know, well, he
doesn't really wanna do that,
so he's trying to talk himself out of it.
Yeah, yeah.
- Does he eat greens now?
- He loves 'em.
He loves 'em, he loves 'em.
- What do
you remember of England?
- It seemed to be raining all the time.
I wouldn't stake my life on it, but.
We've got a lot more that what
we would've had in England,
from what other people tell us.
But there, again,
when it comes to work, I
don't sit down on my backside.
I'll go and chase it.
So, it's hard to say.
I'd say like in general, I'd probably,
I probably have done better here
than what I would've, there.
The family's gonna come first,
but I'm still gonna be
working, and we'll progress.
- I'd love Paul
to build me a house
and I know that he'd be
happy once he's done it.
Something like, he's got his children,
and then to build his own home.
It really would be the icing
on the cake, for both of us.
- I read the Financial Times.
- I read Observer and the Times.
- What do you like about it?
- Well, I like, I usually
look at the headlines,
and then read about them, what, about it.
- I like my newspaper because
I've got shares in it,
and I know every day what the shares are.
- The stuff like misers like you like.
- No, but, on Mondays, they don't move up,
so I don't look at it.
- What's the point of the programme?
- It's the, the point of the programme
is to reach a comparison.
And I think it is.
- The point?
- Because we're not
necessary typical examples.
- I think that's what
people seeing the programme
might think, falsely.
- Yes.
I mean, they're tempted to typecast us.
- So, everything we say,
they'll think, "Oh,
that's a typical result
"of the public school system."
- Yes.
- Well, do
you think there's any truth
in the ideas behind the programme?
That certain people have
more options than others?
- It's certainly true that more people
know they have more options,
or imagine they have.
I think in practical terms,
the difference in
numerical number of options
isn't that great.
- But the mere knowledge
creates an option it itself.
- Exactly, yes.
- So, I think we do
have more options.
- I quite agree with you.
- And it is undesirable, but
it's very difficult to correct.
- I don't think it is undesirable, at all.
I think what's undesirable is
people who have had options,
don't make advantage or
take best advantage of them.
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 School,
and at 21, was in his
final year reading law
at Christchurch, Oxford.
- I do believe parents have a right
to educate their children
as they think fit.
And I think someone who
works on the assembly line
of some of these car factories
and earning a huge wage
could well afford to send their
children to private school
if they wanted to.
Just because some sort of people perhaps
don't put that as high on their priories
as, you know, having a
smart car or something.
- I'm going to Charterhouse,
and after that, to
Trinity Hall at Cambridge.
- Andrew went to Charterhouse
and read law at Trinity
College, Cambridge.
- I mean, 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.
- When I leave school, I'm
going to the Dragon School,
I might.
And I might go to, after,
I might go to Charterhouse, Marlborough.
And, now what other place?
I can't remember all the other places,
'cause Mummy's got so many,
but there's some of them.
- What
about university, Charles?
- I might go to Oxford.
- Charles went to Marlborough,
but didn't make it to Oxford.
Instead, he went to Durham University.
- I'd say I'm pleased I didn't,
because there's very much
a sort of, certain from
Marlborough Prep School,
Marlborough-Oxbridge conveyor belt,
shoved out at the end.
And when you go to Oxbridge,
and it's obviously not true
in all cases, but, I
think for the majority,
they mix with the same people
as they were with at school and so on.
- When they
were 21, we asked them
what they thought they
would be doing at 28.
- Might be at the Bath.
- Doing what?
- Perhaps chancery practise.
- How do
you see your life at 28?
What do you want for yourself, then?
- I'd quite like to be married by then.
- John has just
announced his engagement.
He is a successful barrister
in the chancery division
of the high court.
At 21, these were his
thoughts about his career.
- Law sort of interests me.
I think it's sort of good life.
It's hard work, but you sort of,
when you get to a certain eminence,
you know, you take the work you want,
and you take the holidays you want,
and you don't really
dance to anyone's tune.
All of which quite suits me.
- And what about Charles?
- It's hard to say.
Probably scribbling away in some basement
for some London newspaper
or something like that.
- Charles did scribble away
for an East London newspaper.
He moved on after a
year and joined the BBC,
where he now works as
an assistant producer.
And Andrew, what did he want?
- I'd like to be a solicitor.
And also fairly successful.
- Andrew is a solicitor,
working for a large firm in the city.
- What qualities do you think
it needs to be successful?
- Well, you have to have a legal ability
in my business, obviously.
And you have to have a
sort of bed-side manner
as far as your clients are concerned,
because it's no good being brilliant
if you can't communicate
with your clients.
- And what do
you think about girlfriends
at your age, now tell me what
you think of girlfriends.
- I've got one, but I
don't think much of her.
- The girls never, never, never
do what the boys want them.
They always start playing with dolls
when the boys want to
play rough and tumble.
- It's quite true.
- Yes!
- I don't think I financially come
from the same background.
Andrew didn't go for a haughty deb,
he went for a good Yorkshire lass.
But, I mean obviously
he knew what he wanted.
- Andrew and Jane
were married 18 months ago.
- I think I'm probably
quite down-to-Earth,
and I tend to be less extravagant
than maybe some women are.
I don't go out and buy
lots of expensive dresses,
I just go out and buy one or two.
- And even better, pay for them.
- They spend their weekends
in the Sussex countryside,
where they are converting
an old barn, which they
bought with financial help
from their parents.
They plan to live in it permanently
when they start a family.
During the week, they
have a flat in London,
and Jane has a full-time
job as a secretary.
- I think it's not a bad
idea to pay for schools,
because if we didn't,
schools would be so nasty
and crowded.
- Yes, yes.
- So do I think so.
And the people in it, and
our schools wouldn't...
- And poor people would come rushing in.
- The man in charge of the school would...
- Get very angry.
- Would get very angry, because he would...
- And he'd get bankrupt, once more.
- He wouldn't be able
to pay all the masters
if he didn't get any money.
- Yes!
- Well, I've
never really experienced
the state system, but I
think you get a better level
of education if you can
go to a private school.
- Do you think it's bad
that people like you opt
out of the state system?
- Well, there are really
two counter-arguments.
First of all, there's the argument
that people should have the choice,
if they've earned the money to spend it.
And then the other
argument is that if we all
went to the same sort of schools,
those schools would probably be better
because those people who had influence
would do their utmost to
make sure they were better
if they had to send their children there.
Whereas, they just look back
and don't particularly care
what happens in the state system.
- And what
do you feel about that?
- Well, I think probably the latter choice
is fairly impractical.
So, I suppose that one has to continue
with the idea of everyone having a choice.
Once, I had to talk to
Grevile, he was in my house.
And I asked sir if he could
put him out of my house,
because he was always getting minuses.
Looking back on our film of us at seven,
certainly I was a fairly
precocious little brat
and I hope I'm no longer.
- Do you still
read the Financial Times?
- No.
- Run up there, good shot!
- You mustn't give it,
no feeding, it says.
- I'll feed it.
Can feed whenever you want to.
- Look at them, John!
Look now, John.
- Stop it at once!
I don't think much of the accents.
- Neither do I.
- But they're poor children.
- It doesn't really
prevent me liking them.
- Da-da-da, yes, and that
mustn't be late there.
Quite quietly, it's a very
nonchalant little theme.
- Well, yes, I do feel
I've had the best of
everything as far as education
is concerned.
But, I mean, you know, to get here,
I had to work very hard.
- But you don't deny
you've had a silver spoon?
- I think anyone who goes
to a really good school
has had a leg up.
But I mean, I wouldn't say I'd had,
been unduly privileged.
If I'd missed exams at my school
and had to sort of grotty,
grotty public school,
I wouldn't have thought I
had any advantage at all.
Yes, I must say, all this
talk about opportunities.
It's something I did slightly
object to in the programmes.
We were shown at the age of seven,
outlining, sort of the
academic sort of career
that most of us did, in
fact, pursue, you know?
Each sentence ended up, you know,
"John is at Westminster",
"Andrew is at Charterhouse,"
and everything,
implying that we just sailed through,
merely manifesting an
intention at the age of seven.
But it didn't show the sleepless nights,
the sort of pouring over our books,
the sort of, all the sweat and toil
that got us to university.
It was presented as it if was just
part of some indestructible birthright,
that we went to all these places,
and I thought that was unfair.
It didn't show us having
to do beastly jobs in
the holidays, you know,
to make ends meet.
It didn't give a very
real sort of impression.
- Do you want to be rich?
- Well, yes, because I
don't want to be tied down
to the dullness of an everyday job.
I want to be able to have enough money
so I can indulge in the
things that might interest me,
like collecting paintings.
I do believe in a sort of ordered
and structured society,
and I think we're not
exactly alive for very long.
We've each got our own job to do,
and our own little position to be in.
Some people have a
better time than others,
but it doesn't mean
because you sweep the streets
you're any less valuable
than someone who's running
a huge corporation.
Not everyone can be a the top,
and as long as people are
happy in what they're doing,
that's, I think, the
greatest good that can be,
and this is what worries
be about these new,
sort of invidious class attitudes,
that certain subversive
elements are introducing,
based on envy and things.
- John declined
to be interviewed at 28.
He felt satisfied with what he had said
in the previous films and
had nothing more to add.
- The rich children always make fun
of poor children, I think.
- Yes.
- Yes.
- Yes, they say, "Oh, look
at that lovely little sissy
"over there," or something
horrible like that.
- Yes, and they throw things at them.
I don't particularly want to be rich,
but I'd like to have enough money.
- Well, what
do you mean by enough?
- Well, enough to have
a nice house and be able
to send the children to a private school,
if you want to.
I really don't see how one's life
can be a failure and that
if I became a journalist
and got sacked at 30, it's
probably because I'd grown
out of it or I'd changed,
so I was no longer suitable,
so therefore, I'd find
something else which was,
which I would find I
enjoyed and which my talents
were suited to.
- Charles has
found a career suited
to his talents.
At the BBC, he makes documentary films.
He decided not to take part in this film.
- I'm quite happy living in the society
that I am living in.
It's a shame that more people
can't get the opportunities
that I've had, and I'm not
sure how one deals with that.
- But you've
been lucky, haven't you?
What about those who
haven't been so lucky?
- Absolutely, I have been really lucky.
- Well, we pretend we've got swords,
and we make the noise
of the swords fighting,
and when somebody stabs us, we go, "Arg!".
I think if you're healthy
have good friends,
you can get on perfectly well,
but everybody would like to be rich.
- Neil was brought
up in a Liverpool suburb,
went to comprehensive
school, and dropped out
of Aberdeen University after one term.
At 21, he was working
as a casual labourer,
on a building site in London.
- I came to London
and I contacted an agency
for squatters, and they were
able to give me the address
of somebody who was able to help people
who were looking for
accommodation in the London area.
And by a process of chasing people around,
I eventually managed to find this place.
I think in questions of
squatting, a bit of humanity
is more important than vague rules
about who can live where.
- But you've kicked
against the stability that's been offered.
- I don't think I ever had any stability,
to be quite honest.
I can't think of any time
in my life when I ever did.
I don't think I've been
kicking against anything.
I think I've been kicking in
midair the whole of my life.
Last three years, I have,
in fact, been unemployed,
but travelling quite a
bit, mostly in Britain.
Been abroad once or twice,
but not as extensively
as I used to do.
Shall I put the luggage in here
or do you want it in the back?
I live off money from Social Security,
which does me for my rent and my food.
I've been moving about a bit
between different places, really.
I've been unsettled, but I'm very shortly
moving to live-in digs.
- For the last seven years,
Neil has been moving around Britain.
He spent the summer on
a farm in North Wales,
and when we found him, he had just arrived
in the Western Highlands of Scotland.
- Do you think people like you,
who live off the state, are scrounging?
- No.
If the state didn't give us any money,
it would probably just mean crime.
And I'm glad I don't have to
steal to keep myself alive.
I do it simply because I don't want
to be without any money at all.
If the money runs out, well, then,
for a few days there's nowhere to go to.
And that's just, that's all you can do.
I simply have to find the
warmest shed I can find.
- Neil rents whatever
kind of home he can find.
- The last job I had was cooking
in a youth hostel, some
cleaning work as well.
And I was the only person in the hostel
that could speak French,
so I'd have a bit of that.
- Do you eat every day?
- Yes, yes.
I'm eating better now than I was at times
when I was in Aberdeen.
In those days, sometimes,
I really was short of food.
Well, I'm going to take
people to the country,
and sometimes, take them to the seaside,
and I'll have a big
loudspeaker in the motor coach,
and tell them whereabouts we
are and what we're going to do,
and what the name of the
road is, and all about that.
There's a lot more to do in the mountains
than there would be in a
suburb or in the city centre.
What I've found here, in fact,
is that you don't talk about
things like the weather,
because the weather is all around.
Everybody knows it's been raining,
so you don't talk about the weather.
That makes good sense to me.
I'm not the sort of person
who can go into a pub,
sit down with a drink and
listen to the jukebox,
and talk a lot of rubbish.
A lot of people find that very relaxing,
but if I'm gonna talk to somebody,
A, I have to be able to
hear myself speaking,
and B, I have to be
talking about something
that actually has a meaning.
I'm not trying to denigrate
the way that most people relax,
but I can't do that, so
I'm lost in a noisy pub.
I'll sit in a quiet corner of a quiet pub
and then I'll want to
talk about literature
or something like that, which
not everybody will want to.
- How do people regard you here?
- Well, I'm still
known as an eccentric,
as I have been since
about the age of 16 or so.
- Do the days seem long for you?
- They can do.
- Do you
have any friends anywhere?
- I have some good
friends, still, in England.
I don't think I need to go to university,
'cause I'm not gonna be a teacher.
I moved up to a comprehensive school.
I found it much bigger, of course,
and I found it hard to
settle into at first.
I did make an application to Oxford,
but I didn't get in.
Well, I think that's in the past now,
and I don't know whether I would've been
any happier at Oxford.
It always had been a
dream to get into Oxford,
I think because people had encouraged me,
and because I knew famous
people having been to Oxford.
That is still something that occasionally
I think about, and think, yes,
I know I could've done well.
I've been playing since I started
at the comprehensive school,
since the first year.
I don't think I was half as
clever as I was told I was.
I think, unfortunately, I grew up
against a background of fairly,
of people of pretty average intelligence.
I don't think I went to
a school that was full
of bright people.
If this had been the case, I don't think
I would've been so big-headed.
I know I went to university expecting
to be something of a genius,
and found that this
wasn't the case at all,
which is a good thing for me.
I mean, it's very good that
I didn't count that opinion.
I don't think I was so much clever,
I just think I was quite enthusiastic,
particularly when it came to A-levels.
I was enthusiastic about
the subjects I was studying,
and therefore, with the
help of good teaching,
I was able to get good results.
- What were your results?
- Well, I did well enough,
I'm not gonna boast.
- Well, then
tell me, tell me the fact.
How many O-levels and how
many A-levels did you get?
- Well, I managed, I got 10 O-levels,
and then I got four A-levels.
- And did you
get good grades within them?
- Yes, the grades were quite satisfactory.
Well, I was only taking
university seriously
for a matter of a couple of
months, two or three months.
Maybe I went to the wrong university,
or maybe university life didn't suit me.
Either way, I felt a very
great need to get out
of the system.
No formal education can
prepare anybody for life.
Only life can prepare you for what comes,
and sooner or later, you're gonna have
to cross certain barriers,
and I don't think you ever
cross those at school,
or at university.
You come across the problem
of mixing with other people,
but the real problem,
I mean the real problem of
becoming a success in the world,
is one you have to tackle yourself.
On the grass, we play
international wrestling.
- Yeah, that's only at summertime, though.
- Yes, only when we can go on the grass.
Being in set one, it's very, very hard
to keep up with the leaders.
I never have a time to relax at all.
I don't know what sort of stumbling blocks
should be put in a child's way
to get him used to living
in the outside world.
'Cause I think, maybe, this is something
that was wrong in my upbringing,
I didn't have enough
obstacles to get over.
I still set myself high standards
if I'm doing something I want to do.
But that's, that's important,
that's not too bad a thing.
- But you talked also
about not having enough
obstacles in your life.
How do you feel about that now?
- It's funny, that, isn't it?
I can't remember saying
that, but now I do remember,
and it seems that the whole
situation is reversed.
- In what way?
- Well, now, I'm a free,
I've got a free hand,
but I've got nothing
to do with myself, so.
In the winter, if you
lived in the country,
well, is was just all wet,
and there wouldn't be
anything for miles around,
and if you get soaked,
if you try to go out,
and there's no shelter anywhere,
except in your own house.
But in the town, you can
go out on wet, wintry days,
'cause you can always
find somewhere to shelter,
'cause there's lots of places.
I don't think I've been
typical of the environment
in which I lived.
I might still have been unemployed,
but what my background has given me
is a sense of just being part of
a very impersonal society, the suburbs.
The suburbs force this kind
of feeling upon somebody.
The most you can hope to achieve is,
is to have the right to
climb into a suburban train
five or 10 times a week,
and just about stagger back
for the weekend.
The least is, is just unemployment.
Great, thanks.
I just needed just a nice woolly pair.
- Roughly lined good?
- Yeah, yeah good.
- What other things
about modern society turn you off?
- The cheap satisfaction
in so many things.
The aimlessness.
But I think the total lack of thought
is at the bottom of it.
Nobody seems to know where they,
or anybody else, is going.
And nobody seems to worry.
You know, you finish the week,
you come home, you plug into the TV set
for the weekend, and then you manage
to get back to work on Monday.
And it seems to me that
this is just a slow path
to total brainwashing.
And if you have a brainwashed society,
then you're heading towards doom.
There's no question about that.
- It would be pretty tough
to convince most people
that what you have here,
the way you live, the way you look
is better than a suburban life.
- Well, I don't want to
convince anybody, I know it is.
See, what I look like isn't
necessarily what I feel like.
I'm not claiming that I feel as though
I'm in some sort of nirvana,
but I'm claiming that if I was living
in a bedsit in suburbia,
I'd be so miserable,
I'd feel like cutting my throat.
And so, there is a slight difference.
When I go home, I come in and Mummy
gives me a cup of tea and
then I go out and play,
and when it starts to get
dark, I come in again,
and put on TV.
I don't think I was really
taught any sort of policy
of living at all by my parents.
This is probably their biggest mistake,
and I was just left to fend for myself,
in a world which they seem
completely oblivious of.
And I found that even when
I tried to discuss problems
which were facing me in school,
my parents didn't seem
to be aware of the nature
of the problem.
We made up quite well
after the bad times we went through
when I was in my early 20s.
There are still awkward patches,
but I think suddenly,
perhaps almost mutually,
it dawned upon us that we
were all making mistakes.
And also, that some of the things we did
couldn't be helped.
And I think now, perhaps
the greatest thing
we've achieved is,
is we know when to say nothing.
And we know when to do nothing.
And we know when to be
tolerant of each other.
And that's a great thing,
that's really tremendous.
What I'd like most of all would be,
would be to be able to do
something for my parents,
when they're older, to be there,
when the time is necessary.
- Were they
upset with what you said
about them in the last programme.
- I'm sure they were,
but I don't wish I hadn't said it,
because I said exactly what
was going through my mind.
I think I was very
venomous, and I think I,
had I been in an easier situation myself,
and had I had less worries
myself at the time,
I would've been perhaps a little kinder.
I had to take out my anger on somebody,
and I think it came out on my parents.
But, perhaps, unconsciously,
a lot of what I said was
what I did feel underneath.
But I don't want the scar to remain.
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.
- Why?
- Because, because, 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.
- Coloured people, we
don't like them very much.
- No, it sounds like with
ghostly-colored people.
You think of a purple person with red eyes
and yellow feet and you can't really think
of what they really look like.
- What goes through your mind,
when you look at those,
saw those two films,
when you were at seven,
bright and perky, and...
- I find it hard to believe
that I was ever like that,
but there's the evidence.
I want to know why I was like that.
I want to know what it was inside me
that made me like that.
And I can see, even at 14,
that I was beginning to get more subdued,
and I was putting a lot more
thought into what I was saying,
and to a ridiculous degree.
And probably, when I was seven, I just,
I don't know, I lived
in a wonderful world,
where everything was all sensation,
and I could be happy,
and I decided to be miserable, actually.
I know at seven years
old, I was fascinated
by everything around me.
The colours of things and
things that were funny,
the sounds that things made.
I had, if you like idiosyncratic views
about things that other people
hadn't even thought about,
I remember I thought that coloured people
had purple noses and green
legs, or something like that.
Perhaps I'm still looking for...
It's difficult to explain.
Perhaps I'm still looking
for the green nose
and this sort of thing.
And I know that they're still there.
I know that when you
look at a human being,
that there's more to that
person than just a robot.
When I grow up, I want to be an astronaut,
but if I can't be an astronaut,
I think I'll be a coach driver.
This is probably linked up
with the fact now, is I want to travel.
I mean, my thoughts haven't
really changed, definitely.
So, although I definitely wouldn't like
to be a coach driver, now.
I suppose, yes, well, I would like
to be somebody in a
position of importance,
and I've always thought this.
But 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 love to be in politics
or something like this.
But I suppose I'd probably
find that just as tedious
as all the other jobs I've done, so.
All the things I always
thought I could do,
I could give lectures on erudite subjects
that I'd read all about, or
I could work in the theatre,
perhaps lighting or directing a show.
- And is all that lost to you?
- Does seem to be, yes.
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 or a nice place
to live would be the solution.
Well, I haven't succeeded.
I can't see any immediate future at all.
But here I am, I'm still,
I've got clothes on my back,
not particularly nice clothes,
but I've still got them.
I have a place to go to.
I have some prospects of work.
I'm still applying for
jobs, I haven't given up.
I think I'm lucky because
I've met so many people.
I've worked with people who
have no future whatsoever,
for whom life is finished,
completely, at 50.
And yet, they still have
to somehow keep going.
And I don't want it to seem
that I'm complaining too much.
I feel, especially sometimes,
when I'm on my own,
that I'm losing touch with
the way other people live.
- Do you
worry about your sanity?
- Other people, sometimes, worry about it.
- Like who?
- As I've said, I sometimes
can be found behaving
in an erratic fashion.
I sometimes get very
frustrated, very angry,
for no apparent reason, for a reason
which won't be apparent
to other people around me.
It's happened from time to time.
- Have you had treatment?
- I've occasionally had
to see doctors, yes.
I haven't had any treatment.
- And what
have they said to you?
- I've had a lot of advice,
but you know, the best
medicine is kind words.
And it usually comes from
somebody who has nothing
to do with the medical profession.
Which isn't to say that
doctors can't be very helpful,
but really, the thing a sick person wants
is to be away from doctors
as soon as possible.
- What did
they say was wrong with you?
- Well, I have always
had a nervous complaint.
I had it since I was 16.
It was responsible for
my leaving university,
and for some of my difficulties with work.
But as you know, you can't afford
to go around looking depressed.
That in itself is bad enough.
- So, can you lick it?
- It remains to be seen.
Yes, I'd say I believed in God.
- Are you religious?
- Well, I got to church
with my parents on Sundays.
Oh, 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.
But still, there, this was
the absolutely certain one,
if one was to survive in the world,
one would have to believe in God.
I don't think of God as a creature,
but I think of something, time, destiny,
which is regulating everybody's affairs,
and which you cannot,
you cannot fight against,
and you cannot order about.
- And how's
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:
sometimes, very benevolent,
sometimes, seemingly, needlessly unkind.
- If we
come back in seven years,
how would you like us to find you?
- In a job, from which I
was getting satisfaction,
probably with children,
with a good salary,
enough to, as I said before, to be able
to live fairly comfortably,
and with friends whom I could
contact when I wanted to.
I'm a lot happier now than
I was seven years ago.
I'm more content.
I don't have such dreadful yearnings.
I don't feel so hopelessly,
as if everything is against me.
- Do you think, "What a waste"?
- Yeah, perhaps.
- Why should you accept this?
You're better than all this, aren't you?
- No, I'm not better
than anything or anybody,
I'm just somebody with my
own particular difficulties,
my own particular obstacles to surmount,
and everybody else is doing
exactly the same thing.
- If we did all love Geoffrey,
and we all want to marry him...
- Yes!
- I think I know
the one that he'd like.
- Jackie, Lynn, Susan.
After primary school, they separated,
and at 14, Lynn was at grammar school,
and Jackie and Susan
were at comprehensive.
- We had a teacher at school...
- Are we on?
- That his favourite ploy
was, "All you girls want to do
"is walk out, get married, have babies,
"and push a pram down the street
"with a fag hanging the
side of your mouth."
- Women are expanding into
so many different areas now
that it must getting
easier, and I mean I could...
- Susan has
been married four years
and has a son of two.
Her husband, Billy, is a gas fitter,
and they live in a council
house in the East End of London.
- 74.
- I'm lucky, I expect,
because I still manage to do my own thing.
I've got a husband who
lets me do what I want,
and a mum who helps me out.
You know, and I do a little part-time job,
which is enough for me,
because I don't think
I could cope with a full-time job,
and I wouldn't want to, personally.
- 60.
- Jackie was married at 19
and her husband is a decorator.
She works for an insurance
company in the city.
- I certainly don't want to stay
in the position I am at the
moment, forever and ever.
But how ambitious, I'm not really sure.
Tends to change as you get older, so,
just gotta wait and see, really.
- Lynn also married at 19.
Her husband works for the post office
and they have two daughters.
They moved out of the East
End to Kent 18 months ago.
- I'm going to work in Woolworth's.
- At 21, Lynn was
working in a mobile library
in Tower Hamlets.
She's still there.
- Have I stamped yours?
- Yes.
- Yes?
I've not stamped yours.
Sleeping Beauty.
Teaching children the beauty of books
and watching their faces
as books unfold to them
is just fantastic.
To work with children of that age,
you've gotta love 'em,
and I love children.
- Well, I know he is her,
and he loves her.
- I don't, I love him.
- I don't think I'd get married too early.
I'd like to have a full life
first and meet people and...
- Like to enjoy myself before I'd...
- Yeah, before you commit
yourself to a family.
- Before you get married.
- If you think that getting married,
as far as we're concerned
is a case of going to work,
come home, cook tea for
hubby, going to bed,
getting up, going to work,
you're totally mistaken.
- Did you meet enough men
before you decided who to marry?
- I've been married a year
in a couple of months.
You do think, "Christ, what have I done?"
- See, I've still got more...
- And I'm bein' honest about it.
And Les thinks the same, you think,
at times, you think,
"Christ, what have I done?"
It is a partnership marriage yes.
We married, say, ominously, young,
but because we wanted to go out
and have fun together, and grow together.
- I'm not sure I would recommend it.
I think, if, but again,
you're generalising.
I mean, if, I would say, on average,
19 is probably too young.
- I've had good time, up 'til I was 24,
and 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.
If I could, I would have
two girls and two boys.
- Yes, so would I.
- And what about you, Jackie?
- My mum, 'cause she's got five girls,
she had seven years bad luck,
that's why she's got five girls.
I'd like it to be how,
have a happy family.
I mean, I know that's not possible,
to be happy all the time,
but as much of the time
that it was possible.
Go through there, that's the nursery.
- Got any plans.
- Oh, do me a favour.
- At 21, Jackie
had moved into a new house.
She has decided not to have any children.
- Basically, I would say
because I'm far too selfish.
I enjoy doing what I want
when I want and how I want.
And certainly at the moment,
I can't see any way around that.
And it's not to say that
that's a forever decision.
Some people can make it work,
I just don't think I could.
- You don't
think you're missing out
on what they have, their
stake in the future?
- No.
Actually, that's a terrible,
terrible way to put it.
- No, I don't
think that that'd it.
- You know?
I mean, that makes you
sound like you're saying,
right, great, we're gonna have a child.
And that's us.
I do feel to a degree that
yes, I am missing out,
but I also think that I
get far more pleasure,
or I'm gaining far more
experience by not having that tie.
- When I got married, the primary reason
was because I want to have a child.
The two, to me, went together.
I can understand Jackie's decision,
because I think there's
still a lot of pressure
put on young married
couples to have children,
as though it's expected of them,
and I think it's all wrong.
It's just a personal decision
that everyone's entitled to make.
And knowing what it does to your life,
I can fully understand
someone who decides not to.
What would you do if
you had lots of money,
but made two pounds.
- I would buy meself a new,
new nice house, you know,
one that's all nice and comfy.
- Do you get
depressed by money problems?
- No, why?
Why should you?
If you can manage on what...
- Foolish to get
depressed over money.
- It's so easy to, by would you?
Why bother about it?
- Well, I've reached
the 18th day of the month
and my mortgage is due on the 20th
and there's nowhere near
enough money in there,
I'd get depressed about it, obviously.
What money?
- It was hard first of
all, when I gave up work,
from having a fairly high salary,
to nothing, was hard.
But you get used to it.
Whatever your circumstances are,
you live in them, you get used to them,
and you cope, everybody does.
I didn't feel like going
to a grammar school,
just a comprehensive school.
It just seemed more friendly,
you know, at the time,
at least, by now,
they're really different.
- They're really good.
- Grammar school is fantastic.
- If you say so, Lynn.
- We found that it doesn't
scratch the bottom.
Why am I using a wooden spoon, please,
to stir this saucepan?
- I don't think anybody influenced me.
It was a conscious decision.
Obviously the decision
was discussed at home,
but it was always in me to go.
- There may come a time, perhaps later on,
when I'll regret not having,
is it, we're talking about
examination results, really.
That's what it boils down to.
And I got some examination results,
some O-levels, CSAs,
whatever, didn't need them,
for the jobs I decided to do, so.
- With this school, we do
metal work and wood work
and the boys do cookery,
and we get a share of
everything, sort of thing.
Most parents would want every advantage
that they can get for their child.
Now whether you class
going to grammar school as an advantage,
is dependent on your entire outlook.
If you don't class it as an advantage,
then you're not gonna push that.
- My mum left me, she knew
I could go to grammar,
and I decided that I didn't want to.
- You didn't want
to, the choice was yours.
- And she encouraged me in the
choice in that I made and...
- That's right.
- But right or wrong,
that was my choice,
as much as I was capable
of making a decision.
And I enjoyed myself.
- My father had a
reasonably good education,
he never went to the local comprehensive,
but at the same time,
I don't think he was too worried
which way I decided to go.
I think he probably knew
me better than I did,
which was that basically,
I was a very lazy person, academically,
and I think I would've
found grammar school a push.
- Do you
have any regrets about it?
- No, no.
You can only have regrets about things
if you're not happy with the way you are.
- You look at the old film
and you see yourselves at seven.
Do you think you've changed?
- No, I don't
think I have, really.
- We're the same
people as we were then.
- I was always chatty,
Jackie was always chatty,
and Lynn was always the quieter one.
- Is that
depressing or frightening
to think that we're all set
by the time we're seven,
and that's it?
- I don't think
one's set by that age.
You progress, but the overall character
is there to come up.
- I think the basics are there.
- Yeah, the basics are there.
- And why is it that you three
haven't changed so much, do you think?
- Hopefully, we never know that.
- Perhaps we've never grown up.
- We've all had a stable background
with stable relationships
all the way through.
I mean.
- The same people are there
now that were there then.
- The poor, if you don't help them,
they'll sort of die, soon, wouldn't they?
There are some people who are
just born into rich families,
and they're lucky.
- I don't see why they
should have the luck
when people who have
worked all their lives
never got half as much as what they have.
It just don't seem fair.
- I've had the opportunities
in life that I've wanted.
- I say I've had more opportunities.
- You've married.
- I'm not saying choose.
- Yeah, you've married.
- So you
three working-class girls
don't feel bitter about a society
that maybe gives one strata
of it more opportunities
than another?
- No.
Not bitter.
- Not at all.
- I don't even think, to be honest,
we consciously think about it
until this programme comes up...
- We think about
it and there they are.
- Until this programme comes
up once every seven years.
I really don't think
we even think about it.
I do not sit there saying,,
"She was born into money, he's had more,"
I mean it just doesn't, it
doesn't even cross my mind.
- I think that we all could've gone
in any way that we wanted to at the time,
within our capabilities.
I mean, we chose our own jobs,
we were able to choose
our own jobs quite freely.
- If you've got a comfortable background,
then perhaps it can make life easy,
but I think you've also seen,
within this programme, that it
doesn't always work that way.
- In some respects, I think
that the boys, and Suzie,
didn't have such an open choice as we had.
It was mapped out from such an early age,
as to where they were going,
and they had to live up.
It's a hard thing,
living up to parental...
- Expectations.
- Expectations.
- Before I'm old enough to get a job,
I just walk around and
see what I can find.
Was gonna be a film star, but
now I'm gonna be an electrical engineer,
which is more to reality, really.
I often say I'm saving to
settle down with Yvonne.
And then I think to meself,
"Oh, I might buy a car, instead."
Since 21, I've got married,
had a couple of kids.
Hey, give me your hand, too.
Well, I don't there was anybody
else I could've ever married
except Yvonne.
She gives me my life, really,
because we're together,
we have the children
and everything.
- And what is it, with Yvonne,
that you fell in love with?
- Her nature, really.
She's always quiet and thoughtful,
except when she's laughing.
Don't tell lies.
- Tell me, do
you have any girlfriends?
- Well, not many.
- What do you think about girls?
- Well, not much.
Look at the parrot.
- When you
decided to have the five,
did you want to have them close together?
- Yeah, because
if you separate your kids,
say one is 15 and one is six,
and there's such an age gap
that they could never get on,
they never grow up together,
they won't know each other.
- Why did you
want to have a large family?
- Well, I wouldn't
really call it a large family.
- Well, I think it is large
by average standards.
- Yeah?
We just wanted five kids.
You know, we got exactly what we want:
three boys and two girls, so, I mean.
- You gonna have any more?
- No, no, no, it was exactly,
though it's a handful, you know?
- Do you
push your kids at school?
Those that go to school already?
- No, I don't push them, I encourage them
in what they, they come
home, when they come home,
and I come home in the evening,
they tell me what they've done.
You know, if they've done anything bad,
I'll tell where they've gone wrong.
And if they want,
what's the word, not encouragement,
praise, for what they've done,
then I'll give it to them
if they've done well, yeah?
- Do you see maybe your kids
are gonna be smarter than you are?
- Oh, yeah, there's
a couple of 'em already,
look like they're gonna be smarter.
- How are you gonna handle that?
- I keep 'em on my side.
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.
- What
effect has that had on you?
- Well, I don't think
it's had any effect on me,
'cause what you don't have,
you don't miss, and this.
20 years ago, when I was born,
you know, an illegitimate child
that's only whispered about,
people feel strongly
about it in those days,
but nowadays, it's,
it's not a serious matter.
The serious point is whether you stay
with somebody or you leave them.
- What would
you like to give your children
that you never had?
- Well, 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.
I feel like bundling, when
there's already a fight.
I always feel like that.
- Simon was brought
up in a children's home.
He went back to live with his mother
when he was 13.
- I was at a boarding school,
and I liked the discipline.
That gave me kind of freedom.
- Do you encourage
that with your children?
- Yeah, I do encourage that.
They go to bed the same time every night,
and they get up 'round about
the same time every morning.
And they go to school
the same time every day.
You know, it's good to have
discipline and routine.
- But what about in your life,
do think there's been too much routine?
- No, not really.
I mean, somebody else
might think so, yeah,
but I enjoyed having the routine.
I enjoyed knowing where
I was gonna be next,
and what I had to do next,
because that sort of relieved
me from responsibilities.
- At 21, he was
working in the freezer room
of Wall's Sausages in London.
- How do you see the future,
as far as work goes?
- Well, I know I can't
stay at Wall's forever.
I mean, it's just not me.
I couldn't stay there for that
long, my mind would go dead.
I don't know, I've been there
about eight or nine years,
or something like that.
There's a lot of people I know there, now.
When I first went there, I mean,
there's gettin' to know people.
Now that I've been there so long,
I mean, I know practically
everybody who's in there.
Now, I don't think my mind could go dead
'cause I got a lot to talk about
every day I go to work, you know?
There's always somebody says
something smart, you know?
I just want to
be just like anybody else, you know?
Nothing too marvellous.
I feel okay just gettin' on in life.
Just sort of keepin' up.
But I know if I really
wanted to, I could get on.
Yeah, only take a little
spark in me to do it.
Oh, I'm quite happy to stay there.
Doesn't look like it's gonna close down,
so, I mean, better the
devil you know, innit?
- Did 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.
But it's never really sort of worried me.
I suppose it should, but it just hasn't.
Not really interested in
moving' on, up the scale.
- Why?
- I don't need the hassle it would be
to charge-hand, manager, or whatever.
I had one dream when all
the world was on top of me,
and everything was on it,
and I just about got out,
and everything flew up in the air.
It all landed on my head.
See, I mean everybody's
got the same start.
They got their little bit of
grey matter in their head,
and depends how they use
it, and for what purpose.
Yeah, if you're just gonna be like me,
take it easy through
your life, okay, great.
If you're gonna be somebody
who really wants to go far,
well, you have to push yourself.
If you don't push
yourself, you won't go up.
- And did you wanna go far,
push yourself?
- No, I wanna get through
life nice and easy.
- Dinner!
- Dinner!
- Simon and his
family live in a council flat,
in South Hall, London.
- What do you
think about rich people?
- Well, not much.
- Tell me about them.
- Well, they think they can do everything,
but without you doin' it as well.
Rich people, they have
all different things,
everything they want,
whereas poor people,
they don't have nothing,
and they know they haven't got nothing.
And so they know they're
missing something.
- What are you missing?
- Well, I'm missing a
bike and a fishing rod.
- Are you envious of people
who have a lot of money?
- No, I may have been,
but I can't envy them now,
because I've got what I want,
so there's nothing that
anybody can give me
that is gonna make me any happier.
I could save for months,
and then just one day,
just go out and spend it, and that's that.
I would feel quite happy about it.
I wouldn't worry about
gettin' the next penny.
If you don't plan anything, you wouldn't,
you'll never get by anyway.
You could have millions,
and you wouldn't know what
you're gonna do with it,
if you just keep spending it.
You have to know what you're spending.
Everybody's gotta get used
to knowing coloured people,
and coloured people in
turn have gotta get used
to being with white people,
'cause if either side
doesn't work properly,
then no side will work properly.
They're just the same as me, aren't they?
- I mean, do you think it's hard
being a black man in
English society today?
- That depends
what you want, innit?
If you just wanna live in this society,
no it's not hard.
If you wanna fight a society,
yes, it would be hard.
- And have
you ever wanted to fight it?
- Not really, no, it's no need for it.
I've been to Madame Tussauds, with my mom,
and the planetarium as well.
- Do you want to go abroad?
- Yeah.
I'd like to go to Majorca,
and take a couple of weeks
out there from everything.
Relax meself.
I think I might like to sort
of go out of this country,
probably just for a holiday, first.
Somewhere, anywhere, and then sort of,
think about settling down somewhere else.
I mean, I could've got a
job in some foreign parts,
working for an automation, a packing firm.
But when it came down to
it, I didn't wanna move.
I didn't wanna leave.
So I mean, probably got a
very narrow view of life,
'cause I don't really like travelling.
- Does that worry you
that you have that narrow view?
- Worry me, you keep asking
me if things worry me.
- Does it concern you, then?
- Yeah, that's a different word.
No, not really, it
doesn't really concern me.
- And what
do you want for the future?
- Watchin' my kids grow up,
and when they've grown up,
maybe seeing their children
grow up as well.
- Looking at
some of the earlier films,
it would seem that maybe
you had a sad childhood,
and you didn't have a dad, and you didn't
have a lot of material things.
- No, I wouldn't really
call that a sad life.
It's a different life to
somebody with everything,
or thinks they have everything,
but I mean, doesn't matter
if you got everything,
all the material things in the world.
I mean, you're not gonna be happy anyway,
because you still want the
next thing down the road.
- 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 seven,
and I will give you the man.
This has been a glimpse
of Britain's future.