42 Up (1998) Movie Script

- I'm going to work in Woolworths.
- When I grow up, I
want to be an astronaut.
- When I get married, I'd
like to have two children.
- My heart's desire is to see my Daddy.
- I don't want to answer that.
- This is no
ordinary outing at the zoo,
it's a very special occasion.
We've brought these children together
for the very first time.
They're like any other
children except that they come
from startlingly different backgrounds.
- Stop it at once.
- We've brought
these children together
because we wanted a glimpse
of England in the year 2000.
The shop steward and the
executive of the year 2000
are now seven years old.
- In 1964, World
in Action made Seven Up.
We have been back to film these
children every seven years.
They are now 42.
- Is it important to fight?
- Tony was brought
up in the East of London.
- I wanna be a jockey when I grow up,
yeah, I wanna be a jockey when I grow up.
- At 14, he
was already an apprentice
at Tommy Gosling's
racing stables in Epsom.
At 15, he left school.
- This is a photo finish
of when I rode at Newbury.
I'm the one with the white cap.
I was beaten a length and a half a third
and had a photo finish.
So, I took it out of the box
and kept it as a souvenir.
- It's only an eight.
- By 28, he'd
given up on horse racing.
- 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.
All my years from seven, all my ambition
is fulfilled in one moment and
I eventually finished last.
Tailed off obviously, but didn't
make any difference to me.
Just to be part of it,
be with the man himself.
- 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 the game.
Wouldn't bother.
- What do you
think you would do then?
- Learn taxis.
- At 21, he
was on the Knowledge,
and by 28, he owned his own cab.
- We were on the way to Langans,
and all I can hear is
Alf Garnet, you know,
and it's the Labour Government
and your lot up here.
- Have you got a girlfriend?
- No.
- Would you
like to have a girlfriend?
- No.
You understand the Four Fs,
find 'em, feed 'em, and forget 'em.
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 went to a discotheque.
He was in the pub earlier
on and that afterwards,
we went to a discotheque
and Tony was down there,
and I just, from there
I just, that was it.
I couldn't get rid of him.
- We have our ups and downs,
no more than anyone else.
- I think you got to work at a marriage.
I think all marriages go through stages,
you can't stand each other,
you go through, you know,
I think, "Oh God, I hate
him I wish he'd get out."
I do.
- We've been to the edge of the cliff
and looked over a couple of times,
and we've always seemed
to sort of go back,
and we've sort of stayed the course,
but I must say it's
not easy being married.
Anyone who thinks it is, I
mean, it's quite difficult.
- In 1993, Tony
and Debbie left the East End
and moved to Woodford in Essex.
- Well, with the help of my neighbour,
I'm not really a
do-it-yourself type of guy.
He painted all the back of the house,
and we were gonna put a conservatory here.
If you look along here,
we've put a patio in
and a pond for the fish.
- Well, when we bought
it, it was very old.
This was two rooms and we've
knocked it completely out.
Refitted a kitchen,
put all new windows in,
new flooring, literally everything really.
Well, the fence we had a bit of luck there
'cause the next-door neighbour,
they paid for it and
they'd done all this end.
So I'd done, come in my favour
having a small bit done.
So, there's a blessing there,
but the only thing I ever done
was I planted them three trees,
and they seem to have grown in
the last three or four years.
- It has cost us a lot
of money to do it, yeah,
a lot of money.
Now, we're skint.
- Well, I think we overspent about,
oh, a colossal amount, thousands.
My overheads to keep everything going here
is at this present time astronomical.
- Are you gonna get out
of this financial hole?
- Yes, without question because
that is this is a millstone
around my neck at this time,
but it's nothing what
two years won't achieve
through hard work and determination.
- To help out,
Debbie works the day shift
in the cab, while Tony
does the night shift.
- Son, it's hard work out there.
- You're not reaching me yet.
- Not getting to you.
- No, you're not
getting to me, all right?
Now, be bigger, dominate me, all right?
- Son!
- At 28,
Tony was taking acting lessons.
Now, he supplements his
income with TV jobs.
- Oi!
- That's all I've got on me.
- Mate, if I had a pound for
every time I've heard that,
I'd be a rich man.
- Got the fare, haven't you?
- Yeah, just about.
- Would everybody
please sit round now
and get on with their work.
I don't want to see any backs to me.
Shouldn't be anybody turning around.
Tony, do you hear as well?
Get on with your work in front.
Don't turn around again.
- There's only one ambition really.
I want a baby son and
if I see my baby son,
then I'll see my ambition fulfilled.
No one knows that, only you now.
This is Hackney Marshes and
the games are being played.
Mostly these are pub sides,
and I've been playing over
here for near 28, 30 years.
- So, you're a veteran.
- You might call me that, yeah.
- Who do you play with?
- My Nicky and I think
it's quite admirable
that his dad's in the
same side as his son.
- Tony and
Debbie have three children.
The eldest, Nicky works
as a French polisher.
- I wanted him
to go on the Knowledge
and become a cabbie.
I bought him a bike.
But I'm quite proud of
the way he's turned out.
I mean, he's a very respectable kid.
Very respectful towards
people and most of all,
he's done it all on his own terms.
- Perry, she's just
started secondary school.
She's a character, but
she's quite academic minded,
and hopefully, you know, she'll stay on.
- Hey Ref, come, yeah!
- Come on, let's
get on with it now!
- Another one.
- We got another 16 minutes left.
Let's go!
- There you go, straight
there, to your left.
- Jodi don't like school.
She's just coming up to now
that she'll be leaving school shortly.
I do feel that she's wasted a lot of years
in her secondary school.
I'm not saying that
it's the school's fault.
- Well, come on.
- Probably a lot of it
is her own fault, but you know,
and we have tried with her,
and we have tried to push her into it.
She's just, I think
she's a bit how Tony was.
She's just not interested in school,
which I feel she'll regret later on.
- Lovely.
I mean, I try to discipline
them in various areas,
but at the end of the day, it
is quite hard and difficult.
I like to stand up and suggest, you know,
lead with an iron fist,
but I haven't got the heart to do it,
and that's the truth in the matter.
- I have to do it.
And then if anything goes
wrong, it's my fault.
- A bird said to me the other day,
she said, "Ain't you small?"
So, I said, "But you're
ugly, at least I can grow."
And then I said, what
can they say to that,
they can't say nothing, can they?
- And why did
you fall in love with him?
- Don't know.
- I don't know how you've
put up with me for so long.
- I don't know.
Sometimes, I don't know how I stand him.
- I've been in positions, you know,
oh, it's hard to say in front
of Debbie, but it's true.
It's tempting.
You take the bait.
I go on holiday once a year with the boys,
to have a fling in to Spain, Magaluf,
and we have a golf holiday,
all against Debbie's will,
but it's true, and I get in
situations out there that,
you know, life is for living.
And I come back,
"Oh, I know what you've
been doing out there.
"You've been meeting all
them birds and whatever,"
and they look at ya as if to say,
"I know, but I don't want to know."
That's how it is.
I have often not gone through life
with one hand tied behind
my back and my character,
happy-go-lucky nature, and
I've been in positions,
and I've found myself caught in trouble.
I'm not proud at all to say this,
but the situations arise that
I've had regretful behaviour
at various times but.
- You got caught and that was it.
- You know, I'm not lying about the fact.
I mean, you can always cover
it up and suggest other things,
but it's, you know,
true and let it be true.
- You caught him?
- Yeah.
- What happened?
- Well, you know, it was touch and go
whether we carried on from it or not.
You know, we sort of went
through a very traumatic time.
- Then again, let who's never
sinned cast the first stone.
I mean, it just doesn't happen
with a taxi driver living in Essex.
It happens with MPs, et cetera, et cetera.
I mean, you know, I'm not
gonna hide behind any trees
and suggest, you know,
I am holier than thou,
which no doubt, I'm not.
All I am suggesting is that this
is what real life is all about.
If I've been caught with
my hand in the till,
that's fair enough, I'll
pay the consequences.
And the consequences is,
iron out the details and
the problem with my wife
and my marriage and hopefully eventually
get it in the right lane and
put it back on the tracks.
You know, it's...
- Why did you forgive him?
- Because at the time,
I felt that there was still something
in the relationship, you know,
and there was three children
involved here as well,
which is not easy when you've
got three young children,
and there was obviously still
something between me and Tony,
and it's not easy to walk away.
I could have walked away.
I felt, it's silly, but when it happened,
I felt very strong and I
could have walked away.
It's not been easy to try
again, to get over it, the hurt,
'cause I've never done it, and
I've never been unfaithful,
and that's what I've found really hurtful,
and I feel that I'm a good
wife and I didn't deserve it.
- All I understand is dogs,
prices, girls, Knowledge,
roads, streets, squares,
and Mum and Dad in love.
That's all I understand, that's
all I want to understand.
- Tell me about the family.
Are you fairly closely knit?
- I love them all.
There's not one that I don't love
more than another, other
than my mum obviously.
But your mum is the root of the tree,
you love your mum best.
- By the time he was 34,
both Tony's parents had died.
- I'm at the graveside,
I'm talking to her,
you know, of all things.
I've got all images running
through my mind saying like,
"Tony, go downstairs, get me five weights,
"you know, one and a penny,"
and I used to go in the shop,
she used to throw the
cotton in a hair curler
over the landing and I
used to tie the cigarettes
on this bit of cotton and
she used to pull 'em up,
and you'd see her in the end,
"Thanks, Tone see you
after school, be good,"
and that's the way it was.
Even now, I get emotionally
sentimental over my mum and dad.
It's just because I feel,
the weekends they could have had over here
in the later part of the life.
It would have been nice to know
that their last days were
with me type of thing,
but it wasn't to be.
The poshies, "Oh yes, oh
yes, oh yes," they're nuts.
Just have to touch 'em.
I don't want to change
because if I change,
it proves the other Tony
Walker was all fake.
You know, I'm not trying
to keep up with the Jones'
and make myself any more
than what I know I'm capable of doing.
But I mean, I can only go
so far, I'm only a cabbie.
I mean, I'm not exactly a movie star,
but I've done as well as I can go,
and I think this is about
the limitations for me now.
So, I'm happy with what I've got.
If anything else comes
along, it's a bonus.
- Tell me, do you
have any boyfriends, Suzi?
- Yes.
- Tell me about him.
- Well, he lives up in Scotland
and he's, I think he's 13,
and I'm rather lonely up there
because he usually goes to school,
but we used to 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 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 when, 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.
- When I last saw
you at 21, you were nervous,
you were chain smoking, you were uptight,
and now you seem happy.
What's happened to you over
these last seven years?
- I suppose, Rupert.
I'll give you some credit.
- I'm now chain smoking.
- I think you can't just
walk through a marriage
and think once you get married,
it's all gonna be roses
and everything forever.
You know, you have, well
everybody has their rows,
but it's, we've never yet had a row
that we haven't managed to sort out.
It's very hard to actually say what it is
that goes on between a couple.
It's either there or it's not,
and maybe we're very lucky.
I mean, after 20 years,
we still seem to have it.
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.
- At 28, Suzi had
two sons, Thomas and Oliver.
- 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.
- By 35, she
had a daughter, Laura.
- I don't want to.
- Very little has changed.
My life is probably very
much the same as it was then.
I've had another baby,
we've moved house and that's about all.
- Would you like having a nanny
to look after them, or do
you want to look after them?
- No, I want a nanny to look after them.
I've chosen to stay home
for the last 15 years
to bring up my children
because I wanted to be
the one that did it.
Tom is now 16 and he's
his own man really now.
He's suddenly got
confidence in himself now
and having been a very, quite a shy child,
he's now come out of himself
and he's his own person.
Oliver's very individual,
it's a sort of love/hate
relationship Oliver and I have.
We don't get on all the time,
but we still come through most things.
But it's been a hard battle for him.
He's got learning difficulties
and life hasn't dealt too
many easy cards for him,
and so it's a lot harder for him.
- C-O-N-T.
- Laura just seems
to take life in her stride.
I mean, she just takes it.
I'll give an easy one, always.
- A-L-W-A...
- And she's very easy going
and gets on with life.
- E-Q-U.
- Tom will be away at university whatever
in another couple of years,
and they'll all get on
and make their own lives.
That's all.
The mid-40s is a crossroads for people
'cause their lives do change,
and I don't want to just suddenly find
when the children have gone,
I've got nothing to my life,
I'm not very good at sitting
around doing nothing.
I have to be doing something,
I have to have a goal or
something to try and achieve.
- The more she went
through the stages of bereavement,
the bigger the space became,
but the actual grief...
- Doesn't go away.
- Doesn't actually
go away ever, but just.
- I got into
bereavement counselling
about four years ago.
- Interestingly enough.
- It can be very
harrowing, it's very difficult,
which is why all counsellors
need a supervisor
because you come out
sometimes from a session
mentally and emotionally drained.
- 'Cause she was coming more
to terms with what happened.
- It's an extraordinary experience
when you meet someone who
is suffering terribly,
and over the months, you see them move on.
You see them get their
life back together again.
- At 28, Suzi's father died.
- It is terribly hard,
and even now, I still can't
believe my father's not here.
It's still sinking in, I think.
My mother had been ill before,
but when I started the course,
I didn't know quite how ill she was then,
and then we'd found out she
had fairly terminal cancer
when I was halfway through the course.
And I did wonder whether I could carry on
'cause it was quite difficult
going to the course every week
and listening to other people,
what they had gone through,
but in a strange way, it helped me.
- You know as well as I do
that if you've got a
complicated bereavement.
- So, I came through the course,
and my mother died just after that,
but I did find it a help doing it
'cause I'd just felt I wasn't alone.
And I think that's the whole point
of bereavement counselling,
is that people feel very alone
when they've lost someone
very close to them,
and a lot of people don't
have someone to turn to.
Well, with any child
going through their parents
splitting up aged 14,
you're at a very vulnerable
age and it does cut you up,
but you know, you get over it.
I never had a very close
relationship with my parents.
I didn't really know them very well,
but in the last few years of her life,
we had become closer and I
think that's what I resent,
that I lost here when I did
because I was just beginning
to really build a relationship with her.
- When he was 34,
Rupert made a big career move.
- I was a partner in quite a big law firm,
and I resigned from that
and set up my own company.
I tend to specialise in
refurbishing old buildings
and converting them into offices.
- It was a very difficult time
when Rupert was deciding to leave.
He's got a lot of
responsibilities with all of us,
and it's not easy just
starting off on your own.
- Do you ever worry
that the roof might fall in
and you'll be out of this?
- Yes, I mean it crosses my mind,
and this last year, it's quite, you know,
it's crossed my mind
quite hard that we might,
you know, we could lose this.
- I've never, ever
wanted to have a business
which was dependent on losing your house,
but I think ultimately
that can always happen.
- The gamble paid off
and the company's doing well.
What sort of things do you do?
- Ride, swim, play tennis, ping-pong.
I might play croquet, things like that.
I did have a privileged
background, but on the other hand,
I was sent away to
boarding school very young,
which I find very hard to cope with,
and I'm sure my parents did it
for what they felt was the right reason.
I just felt rejected,
which is why I never wanted to
force that onto my children.
- 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.
You don't know how long
you've got your life for.
You could be run over by a bus tomorrow,
so you've got to make the most
of it while you've got it.
If I could have it over
again, I would change,
I would change my life from 14 to 21.
Those years were not good for me.
Like any other child with
divorced parents at 14,
I felt very lost, bewildered.
I would have made more of my education
instead of rather throwing it away
because I just thought I knew it all
and didn't want to be bothered.
But I can't turn the clock back,
so I just have to bury
that and think, "Well okay,
"it was a time in my life that
was unhappy," and move on.
- Two of the boys are coming
into that period of their lives.
Are you watchful of that for them?
- I am watchful of that,
but I hope they have a
more stable home life
than I had at that age,
and I don't take for granted the home life
that Rupert and I have
tried to build for them.
All I want is to be here long enough,
to be fit and healthy long enough,
to see my children grow up
to be independent people.
What I really couldn't cope with
was if I died before they were grown up.
It's the one thing I
think every parent dreads
is not living long enough
to see their children into adulthood.
- What do you
think about rich people?
- Well, not much.
- Tell me about them.
- Well, they think they can do everything
without you doing it as well.
- Symon was brought
up in a children's home,
the only child of a single parent.
- Rich people, they have
all different things.
They have 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 they missing?
- Well, I'm missing a
bike and a fishing rod.
20 years ago, when I was born,
you know an illegitimate child,
that's something that's
only whispered about,
people felt strongly
about it in those days,
but nowadays, it's not a serious matter.
The serious point is whether you stay
with somebody or you leave them.
Since 21, I've got married,
had a couple of kids.
Well, I don't think there's anybody else
I could have ever married expect Yvonne.
She's my life really
because we're together,
we have the children and everything.
- When did you
decide to have the five,
did you want to have them close together.
- Yeah because if you separate your kids,
you see one's 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.
- By 35, Symon
and Yvonne were divorced.
At 42, he had married Viennetta.
- We used to go out when we were younger.
We met in a launderette.
- Once a week.
- Once a week at the launderette,
and we just sort of drifted apart and...
- Unfortunately.
- And had our own lives, got married,
and we met up again six years
ago, nearly six years ago.
And then we're gonna go to the...
- She already had
a teenage daughter, Miriam.
Now Symon and Viennetta have
a four-year-old son, Daniel.
Does he remind you of yourself
when you were younger?
- Oh no, he's got
far more energy than me even.
- He's a bit
of both of us actually.
He's very bright and very quick.
Very clever.
- I like to know how things work,
so, for that, yes, he is like me.
- Why did you call him Daniel?
- Oh, long story.
- It was my father's name, yeah.
- That's nice.
- We decided to name him
Daniel before he was born,
didn't know it was a boy.
- They say, "Where's your father then,"
you know, "When your mum's out at work,
they say, "your father."
And I just tell them 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.
I mean, it hurts me that he wasn't there,
but at the same time, he wasn't there.
He wasn't there for me, he
wasn't there for my mum,
so I never really wanted to see him.
That's anger inside me but
personally, I'd like to see him,
just for curiosity's sake,
but the anger that I've
had for how many years is,
it's been overgrown by boredom now,
I just can't be bothered to look for him.
Well, they've got everything.
They've even got what I never had, so.
- Which is what?
- A father, innit?
So I mean, they've had everything.
I've still got five children.
I mean, they haven't
really taken the break-up
of my first marriage too well.
I've got still to get to grips
with that and get to them
and make them understand
that Daddy is still Daddy.
- Has that been hard?
- It has for me because I've
always been the retiring type,
the, you know, not really
taking anything on,
but I don't really want to
lose my children, any of them.
I still want them to know
that I am there for them.
At that time, I thought maybe
the two families could meet
and everything would be all right,
but we're not talking about a movie,
we're talking about life,
so things don't always work out that way.
- It would be nice if
they can just pop over
and say, "Hello," and come in freely
like as if they were one of the kids
'cause other kids do,
so why shouldn't they?
- Well, before I'm old and
that, enough to get a job,
I just walk around and
see what I can find.
I was going to be a film star,
but now I'm gonna be
an electrical engineer.
Which is more to reality really.
- By 21, Symon was
working in the freezer room
of Walls Sausages in London.
How do you see the future
as far as work goes?
- Well, I know I can't
stay at Walls forever.
I mean, it's just not for me.
I couldn't stay there for that
long, my mind would go dead.
I think if I really wanted to,
I could learn a trade even now.
No, I'm quite happy to stay there.
It doesn't look like
it's gonna close down,
so I mean, better the
devil you know, innit?
- Walls did close down
and Symon had a number of warehouse jobs
before he joined Yusen,
an airfreight company,
as a fork-life truck driver.
- I mean, when I was young,
I used to say, "Oh, I'd
never work in an office,
"all those stuffy people
in a stuffy office,"
but I've done enough hard work to realise
that I've been doing the
wrong job for so long now.
- And the brother has big eyes.
- And he's blue.
- Yeah.
- The brother is blue.
- Not last year, the year before,
Symon went to do GCSE Maths,
same thing as my daughter,
and they're both swotting here,
and Symon comes up with
good grades and he passed,
but he, you know, it's just
given him a kick up the bum
to get something in that
field 'cause he's very good.
- I'd one dream when all the world
was on top of me and everything was,
and I just about got out and
everything flew up in the air,
and it all landed on my head.
- So, are you
still drawing and painting?
- I like to but
I never really find time
to actually sit down and
set something out to do.
It's just that this is so good,
she sort of stands back and.
- Yeah, exactly.
- He does help Miriam though.
She's doing art at A Level,
so when she has difficulties in something,
she says, "Symon!"
So, he comes to the rescue at times.
- I get it from my mum
'cause she loved art.
Always dragging me round
the galleries and whatever.
- Was it difficult
moving from the home
back to live with your mother?
- Well, I find it's comfortable.
See, I can get on well
with my mother sometimes.
Well, that's good because
a lot of young children
can't get on with their parents at all
at this time of their life,
but I get on pretty well with my mum now.
- What sort of
life does your mother have?
- Well, it seems hard.
I means, she's always been nervous.
She has periods of depression.
It's made me very sort of
protective towards her.
I feel I've got to help her all the time.
She died in 1990, she had cancer,
and she didn't survive all the
stuff they was doing to her.
- Was that tough?
- Yeah, for me because
there were so many things
I never actually said to my mum
that I would have liked to say to her.
It's just things you
think about afterwards.
It's too late because
they're not there anymore.
- What sort of things?
- You know, just I love you every day,
and I like what you're doing,
or I don't like what you're doing.
Just ordinary silly things, you know?
Everybody's got to get used
to knowing coloured people
and coloured people in
turn have got to get used
to being with white people.
'Cause if either side
doesn't work properly,
then no side'll work properly.
They're just the same as me, aren't they?
- Do you think
it's hard being a black man
in English society today?
- It depends what you want, dunnit?
If you just want to live in
the society, no it's not hard.
If you want to fight the
society, yes, it will be hard.
To be honest, Michael, I have
never actually taken it on.
I've had it from both sides to be honest,
to be fair to meself.
I've had white say, you're
black this and that.
And I've had black people telling me,
you're white this and that.
So, I stopped thinking about
colour a long time ago.
- But it's still as tough out there.
You're still fighting,
and you're still having to push yourself.
'Cause when you've got a job,
you've always got to try and work harder.
Even at school, you've got to,
they seemed to stereotype you.
Even when we moved in here,
we had no one speak to us
because they expect you
to be having loud music
and parties and that, but we're
not all the same, you know?
You've got good and bad in every nation,
and you know, we're just
the same as anyone else
as far as I am concerned.
- Just wanna be like everyone else really.
Nothing too marvellous.
I feel okay, just getting on with me life,
just sort of keeping up,
but I know if I really
wanted to, I could get on.
It would only take a little
spark in me to do it.
- What's the biggest influence
Viennetta has on you?
- I think really motivation
because before I never
really pushed myself.
She looks after me.
She doesn't just push me,
she looks after me, you know?
She will never let
anything be wrong for me.
She always makes sure that
if I go down the road,
I look all right.
If I go anywhere, I look
all right, you know,
and I do the right thing,
and it makes me feel that
there's somebody out there
that really, really wants me.
- I read the Financial Times.
- I read the Observer and the Times.
- What do you like about it, John?
- Well, I like, I usually
look at the headlines
and then read about them, about it.
- What's the point of the programme?
- The point of the programme
is to reach a comparison.
I don't think it is.
We're not necessarily typical examples.
- And I think that's what people
seeing the programme might think.
- Yes.
- Falsely.
- They tend to typecast us.
- So, everything we say, they'll think,
"Oh, that's a typical result
of the public school system."
- Yeah.
That's one of the problems
with this sort of programme,
I don't really think
that for people like us,
unless one speaks at seven
and have been very funny,
have very much to say
that's very interesting.
'Cause I mean, we don't know very much.
- Well, we didn't know every
much when we were seven,
but at least
we were quite funny.
- We were at least funny.
- Yes, I agree with John.
All we can do is say what we think,
and if that's of interest to
people, good luck to them.
- I'm going to Charterhouse
and after that to Trinity Hall, Cambridge.
- Andrew went to Charterhouse
and Cambridge where he read Law.
- I'd like to be a solicitor
and also fairly successful.
- At 28, Andrew was a solicitor.
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 bedside manner
as far as your clients are concerned.
It's no good being brilliant
if you can't communicate
with your clients.
- By 35, he
had become a partner.
- Well, I work in the corporate department
of a large firm of solicitors in the city,
that is, dealing with things
like mergers and acquisitions,
joint ventures, general corporate advice,
putting deals together for clients.
I suppose the pace has changed a bit.
As you know with technology,
people expect the work done
much faster than they perhaps did,
well perhaps not so much seven years ago,
but 14 years ago.
Our practise has got
much more international
with more business travel.
We have offices in places
like Sao Paulo in
Brazil, Moscow, Thailand.
- How has that changed your life
or your part in the company?
- Well, it really means that you are
under increasing pressure
to produce things quickly.
- And how is that for you?
- That's fine, you have
to meet the pressures,
that's what people come and see you for.
- What do you think
about girlfriends at your age?
Tell me what you think of girlfriends?
- I've got one but I
don't think much of her.
They're no longer just bores
who won't play this or something.
- They're part of the
community, and they're there.
- And you can begin to talk to them.
- I don't think I financially
come from the same background.
Andrew didn't go for the haughty deb,
he went for a good Yorkshire lass,
but I mean obviously
he knew what he wanted.
- By the time he was
28, Andrew had married Jane.
- 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.
- I suppose the most important
thing that's happened
is that we've had two children,
one five years ago, Alexander,
and then a couple of years later, Timothy.
When I see the children
playing together now,
I realise how much fun they have together,
and it's probably what I missed
perhaps being an only child.
- What's the
most difficult thing
about keeping the marriage together?
- I don't think it is
particularly difficult actually.
We seem to manage all right.
Would you say?
- I think so, we talk, don't we?
We have a situation where we
retain a babysitter once a week
and we make a point
of, if at all possible,
that once a week, we always
go out by ourselves mid-week.
And I think that's quite important.
- Do you worry at
all about not having a career,
and what will happen, as I said,
when the children leave home?
- Well I do, but I've
made that decision now,
and I've come to terms with it.
You know, if I'd wanted
to be a career woman,
then probably that's what I'd be,
but I didn't want to be a career woman.
I wanted to be a mother and
to be a full-time mother.
- You get a very good view
of the Statue of Liberty now.
- Uh-huh, can you see it?
- It's our children's half-term,
so we decided to spend
a few days in New York.
- You go and have a look, Tim.
- I come here from
time to time on my work,
but it's usually very rushed.
But we thought it would be rather nice
to bring them with us.
- Smile.
- 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.
- So do I think so.
- Yes.
- And the people
in the schools.
- And the poor people
would come rushing in.
- The man in charge of the school
would get very angry because...
- And he'd get bankrupt once more.
- He wouldn't be able
to pay all the masters
if he didn't get any money.
- An education is very important.
I mean, you can never be sure
of leaving your children
any worldly goods,
but at least you can be sure
that once you've given
them a good education,
that's something that
no one can take away.
Well, Alexander is
coming up into his teens,
and he'll be sitting common entrance
to go to his next school
later in the year,
which will be a boarding school.
In fact, he's down to go to
the same school as I went to.
Timothy is continuing
where he is now for a while
and perhaps be going
through the same procedure.
Well, I think boarding makes
you feel self-sufficient
and also, it teaches you to
be away from your parents
and to live with people for a long time.
- It's going to seem very, very strange,
but if it's what he wants to do
and if it helps him to
get where he wants to go,
then I'm prepared to only
see him every three weeks.
- Once I had to talk to Greville,
he was in my house and I asked Sir
if he could put him out of my house
because he was always getting minuses.
It think it's become much more competitive
for children nowadays.
I don't really remember much
about my early childhood,
but I feel that they are under
more pressure to perform now.
You know, you look back
at us at the age of seven,
saying we're going to this school,
that university and so on.
But there have been many places
where one could have gone wrong.
Just because you have the opportunities,
it doesn't mean that you
necessarily are gonna pull through.
- Where might you
have gone wrong do you think?
- Well, one could have
given up on university,
one could have found the
pressures of work too much.
One could have found the
pressures of marriage too much,
all sorts of things can go wrong.
- And what is
it in you do you think
that's pulled you through?
- Well, I suppose it's
just being persistent.
I don't like giving up,
and perhaps it's also not
being too adventurous,
not wanting to do anything
else, once you start, you know.
I've been in my job for 20 years.
I haven't really wanted
to do anything else.
- When I leave this school,
I'm going to Collett 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.
- And then it just presents itself.
- Half, three.
- John went
to Westminster School.
He went on to read 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
in some of these car
factories earning huge wage
could well afford to send their children
to private school if they wanted to.
- At 21, we asked him
what career he would pursue.
- Might be at the Bar.
- Doing what?
- Perhaps Chancery practise.
- I now have a career, I'm a barrister.
Other than that, life chugs
along in varying degrees.
When boys go around with girls,
they don't pay attention
to what they're doing.
Yes, my grandmother had an
accident because a boyfriend
was kissing his girlfriend in the street.
- John married Claire,
the daughter of a former
ambassador to Bulgaria.
He has a very successful
career at the Bar is now a QC.
He decided not to take part in this film.
- When I leave school, I'm
going to the Dragon School,
I might and Mummy's, and I might go to,
after, I might go to
Charterhouse Marlborough.
I can't remember all other the places
because 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 he didn't go to Oxford.
- In fact.
- Instead he went
to Durham University.
- I'd say I'm pleased I
didn't because it's very much
a sort of set from
Marlborough Prep School,
Marlborough Oxbridge conveyor belt.
Shoved out at the end.
- And what
did Charles want to do?
- Hard to say, probably
scribbling away in some basement
for some London newspaper or something.
- Charles did scribble away
for an East London newspaper.
He then moved onto the BBC
where he became a producer.
He's now Editor of Science
Documentaries at Channel 4.
He decided not to take
part in this documentary.
- When I grow up,
I'd like to find out all
about the moon and all that.
- Nick, a farmer's son,
grew up in the Yorkshire Dales.
- I said I was interested
in physics and chemistry.
Well, I'm not gonna do that here.
- At 14, he was
at away at boarding school,
and at 21, reading physics at Oxford.
So, what career are you gonna pursue?
- It depends whether I'll be good enough
to do what I want to really do.
I would like if I can to do research.
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.
- By 28, he had moved to America
and was doing research into nuclear fusion
at the University of Wisconsin.
By 35, he was an
associate professor there.
- The first one is basically saying
that the rate of change
of crystal momentum,
it's DDT at this quality H bar K.
That is equal to the Laurent's Force.
So, if you work out the
density in any cell.
In addition to now being a full professor,
I've been doing some administrative jobs.
I've been associate
chair of my department,
which means I've run the graduate
programme in my department,
which is the Electrical
Engineering department.
I've been running admissions
and dealing with student problems
and some for the graduate programme.
And I've spent the last year and a half
writing a couple of books.
One about this business of using plasmas
to process semi-conductors,
and there is another one that
was about semi-conductors.
It's called "Semi-conductor Devises,"
and it's got a subtitle,
"A Simulation Approach."
- Do you have a girlfriend?
- I don't want to answer that.
I don't answer those kind of questions.
I thought that one would come up
because when I was, when I
was going on 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 you know, it's 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.
- His English-born wife Jackie
is a professor of journalism
at the university.
They have an eight-year-old son.
- Why only one child?
- Well, there's
a couple of reasons,
one is that these silly jobs we have
demand such an amount of time
and such a commitment that
it's hard to fit in one.
Also, he's such a lively person
and he demands such a lot of attention
that he makes it hard to
find time for another.
So, I think that's the main reason.
- So, you
don't want another one?
- Oh yes, no, I would love to.
I would dearly love to
have another one actually.
No that's, don't go away
with that impression.
No, I absolutely adore children.
If I can change the world,
I'd change it into a diamond.
I don't really think
that I've done anything
you could call a great success.
I mean, 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,
when I asked you why are
you working on fusion,
you said you wanted to save the world.
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.
- I always wanted to have an impact,
to do something useful
that was actually going to benefit people.
I had this vision of people
in ivory towers being cut off,
doing stuff all their lives
and having no effect
on anybody whatsoever,
and that was absolutely
not what I wanted to do,
and so I chose to go
into this fusion business
'cause I thought this
would have a huge impact.
- Plasma's supposed to fill that volume.
- I'm not expecting to be reported
in newspaper headlines any time soon.
That's not the limit of my ambition,
but it's just trying to be realistic.
I'm just gonna have to try
and settle for reasonably small victories.
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.
- Do you get lonely here?
- You just tend to get stuck
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.
- This year,
Nick went back to the Dales
to see his family.
It's been five years
since I've been back here.
It's changed quite a lot.
It's got more touristy and less
like a region that's farmed.
Every second house seems to
be a hotel at the moment.
- This is the old pippin.
- Well, it's been rotten for my dad
because he's been unable
to walk a lot of the time.
He'd had terrible troubles with his legs,
and of course, farming's
in a miserable shape,
so he's retiring, and
the stock have been sold.
Yes, I think he'd had a very hard life.
He's had to work enormous
hours every day of his life
doing something that
ultimately isn't going to work.
- Do you want
to take up farming?
- No.
I'm not interested in it.
My youngest brother, the deaf one,
if he can't do anything else,
he can probably run the farm
if he can't, as a last resort.
- So, your brothers
won't take over on the farm?
- Absolutely not, no.
Neither of them really
wanted to, I don't think.
Andrew's a newspaper reporter.
He's I think about to
take a job near York.
He's gonna need a base over there.
He can't commute from here.
Well, Christopher's
married, which is great.
He has a very nice wife who
is getting better and better
at communicating with the
deaf and he works in Skipton.
He's taking some courses in computers.
I'm not actually sure what,
but he always says to me
that I do computers and I
think that it's a good idea
that he does computers and I do.
So, I try to encourage him.
- So, you're all away,
so the Hitchons are finished here?
- Yes, the Hitchons are certainly
largely uprooted from here, aren't they?
I'm the only child in the village
except for my baby brother.
Well, this is Arncliffe School,
which is where my brother
and I went to school
from age five to 10.
And there's the church
where we were all
christened and everything.
We used to go to harvest
festivals and things there.
- What did you
learn here do you think
that you carried with you?
- Well, you just look at this place.
I mean, it's utterly beautiful
but not beautiful in
the pretty cutesy way.
I think of it as being magnificent
but rather grim really.
I sort of feel as if you
could look deep inside me,
I feel like there's some
of this in there somewhere,
and it's rather dower but just wonderful.
It's very uncompromising, and
sometimes it's rather tragic,
but it makes other places you go
seem rather trivial as well.
I'm just enormously proud
of having come from here.
The people are, the idea
of being a Dales person
is really terribly important to me.
What you see that's so magnificent
are the clouds sweeping by all the time,
air and cloud and water
continually sweeping over you.
I mean, there's a poetic side to that,
and I would be looking
at these and thinking,
"Now, how does a cloud work?"
And when you come down to it,
what I do when I try to solve equations,
it's the same equations
that describe clouds
and water and air flowing around.
From a scientific point of view,
I relate back to this sort of thing.
- So, this is a sign,
there's ESAs, there's LFAs.
- It's hard being
away from your roots, isn't it?
- Terribly hard.
It's hard in lots and lots of ways.
I mean, if you go to an alien culture,
you don't know what's going
on around you half the time.
It's really strange to go
to a different country,
people don't send out the same signals.
I could try that.
- Even if it's frightening.
- It's very hard to imagine
being able to come back here,
and I think about it a lot,
but I haven't seen the way to do it yet.
In some sense, it never
really belonged to me.
I mean, part of me would
love to own a stake in it,
but I really don't own any of it.
But the other thing is that
I've had to move out of here,
and I think that the way the world is,
it's very hard to stay in one place.
People are forced to move constantly.
The history of this century
has a lot of examples
where people moved or should have moved
and professionally and
in lots of other ways,
it's really important that
people are always thinking
about what's happening around them
and how they have to react to it.
Beauty's transient, so
maybe we can come by here
and visit it, but unfortunately,
I'm not gonna be permitted
to be here very much.
- And what about
all the other children?
What's happened to them?
- Well, I'll go in to Africa
and try and teach people
who are not civilised
to be more or less good.
- I'm going to work in Woolworths.
- What would you do if
you'd lots of money,
about maybe two pounds?
- I would buy meself a new
nice house, wouldn't I?
- What does university mean?
- 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.
Well, I'm going to take
people to the country
and sometimes take them to the seaside.
- Is Neil still homeless?
We'll find out tomorrow.
- I wanna be a jockey when I grow up.
Yeah, I wanna be a jockey when I grow up.
- Last night,
we followed the fortunes
of some of the Seven Up children.
- I must say, I mean, it's
not easy being married.
- When I get married, I'd
like to have two children.
I don't want to just suddenly find
when the children have gone,
I've got nothing to my life.
- Tell me, do
you have any girlfriends?
- Well, not many.
- What do you think about girls.
- Well, not much.
I don't really want to lose
my children, any of them.
- If I could change the world,
I'd change it into a diamond.
- Since I wasn't gonna be a farmer,
I couldn't live here anymore.
Choosing to leave here
is like having your right arm ripped off.
- Tonight, we'll see
what's happened to the rest.
- My heart's desire is to see my daddy.
- I'm going to work in Woolworths.
- What does university mean?
- When I grow up, I
want to be an astronaut.
- This is no
ordinary outing at the zoo,
it's a very special occasion.
We've brought these children together
for the very first time.
They're like any other
children, expect that they come
from startlingly different backgrounds.
- Stop it at once.
- We've brought
these children together
because we wanted a glimpse
of England in the year 2000.
The shop steward and the executive
of the year 2000 are now seven years old.
- In 1964, World
in Action made Seven Up.
We have been back to film these
children every seven years.
They are now 42.
- Yes, speak up.
- We'll march it both ways!
- When he was seven,
Bruce was at a pre-preparatory
boarding school.
At 14, St. Paul's in London.
- 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,
and they teach you to be
reasonably well-mannered
but not to sniff on the poorer people.
- There is a property.
- At 21, he 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 equal to t plus two.
- Good, that's a nice way of doing it,
particularly using Eisenstein down here.
His test is very powerful.
- Yes.
Well, there is one job, I'd
like to make maps really.
I mean, it's a nice sort outdoor life
and you go to, I mean, you travel around,
but there are very few
jobs like that going.
You observe that seven, which is a prime,
divides the co-efficient of t squared.
I won't carry on with mathematics.
I don't think I'll be a teacher
And seven square doesn't.
So, you're in the lead, you see
because TSE caps got put to two pounds
and could be caps, no
problem at all, okay?
Now, can you explain that just to Abdul
'cause I want him to
understand what it is.
- Yes, sir.
- At 28, he was teaching,
immigrant children East London.
- Abdul, times.
I was working in 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 in off the
street into a classroom.
Well, I'll go into Africa
and try and teach people
who are not civilised
to be more or less good.
- So, is this your
missionary dream come true?
- Well, not exactly.
I've had the opportunity
to come here for a term,
and it just so happens the school I'm in
has great links with
this part of the world.
- At 35, Bruce
was teaching in Sylhet
in Northern Bangladesh.
- And then I've also got the
chance to learn a bit of Bangla
which is very difficult and
I'm not doing very well at.
- Bangladesh,
Bangladesh, Bangladesh.
- Bangladesh.
- Bangladesh.
- Bangladesh.
- The straight line, yes,
keep going, keep going, keep going.
Right, yeah, till you hit, no, no,
that's it, stop there, yeah.
- At 42, Bruce is again teaching
in the East End of London.
- And then having positive
points, what do you do now?
- Turn 'em up.
- Turn 'em up, okay.
This is Bishop Chancellor
Roman Catholic Girls' School
in the East End of London.
It's about 1,000 girls 11 to 18.
I'll be over in a minute.
And I've been here about five years.
I'll just leave that
for a couple of minutes.
Well done, Malik, if you want
to sit down anyway, thanks.
It was a chance to go for promotion
to be Head of the Maths faculty
and to teach A level as well.
Okay, all right.
I didn't agree with the conservatives
about what they were doing
with the black people,
you know, the racial policy.
I'm an optimist here.
I think we can show the way,
if you like, for developing
a sort of more harmonious
multicultural society.
Next thing we've got to do
is copy that table down.
Well, petrol.
I'm quite pleased in a way that I know,
say an Algerian fellow near where I live,
he will say that in other
countries in Europe,
they're spat at and harassed
and beaten up by the police.
Here he says, "I walk down
the street and nobody minds."
Well my, girlfriend is
in Africa and I won't,
I don't think I'll have another
chance to seeing her again.
- Have you got any girlfriends?
- No, no, not yet.
I'm sure it will come, but not yet.
I mean, I do think a lot of
people think too much about it.
I think I would very much like to
become involved in a family
like 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.
Yes, I haven't got married or whatever,
and I suppose that would've been something
which I hoped would happen.
You know, I suppose
lots of reasons really,
I don't suppose I've met the right person.
- Well, you're getting on a bit.
Are you getting worried?
- Well, not particularly, I
mean, I'm always optimistic.
I mean, who knows who
I might meet tomorrow,
but I think that's the
trouble with reserve.
You're not rejected,
but you never know what might have been.
But I'm getting better.
What does that look like?
- It was when
I think we were doing
the school production of Annie,
and Bruce was playing President Roosevelt,
and I had to put on his stage makeup.
Not many men will let
you put on their makeup.
- It gives me great pleasure to be here
on this joyful and happy occasion
to celebrate the marriage
of Bruce and Penelope.
When Christ shall come
- Bruce and
Penny married last summer.
She teaches at Bruce's school.
And take me home
- I, Bruce Swain.
- I, Bruce Swain.
- Take you, Penelope Sarah Jane.
- To be my wife.
- So, how did he propose to you?
- We were on the sofa and in
the middle of a conversation
about something completely different.
He just asked if I'd like to marry him,
and if I hadn't been listening carefully,
I would have missed it completely.
- To love and to cherish.
- To love and to cherish.
- Till death us do part.
- Till death us do part.
It was quite unusual really.
We did a lot of it ourselves
and we had the reception here.
We didn't have a lot of things
that you normally have
at weddings like the cars
and photographers and
all that sort of thing.
Everybody say, "Cover work!"
We just planned what we wanted,
and it all worked out
very well in the end.
It was a very enjoyable day.
In practical ways, I'm better
fed, better looked after,
thanks to Bruce,
generally better organised
than I was before.
He's very good at sort
of financial organisation
and running bank accounts
and being sensible,
that kind of thing, than I am.
- First when we got married,
one of the odd things was this,
her mother said, "Oh good,
"there's someone to look after
Penny and cook her meals,"
rather than the other way
round which sometimes happens.
- What was the biggest
shock about being married?
- Well, I think three bags of
clothes getting chucked out.
Two of which didn't even make it to Oxfam.
Is that right dear?
- Yes.
- But I suppose some of
them were crusty old flares,
I don't know, perhaps they
deserved to get chucked out.
- Does he think
that the discovery of gold
was a good thing for the Transvaal?
- She's very determined
and doesn't let things go,
especially with school.
She wants everything to be well done.
I mean, she prepares
lessons way into the future.
- A lot of the monopolies
were granted to Dutch.
- She's very sensitive,
responsive, and helps
me act in a better way.
I might become petulant or something,
and it's somehow not
appropriate in that situation.
My heart's desire is to see my daddy
who is 6,000 miles away.
- For march that good ways!
- I can remember being happy there.
I can remember also being miserable
because I can remember crying.
- Squad, steady!
- You know, I
always seemed to be beaten,
and I never used to understand why.
- Squad, ho!
- People possibly say
I'm a 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.
I'm not talking about love now,
I'm just talking about generally speaking.
I think I do have a sort of
greater level of confidence,
especially in expressing
myself, in holding opinions.
I think if you're having a
partnership with somebody,
that definitely makes
you more mature in a way
because you're not thinking
about yourself all the time,
you're thinking about somebody else.
- Extend the line here, and
then after nought hours,
you can see that it would 60 litres.
- What
ambitions do you have now?
- I may become a senior
teacher at some point here,
but I don't really have aspirations
to become a deputy head
and a head teacher.
- Why?
- You do tend to move out of
the classroom at that stage,
and also, you have to go on courses in MA
and educational studies and so on,
and our lives are busy enough really.
No, I'm in sort of a
middle-aged mode at the moment
where middle-aged content
is the best description.
- Go on, Carter.
Do it!
- Do it good, Carter, I am sure.
- Who's going to?
- How are you doing, dear?
- Fine, thank you, dear.
- If you saw me running
around the cricket field now
after a ball, it's just comical.
It's just a lumbering old man, you know?
No flowing swoop and
hurling in at the ball.
It's all gone, that lightness, that youth.
It's just gone.
- Not so fast.
- I think so, yeah.
I don't know whether they're
gonna move any of them.
- We may have children, I don't know.
If in seven years' time or so,
we're living in a slightly bigger house
with a young family, that would be nice.
I mean, I don't want to
pin all my hopes on it
and nothing happens.
We are quite old.
I can see bringing up, say,
teenage children in your 40s
might be a bit strange.
- Looking back on
your life, halfway through say,
I mean, what regrets do you have?
- Now, I'm married to a lovely person.
That kind of takes out some
regrets that may have been
or I've missed my chance
there or something,
and you never know what the
future will hold for you,
and I think I'm lucky to have found Penny.
- He's the nicest person I've ever met.
He's just somebody you could
rely on the whole time.
- Oh, I might quote that some time.
- Yeah.
No, he's not the kind of man
you would ever actually
have any doubts about.
- I don't like the big boys hitting us
and the prefects sending
us out for nothing.
- When he was seven,
Paul was in care at a
children's home in London.
Were you happy at the
children's home in England?
- We didn't mind that really
'cause we didn't know what was going on
'cause we were a bit young.
Well, as far as I know,
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.
- Paul settled with
his father and stepmother
in a suburb of Melbourne.
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.
- Would you
like to get married Paul?
- No.
- Tell me why not.
- I don't want like
'em, 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 give."
So, I don't like greens,
say she gives me greens and that's it.
I know I prefer to be alone really.
I can't say I don't want to get
married 'cause I think I do.
But I want to be happily
married, you know,
and therefore, I want
to make sure, I think.
- What was it
that you feel 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.
He's also very good looking,
I think, but he doesn't
agree with me.
In the summer, he's got this
cute little bum in shorts.
I mean, I can tell quite
a few stories here,
but the one that really
irritates me the most
is when we have an argument,
he says, "That's it, leave me."
And I say, "Fine, all
right, I will one day."
- So, how's married life been
since I last saw you?
- Shocking, shocking.
- We had our 20th wedding
anniversary this last,
just before Christmas.
- Which is a life sentence.
- Yeah, everyone reckons
that we should be out of jail by now.
- By the time they were 28,
Paul and Sue had two
children, Katy and Robert.
- Picked up a centre field,
right where it's driven.
- When we was 35, he
brought his family to London
for a holiday to show them
where he had started out.
- When we had Katy, when she
was born, Paul said to me,
"Oh, I'm glad I've got a daughter."
He said, "When I'm an old man,
"at least she'll be able to come up
"and she'll be able to give
me a kiss and a cuddle".
- And she was also the shy one of the two,
which had probably
followed after me a bit.
- Well, Katie loves to shop.
We are starting to learn
more of what we share alike
'cause she's very much like Paul,
and she doesn't quite know
what she really wants to do just yet.
I really love painting and art,
and I love music and she
really has taken to that,
and she seems to have the creative flair.
- What does university mean?
I'm pretty happy with Katy.
I'm not having a go at Robert,
but I've got fears for Robert
'cause he's struggling a little bit.
He's had three teachers already
that say they don't know
how to motivate him.
- Robert had started school,
and he was having a few problems.
He's a square peg in a round hole
in the normal mainstream schools,
so we've actually moved him
now to another high school
that's a community school
which is much more relaxed,
and as a family unit,
we're a lot more calmer.
- I was gonna be a policeman,
but I thought how hard
it would be to join in.
I just haven't made up my mind yet.
I was gonna be a phys ed teacher,
but one of the teachers told me
you had to get up into university.
- At 21, Paul was
working as a junior partner
for a firm of bricklayers.
By 28, he'd gone out on his
own as a sub-contractor,
but it didn't work out.
- Well, I've gone from
being stable in one,
basically one job, which
was the bricklaying
to probably had about 10 or 15 jobs.
I've never really counted them.
Although, I haven't been sacked from jobs,
I've just been, I haven't
been able to settle.
- Paul now works
for a plastics company
installing industrial signs.
- I think I've got to a stage now
I just want to stay in work.
Two or three years ago, I
tried to increase my skills
and I went back to school and
took a carpentry certificate
because I wanted to go out
and work as a carpenter,
but I basically found there
were too many good carpenters
out of work for the jobs
that were available.
So, I didn't go too far with that.
I suppose, partly it's
my confidence in myself.
The monitors up in the
washroom sends the nurse out,
well there's no talking,
and I wasn't talking today,
and Brown sent me out for nothing.
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 sort of 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 freely to Sue, you know?
- Is confidence
still an issue with you?
Yeah, yeah, unfortunately,
I've learned to live with it,
sort of accept it,
but I've never really
got on top of it fully,
which is, it really annoys me,
but I don't know what
to do about it though.
I'm more at peace around
the horses and the animals.
I can be upset, I can be on
edge, come down to the horses,
and within three or four
minutes of being here,
and I've forgotten everything,
so it does calm you down.
But I can be a pretty angry person,
and you know, in the wrong circumstances,
I can fire up terribly,
but fortunately, it doesn't
happen too often these days.
- At the beginning of this year,
Paul and Sue moved to
another Melbourne suburb.
- It's like living in a palace
compared to our other house
'cause it's nearly twice the size.
- I think there's
probably a few more
professional people live
around this area, I think.
- So, you moved
up the market a bit?
- Yeah, yeah, we have
'cause we got to a point where
we paid the other house off,
so you, I suppose, it's a
form of forced savings too.
I think we will have to tighten up.
- We wouldn't manage just
on Paul's wage alone.
It's a difference sometimes between eating
and not eating and just
paying the bills, you know?
Most people these days rely
on two wages to survive.
- I don't think it needs much.
- I've been doing
the mobile hairdressing now
since Robert was a baby.
- So boring cutting curly hair.
- With this job, I mean, I
go and I cut people's hair,
but it's like going visiting all day
and some of the people
don't really want me
there doing their hair.
They just want to come and have a chat
and tell them what I've been up to
and for them to tell me
what they've been up to.
- I've got 23 three-penny pieces,
and I don't know how many
halfpenny pieces I've got now.
- I spend, yeah, I spend.
He doesn't save because I
don't give him any to save,
basically 'cause, you know, like I,
you know, these days you
don't get a pay packet.
Well, I mean, I get money as I go,
but Paul's wages is paid
straight into the bank,
and you know, it's
really no money anymore.
You don't see it, it's just
straight into the bank,
and then all the money comes out,
and it's just pretend, isn't it?
- I quite often joke that
I think it's absolute myth
that I actually get paid at all
because I haven't seen any
money for some years now so.
- In their 20s,
Paul and Sue sold up,
bought an old van, and
travelled across Australia.
- I think it
brought us closer together
because we got to know each other
and relied on each other so much.
- When I was younger, I definitely wanted
to move out of Melbourne.
I would have only needed
that encouragement from Sue.
If Susan had been exactly the
same, we wouldn't be here now.
I think as I'm getting older,
I'm more nervous about doing that.
I still know there's a huge
amount of space out there,
and I don't know why, but
obviously that's important to me.
It's just such a beautiful country
right down to even barren land.
- What's the most
fun in life at the moment
for the two of you?
- I'd say Christmas holidays.
- Yeah, Christmas holidays.
- Down at the beach.
- Yeah.
- With the kids, you
know, 'cause they kids love it.
- We had a great summer this year,
and we had a whole week of great weather.
- It's what a family should be,
and that's why it stands out I suppose.
I mean, I guess I do feel middle-aged,
but I'm sort of pretty
comfortable with it.
I can always remember when I was younger,
I always looked forward to getting older,
and then even hopefully into
the 80s that even, you know.
It's never been something
that's really worried me.
- One of our ambitions
was always just to grow old together.
- That's true, we used to say that.
- Yeah.
I keep telling my children,
isn't it nice to be loved
and to know that someone loves you.
It must be really sad for people out there
that have no one that
don't know they're loved,
and each day, you know,
sometimes you're coming home,
and you think, "Well,
they'll all be home,"
and it's nice to just come home.
- Some people from Africa come here,
but when they go, they
put their clothes on.
- Jackie, Lyn, and Sue
all grew up in the East End of London
and were friends in
the same junior school.
- Well, I've never been abroad.
- Neither have I.
- I have, I have.
- Oh yeah 'cause you went on that cruise.
- Yeah.
- I've had the opportunities
in life that I've wanted.
- I'd say we've had more opportunities.
- Yeah, right, you've made.
I think that we all
could have gone 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.
Well, we only had a limited choice anyway,
I mean, truth be told.
- Yes, we did have a choice.
- We didn't have the choice
of private education
- Oh, no.
- Because they couldn't
have afforded it anyway.
I wish I had wanted something that bad
that I had to go for it,
and I hope, I really hope
my two want something
and are hungry for it, you
know, and they'll go for it.
I'd love that, you know.
- They have, I think, different things,
I mean, technology has taken off so much
in the last 10 years.
- Yes, computers.
- They have access
to a lot more in some way,
into an awful lot more than we had.
I'm going to work at Woolworths.
Well, I'm school Mobile
Librarian and assistant
to the young people's office,
which is where we are now.
- At 21, Lyn
had set out on a career
working in a mobile library in
Tower Hamlets in East London.
- 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 got to love them,
and I love children.
- Because of cuts
in the education budget,
Tower Hamlets closed the mobile library,
and Lyn went to work in Bethnal Green.
- One of the jobs that was going
was divisional children's
librarian and they based me here.
They hadn't had a children's
librarian here for nine years.
You can draw better than I can.
Right, the story I've
got for you this morning
is called "The Magic Bicycle,"
and it's all about Mark.
I do regularly class
visits with 19, 20 classes,
more than that, coming in to the library.
And within that, we do
either a storytelling session
or library skills.
"But he couldn't ride it."
I've been a governor on schools
in Tower Hamlets for 12, 13 years,
being Chair of Governors at the moment.
- I've had the parent on the phone
two or three times this week
wondering what's happening.
They wanted to come in and discuss with me
and the coordinator about how
well the project was going
and to observe a lesson.
- We've got a few
problems with these knots.
Can anyone think of another way?
- Can you ever
see yourself not working?
- No.
I like the excitement.
I like the push of filling my life.
It's stimulating.
There are times I go home,
I'm absolutely shattered.
I go home, I go to sleep.
- Well, I know he is
hers and he loves her.
- I don't, I love him.
- I had an all-white wedding.
All white.
We were both in white and
my bridesmaid was in white.
I've been married a year
and couple of months.
You do think, "Christ, what have I done?"
- See, I've still got...
- And I'm being
honest about it.
And Russ thinks the same.
You think at times, you think,
"Christ what have I done?"
- Lyn married Russ at 19.
They have two daughters Sarah and Emma.
- We married young but
because we wanted to go out
and have fun together and grow together.
- How do you
manage to keep a career going
and bring up a family?
Hold a marriage together?
- We've always had a
very good partnership.
I couldn't do it without him.
Russ cooks during the
week, I cook at weekends.
It's not as if I'm going belting home
because I've got to go and
cook a meal for everybody.
I know that when I get
home, it's gonna be done.
We're there together
and we love each other,
and we've never stopped.
If I could, I would have
two girls and two boys.
- Yeah, right.
- Used by a doctor in medicines
and controlled doses is fine.
50% of teenagers between
14 and 18 have tried drugs.
- I think Emma is more like me.
Sarah's much more placid.
She's like Russ.
- The wrong drug is deadly.
- With the girls in their teens now,
I've looked back and thought
Emma is very much like I was.
- Why am I using
a wooden spoon, please?
- The noise.
- The noise, yes, we've got
16 people, 16 saucepans.
- I mean, Emma
has just done her GCSEs.
She got 10 and gone back
to sixth form college,
doing A Levels.
She doesn't know what she wants to do.
- Excuse me.
- Yup.
- It is
wonderful, except we got...
- She's got her own life now.
She's building that life and
she's making her own decisions.
- Thing about
Liverpool, we can drive so far.
- We go through stages, the terrible twos.
At the time, when you
are going through them,
it seems terrible,
they're never ever going to end.
Stir it.
I know, sort of Mum and Dad would say,
"Ah, but you know, don't
worry, that will go,
"you'll come through it to the next stage
"and the next stage".
And I think it's ongoing like that.
I'd love to be able to
talk to my mum and dad
and say, "Really, did I
really put you through that?"
I remember some of it,
and god, yes, I must have,
but until you go through it with your own,
you never, ever, realise
what hell you put your parents through.
- By the time she
was 35, Lyn's mother had died.
- She was a great friend
to me as well as a mum,
probably the best friend I'll ever have.
It's only two years.
To some, it probably seems,
oh it's a long time,
but it's not very long.
The biggest area of my life that's changed
since we last talked is I lost my dad,
and literally just after
34 Up went out, he died.
I mean, they looked after
the girls while I worked.
After mum died, the
first thing dad said was,
"That's my job now".
And of course, suddenly
we had neither of them.
All right, watch it, you.
- At 35, Lyn was having
a health problem of her own.
- They stuck all these tubes up inside me
and discovered that I'd
got these veins up here
that shouldn't be there.
- In your brain?
- Mm-hmm.
- And what can they do about it?
- Not a lot at the moment.
They're investigating other treatments,
but the surgeon said that
he doesn't want to operate at
the moment because the risk,
it's too near the optic nerve.
Well, it's never gonna go away.
I've still got this vein malformation,
and it'll always be there.
Obviously, I've had it from birth.
Hello, Neil, it's Lyn.
How'd it go last night, did
you manage to get into it?
There is a 1% chance that
it could haemorrhage.
I've got more chance being
knocked down crossing the street,
and in that perspective, I
don't worry about it at all.
Oh, it's just problems now.
- And do you
think about dying a lot?
- No, doesn't worry me at all.
My dad taught me that.
He wasn't scared of death at all,
and it's the people that are left behind
that take the brunt of someone dying.
That one was, yes, so
they'll keep that back,
and once the person that's reserved it.
- Is there a
spiritual side to your life?
- Yes.
- Can you talk about that?
- No.
- Why?
- It's private, it's personal, it's me.
It's part of what makes
me up, makes me me.
- Sometimes, things
are not good, are they?
And I know that you
would've thought about that
because at the moment.
- Do you think morality
has changed in your lifetime?
- Yes, I think we've lost
an awful lot of morality.
A lot of values in my opinion have gone.
- Like what?
- Respect.
There seems to be a great
lack of respect for anything.
I think that's what makes part of it hard
bringing up children nowadays
because our values are so high
and actually expecting them
to maintain those values.
- Are you
asking too much of them?
- You do expect a lot of them,
but I think, I think I'm flexible as well.
I'm learning when to let go.
If I say that I love you
- I mean, for me, I'm lucky,
yeah, everything's worked out.
Unlike the girls, they've
lost a relationship,
and then they've gained new ones for them.
For them, that's the way
their lives have gone.
- That's right.
- Russ and I have been
together a long time.
- I actually envy you that.
- Of course, we both do.
- I do envy you that
because I don't know how,
whatever the reasoning behind it,
you and Russ have made that work,
and that was something that I failed at.
- And me, yeah, it was
a failure, definitely.
- If we did all love Geoffrey,
and we all want to marry him.
- Yeah!
- I think I know the one that
he'd like best and that's her.
- I don't think I'll
get married too early.
I'd like to have a full life first
and meet people
- I'd like to enjoy myself
before I...
- Yeah, before you commit
yourself to a family.
- We had a teacher at school
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 outside your mouth."
- Marriage means a different thing to me.
I've still got my ideals about marriage.
I don't know what it's all about.
- Sue was 24
when she married Billy.
They had two children,
William and Katherine.
- I think that to get married young,
there must be things that you miss.
You must miss that crucial
stage of being yourself
because the minute you get married,
you're no longer a single being,
you're a partnership and that
should be the idea behind it.
- By the time she was 34,
she and Billy had divorced.
- I've never sat down and thought,
"What was it, was it this, was it that?"
I just knew it wasn't working.
I mean, there have been relationships
when I could have settled, but
they didn't feel quite right,
so I've always come away and pulled away
and just waited until
the right one come along.
If they ever do.
Deep down I probably wish
I wasn't having to do this.
I mean, I'd like to still be married,
and I'd like to have
that steady relationship.
But I'm the type of person
that likes to go out and
likes to have a good time.
So, it's not that hard for me.
But I think as you get into your 40s,
you start thinking, "Well,
maybe I should slow down a bit."
I've been a single
parent for a long while,
and I've brought them up on my own really
because Katherine was
only two when Bill left.
It's been extremely hard
and sometimes it's been very lonely.
- And do you think William
misses not having a dad?
- He probably does.
He doesn't talk an awful lot about it.
- It looks good.
- So, charming.
- He seems so together.
He's quite deep, so he
doesn't say an awful lot.
He's got my dad, my dad's there.
My children probably owe
a lot to my mum and dad.
I mean, my mum and dad have
been absolutely brilliant.
With William, I want him to
have a really satisfying career.
Get your tie done.
Which is something that I've really had.
For him, I would love that.
Well for both of them,
but particularly for him
'cause he can go far if
he puts his mind to it.
You know, he may go to university,
we have talked about it if he does well.
He's capable of it.
With Katherine, she
talks about doing things
like hairdressing and
girlie things, you know,
'cause she doesn't really
know what she wants to do yet.
She just wants to enjoy
herself at the moment.
I can remember being the
same when I was her age.
But she loves babies and she keeps saying,
"Mum I want a," and I say,
"Don't even think about it," you know.
I hope not.
It was very 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.
- When her
children were old enough
to go to school, Sue started work again.
She has an office job in the Law Faculty
of the University of London.
- Can I please have an examination form?
- Yeah, sure.
I've always worked, but
anyone who's got teenagers
knows how expensive it is,
and there are times when
I can't quite manage
what I'd like to do with them,
especially school trips
and things like that.
All right, thanks.
I've got certain little savings,
things that I do for them and policies
and things that will
come out when they're 21
and hopefully things that
when they get married
or if they want a car.
I mean, there are times that are hard
when you are on your own.
Your guitar
It sounds so sweetly
We've all got little secret dreams.
I'd love to sing, along
with millions of others.
It's just the radio
But I didn't want to give up work,
and I didn't want to risk
all that to follow the dream.
Said you'd be coming
back this way again, baby
There are still lots of
places that I want to go to.
Lots of wild things that I want to do,
jumping out of a plane.
Silly things that you can do,
but you just never seem to get round to.
Just never seem to get round to it,
but I think you should make sure you do.
I'm just basically a happy person.
I don't get upset in front of the kids,
and that's important that I
don't ever want to upset them
because there have been
times when I have been hurt
over the last few years,
but I've done my best
to keep that from them.
They don't need that.
But you're not really here
I'm with someone now which is nice,
it feels right, but it's early days yet.
Regrets, everyone wants to be
a perfect parent, but I'm not.
I do the best I can,
and I can't say it's the worst part of me
that I go out such a lot
because I don't think that it hurts them.
It's a completely different
lifestyle I've got
to what my mum and dad had,
but they are just so there for me,
and they're more responsible
for the way my kids are than I am.
I really do
- Sue.
- I would like to get
married when I grow up,
but I don't know what sort
of boy, but I think one
that's not got a lot of money
but has got some money, not a lot.
- Have you got any boyfriends?
- That's personal, innit?
- Don't like the way
he came out with that.
- We shan't tell him, shall we?
- That was horrific really, the cake,
what happened to the wedding cake.
I mean, it was sitting right
in between Mick and myself,
and suddenly the columns
just completely gave way
and it fell into one.
I would say on average,
19 is probably too young.
- By the time she was 34,
Jackie and Mick had divorced.
- We decided ourselves, I mean,
just between the two of us,
we knew it wasn't going any further.
We both knew, I think,
at the end of the day,
we would be happier leading our own lives.
My mum 'cause she got five girls,
she has seven years back luck,
that's why she's got five girls.
I'd like to be able to
have a happy family,
I mean, I know it's not possible
to be happy all the time,
but as much of the time that was possible.
Go through there, that's
the nursery.
- Got any plans?
- Do me a favour.
- She and Mick decided early on
that they didn't want children.
- Well, do you sometimes
feel like wringing his neck?
- 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.
That's not to say that's
a forever decision.
And this one on, here we go!
Oh, yeah!
I had a brief, but very
sweet relationship,
the result of which was Charlie.
Cor blimey, Charlie, you're supposed
to be cleaning your teeth,
not eating the brush.
It's the best thing that
could've happened to me,
and I would never have believed
I could've enjoyed a child
as much as I enjoy him.
Anybody that wanted to know
just got told I was pregnant.
I wasn't with the father, end of story.
Oi, give us a cuddle.
I don't really want Charlie to be an only.
I'd love him to have brothers and sisters,
but not necessarily loads of 'em,
just one would do actually.
Bed, Charlie Brown.
Right, Charlie, there's yours.
Please, eat it all up.
- Oh!
- And James.
- Thanks, Mum.
- Good boy.
And last but not least.
Gonna eat that one for me?
- After her relationship
with Charlie's father ended,
she met Ian and had two more sons.
Which one is the most
like you, do you think?
- At the moment, personality
wise, probably James.
He's the cheeky one, he's
the one full of confidence.
Charlie's the quieter one,
Charlie's the grown up.
Lee's an absolute bullet.
If he wants to do
something, he just does it,
I mean, no fear of anything,
but they are all good boys.
You can take them almost anywhere.
- Almost?
- Almost anywhere, yeah.
- And what is the most fun?
- The little things
that they come out with.
The shear unexpected pleasure of them.
I don't know, it's
really hard to describe,
but they come up with so
many different comments.
- Finished.
- This is actually
a place called Newmains,
which is about a 40-minute
drive from Glasgow,
about 15-minute drive from Motherwell.
- So, how did you land up here?
- Well, because the boys dad's Scottish,
and this is his hometown,
and we decided that, I mean,
Charlie was what, five,
about to start school,
and it was now or never.
If we hadn't moved then,
I don't think we would ever have done it,
but obviously, I am glad that we did.
There's a lot more here for the boys.
They've got a lot more freedom here.
The way the people treat each
other and talk to each other,
it's more like a village and
that's a good advert, I think.
A very good advert,
I like it far more than I ever did London.
- Not long after
settling in Scotland,
Ian and Jackie split up.
- Thank you.
- We're now living on our own,
although he is a regular visitor
and sees the children quite often.
- Lee!
- When any couple parts,
and I don't care how good
or how bad the terms are.
- Lee!
- There's always a
tendency for recrimination,
you know, just the usual
petty, this was your fault,
this was, you know, and
blaming each other and that,
and it took us a long while to realise
just how much the boys
were listening to us.
They could so easily
have grown up thinking
that it was their fault and it wasn't,
not in any way, shape, or form.
They just happened to be
the unlucky victims of it.
- What would you do if
you had lots of money,
about maybe two pounds?
- I would buy meself a new
nice house, wouldn't I?
One that's all nice and comfy.
When Ian and I split up,
I actually went into
temporary accommodation,
and I got housed a couple
of miles from here,
but that was furnished
because I didn't have
anything to take with me.
I was there seven weeks and
they offered me this one,
and with the help of family and friends
and word goes out, "Jackie
is needing some stuff,"
and it all just suddenly arrived.
The poor, if you don't help them,
they'll sort of die soon, wouldn't they?
I think it might be a bit
low on the ground, the snow.
I don't think there's
enough there, do you?
I don't cope financially.
Without my mother-in-law
stepping in to fill the gap,
I wouldn't be coping.
It's really hard to explain to anyone
who's not had to do it, but you may,
you get to a point where either
that bill doesn't get paid
or your children don't eat.
So obviously. your children eat,
which means that either my
mother-in-law pays the bill,
or she makes sure that my
food's in for the following week
so I can pay the bills, but
it's not easy to live like it.
Say, "Come on, swans!"
She's brilliant.
If I could have chosen a mother-in-law,
she was the one I would have chosen.
She's great for me.
She's absolutely brilliant
with the children,
and she's just always there
when I need her to be.
Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, you leave him alone.
At the moment, I mean,
a career's probably about the
furthest thing from my mind.
I don't really know what I'm aiming for
except to get the house together.
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.
Oh, I've no doubts I could have done more.
Certainly when I was younger,
it was probably laziness that stopped me.
When we did the last programme,
I think there was actually a comment
my father made at the time
was maybe he should have
pushed me a little bit harder.
And I think maybe in
retrospect, he should have done,
and that's probably the one thing
that I will do with mine
that he didn't do with me.
I think I should push 'em
just that little bit harder.
James, you watch, you're
catching up to him.
Go on, Lee.
I was working up here until very recently,
but they've discovered that
I've got rheumatoid arthritis,
so at the moment, that's put work on hold.
It's painful, very painful,
particularly my hands, my
feet, and my shoulders.
It can be almost crippling at times.
I get tired, and that
obviously makes life awkward
at home with the children.
- I wanna see.
- No, you're not.
Well, there is certainly no cure.
At the moment, they're trying to stem it
so that it gets no worse.
Whether we're having much success at that,
it's still quite early days,
so I really don't know at the moment.
I certainly don't feel
that great at the moment.
Are we ready?
One, two, three, go!
Swimming is one of the
best things for arthritis.
It can help as long as
you don't overdo it,
but having said that,
I'll pay for it tomorrow.
I'll be stiff tomorrow.
I shouldn't really lift Lee.
If Lee wants a cuddle,
he should sit on my lap,
and I should cuddle him on my lap,
but how do you tell a four-year-old,
no you can't lift them.
I mean, I can't stop being his mum
just because I'm not well.
- Do you
remember those scenes at 21
when you were showing them round the house
at East Chiltern.
- East Chiltern, yeah.
- Boy, we've gone
a long way, haven't we?
- Just a bit.
Oh god, in fact, don't flash back to that
at this point please.
Just the double chins and the age,
and I mean, the funny part about is
is that you don't think about your age
until you think about something like that.
I mean, when you think about
how many years ago that was,
and it was all so new and fresh.
I mean, I've done exactly the same now.
I've just started all over again,
but with three children in tow this time.
But that's life.
- So much
hope then, wasn't there?
- There still is.
Oh, there still is.
Don't make that mistake, Mike.
I am in no way,
I am down and I am
depressed about my illness,
but I'm certainly not down
and depressed about my life.
Nothing's gonna do that, I've
got three wonderful boys.
I've got a loving family around me.
I mean, I'm lucky.
There are a lot of people
that are a damn sight worse
off than I am, a lot of people.
- Well, we pretend we've got swords,
and we make the noises
of the swords fighting,
and when somebody stabs us, we go, "Argh."
- Neil grew up
in a Liverpool suburb.
- In the winter, if you
live in the country,
well it was just all wet and
there wouldn't be anything
for miles around and you'd get
soaked if you tried 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.
- At 14, he was at
a local comprehensive school.
- I think it's a very good
idea to have competition,
otherwise you might start to relax really,
and not try hard enough.
Being in Set One, it's very, very hard
to keep up with the leaders.
I never have the time to relax at all.
- Neil had
dreams of going to Oxford,
but he didn't get in.
Instead, he went to Aberdeen University
but dropped out after a term.
At 21, he was living on a building site
and living in a squat.
- 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.
- You kicked
against the stability.
- 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
mid-air the whole of my life.
- At 28, he was homeless
wandering around the
west coast of Scotland.
- 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.
If the money runs out,
well then for a few days,
there's nowhere to go to
and that's all you can do.
I simply have to find the
warmest shed I can find.
- 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.
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.
- At 35, we found
him living on a council estate
in the most northerly part of
Britain, the Shetland Islands.
- The nice thing about here is
that you can cut yourself off
when you want because there
are people living around,
but they're pretty quiet people.
It's an environment which sustains me,
it's one in which I can survive.
I still feel my real place is in the world
where people are doing what
the majority of people do.
And the reason I don't feel safe is
because I think I'm getting more and more
used to this lifestyle,
which eventually, I shall have to give up.
- And what would
you like to be doing,
say, in seven years?
- I can think of all kinds of things
that I'd like to be doing.
The real question is what
am I likely to be doing.
- What are
you likely to be doing?
- And that's a horrible question.
I tend to think most likely the answer
is I'll be wandering homeless
around the streets of London,
but with a bit of luck, that won't happen.
Some of the considerable disadvantages
that residents of
Trowbridge state area have
in comparison with those
in other parts of Hackney,
first of all, they are
geographically isolated.
They're separated from
most of Hackney by...
- At 42, he's a Liberal Democrat
member of Hackney Council.
He was elected two years ago.
- While I was in Shetland,
I felt very strongly
that I should become involved in politics
simply because I felt I
was not achieving anything
in the ways I really wanted to,
and I could see decisions
being made politically
by people I felt were not
competent to make them
and who I felt were not representing
the majority of the
public and I felt angry.
And I felt in my own small
way, I gotta get in there.
And I think more people should.
I think that it's only apathy
which leads to bad
government at any level.
- It's like a million miles away
from the Shetlands here.
How have you coped with that?
- That is one aspect of it.
Certainly adjusting to London
after all that period away,
even though I'd been back
occasionally for visits,
was extremely difficult.
It became progressively easier.
The first six hours were
an absolute nightmare,
and then the first week was pretty bad,
and I suppose it took me
a year or so to adjust.
I suppose, I would.
Yes, well, I would like to be somebody
in a position of importance.
I've always thought this,
but I don't think I'm
the right sort of person
to carry the responsibility
for whatever it is.
I've always though well I'd love to be,
possibly love to be in politics
or something like this.
The question of longterm
sickly delegation,
as you'll be aware, Chair,
the Liberal Democrats oppose.
- Do you have any
nerves when you stand up
and give speeches or make
arguments or defend positions?
- Yes, of course, and if I
didn't, it would be wrong,
and the councillor who has no
nerves is not doing his job.
It becomes slightly easier
after the first time,
and I'm glad you didn't
record my first speech
because most of the chamber walked out,
and I determined like
Disraeli to say something,
like well, "You're not listening now,
"but one day, you will hear me."
But unfortunately, most of the chamber
had already walked out, so it
was hardly worth saying that,
and also, I didn't believe
that it would necessarily be the case.
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.
- Do the days seem long for you?
- They can do.
- Do you have
any friends anywhere?
- I've some good friends still in England.
Father God, we thank you for the love
that you show to us all in creation.
We pray that that love may grow
and take root wherever Bruce and Penny
find themselves from now on.
We pray that you will give them both
understanding and patience.
- I think it was just
after the 28 programme.
There was organised a dinner
just to say farewell to everybody really.
I don't think the idea
was that we would get to know
each other and become friends
and see each other in the meanwhile,
but I think Neil turned
up without much notice.
I can't really remember.
- I came down from Scotland.
- Okay, right.
And I don't think
anywhere had been arranged
for him to stay.
I think there was for all those,
you know, I'm not exactly
sure what happened,
and I said, "Well, you can
always kip on my spare bed."
- I think that the time
between my moving to London from Shetland
and actually finding my
own accommodation in London
must have been round about two months,
and all that time I stayed with Bruce.
- And was that difficult?
- Not at all.
He was the model host,
although he did always insist on measuring
the amount of bathwater
there was in the bath.
I'm not quite sure why that
was, I never actually found out.
- I hope you don't mind me
saying this, but you know,
like he'd find the fridge a
bit noisy, so he'd turn it off.
Or if I had to hoover, he'd
walk round the block or.
- Well, I didn't basically stay in.
- No, no, no, no, that's true.
- No, I accept that I wasn't
the model lodger in every way
and however that only emphasises
how patient you actually were.
- No.
- How has Bruce helped you?
- Well, he has just been
a good loyal friend,
and I appreciate what he has tried,
done to help me to set up in London
and just been someone to talk
to when the need has arisen.
When I grow up, I want to be an astronaut.
If I can't be an astronaut, I
think I'll be a coach driver.
This is probably linked up
with the fact now that I want to travel.
I mean, my thoughts haven't
really changed that much,
but I definitely would like
to be a coach driver now.
I've trained to be a teacher
of English as a foreign language.
I've been on a number of training courses,
and I did an Open University degree.
That was perhaps the longest of all.
It was an Open University BA.
I took a number of subjects.
This is all background I suppose
and really perhaps you'd like to know
whether I've done any
work and the answer is no.
- Another one?
- There you are.
There will be plenty
in the next few weeks.
- I know all about.
- All Neil's
political work is voluntary,
like the canvassing he did
for the Liberal Democrats
at last year's Winchester By-Election.
- Thanks.
- He lives
entirely off State Benefit.
- I haven't had any paid work
apart from a couple of
interim government schemes.
I worked in a local community
theatre for about six months.
I worked as a gardener, fairly inevitably.
- Does it worry
you, living off benefits,
living off the state?
- Yeah, of course.
I feel as I am a drain on people
who are working hard to provide the money.
It's not that I don't think
there shouldn't be a benefit service.
I think there should be work for all
or for as many who want to do it,
and I'm not satisfied with
efforts that have been made
to provide work for those who want it.
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 don't know what the best
age is for falling in love
and maybe when you're
in love in your teens,
you really are in love
and when you think you're in
love later on, you're not.
Or maybe I'm still not old
enough to really fall in love.
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.
Well, I'm not married.
I value all experience,
and I feel this part of
my life hasn't happened.
I'm not homosexual, therefore I do hanker
after a stable relationship with a woman.
I have never been able to achieve that,
and I think I'm somehow
deficient in my ability
to react to certain of the needs of others
through not having had that relationship.
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 said, I sometimes
can be found behaving
in an erratic fashion.
Sometimes get very frustrated,
very angry for no apparent reason.
For a reason which won't be apparent
to other people around me.
- Do you ever
think you're going mad?
- Oh, I don't think it, I know it.
We don't like to use the word mad.
I think most people are mad here really.
My health has been a
lot better more recently
than at other times in my life.
Maybe being busy has
been part of the cure.
And I think my Christian
faith has helped me.
- I can actually say, now,
many thanks for the prayers.
They were really nice,
they were thoughtful.
- I also believe as my
friends who have been so loyal
have got to know me
more better and better,
and there is always room for
getting to know people better,
that they themselves have
been able to show support
and sympathy in the most appropriate ways.
- Is this a
good time in your life?
- Yes, probably, I've never been busier,
and I've never been in
contact with so many people.
- Now, the one thing I do have say
is please put all the leaflets
right through the letterboxes.
- I feel incredibly
grateful for the opportunity
to do what I'm doing.
I'm grateful to the
people that elected me.
I hope I haven't let them down.
I hope I will be re-elected,
and that depends on my
performance in the last two years.
- In May, he was
re-elected for another term.
- I don't think there's a
councillor in the country
who wouldn't like to
see themselves as an MP,
and yet they say every politician
wants to be Prime Minister.
But I'm quite happy at the moment
doing my council work trying to serve
what I perceive is a very
great need in Hackney.
Well, I suppose I've done many more things
than on previous occasions,
but whether I've changed
inside, I can't say.
- What's the most
enjoyable thing in life
for you at the moment?
- I think it's
looking to the future.
- Well, that's a
change for the better, isn't it?
- Well, perhaps that's just
because I'm getting old.
I think it's me believing that things
can't be so bad in the future
as they have been in the past,
and I think there are
certain short-term objectives
I have here in Hackney,
and if I can achieve a few of
those, then I'll be pleased.
- Wee!
- What effect has it had on you
being in these films, do you think?
- It's funny because before
the films start, you think,
what on earth have I
done with the seven years
that I could possibly say.
What can I talk about that I've done,
and you panic, you think, "I
should have done something.
"I should have done something dramatic."
You know, I was hoping I'd
win the lottery last night
so that I could come on and
say, but life's not like that.
- Well, I mean we were talking
about my ambitions as a scientist.
I mean, my ambition as a scientist
is to be more famous for doing science
than for being in this film,
but unfortunately, Michael,
it's not gonna happen.
- I have met some of the
most interesting people
who I am still in contact with,
and this includes people in
different parts of the world.
And one or two particularly
close friendships
have been forged through the programme.
Although I had to say,
I was very suspicious when
the initial contact was made.
- I mean, I don't think I'd ever
have kept a record of my life
in the way that we have
with this programme so, yes,
I mean, I enjoyed doing it, but it's not,
it's not something that sort
of takes a great precedence.
- If you came and asked me
if you could do this to my children,
I certainly wouldn't be enthusiastic.
I think it's something
that I wouldn't want to wish
on someone particularly.
- I think for the first 40-odd years,
it's restricted me because I
was always shy to start with
and knowing that people
were gonna be looking at me
and watching me, rather than do something
that's gonna look stupid, I've
always pulled myself back.
- There's a lot of baggage
that gets stirred up
every seven years for
me that I find quite,
that I find very hard to deal with,
and I can put it away for the seven years,
and then it comes round again,
and the whole lot comes
tumbling out again,
and I have to deal with it all over again.
- It hasn't changed my choices in life.
I haven't though, "Well, I
have to be doing this by then,"
or, "How will this seem
to others," or so on.
It's just a kind of
periodic little intrusion.
- It's the only time,
when you're a cabbie,
instead of you picking up a celebrity
and saying "Hello you're
Paul Gasgoigne, ain't ya?"
And when they go, "I know you,"
and they turn the tables on you, you know.
- And do you like that?
- It's not a question of
like it, I'm used to it.
I don't mind it.
- You do like it.
- It has to be said that I bitterly regret
that the headmaster of the school
where I was when I was seven
pushed me forward for this
series because every seven years,
a little pill of poison is injected into.
- Oh no.
- Well, it's the truth.
- Being honest, I think
despite all the things
that I might have said over the years
about, "Oh, coming again" and that sort,
I think there's a certain amount
of excitement there too underlying,
I'm old enough to
admit it now I suppose.
You know?
No, it probably is a bit
of good fun, I think.
- Some of us don't see family
from one year to the next,
seven years on, and I think
that's how we all feel
about each other, but we're
linked and that can never go.
- 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.
There's 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.