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7 Up ... Now we are due 56 Up

Date: 13 to 15 May 2012


The UP Series is a series of documentary fils produced by Granada Television that have followed the lives of fourteen British children since 1964, whe  they were seven years old. The documentary had had seven epidoses spanning 49 years (one episode every seven ears) and the documentary had bsee broadcast on both ITV and BBC. in 2005 Channel 4 programme, the series topped the list of the 50 Greatest Documentaries.

The children were selected to represent the range of socio-economic backgrounds in Britain at that time, with the explicit assumption that each child\'ssocial class predetermines their future. Every seven years, the director, Michale Apted, films new material form as many of the fourteen as he can get to participate.


According to Apted, 56 Up is expected to have its broadcast premiere from 13 to 15 May 2012



We are first introduced to the subjects on a group visit to London Zoo, where the narrator announces "We brought these 20 children together for the very first time." The series, however, only follows fourteen: Bruce Balden, Jackie Bassett, Symon Basterfield, Andrew Brackfield, John Brisby, Peter Davies, Susan Davis, Charles Furneaux, Nicholas Hitchon, Neil Hughes, Lynn Johnson, Paul Kligerman, Suzanne Lusk and Tony Walker.

The participants were chosen in an attempt to represent different social classes in Britain in the 1960s. Apted admits in the commentary track of the 42 Up DVD that he was asked to find children at the extremes. Because the show was not originally intended to become a repeating series, no long-term contract was signed with the participants. The interviews since Seven Up! have been voluntary, although the participants have been paid an unknown sum for their appearance in each film, as well as equal parts of any prize the film may win, says Apted. Each subject is filmed in about two days, and the interview itself takes more than six hours.


John, Charles and Andrew

These three boys were chosen from the same pre-preparatory school in the wealthy London suburb of Kensington. They are introduced in Seven Up! singing "Waltzing Matilda" in Latin. At the age of seven, when asked what newspaper he reads, if any, Andrew stated that he reads The Financial Times (although he later revealed he was in fact just repeating what his father had told him when asked the same question), and all three could say which prep schools, public schools and universities they planned to attend (Oxford/Cambridge in all cases); two named the specific Oxbridge college they intended to join.

John Brisby, who was vocal on politics by 14, attended Oxford and became a barrister. He married the daughter of an ambassador to Bulgaria and devotes himself to charities related to Bulgaria, and hopes to reclaim family land there that had been nationalised. He said in 35 Up that he only does the films to give more publicity to his chosen charities.

Charles Furneaux did not make it into Oxford, although at 21 he said he was glad to have avoided the "prep school-Marlborough-Oxbridge conveyor belt" by going to Durham University instead, later attending Oxford as a post-graduate student. Charles has worked in journalism in varying capacities over the years, including as a producer for the BBC, and in the making of documentary films, including Touching the Void. He chose not to appear in the series after 21 Up, other than with a single photograph in each new film. During an on-stage interview at London\'s National Film Theatre in December 2005, Apted revealed that Charles had attempted to sue him when he refused to remove Charles\'s likeness from the archive sequences in 49 Up.

Andrew Brackfield\'s academic career culminated in his matriculation at Trinity College, Cambridge. Andrew subsequently became a solicitor, married, and raised a family. He is the only one out of the three to have been in all the Up films.



Suzanne (Suzy) Lusk comes from a wealthy background, and was first filmed at a boarding school. Her parents divorced around the time of 7 Plus Seven. She then dropped out of school at the age of 16, deciding to travel to Paris. By 21, she had formed a strong negative opinion about marriage. Her husband Rupert Dewey is a successful solicitor in Bath and they have three children; two boys and a girl. She became a bereavement counsellor. In 49 Up, she indicated that she did not plan to participate in future releases of the series.


Jackie, Lynn and Sue

These three girls were chosen from the same primary school in a working class neighbourhood of London. Jackie Bassett and Susan (Sue) Davis eventually went to a comprehensive school, while Lynn Johnson attended a grammar school. Jackie and Lynn both married at 19, Sue at 24. Lynn became a children\'s (and later, school) librarian at 21 and has remained in that career since then. Jackie and Sue each went through several different jobs, got divorced, and raised children as single parents.



Tony Walker was chosen from a primary school in the East End of London who is introduced along with his girlfriend Michelle. He wanted to be a jockey at 7, and was at a stable training as one by 14. By 21 his chance had come and gone, after riding in three races before giving it up, and he was proud to have competed against Lester Piggott. He then "did \'The Knowledge\'" and made a comfortable life for himself and his family as a London taxi driver. His later dream of becoming an actor has met with modest success; he has had small parts as an extra (almost always playing a cabbie) in several TV programmes since 1986, including Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years, The Bill, and twice in EastEnders, most recently in 2003. In 35 Up Tony admitted that being in a monogamous relationship was becoming a strain, and by 42 Up he had actually committed adultery, though he and his wife have got past it and are still together. By 42 Up, he had moved to Essex and by 49 Up, owned two homes, including a holiday home in Spain.



Paul Kligerman was at a charity-based boarding school at 7, his parents having divorced and he having been left with his father. Soon after Seven Up! his father and stepmother moved the family to Australia, where he has remained in the Melbourne area ever since. By 21, he had more presence, long hair, and a girlfriend whom he later married and remains with today. After leaving school he was employed as a bricklayer and later set up his own business. In 49 Up he is working for a sign-making company. In both 21 Up and 49 Up, Paul was reunited with Symon, who had attended the same boarding school; portions of their time together are included in both films.



The only participant with a non-white background is mixed-race. Symon Basterfield was chosen from the same charity home as Paul. He was an illegitimate child, who apparently never got to know his black father, and had left the charity home to live with his white mother by the time of the 7 Plus Seven filming; her depression is alluded to as the cause for him being in the home. As the filming for 35 Up was taking place, he was going through a divorce from his first wife and mother of his five children, and he elected not to take part in that film. Symon returned for 42 Up and 49 Up, remarried with one son and one stepdaughter. In 49 Up, he and his wife had become foster parents.



William Nicholas (Nick) Hitchon was raised on a small farm in Arncliffe, a tiny village in the Yorkshire Dales. He was educated in a one-room school four miles walk from his home, and later at a boarding school. He went to Oxford University and then moved to the United States to work as a nuclear physicist. He married another British ex-pat, who participated in 28 Up but was displeased with how her comments were received by viewers, many of whom apparently concluded that the marriage was doomed. She declined to appear in 35 Up and 42 Up. By 49 Up the couple had divorced and Nick had remarried. Nick is currently a professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.



Peter Davies went to the same middle-class Liverpool suburban school as Neil, who like Peter wanted to be an astronaut. Peter drifted through university, and by age 28 he was an underpaid and seemingly uninspired schoolteacher. Peter dropped out of the series after 28 Up, when he lost his job as a teacher following a tabloid press campaign against him after he criticised the government of Margaret Thatcher in his interview. In the director\'s commentary for 42 Up it is stated that he later divorced, took up study of the law, has become a lawyer, re-married, had children and moved back to Liverpool. He is in a Liverpool-based country-influenced band called The Good Intentions.



From a \'Liverpool suburb\' Neil Hughes turned out to be the most unpredictable of the entire group. At seven he was funny, full of life and hope. By the time of 21 Up he was homeless in London, having dropped out of Aberdeen University after one term, and was living in a squat and finding work as he could on building sites. During the interview he is clearly in an agitated state, and it becomes apparent that he has mental health issues and is struggling to cope with life; he mentions he had had thoughts of suicide. At 28 he was still homeless, although now in Scotland; by 35 he was living in a council house on the Shetland Islands, off the north coast of Scotland, writing and appearing in the local pantomime. By the time of 42 Up he had finally found some stability in his life (with some help from Bruce — he was living in Bruce\'s apartment in London and Bruce had become a source of emotional support) and was involved in local council politics, as a Liberal Democrat in the London Borough of Hackney. By the time of 49 Up, he is a District Councillor in the Eden district of Cumbria, in North West England.[6] Neil stood in the 2010 general election as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Carlisle where he finished third, receiving 6,567 votes.



Bruce Balden was an idealist who was concerned with poverty and racial discrimination and wanted to become a missionary. He was attending a prestigious boarding school. At the age of seven, he said that his greatest desire was to see his father, who was a soldier in Rhodesia, and he seemed a little abandoned. Bruce studied mathematics at Oxford University and used his education to teach children in the East End of London and Sylhet, Bangladesh. Before 42 Up, he married, and Apted broke the seven-year structure of the films to film Bruce\'s wedding, which was also attended by Neil. Eventually becoming burned out with teaching in the East End, Bruce currently teaches at St Albans School, Hertfordshire, a prestigious public school. Between 42 Up and 49 Up, he had two sons, and is happily married to a fellow teacher.



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