56 Up

Monday, 21 May 2012, 9:00PM – 10:00PM

56 Up, the latest instalment of ITV’s landmark documentary series returns to visit the people whose lives have been followed since they were seven and sees more of the original line-up taking part than ever before.

The original 7 Up was broadcast in 1964 as a one-off World in Action Special featuring children who were selected from different backgrounds and social spheres to talk about their hopes and dreams for the future.

As members of the generation who would be running the country by the year 2000, what did they think they would become?

Inspired by World in Action founder editor Tim Hewat’s passionate interest in both the Jesuit saying: “Give me the child until he is seven and I will show you the man,” and the rigid class system of 1960s Britain, 7 Up set out to discover whether or not the children’s lives were pre-determined by their background.

The result was ground-breaking television and the follow-up films have won an array of awards.

Director Michael Apted, who has since moved to Hollywood to direct films including Gorky Park, The Coal Miner’s Daughter, The World Is Not Enough, The Chronicles of Narnia and Gorillas in the Mist, has returned every seven years to chart the children’s progress through life.

Over the past six decades, the series has documented the group as they have become adults and entered middle-age, dealing with everything life has thrown at them in between.

Now the series is back to discover what has happened to the group over the last seven years. And one of the original characters has decided to re-join the series after leaving almost 30 years ago.

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