Press Centre

7 Up & Me

  • Episode:

    1 of 1

  • Transmission (TX):

    Mon 03 Jun 2019

  • TX Confirmed

    Yes

  • Time

    9.00pm - 10.00pm

  • Week:

    Week 23 2019 : Sat 01 Jun - Fri 07 Jun

  • Channel:

    ITV

  • Published:

    Wed 22 May 2019

The information contained herein is embargoed from all Press, online, social media, non-commercial publication or syndication - in the public domain - until Tuesday 28 May 2019.

 

“I think it’s the most brilliant concept, because it’s so simple.” Richard E Grant

 

“It’s such an optimistic series, that’s why it’s one of the greatest series ever made.” Matthew Kelly

 

“The older they get, the more we just connect to the sweep of what it is to be a human being.” Michael Sheen

 

To celebrate 63 Up, the latest instalment in TV’s longest running documentary series, this 60-minute special sees the show’s famous fans explain why it means so much to them and how it has reflected the major milestones of their own lives.

 

In 1964, Granada Television brought together a group of seven-year-olds for a ground-breaking TV programme. For over half a century we’ve watched their lives unfold. 

 

Now, 7 Up & Me features a range of famous faces watching the Up series and revealing its impact on them and the uniquely personal engagement they have with it as they compare the lives they’ve seen on screen every seven years to their own at each key stage from childhood and adolescence to early adulthood and middle age.

 

Showing photographs from their personal albums, Micky Flanagan and Richard E Grant look back to their very contrasting school days, Sally Lindsay and John Thomson recall their teenage trials and triumphs and Lord Sebastian Coe compares his sporting dreams with those of would be jockey Tony.

 

Michael Sheen remembers the moment when his hopes of a football career ended. Stanley Johnson, Eamonn Holmes and Julia Bradbury share their contrasting views on parenthood. Sir Tony Robinson and Ben Bailey Smith explain which characters in the Up documentaries made the biggest impact on them and William Roache, Rula Lenska and Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson reflect on the sadness of losing their parents. 

 

Plus, 63 Up Producer/Director Michael Apted tells us what we can expect from this latest instalment. 

 

Re-watching the original footage from 7 Up, Former Home Secretary, Alan Johnson says: “You could see two completely different worlds. Posh kids. Poor kids. I don’t think any other country is divided by class the way that Britain is.”

 

Sally Lindsay says: “There’s a lot of times you find yourself filling up at these innocent, beautiful voices.”

 

As they look back at the Up films the famous fans share personal photographs and talk about their own lives at seven.

 

Richard E Grant was living in Swaziland and says he definitely wanted to be an astronaut. John Thomson says he was the class clown. Michael Sheen remembers living in Liverpool, having a scouse accent and avidly supporting Liverpool FC. 

 

Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson says she was seven when she became a wheelchair user. She reflects on this pivotal moment in her life and expresses her gratitude to her head teacher and parents who helped keep her in her mainstream state school, which she says led on to her being an athlete and then a career in politics. She says: “That is a really important reminder that my life could have radically changed at seven years old.” 

 

When they watch Bruce at seven, Richard E Grant and Bill Roache look back at their time spent in boarding school. Richard E Grant says: “Going to boarding school at a very early age, for me, it’s utterly barbaric. I don’t ever remember any other time as being so pain-filled as that was.” 

 

As the 7 Up children reach 14, John Thomson tells the programme about his life at 14 and how he got his first taste for acting. The actor also reflects on his adoption and how grateful he feels for the way his life turned out.

 

As Tony talks about his dreams of becoming a jockey, Lord Sebastian Coe says it was around the same age that he dreamed of becoming an Olympic athlete. He says: “I had dreams of going to an Olympic games, Tony’s dream was to be the next Lester Piggott. It worked out for me, it didn’t work out for him. I wonder what would I have done had that not been the case?” 

 

7 Up & Me takes the famous viewers through each of the Up series, prompting them to recall their personal experiences of becoming parents while watching moments from 28 Up, when the 7 Up children have grown-up and started families of their own. 

 

And, viewing scenes from later series as they grow older and sadly start to lose their parents, there are heartfelt and emotional reactions from Lord Coe, Baroness Thompson, William Roache and Rula Lenska who compare how they felt losing their parents.

 

Richard E Grant says: “What happens to all of them, certainly in my experience, you can identify with things that have happened in your own life. Nobody’s immune to the whips and lashes that life deals out.”

 

Matthew Kelly adds: “I hope they know what they’re achieving by doing this, and that’s to show us ourselves as like a mirror.”

 

Produced by Shiver for ITV.