Britain in a Day- Review

June 12, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I thought Britain in a Day took a shaky start. Viewers saw a night bus driver clearing out passengers and party goers filming a night out in an unknown British town centre. But after a dreary 20 minutes or so Britain in a Day started to pick up and became an emotional roller-coaster of love, loneliness, family and friends and ultimately captured the complexity of real life.

The documentary was composed of 300 video contributions. Some people or lives were only featured for a few seconds; people washing dishes, eating dinner, walking dogs. Others played a more central part of the documentary and formed a narrative; characters that viewers could be affected by, and I certainly was.

Britain in a day logo

Britain in a Day

An ill father who had recently been diagnosed with a brain tumour and given only weeks to live had remained strong so that he could attend his daughter’s wedding, which was been held at the hospice chapel where he was been treated.  His story was one of the most moving in my opinion as although we were only given a glimpse into the family’s life it seemed so incredibly sad.

But their day of mixed emotions, happiness of marriage and sadness of such a terrible illness, was counteracted with the small joys of life; a couple announcing they were expecting a baby, a boyfriend proposing, a man enjoying a beautiful sunset, people meditating, sports fans enjoying sports and children playing in the garden.

father and daughter Britain in a Day

Father and Daughter featured in Britain in a Day

Maybe the most thought provoking person to be featured was the young man cycling along a canal who enjoyed his life in Britain because he felt ‘safe’ here. This was surprising having seen another man visiting an immigration detention centre, and another in prison and protestors camping outside St. Pauls Cathedral earlier in the documentary. The youngster’s positive reflection on life seems to prove that life really is what you make of it and reinforced that everyone featured in Britain in a Day is real. Their thoughts and feelings were their own and not manufactured by a producer or team of writers. 

Overall Britain in a Day is a touching, quirky and sometimes bizarre look at life in Britain which illustrates just how dynamic our country is. It’s wonderful to see how the foundations of life are the same but the finer details change according to individuals and incredible to think that so much footage has been so skilfully edited. Definitely worth watching- Britain in a Day is available to catch up on BBC iPlayer now.

Britain in a Day- BBC Two documentary

June 11, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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On 12th November 2011 thousands of Britain’s dug out their video cameras and filmed what they were doing on that Saturday in November. The videos captured the everyday lives of Britons living in the UK today and have been made into a BBC Two documentary ‘Britain in a Day’ which airs at 9pm tonight.

The candid documentary created by Morgan Matthews and Ridley Scott hopes to capture real people and their lives. To ensure Britain in a Day portrayed a true outlook of a day in the UK, Morgan and Ridley invited everyone and anyone to take part and film their day regardless of how boring or exciting it might be. Thousands responded and an incredible 750 hours’ worth of footage was uploaded to YouTube via Britain in a Days’ YouTube channel.

Britain In A Day

The footage, which has been edited for tonight’s 90 minute documentary, is said to have included monumental moments in British people’s lives; getting married, giving birth and moving house. But it also includes the ordinary tasks which we all have to carry out like going shopping, seeing friends, work and the dreaded house chores.

Collated together Britain in a Day hopes to encapsulate all the emotions which we experience in one single day. Whilst one couple are enjoying their wedding day somebody else might be grieving a lost loved one. And this is the beauty behind the documentary; it demonstrations how dynamic the country is in one single time frame.

Interestingly those taking part were asked to consider a couple of questions when filming; what makes you happy? What do you like and dislike about the UK? What is the most important thing in your life? These answers are what I expect will make the documentary so interesting and I can’t wait to see how different people- young and old- will respond to the questions.  

Britain in a Day is set to be a worthwhile watch which I will definitely be tuning in to (put it on record if you’re watching the Euro Football instead). Tomorrow I’m planning on posting a review about the documentary so please check back and let me know if you enjoy Britain in a Day.

Chatsworth BBC Documentary- Episode One

May 16, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Chatsworth House has long been a popular tourist attraction thanks to its wealth of history. The ‘Palace of the Peaks’ boasts over 300 rooms, 62 farms and 35,000 aches with beautiful gardens and a farm yard for visitors to enjoy.

Now the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire have opened the doors of the Chatsworth Estate to the BBC for an exclusive look into life at Chatsworth. Filmed for the entire year of 2011 the documentary follows the work of the estate and its 700 members of staff who carefully maintain Chatsworth’s history making it the most popular historical house in Britain.

Duke and Duchess of Deveonshire at Chatsworth

Duke and Duchess of Deveonshire

Episode one (there are three in total) gives an oversight into how Chatsworth is prepared for its opening in March. During the winter months Chatsworth’s staff start to ‘deep clean’ the property and grounds in preparation for guests and everyone gets involved even the Duke and Duchess join in the annual litter pick.

This passionate approach of everyone lending a hand travels through the entire episode which I found incredibly endearing. As Tour guides carefully check dates and details on hand held guide devices whilst housekeepers do a spot of cleaning as they travel the grounds ensuring that everything is just right for Chatsworth 700,000 visitors.  

But I was most impressed by how precisely the display team work. In this episode they set the dining room table, recreating the table as it was set when Queen Victoria visited in 1843. Their attention to detail is second to none and their time and effort makes me appreciate just how true to reality features like these are in historical properties such as Chatsworth.

Chatsworth House

Chatsworth House

The documentary has a personal feel as it follows the journey of those who make the estate so excellent. Viewers meet many long serving members of staff including Andre, who runs the Duchess’s farm shop, one of the estates main sources of income and new recruits who are making their own mark on Chatsworth. The show follows Heather, Chatsworth’s first female ‘Head Guide’ who is working hard to lead a team of 60 experienced guide staff and learn more about the history of Chatsworth along the way. 

It’s a programme which I would definitely recommend watching especially if you like visiting stately homes or heritage sites as it gives a brilliant insight into how treasured history is brought to life so that we can enjoy it. Catch up on episode one with BBC’s iPlayer- click here to watch online.

Louis Theroux: Extreme Love Dementia.

April 27, 2012 at 11:20 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Louis Theroux’s documentary ‘Extreme Love’ aired on BBC Two last night looked to the lives of people who are living dementia. Working in an industry which deals primarily with elderly people I understand how dementia can change lives, not only for sufferers but also carers, and feel that Louis Theroux’s documentary gave a touching insight into the reality of dementia.

Louis visited families in America who were affected by dementia. Interestingly he met a variety of people all of whom were at different stages of the disease and relied on care in one form or another.

Louis Theroux Extreme Love Dementia Gary

Louis Theroux with Gary

First was Gary, a 69 year old former dentist living in a care home. Although his memory would come and go, Garry didn’t remember his wife as his spouse. Instead he thought she was a former colleague which was incredibly difficult to watch but illustrated the reality of how much of an impact dementia has on everyone involved.

Across town Louis meet up with one of the most surprising cases for me, Selinda, a 49 year old mother to her 9 year old daughter. Although Selinda looked incredibly happy and healthy her dementia was progressively getting worse and will almost certainly lead to her having little or no memory of her family.

While the documentary sensitively caught the sad truth of dementia it also captured some fantastic moments which leads me to 89 year old Nancy, a charming lady with Alzheimer’s who is looked after by her husband John.

Louis Theroux and Nancy Extreme Love Dementia

Louis Theroux and Nancy

Although in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s and clearly forgetful and confused at times, Nancy was a joy to watch. Funny, charismatic and loving she and Louis appeared to have formed a real bond which was lovely to watch and probably why the programmed proved to be so poignant; maybe one of Louis Theroux’s most affecting pieces yet.

A real rollercoaster ride which gives a true insight into dementia definitely one to watch- catch up on BBC iPlayer now.

The Anti-Social Network with Richard Bacon – Internet Trolling

March 21, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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On Monday evening I watched The Anti-Social Network, a documentary on BBC Three which was created by TV presenter and broadcaster Richard Bacon. The show looked into how the internet has become riddled with cyber bullying, now referred to as “trolling”, and the catastrophic effect that such has had on thousands of internet users.

Trolling is now common place on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter and Richard Bacon has been a victim of trolling himself. Startlingly statistics reckon that a third of people aged 11-17 have experienced cyber bullying in one form or another since creating social network accounts.

Online bullies appear to range from school children tormenting their classmates to anonymous “trolls” mercilessly searching the internet to find innocent victims. Disturbingly it would appear that memorial accounts or RIP pages on Facebook are often targeted by trolls.

Richard Bacon the anti social network

Richard Bacon created The Anti-Social Network

On Monday night’s programme we were shown two cases of RIP pages been targeted with abusive messages and defaced images. Sickeningly both pages were commemorating the lives of young boys who had sadly died; the effect of trolling on their families was devastating to see.

Watching the documentary I felt utterly disgusted and angry. It’s heart breaking to hear that people are getting abused so viciously and often suffering in silence because they are too afraid to tell family and friends about the bullying. It’s also frustrating because there appears to be little that social networking sites can do to safeguard internet users against trolls.

Facebook The Anti Social Network

Cyber bullies often target Facebook & Twitter

Although the police have brought in a law to help stop trolling, only two people have been jailed under it because trolls, especially those who troll anonymously, work their way around social networking sites so strategically. Stealing other people’s identities’ to cover up their own or even creating fake names so as not to be traced.

As an advocate of the internet- I wrote a blog earlier this week encouraging people to get online as its Age UK’s myfriends online week– I’m obviously concerned that trolling will put people off getting online. Instead of avoiding the internet because of cyber bullying simple be aware of trolling and safeguard yourself. Ensure to keep an eye on your account and report any abuse to the appropriate site or police.

I would definitely recommend watch The Anti-Social Network which is on BBC Iplayer now.

TV Phenomenon – One Born Every Minute

January 19, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Channel 4’s documentary series One Born Every Minute has become a television sensation. Now in its third series, the fly on the wall documentary is considered a ‘must watch’. As avid fans take to Twitter, Facebook and online forums to discuss the programme and their own experiences of child birth I’m questioning why the bare-all series is such a hit.

One Born Every Minute

The truth is we are all so fascinated by other people’s lives that a glimpse into a special moment, even if it isn’t our own, is too good to resist. Not forgetting that child birth is an area of such intrigue and interest it’s difficult to not be drawn in.

I watched the programme last night and it immediately brought back to my own experiences, which is clearly part of the programme’s charm. As I watched a young mum give birth naturally and another lady deliver by caesarean section the message is clear that all births are very different. Hence why so many are eager to discuss their experiences online- Netmums has a dedicated section to One Born Every Minute which has received a brilliant response.

Mum and baby

For many however the clincher has to be the uncensored notion which One Born Every Minute maintains. Love it or hate it there is no hiding from the blood and guts of child birth here. Recorded on a real working labour ward with expectant mothers and terrified fathers- to- be we get to share a moment of their life, which is so rare and precious, but reveals absolutely everything. Although this may make some people squirm, especially men, it’s an honest and frank look at the reality of labour.

As the show explores modern day midwifery it’ easy to compare how much things have changed over time. New BBC drama ‘Call the Midwife’ documents midwifery in the fifties and recalls the somewhat bleak environment which mothers were expect to deliver in- a far cry from the specialised suites used today. But also the small matter than men weren’t allowed in delivery rooms year ago.

one born evey minute

This has changed dramatically as now not only are partners encouraged and expected to be presented for births, but camera crews are welcomed in some cases too. Capturing the entire process of labour in all of its glory, I often wonder how anyone could be talked into take part in the show.

Nevertheless One Born Every Minute is another brilliant documentary series for Channel 4. Packed with drama, genuine charm and emotions that could only be caught on a real life documentary it’s easy to understand why the show has become such a worthy success. Fantastic viewing.

Catch up with One Born Every Minute on Channel 4 OD now- click here.

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