Seven Days on the Breadline

Did you see ITV’s “Seven Days on the Breadline” last night? What a fascinating programme. Four celebrities – Spice Girl Mel B, actor Keith Allen, fashionista Trinny Woodall and rugby pro Austin Healey swapped lives with four members of the public for a week.

It was a surprise to me that one in five of the population are economically on the ‘breadline’ – and the celebrities each moved in with a family in difficult financial circumstances within a mile of each other on the outskirts of Leeds.

The programme was reminiscent of the Michael Portillo ‘swap’ documentary where he spent a week living with a young family. But it was edgier – Keith Allen’s observation that the six kids he looked after had no energy because they were constantly tired; the touching image of him showing the younger children how to cook home-made pizza; the fifteen year old admitting that joining the Army and being posted to Afghanistan was better than staying on his Leeds estate.

The series continues next week, and it’ll make fascinating viewing.

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