Generation-spanning documentary series Up, which has followed the lives of the same group of contributors every seven years since they were seven years old, will make its eagerly awaited return to BBC One and BBC iPlayer this autumn as a compelling two-part docu-series, 28Up Millennium Generation.
At seven, they were asked about love, about God, about money and about their families. At 14 they were preoccupied by the challenges of teenage life. And at 21 we found young adults anxious about finding jobs, looking for relationships and establishing their independence as they approached the end of full-time study.
This time around, we meet our 28 year-olds in 2021, amid a lot of uncertainty about their futures. But between them they’ve found fame, started new careers, and fallen in love - as well as dealing with serious mental health issues, the pain of bereavement and broken dreams. Of our contributors, only a quarter have been able to afford their own home and only one is married and has children.
Director Julian Farino says: “I have worked extensively in drama but there is something uniquely special about filming the 7Up series over these last 21 years. To befriend and watch people grow up on film is extraordinary and is an absolute privilege.
"What I love about the 7Up series is that it celebrates the lives of ordinary people. It shows that every life has its challenges and dramas, and it is incredible to see both continuity and change in personality. It makes it impossible not to reflect on one’s own life."
BBC documentaries Commissioning Editor Emma Loach says: “We are thrilled to announce that the celebrated Up series will be returning to BBC One later this month with 28Up Millennium Generation. Seven years on from the last instalment, our fully matured protagonists now find themselves catapulted into adult life, and having to adapt to a sharply competitive world, increased responsibilities and fresh challenges brought on by a global pandemic.
"Most often, the best television is comprised from the stories of real people, and the Up series offers the most intimate insights into the contrasting lives of 14 exceptional individuals in the UK, providing the perfect narrative on what it is like to grow up today in this country."
Transmission dates will be announced in due course.