Perhaps it’s because my own ‘kids’ are aged 22, 20 and 19 – but I do feel young people often, wrongly, get a bad press. So it was refreshing last night to watch two programmes, which showed people in their twenties in such a good light.
First up – the new series of Channel 4’s Country House Rescue. This is where Ruth Watson visits a usually crumbling and dilapidated old mansion where the family is at odds over the best way to save it. It’s an appealing programme not only because of its nose into how the other half live, but because it’s the only time when you come away relieved you don’t live in a rambling old castle.
Last night’s episode was no exception as we took a tour of historic Wyresdale Park in Lancashire and met the traditional James, his wife, Sally and son, Jim, 29. The estate had fallen into disrepair and now father and son were ‘at war’ over how best to keep it afloat and pay for the repairs. James, a farmer, admitted they needed more income but stated, ‘I don’t like anything commercial’ whereas son Jim, who organised large music events and lived in a trendy part of East London, felt the best way forward was to knock the crumbling out-buildings down and hold events there. Mum Sally – interestingly, she’d met the wealthy James as a student when he was her landlord and she rented one of his many properties – saw both sides.
The programme developed into perfect Sunday night viewing (preferably watched with tea and a cream scone) as Ruth worked out a plan to develop the outbuildings as a tea room (for the stream of ramblers rambling past the house), mini farm and arts and crafts shop. It was lovely to see son Jim, sensitive enough to his father not to battle on about his events, and welcome this idea. Incredibly, some 1000 people turned up on the day. That said, whether serving teas in a tent on a regular basis to eke out a living was quite what pink-faced wife Sally had in mind when she married James remains to be seen…
Meanwhile, BBC3’s Junior Doctors makes emotional viewing. This week’s programme has concentrated on how the young doctors cope with death and realising they can’t save everyone’s life. We saw Lucy genuinely moved when she discovered one patient was dying from pancreatic cancer and Adam trying to make a patient’s last days as comfortable as possible. But surely the most watchable is laid-back Jon, who despite his generous size (you do worry for his health when you see him sweating as he races down the corridor to a cardiac arrest) seems to take every emergency in his stride. And the quiet confidence he exudes makes you forget he is fresh out of medical school.
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