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The original 7 Up, broadcast in 1964 as a World in Action special, featured children from widely different social backgrounds sharing their hopes and dreams for the future. Inspired by World in Action founder editor Tim Hewat's passionate interest in both the Jesuit saying: 'Give me the child until he is seven and I will show you the man', and 1960s Britain's rigid class system, this unique, groundbreaking series set out to discover how far the children's lives were pre-determined by their background.
Director Michael Apted has returned every seven years to chart the group's progress, documenting the participants as they have become adults and entered middle-age, dealing with everything life has thrown at them in between; the very first example of a programme recording real people living real lives this landmark series has won an array of awards.
56 Up, broadcast in 2012, returns to visit the people whose lives have been publicly tracked since they were seven, and sees more of the original line-up taking part than ever before, with one participant, Peter, deciding to re-join the series after almost 30 years.