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The House That Made Me

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Famous figures take an emotional trip back to meticulous recreations of the homes they were brought up in, exploring how their past shaped who they are today

About the Show

Famous figures take an emotional trip back to meticulous recreations of the homes they were brought up in, exploring how their past shaped who they are today

  • Sanjeev Bhaskar

    Sanjeev Bhaskar

    Actor and comedian Sanjeev Bhaskar returns to his childhood home: a flat above a launderette in Heston, West London, where his immigrant Hindu family moved when he was just two and a half years old.

    Heston and its surrounding areas are now predominantly Asian, but when the Bhaskars moved in they were the only Asians on the street.

    Sanjeev retraces the fragments of his childhood firstly through his parents' very quirky flat, which contained an eccentric combination of Indian and English objects and influences, reflecting the tightrope he walked between English and Indian cultures throughout his young life.

    He remembers warmly their English neighbours, who ran the fish and chip shop next door and took Sanjeev under their wing, and family trips to see Indian films.

    He also revisits one of the most traumatic times in his youth when he was in the sixth form at Cranford Community College, where a third of the students were Asian. It was here that he was labelled 'white man' and ostracised by the whole of his peer group for three months.

    Against a violent backdrop of racial tension, the 1979 Southall riots and the menacing presence of the National Front, in the safety of his bedroom Sanjeev developed his own form of escapism with comedy heroes, James Bond and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

    His difficulty fitting in, and his parents' high aspirations for him - in addition to his own desire to please them - were to map his future for the following decade.

  • Jamelia

    Jamelia

    Pop star and mother of two Jamelia returns to the Birmingham council estate where she grew up in the 1990s with her second-generation Jamaican mother and her two half brothers in a close-knit Caribbean community.

    In the front room of her childhood home, Jamelia rediscovers the warm environment that her house-proud mother, Paulette, would spend hours creating with her DIY, home cooking and African art.

    Jamelia charts the stages that led her to her own pop success, tracking down the beloved home karaoke machine on which she recorded the demo that sealed her first record deal, aged 15, and excitedly trying it out again 14 years later in her bedroom. She celebrates the Americanisation of culture, through TV, music and fashion, which contributed to the direction she would take.

    Jamelia and her mother draw parallels between their lives: strong, independent women, but both raising children alone, without long-term partners. The two also consider how Jamelia's life differs so much from her two brothers', who joined gangs and would go on to spend time in prison.

    Jamelia meets a British-Jamaican historian to explore why many of the fathers, such as hers, in the Caribbean community were absent. She also examines the effects her father had on her own experiences with men in her adult life and, after a thoughtful exchange with school friends, she decides to confront him, leading to a poignant and emotional meeting with the father she hasn't seen in six years.

  • Boy George

    Boy George

    Boy George returns to the two houses in which he spent his adolescence with his large working class Irish Catholic family.

    The only son not to follow their father into the building trade, he was a flamboyant and headstrong outsider.

    George's early years were marked by his father's volatile temper, and the return to his first home provokes a profound reaction as difficult memories of that period in his life come flooding back.

    In the family's second home, George returns to find the sitting room and bedroom that he shared with his brothers.

    Conversations with his brothers about life in the house bring back memories of his growing self-confidence, his coming out to his parents, and his father's surprising reaction.

  • Michael Barrymore

    Michael Barrymore

    For the first time in 35 years, Michael Barrymore returns to the south London council estate in Bermondsey where he grew up.

    Michael's life has included extraordinary success and an equally spectacular fall from grace. In the 80s and 90s, he became one of the country's most loved and highest-paid entertainers. But, in the mid-90s, everything began to crumble, and by 2001 his career was over.

    A painstakingly detailed recreation of his home brings back traumatic memories of his violent father, who disappeared when Michael was 11; and of the macho world of limited aspiration that was Bermondsey in the 60s, where Michael dreamt of being rich, famous and open about his sexuality.

    Talking with former school friends, neighbours, and colleagues from his early days in show business, he starts to piece together long-forgotten feelings about his teenage years, the violence in his family home, his confusion about his sexuality, and his desperate attempts to fit in.

The House That Made Me synopsis

Famous figures take an emotional trip back to meticulous recreations of the homes they were brought up in, exploring how their past shaped who they are today

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