The House That Made Me

Category: News Release

In a groundbreaking new series, four famous figures take a highly emotional trip back in time. Boy George, Michael Barrymore, Jamelia and Sanjeev Bhaskar will each return to their teenage homes to confront the ghosts of their past.

Each home has been meticulously transformed back to exactly how it was when they were teenagers - thanks to detailed research involving family photos and accounts, social historians and design experts. From the exact print of wallpaper, to the cigarette in the ashtray and the smells from the kitchen no detail is overlooked in taking the house back to how it was and enforcing the psychological impact of the experience.

This is emotional time travel: each figure revisits crucial moments in their early lives. Sometimes difficult, sometimes inspiring, it enables them to examine how their past shaped the person they are today.

Along with the houses, each celebrity is reunited with family and old friends and acquaintances, some of whom they have not seen since leaving home. They also track down key objects of emotional significance missing from the house and meet cultural historians to get a proper understanding of the world they grew up in.

Boy George, or George O'Dowd, was raised in a council house in Eltham, South London in the 1970s, one of five brothers in an Irish Catholic family. The only son not follow their father into the building trade, he was a flamboyant and headstrong outsider.

Michael Barrymore grew up in the 1960s on a council estate in Bermondsey. His home life marred by domestic violence, he also lived under pressure to conform to the estate norms, but dreamt of being rich, famous and open about his sexuality.

Jamelia grew up in a modern council house in a Jamaican enclave in Birmingham in the 1990s. Raised in non-nuclear family with numerous half-brothers and sisters, she witnessed crime and violent death as a teenager. But she drew on a strong role model in her mother to carve a different future.

In the 1980s, Sanjeev Bhaskar lived in a tiny maisonette above his parents' launderette in West London. One of the first Asian families in the area and at a time of heightened interracial tension, Sanjeev's teens saw him wrestling to resolve his identity - torn between his Asian family and his love of ‘white British' culture.

This ‘emotional time travel' is based upon existing psychological method. As well as offering a unique and original window onto British history of the last few decades, it results in an intimate and candid portrait of each of the four figures.