Six well-loved celebrities in their 70s and 80s – Liz Smith, Lionel Blair, Dickie Bird, Sylvia Syms, Derek Jameson and Kenneth Kendall – have agreed to spend one week living as though it were their heyday – 1975 – to see if re-living your youth can make you young again.
Their country retreat has been lovingly restored to be an authentic 1970s home but it’s not just the house that’s had a ‘70s makeover. The celebrities will be wearing the clothes of the 1970s, they’ll be cooking the favourite dishes of the time and their pastimes will include ‘70s TV, ‘70s video games and favourite LPs from the decade. Overseeing the experiment will be the BBC’s man of science Dr Michael Mosley and Harvard Professor Ellen Langer, who conducted the original experiment.
Presented by Mariella Frostrup.
Episode 1, our celebrities settle into the past, hoping they’ll achieve their personal goals to turn back the clock – and within the first 24 hours there are already extraordinary changes?
Episode 2, each of the celebrity volunteers must come face to face with the lives they lead in their heyday and take back control of their lives. For Lionel, the most resistant to the experiment, a trip to The London Palladium ends in tears and for Dickie a trip to Lords Cricket Ground brings the man he used to be back to life. Kenneth is reacquiainted with his beloved dogs and Liz takes up painting again.
But just as the experiment seems to be working a surprise visit from a group of carers shows Michael and Ellen just how far the volunteers still have to go…
Episode 3, it’s the final day of the experiment – and the last chance for the volunteers to achieve their goals. In one final goodbye to 1975, a dinner party will be a chance to test how far each of them has come and to see whether they really have turned back time. Undergoing the tests once again, what will the science say? In an emotional closing episode, each of the volunteers must say goodbye to 1975 and will discover whether they’ve really managed to turn back the clock. We’ll see how their lives have changed since the end of the experiment – has it given them a new lease of life or are they back to being just another old person in 2010 Britain?
Presented by Michael Mosley
Episode 4: Science special For one week, six famous faces now in their 70s and 80s went back to the 1975 to see if living as their more youthful selves could make them physically and mentally younger. In this special, we explore the science behind the series and put the idea that we have control over how we age to the test. Using members of the public, we’re putting Britain under the microscope to see how our environment, our preconceptions about old people and how we behave ourselves can have enormous impact on how we feel about the elderly and how ourselves age. A state of the nation programme which shows the remarkable science and extraordinary truths behind the series.