• Famous, Rich and Homeless – When reality bites

Famous, Rich and Homeless – When reality bites

Issue 1195

Famous, Rich and Homeless – When reality bites

In this weeks issue…the BBC will broadcast Famous, Rich and Homeless, a show that sees four celebs attempt to sleep rough for a week. Big Issue chief John Bird was overseer for the four, offering guidance as time went on.

We speak to Julia Bradbury about what the experiment taught her. And what, if anything, we can all learn from a toe dipped in the world of street sleeping.

We also hear from former vendor and rough sleeper Stan Burridge about how selling The Big Issue got him off the street.

Seventy years ago this week the government attempted to record details of every child born in Britain over that week. Fresh out of the war, they wanted to discover how the land lay. They spoke to the families of almost every child . And over time they repeated the research. The result of this, The Life Project, delivered info that changed fundamentally aspects of how we live – from education, to health to truths around social mobility. Helen Pearson threw herself into the details of it for five years. She explains what she discovered about a study that changed all our lives.

Our Letter To My Younger Self is with Julian Fellowes. The Downton creator explains how fame came late and oddly – auditioning for a bit part in Casualty while working on a script with Scorsese. He also has some interesting comments about the growing need to support working class acting talent as young, moneyed Etonians prosper.

John Bird looks at the rising personality clash politics of the Brexit debate, and calls for clarity and honesty from those involved.

Brendan O’Neill returns to mourn the passing of Father Jack (Frank Kelly) and all the great comedy of Father Ted. He wonders if such a character would make it now in more censorious times.

This week’s featured vendor is Dean Barry, who sells in central Cardiff. He came out of the care system and had been sleeping rough, on and off, until he started selling The Big Issue in October. “I feel like a new person,” he says.