Don't miss '49up' tonight at 9pm on ITV1. We watched some of it as part of our sociology course in the first year, and it is quite fascinating.
Michael Apted has followed several children every seven years throughout their lives. Ostensibly about class divide, the programme has inevitably evolved into a soap-opera cum reality-tv cum documentary. The children now have families of their own and this installment chronicles them at age 49.
7up, as it began, looked at various children representing the differing social classes in Britain in 1956. It compared their education, living conditions and aspirations. From the common thug to the snooty brat, seeing their change and development makes gripping television. Some children have turned out almost exactly as predicted; others have made surprising choices, some have opted to leave the programme.
The class system of the past is still present today, albeit greatly altered and less prominent - although a popular media issue when public school university applicants are selected against, for example. However we shall see whether the products of it still fit the same niches as before, and furthermore how it affects their own children.