Jacki Turner on the ‘Up’ series

This photo shows Jacki Turner on the left with two participants from the series, Jackie Bassett and Jackie McKinney.

In 1992 I was asked to work on an important project called the ‘Up’ Series. This was started in 1964 when the World in Action team interviewed a cross section of children at 7 years old. This revolved around the Jesuit saying “Show me the boy at seven and I will show you the man”. Seven years later the decision was made to call on these children again and see how they had progressed both morally and physically. Michael Apted had been the WIA researcher on the first Seven Up and has directed all the remaining programmes. So it became 14 Up and 21 Up and it was very successful. I joined at 28 Up and was lucky enough to visit Australia as one of the “kids” had settled out there and had a family. Exec Producer Mike Scott made a decision that I could join the crew and in those days we flew Business Class out of Manchester filling almost all the upper deck of a Jumbo. We landed in Melbourne in October and it was like England in the spring with sheep in the fields etc. Mike Apted was horrified as it didn’t look a bit like the Australia we were trying to portray. Our participants had toured the outback in an old mini bus when they first got married and so we decided to recreate their trip. They still had the mini bus so they set off into the wild blue yonder. I used my Granada Amex card and hired a small plane to take us up to join them. It made a smashing sequence especially when Mike put pans pipe music over it. It’s still going strong and the last programme was 56 Up but as with lots of other documentaries they now use a minimum crew so my services are no longer needed. However as our production manager was pregnant and unable to fly, I was asked to cover for her on the two shoots to Spain and Portugal. As George and I keep in touch with some of the participants I like to help the shoot on a voluntary basis just to keep the feeling of family and not introduce any strangers to the shoot.


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