Channel 4 commissions Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds at Christmas

01 Nov 2017

Channel 4, in partnership with Age UK brokered by media agency MG OMD, today announced a festive return to the Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds. The 1 x 60 Christmas special, a CPL production, returns to St Monica Trust and reunites the residents including Hamish, Zina, Pat and David together with some of their young friends like Solomon, Nelson, Millie and Eva to find out how taking part in the series has impacted their lives.

Social isolation is one of the biggest problems for the elderly and never more so than during the Christmas period. Loneliness can impact hugely on our health with a recent report saying it can be as damaging to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day*.

The two-part series which aired in August and averaged an audience of 2.8m was inspired by a revolutionary American scheme which brought together a group of pensioners and a group of four year olds for a six week period to attempt to prove scientifically that these two generations can transform the physical, social and emotional wellbeing of the old volunteers for the better.

For the first time, a team of geriatric specialists medically tested the impact the children had on the older group and delivered significant results, showing major improvements in the mood, memory and mobility of the older residents. But what has happened since the experiment ended? Are the older group still showing signs of progress? Did the friendships with the children and their families develop further?

In this festive special the older adults and children will prepare for a festive Carol Service to which their families will be the guests of honour – and Santa Claus and his reindeers may also make a cameo appearance. The three geriatric specialists – Professor Malcolm Johnson, Dr Zoe Wyrko and Dr Melrose Stewart – all return to give their insight into the continued progress of the older group as well as focussing on loneliness and its impact on the elderly paying particular attention to why Christmas is such a tough time for older people.

Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds at Christmas (w/t) was commissioned by Channel 4 Commissioning Editor for Factual Entertainment Lucy Leveugle. The 1 x 60 will be made by CPL Productions (a Red Arrow Entertainment Group company) with executive producers Murray Boland, Trish Powell and Danielle Lux.

Channel 4’s Commissioning Editor for Factual Entertainment, Lucy Leveugle said: “With social isolation amongst the elderly such an issue, seeing the impact the children had on the older adults made not only for a heart-warming watch but had real-life legacy. We are delighted to be back at St Monica Trust to see how our contributors’ lives have changed and to highlight the very real issue of loneliness amongst the elderly at Christmas.”

Trish Powell, Executive Producer for CPL Productions added, “In this Christmas special we are hoping the children and their older friends can work together to highlight the impact of loneliness on older people everywhere.”

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK said, “At Age UK we’re thrilled that this much-loved show will be highlighting the loneliness and isolation that suck the joy from life for so many older people, and the simple things we can all do, at every age, to help them, both at Christmas time and throughout the year.”

Stella Onuorah, Group Content Solutions Manager at Channel 4 Sales, “We are delighted to be working with Age UK in bringing this very special programme back to our screens.”

Red Arrow International distributes Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds worldwide.

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