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Channel 4 commissions When I Grow Up

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Inspired by new research on social mobility, three well-known businesses are taking an extraordinary leap of faith – allowing a group of diverse 7 to 9 year kids to take over a part of their company for a week. When I Grow Up w/t is a 3×60 series and will be on air this autumn.

The kids will be working for one of the UK’s most recognised celebrity magazines Hello!, Hunter’s estate agent, and Montezuma’s chocolate factory, in the hope that their brief experience of adulthood will open their eyes to a bigger world and give them the confidence they’ll need in years to come, when they come to decide what they want to do for a living.

The kids come from a broad range of backgrounds, and all over the country. Each child is full of potential, but as Britain’s shockingly low social mobility levels imply, some will need more help than others if they’re to realise it in adulthood. Through the kids’ remarkable take overs we will see how in modern Britain, our children’s ideas of where they sit in the social pecking order are already beginning to be shaped by the age of seven, and how quickly these can be altered through their sudden entry into positions of real power and responsibility in worlds that many of them never knew existed.

In a dramatic experiment designed with experts in social mobility, child psychology and educationalists, the kids will be running the business together, under the watchful eye of the bosses. They’ll be trying real jobs with real responsibilities, including cutting six figure property deals, creating and selling new product lines in a factory and taking over a section of Hello!, interviewing celebrities and even meeting royalty.

Alf Lawrie, Head of Factual Entertainment says, “We are delighted to work with Optomen on this innovative series. It tackles a big issue – social mobility – with wit, warmth and purpose, and the final result is both heart-warming and revealing in equal measure.”

Nick Hornby, Executive Producer Optomen, says, “Making the films has been a massive leap of faith for both the bosses, and the children and their parents – none of us knew quite what would happen”

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