People Like Us

Confirmed for BBC Three on 6 February at 9.00pm to 10.00pm

Ep 1/6

Wednesday 6 February



Three miles north of the city centre is a little known Manchester suburb called Harpurhey. Ten years ago it was labelled the most deprived neighbourhood in England, but there’s a lot more to life round here than government statistics.

Over one long summer a vibrant mix of feisty, witty and headstrong young people from the area let us into their secret world and show us what it’s really like growing up the hard way. From life-changing tales of drug-addicted parents and battles with alcoholism, to dreams of becoming actors and rappers; from a young entrepreneur with a penchant for drag, to the on-going feud between an eccentric landlord and his disgruntled young tenant… In this six-part documentary series the young people of Harpurhey tell their own stories in their own words, in often hilarious and sometimes heartbreaking detail.

In episode one we meet 18-year-old Amber Wakefield whose family – mum Karen, step-dad Paul and sister Maddy - run the local launderette. Amber’s just finished college and was facing the prospect of a summer stuck in the ‘Wishy Washy’. Instead, she’s booked a fun-filled holiday to Magaluf with eight of her mates including best-friend Codie, who spends so much time at Amber’s house she’s practically one of the family. For Amber, it’ll be her first holiday without her parents, and for Codie, her very first time abroad. Amber’s mum is worried by all the things she’s heard about Magaluf, but the girls are more concerned with getting some drinking practice in with a pre-holiday night on the town. How will they fare on their Spanish sunfest?

At the heart of the local area is Harpurhey Market, where we meet Jamie, 19, a discount DVD trader with a bit of a reputation as a ladies' man. Two nights ago, Jamie unexpectedly proposed to his on/off girlfriend, Lucy. But Jamie’s mum is worried that her son doesn’t really love Lucy, and warns Jamie can’t be trusted to stay faithful. Can a leopard change its spots?

A mile down the road from the Wishy Washy launderette is a local newsagent owned by 26-year-old David and his boyfriend, also called David. By day, David works behind the shop counter, but by night, David transforms into his drag queen alter ego, Diana Dior. Diana’s a regular on the gay scene in Central Manchester, but David’s never dared to introduce her to the local community. Now he’s decided it's time for Diana to stop hiding above the newsagent. What will the locals make of Diana when she stages a drag show in a local pub?