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Getting Started

In celebration of The Good Life's 35th birthday, Giles Coren and Sue Perkins step back in time to 1975 to find out what it takes to make the self-sufficient dream a reality. They won't actually be living the life, but set out to learn some of the skills and techniques the lifestyle demands. When the classic sitcom first hit our screens, self-sufficiency was the goal of an eccentric few, but fast forward 35 years and Tom and Barbara Good's determination to grow their own and conserve energy has never seemed so fashionable.

Based in an ordinary suburban street and inspiring themselves with archive clips of the comedy, Giles and Sue try to recreate the Good's world - from growing vegetables in the garden to trying to generate their own power and making their own clothes.

But it won't all be wellies and manure. Just as Margo and Jerry's affluent consumerism provided the perfect foil to their neighbour's earnest experiment in self-sufficiency, Sue and Giles get the opportunity to try out a more mainstream lifestyle in an attempt to understand just what the Goods were kicking back against.

First the pair must work out how to light the solid fuel range and find information on how to grow your own veg and rear your own livestock in a pre-Google era. They manage to get some seeds in the ground before the first of the livestock, four excitable chickens and two frisky goats, arrive.

It's love at first sight for Sue but Giles can't bring himself to touch them. With the help of experts, they are given a crash course in milking and bread making and even manage to produce goat's cheese.

Meanwhile, as social climbing Margo and Jerry, they explore the corporate world of golf and lavish dinner parties which Tom and Barbara had rejected.

1 hour

Last on

Wed 5 Jan 2011 00:25
BBC One Northern Ireland only

Credits

Role Contributor
Series ProducerLucy Hooper
PresenterGiles Coren
PresenterSue Perkins
Executive ProducerDan Adamson
Executive ProducerDaisy Goodwin
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