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Episode 1

People Like Us, Series 1 Episode 1 of 6

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 around 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 ongoing 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 the first episode we meet 18-year-old Amber Wakefield whose family - mum Karen, stepdad Paul and sister Maddy - run the local launderette. Amber has just finished college and was facing the prospect of a summer stuck in the Wishy Washy. Instead, she has 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 love really Lucy and warns her that 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 newsagent owned by 26-year-old David and his boyfriend, also called David. By day, David works behind the shop counter, but by night he transforms into his drag queen alter-ego, Diana Dior. Diana's a regular on the gay scene in central Manchester, but David has 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?

Release date:

1 hour

Last on

Sun 26 May 2013 01:55

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Role Contributor
NarratorNatalie Casey
Series ProducerSophie Leonard
DirectorBruce Fletcher
Executive ProducerSimon Dickson
Executive ProducerSamantha Anstiss
ProducerRowan Deacon
DirectorLara Akeju
DirectorLucy Fyson
DirectorMax Shapira