How To Stay Young

Confirmed for BBC One on 7 April at 9pm to 10pm

Ep 1/2

Thursday 7 April



Angela Rippon and Dr Chris van Tulleken are on a remarkable journey into our bodies and our minds.

In How To Stay Young, a two-part series for BBC One, they travel the world investigating the latest experiments and new research that could help put the brakes on the ageing process.

In the first episode, The Body, Angela and Chris discover that scientists now know how much of the way we age is down to genetics - and how much of it is down to the way we live our lives. They look at the latest science that reveals the best lifestyle choices we can make to combat the effects of ageing.

Angela travels to Germany where she follows a study comparing the benefits of dancing with conventional gym exercises and reveals which activity best keeps us fit and strong into old age. Chris visits a community outside Los Angeles that has one of the lowest levels of heart disease in America and high life expectancy, and looks at how their good health could be down to diet.

With studies showing that positive attitude towards ageing can add years to our lives, Chris turns 80 years old for a day thanks to Hollywood-style prosthetics. Since how we feel about old age is hugely influenced by society’s treatment of the older generation, Chris decides to experience the public’s reaction to the elderly first-hand.

Along the way, Chris and Angela have their own wake up calls about how well they are ageing. Chris takes a newly pioneered test that reveals on a molecular level how quickly his body is getting old, by comparing his biological age with his actual age. Will his body be as young as he feels, or older than it should be? Meanwhile, Angela has a startling wake-up call when she learns that despite her active, healthy lifestyle a body scan reveals she is carrying seven kilos of excess internal fat that has the potential to be dangerous.

The programme goes on to look at what is happening at the frontiers of science to tackle ageing. In Ecuador Chris meets Yannick Castilo, who looks like a young child but is actually 17 years old. He has Laron syndrome and could hold the key to curing ageing, as the syndrome means he is virtually immune from cancer and diabetes and he will never grow old like the rest of us.

How To Stay Young is a fascinating, eye-opening guide to how science is enabling all of us to overcome the obstacles of getting old - and reveals the secrets of how we can stay young and healthy for longer.

Pictured: Dr Chris van Tulleken in prosthetics