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Being a Teenager

What are the views of the next generation? Emma Barnett hears from schoolgirl activist Malala Yousafzai, YouTube star Benjamin Cook and teens from across the UK.

What do teenagers really think about education, voting age and role models? We hear a personal insight from schoolgirl activist Malala Yousafzai and from teenagers across the UK. And as a nation of teens spend even more time online, YouTube star Benjamin Cook explains why 'Vloggers' have such huge popularity and impact. Emma Barnett presents.

Presenter: Emma Barnett
Producer: Kat Wong
Output Editor: Eleanor Garland.

Available now

58 minutes


  • Teenagers: Perception and Role Models

    As we head towards 2014, what really are the views of the next generation?

    Duration: 06:53

  • Malala Yousafzai

    Malala speaks to Jane Garvey about her campaign for girls’ education

    Duration: 10:40

  • Universities and the Job Market

    Is the cost of higher education worth it?

    Duration: 03:44

  • Voting

    What do teenagers across the country think about the current voting age?

    Duration: 03:10

  • YouTube Vloggers

    The top Vloggers on Youtube

    Duration: 12:55

  • Kate Tempest

    Kate performs her poem ‘The Teens’ Speech’

    Duration: 06:24



Every generation of teenagers has felt misunderstood in some ways. So as we head towards 2014, what really are the views of the next generation?  From jobs, education to role models, we hear the thoughts from teenagers across Britain. Guests include 18 year old BBC Introducing artist Lauren Aquilina and Promee, a 15 year old student from an East London school. We hear the girl behind the headlines, schoolgirl activist Malala Yousafzai.  Why are teens so obsessed with YouTube Vloggers?  A teenage super-fan speaks reveals all to her bemused mother. And we end the programme with spoken word artist Kate Tempest and her powerful poem ‘The Teens’ Speech’.

Lauren Aquilina BBC Introducing

Malala Yousafzai

In her campaign for girls’ education, Malala Yousafzai has become a global symbol of peaceful protest, and was the youngest nominee for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. Last year she survived being shot in the head by the Taliban in her home country, Pakistan. She was flown to hospital in Birmingham for successful treatment. But she is also a teenager, a 16 year old girl who likes music and is teased by her brothers. Malala joins Jane to talk about the girl behind the headlines.

YouTube Vloggers

Why are teenagers so obsessed with YouTube stars like Jacksgap, Zoella and Charlieissocoollike?  From comedy sketches, beauty advice to answering life’s unanswerable questions, 13-24 year olds are spending more and more time watching such ‘Vloggers’.  Jane talks to the chronicler of Britain's YouTube generation, Benjamin Cook, a teenage ‘super-fan’ and her mum.  This is the ultimate parent’s guide to the world of Vlogging.

Kate Tempest

Kate Tempest

Kate Tempest is an English poet and spoken word artist who started out when she was 16 years old. She has written poetry for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Barnardo's and the BBC. Working with Amnesty International, Kate created a schools pack helping secondary school children write their own protest songs, and was invited to write and perform a new poem for Aung San Suu Kyi when she received the Ambassador of Conscience award in Dublin. In 2013 she won the Ted Hughes Award for her work Brand New Ancients.  In the spirit of today’s teenage themed programme, we broadcast her poem ‘The Teens’ Speech’ originally created for Barnardo’s in 2009.

Kate being interviewed by Jenni Murray in August 2013


Role Contributor
Presenter Emma Barnett
Interviewed Guest Promee
Interviewed Guest Lauren Aquilina
Interviewed Guest Malala Yousafzai
Interviewed Guest Benjamin Cook
Performer Kate Tempest
Producer Kat Wong


  • Mon 30 Dec 2013 10:00

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