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In Defence of the Mid-Life Crisis

Is it time to rethink the mid-life crisis? Newsnight's Stephen Smith finds that far from being something to feel embarrassed about, mid-life is the best time for renewal.

Stephen Smith, best known as Newsnight's culture correspondent, takes a wry look at the mid-life crisis.

Far from being something we might feel embarrassed or ashamed, isn't mid-life actually the perfect time to learn new skills, instruments or just an opportunity to re-invent yourself? Isn't it time we defended the Mid-Life Crisis?

In the programme, Stephen hears from scholars of Schopenhauer to Sting, well, his accompanist, Jason Rebello, as he takes a field trip into the un-chartered waters of the Mid-Life Crisis, once considered just a heart-beat away from old age. He visits Brighton, considered by many to be the UK's capital of the mid-life crisis, to talk to those who've come out the other side. They now say they now lead happier and more fulfilled lives. How did they do it? He checks into a top Harley Street clinic, where the faces of the stars are lifted and tummies tucked, but what treatment will they do to him?

And if you thought the old MLC was just the preserve of heterosexual middle aged men, think again, as psychotherapist Philippa Perry, journalist and author Miranda Sawyer and writer Simon Fanshawe, describe.

Perhaps, after all, life is one big crisis, as veteran socialite Nicky Haslam suggests.

Producer: Jim Frank

*This programme has been edited since broadcast so it can be made available worldwide in perpetuity. The edit removes a short clip of the commentary from 1966 World Cup final.*

(Photo: Steve and Nicky Haslam).

Available now

30 minutes

Last on

Thu 22 Dec 2016 11:30