Life

TV review: Parents-turned-pupils get a bit of shock as they go back to school

Class of Mum and Dad sends parents back to school

Class of Mum and Dad, Channel 4, Tuesday at 8pm

THE thought of returning to the classroom as a 30-something pupil strikes fear into my heart. While my school days were ones of fun, enjoyment and part of my life that I recall with fondness, I want them to remain as memories only.

But for a group of 17 brave parents, they have brought their school days back to the present and embarked on the daunting experience of returning to the classroom for a new programme, Class of Mum and Dad.

For a half term, the new students experience what it's like to go back to school, studying the year six curriculum alongside their own children.

They're a pretty diverse bunch with an average age of 40, from train drivers to decorators and a grandparent thrown into the mix as well.

On the first day of the social experiment, the pupils at Blackrod Primary School in Bolton discover their parents are joining them and it's then that reality bites for the grown-ups.

The affection with which many of us remember our school days was crushed almost instantly as the parents face today's classroom environment and the wrath of teacher Kath Mead, who has other plans for them.

Subjected to the same rules as the kids, even wearing the strict school uniform, the new arrivals are told to remove their jewellery, before being set a dreaded maths exam.

It's a test of their resolve, and it's not long before one of them crumbles which results in the most poignant moments of the first episode.

Legal secretary Julia, even at the initial task, finds it too much to handle and leaves the room during the maths exam to sob in the toilets.

Mrs Mead checks on her and Julia explains that already her memories - and not the pleasant ones - of her school days have came flooding back.

"I was the little fat girl, not pretty, not academic," she said.

It's obvious the documentary will test the grown ups, they will face many old demons, such as the dreaded sports day, homework or the school canteen, but it's also an eye-opener into how much has changed in our education system today.

We all know that school is such an important part of our early life, we know how it can shape us. But for the parents-turned-pupils, they're in for a shock at the change from their 'good old days' of school.

Marcella, ITV, Monday at 9pm

Gritty drama Marcella came to a conclusion this week - and one that was baffling to say the least.

You would have thought the unmasking of the serial killer would have been enough to finish the series, but it was the unravelling of the life of tortured detective Marcella, played by Anna Friel, that sent the programme into disarray.

With more questions than answers at the end, I was completely thrown by the turn of events.

Not only did Marcella learn, through hypnotic therapy, that she had accidentally killed her own child Juliette by shaking her too much, but she also ended up striking her boss over the head with the top of a toilet cistern before cutting off her hair, slicing open her cheek and disappearing into the night.

Fast forward nine days and she's sleeping rough on the street when she's approached with an offer of becoming an undercover detective.

Suffice to say, it was unexpected, gruesome and downright weird at the end, but it would appear it is a way of keeping the door open for a third series.

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