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Coming up, three celebs become 12 again.
I was occasionally a bit cheeky.
Hang on, I'm at home but I'm on, I'm on the telly, I'm watching myself.
Bowww! It was brilliant.
Plus, we find out what Canadian pop-star Alyssa Reid was like
when she was 12.
'I dressed like a boy.'
I played a lot of sports...
Actually, I'm pretty sure I thought I was a boy until I was 14.
Dum, dum, dum...
If you want to know what this lot are laughing about, keep watching.
Have you ever wondered what it would've been like to be best mates
with your favourite celebs when they were your age?
What did they get up to?
What were their favourite songs
and what TV shows did they watch?
Because despite the glamorous lifestyles they now lead,
once, they were a kid with a dream, just like you.
This show lets you look back in time
with your favourite celebs as they become 12 again.
# Mercy, mercy your loving is the sweetest thing... #
From hairdresser to superstar,
he is the X Factor finalist who has his own seven nation army.
# And a feeling coming from my bones... #
But back in the year 2000, Marcus Collins wasn't all that different.
If I could sum up what I was like when I was 12 years old,
I was a really excitable kid. I had loads of energy.
Today, she's one of Britain's favourite presenters.
Miss Christine Bleakley!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
But back in 1991, Christine Bleakley was just happy being 12.
I was a happy go lucky 12-year-old,
I think probably a little bit naive and slightly more innocent
than a lot of my friends would've been.
I caught up quite quickly.
He is a worldwide renowned opera singer that made classical music
so popular, he became known as The People's Tenor.
But back in 1978, Russell Watson wasn't so good.
Probably most of my childhood, I was considered as a naughty boy.
It may be all high notes and bright lights today,
but it wasn't always that way. So let's rewind
and find out everything about what they were like when they were 12.
I was a really excitable kid.
I had loads of energy. Occasionally a bit cheeky.
I was a cocky little monkey and I think at that age as well,
I thought I could take on the world.
'All of a sudden, you're 12,'
and you're at the big school, you've left primary school behind.
I remember feeling like such a tiny little fish in this huge pond.
'I was incredibly thin.'
My legs looked like two strings of cotton with knots in the middle,
they were my kneecaps.
I was a little bit shorter than everybody else.
I was a really slow developer. I frizzy hair.
'I had this massive, curly'
black bush of hair, which I just could not control.
Which I still obviously have.
A lot of work goes in to straighten it.
I used to wear bright colours, because I wanted to stand out,
like big orange hoodies, or red hoodies
and it was my way of expressing myself.
So we now know what our celebrities looked like,
but the important question is this, my friends...
What else did our three celebs get up to?
Er, football, football and football.
And then at weekends, football.
'I used to be in the Scouts'
and we used to go away camping and doing different activities
and I was also in an after school hockey club
which one of our English teachers used to run.
We did a time capsule thing at school,
which I'm guessing is still under the soil.
And I remember writing in it
I wanted to either be a podiatrist...
Why? Working with feet. Or work in television.
The TV thing though, I have to admit,
just took over from a very young age.
Whilst Christine was dreaming of working in TV,
Marcus was falling in love with somebody ON TV.
I used to have a crush on one of the presenters from CBBC
and her name was Angelica,
Angelica Bell. Yes, she was my crush, I thought she was gorgeous.
She changed her hair a lot,
which probably pushed me in to doing hairdressing.
'I think at that age, I was looking for approval from,'
you know, my classmates and so on.
I'd be trying to make them laugh, doing silly voices,
and I think probably at that time I was seen as the class clown.
'I'd been in the orchestra in school,'
I'd learnt to play a little bit of violin,
some keyboards, the penny whistle, I learned the recorder,
I learned as many different instruments as I could,
but I noticed that out of all of them,
my voice was the one that I was the best at,
so that kind of motivated me to want to do music.
Whilst Marcus had discovered his passion for singing and music,
for Russell in Salford, it wasn't so easy.
'Difficult to believe now',
but I was probably a bit shy
and a bit uncomfortable with actually singing in public.
I used to sit up in my bedroom and sing and mimic other singers
but nobody was listening to what I was doing,
so it was never heard.
And into my teens, 12, 13, was where I discovered guitars.
And I bought my first guitar at that age
and I was never off the thing.
'Growing up in Northern Ireland, it's a beautiful place
'and certainly was then,'
but it wasn't the easiest place to grow up in for lots of people.
Life was difficult for many people in Northern Ireland.
The Troubles, as it became known, lasted over 30 years,
and was caused by disagreements between different communities
over if the country should belong to the Republic of Ireland
or the United Kingdom.
Both sides often attacked each other,
resulting in many people being injured and sometimes killed.
When Christine was 12, there was one incident that affected her directly.
'It was one summer evening'
and we were all out playing like we used to
when we were kids and this bomb went off.
It happened two miles from where we were
and the ground shook like never before and this almighty bang...
And within seconds, we were surrounded by smoke.
'And it was just petrifying.'
As a little kid, those sort of memories
and even talking about those things now, it's almost like,
did that really happen?
During this time, the British Army was sent to Northern Ireland
to try and keep the peace between both sides,
which at times lead to extreme measures being put in place.
'To go into our city centre of Belfast, can you imagine it now,
'wherever you might live, imagine your city with big gates around it',
police and army and every one of your bags being checked
before we were allowed to go down the main street.
It sounds crazy but that's happened in my lifetime
and I hope it's never like that again for people
growing up in Northern Ireland,
or indeed anywhere. It's not an ideal way to grow up.
So those are just some of the stories about Marcus,
Russell and Christine when they were 12.
But what kind of music were they listening to when they were kids?
When I was 12, I was listening to all different types of music.
I remember really being in to pop music,
because... it was mainstream and I'd see it on the TV. S Club Seven...
# Reach for the stars... #
The S Club Juniors...
# One step closer to Heaven... #
# Get on up when you're down... #
-# A deeper shade of blue... #
If I could name a video that stuck with me from my childhood,
I'd say Destiny's Child, Independent Women.
# All the mommas who profit dollars Throw your hands up at me... #
Destiny's Child were an American girl super band,
featuring megastars Beyonce, Kelly Rowland
and Michelle Williams.
They had lots of hits and were absolutely massive.
But what was it that Marcus particularly liked about this song?
'They were in the air, flying for the Charlie's Angels soundtrack',
that was an incredible video
and something that always remains in my mind when I think of school.
# Girl, I didn't know you could get down like that
# Charlie, how your angels get down like that? #
ALL: Good morning, Charlie.
Morning, ladies, but the name's Ian.
Right, let's get back and find out what Russell was listening to
in the late '70s.
'There was a period between the early to mid '70s',
where it didn't seem there was that much exciting going on.
At that point, it was something like The Real Thing,
# You to me are everything... #
# The sweetest song that I can sing, oh, baby... #
But the smooth sound of the '70s was about to be shattered,
as a new style of music arrived.
All of a sudden you've got The Jam. Da-na-na-na-na-na...
You know? Roaring guitars and booming bass.
VOCALS DROWNED OUT BY MUSIC
The Jam were born out of the punk rock music movement
that started in the mid '70s.
# I wanna be... #
Punk began as a result of the general discontentment of the time.
With high unemployment and no prospects,
punk music became the voice of many angry young people.
VOCALS DROWNED OUT BY MUSIC
The music was aggressive, loud and for many,
was a fight against authority and the Government.
'It was a really exciting time to be a youngster at that point,
'because the lyrics infused this sense of angst'
against what was going on.
So the great three pieces, like The Jam, were at the height
of the period of time with the angry young man
banging their head down with the guitar, dum, dum, dum...
You know, the drums roaring in the background. Dum, dum, dum...
And for Russell, Eton Rifles was one of their greatest hits.
#..what a nice day for Eton Rifles Eton Rifles. #
It was brilliant.
I want to get my Jam records out when I get home.
# Eton Rifles, Eton Rifles. #
So let's leave Russell jamming in the '70s
and find out what Christine was singing along to in the early '90s.
One of my favourite songs when I was 12
has got to be Dizzy by The Wonder Stuff and Vic Reeves.
# I'm so dizzy... #
Yeah, you heard it right,
Vic Reeves from the Ministry Of Curious Stuff had
a brief pop career in the early '90s with a band called The Wonder Stuff.
# And it's you, girl Makin' it spin... #
The Wonder Stuff were quite indie and quite cool and a bit rocky.
# Damn blast, look at my past... #
The Wonder Stuff were one of the biggest indie bands
of the late '80s and early '90s
and had loads of huge hits,
namely this song which was called Size Of A Cow.
# Size of a cow, oh... #
And when they teamed up with Vic in 1991,
they went straight to the number one spot.
# Then I held you close to me and I kissed you
# And my heart began to melt... #
Vic Reeves thrown into the mix added a bit of madness and for me
it just worked for some reason.
# Girl you've got control of me
# Cos I'm so dizzy I can't see
# I need to call a doctor for some... #
It was kind of the anthem of my year then, I just loved it.
I remember dancing around in the house with my sister
and spinning around and making ourselves just dizzy.
# I'm so dizzy, my head is...
# Like a whirlpool, it never ends. #
As you can see, that's why I didn't end up singing in a band
but yeah, it was one of my favourites.
# Dizzy... #
If that doesn't make you dizzy with excitement,
wait till you see what's still to come.
We catch up with singer-songwriter Alyssa Reid
and find out what she was like at 12.
You don't want to grow up, I know you think you do but you don't.
And our celebs revisit their favourite telly shows.
It was all organised, out ready for me to go.
You know, I'll always belong in Crinkley Bottom for me.
Supposed to depict how things would look in the future.
But first, let's see what news stories
had an impact on our celebrities when they were 12.
I remember seeing the Millennium Dome
and all the talk about it being built.
The Millennium Dome was built as the centrepiece of Britain's
celebrations for the millennium.
It is 365 metres in diameter - one metre for every day of the year.
But the Dome was very controversial.
The Millennium Dome has come in for more damning criticism,
this time from the Government's spending watchdog.
It cost a lot more to build than originally planned
and didn't attract as many visitors as they expected.
-I think it's a waste of money.
-Scrap it altogether.
I don't think I'd waste my money
on the Millennium Dome, thank you very much.
But for Marcus, there was something else
about the building that caught his attention.
One thing I do remember
is it was featured in a James Bond film, Tomorrow Never Dies.
I remember seeing James Bond whizzing past there on a speedboat.
But this isn't actually James Bond.
In fact, this is real CCTV footage of wannabe robbers.
In November 2000, a gang attempted to pull off one of the biggest
heists the country has ever seen when they tried to
steal 12 diamonds worth £350 million that were on display in the Dome.
And this was their cunning plan.
First they smashed into the Dome using a digger,
then broke into the display case using a nail gun and sledgehammers
and their getaway vehicle was a high-powered speedboat.
Well, not quite - it was actually a small leisure boat.
There was one problem though.
The police had been tipped off about the robbery
and were waiting for them disguised as cleaners.
We arrested them with overwhelming force, with armed officers.
The robbers were later tried and sentenced with one robber claiming
he would have got away with it if it wasn't for the 140 police officers.
And when Russell was 12 in the late '70s,
Britain was going through some very tough times.
One of the big news stories when I was 12,
we had, at that point, one of the biggest national strikes ever,
I think around about 1.5 million people went on strike.
Throughout the '70s, living costs became very high.
This meant that everyday things became more expensive.
The Labour government attempted to control rising living costs
by putting a limit on people's wages,
which meant that as prices rose, and people's wages stayed the same,
many people became poorer and could buy less.
There was a lot of people out of work
and when you have high unemployment rates,
you're going to get high discontentment rates as well.
The trade unions led widespread strike action to demand pay rises.
This meant that thousands of people refused to go to work.
Within the next week, 95% of all the manufacturer of cakes
and biscuits in this country will simply come to a halt.
Are you going to continue to picket there?
We'll continue until such times as we get another offer.
This time has become known as the Winter of Discontent.
I remember it quite well.
Mainly because of the fact that my mum was persistently complaining
that the bins hadn't been picked up for about two or three weeks.
Not only did waste collectors go on strike, but lorry drivers,
NHS workers and even gravediggers.
As a result, the Labour government began to fall apart
and the Conservatives, led by Margaret Thatcher,
who promised to solve the problem, won the next general election.
Well, I'm appalled they've increased picketing.
First, it seems so callous.
When the Iron Lady took over, Maggie,
she went in really quite heavily handed.
Margaret Thatcher restricted the powers of the trade unions,
meaning it was less easy for them to go on strike.
Britain came out of its recession, but the country was
never the same again. Even to this day,
opinions are still divided about the actions taken by Margaret Thatcher
at that time.
Just before Christine was 12, a huge news story happened
that affected many countries.
One of the biggest news stories when I was 12 was the Gulf War.
Thousands of soldiers and dozens of tanks from the Middle Eastern
country of Iraq poured over the border into neighbouring Kuwait.
Within nine hours they'd seized control of the small country.
The invasion of Kuwait was seen as illegal by the United Nations,
and Iraq was ordered to withdraw from the country
or they would use force to remove them.
Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein ignored the demand,
and in January 1991 a coalition of many countries,
led by America, launched Operation Desert Storm
to remove the troops from Kuwait.
We all learn about the First and Second World War at school
and suddenly we're watching this war unfold on television.
Because the big boys were involved, America were in there,
we were in there, it all felt like this was really kicking off.
Now they're moving forward in the direction of Kuwait City.
The war only lasted for less than two months,
but thousands of people lost their lives in the conflict.
I was really frightened watching the news
and it was a lot to do with the fact that news journalism changed somewhat
and I think the Gulf War did that - it had people on the front line
for the first time, we were seeing things as it was happening.
I remember them even filming from the bombers that were heading over.
-Every one of America's fighter bombers
carries a video camera, providing a pilot's eye view of a bombing raid.
At the end of February 1991, Saddam Hussein withdrew his Iraqi troops,
and US President Bush announced the liberation of Kuwait.
Kuwait is liberated, Iraq's army is defeated.
Our military objectives are met.
It was just so massive and I do remember that really quite vividly.
Still to come, we ask the all-important question -
what would our celebs do if they were 12 again?
Listen a bit more before I spoke.
In many respects it's a difficult age.
It was much more fun when I was 12!
But before all that, we've got two minutes to discover
what Alyssa Reid was like at 12.
# Everywhere I go and everyone who knows me
# Knows that I will stand alone... #
She's a supercool Canadian pop star who had a number two hit
with her song Alone Again.
But when Alyssa Reid was a kid, it was a very different story.
When I was 12 I had a mushroom cut,
gap teeth and, like, tiny little box teeth,
so it just kind of looked like Lego.
Oh, Alyssa, I'm sure your teeth weren't that bad,
but what were you wearing?!
I dressed like a boy. I played a lot of sports.
I'm pretty sure I thought I was a boy until I was 14.
There must have been some girly things you got up to. Go on!
'Fess up, sister!
When I was 12 I attempted to wax my legs for the first time.
I poured the wax all over my legs,
put the little cloth thing over the top of my leg.
I don't know what I did wrong, but it looked like I had
a perfect strip of a bruise all the way down my leg.
It was really awful.
OK. When you weren't horrifically hurting your legs,
what kind of music were you listening to?
I listened to a lot of Alicia Keys.
I auditioned for my first competition with one of her songs.
# I keep on falling in and out
# Of love with you... #
She wrote her own music, she played the piano,
she had this incredible voice
and she could get on stage without all the glitz and glam
and she can still captivate an audience like...
nobody else I've ever seen.
But if Alyssa Reid was 12 again, what would she do?
# How do I get you alone...#
When I was 12 I was playing with Barbies and playing sports
and I didn't really care about anything,
and now I see 12-year-olds walking around in heels.
I'm just like, "No."
I want to shake people and be like, "You don't want to grow up.
"I know you think you do, but you don't. Trust me.
"Just stay young forever. Just be 12."
"Never grow up."
# How do I get you alone... #
Well, that is impossible, but I love the sentiment.
Right, let's get back to our three celebs and find out
what Marcus, Christine and Russell where watching when they were 12.
At 12 years old I was really into arts and crafts
so I was watching Art Attack,
Finger Tips, but my favourite of all was SMart.
SMart THEME TUNE PLAYS
SMart was an art show on CBBC which ran from 1994 to 2009.
I used to love making the different things, papier-mache,
my mum was really artistic and really encouraged me to paint and draw.
I think that's where I get my creativity from, my mum. And SMart.
It had loads of ideas how to make your own artistic masterpieces,
making anything from small doodles
to turning your lunchbox into a giant sandwich.
So, do you want to make a meal out of your lunchbox?
Most of all, the SMart team loved nothing more than to make
massive pieces of art out of anything they could find.
I had so many different things to help me be creative,
I had pencil crayons, felt tips,
charcoal, chalks. You name it, I had it,
and my mum got me it and it was all organised, out ready for me to draw.
Let's rewind to the 1990s
and find out what Christine was watching in Northern Ireland.
Every Saturday night it was Noel's House Party. Just fantastic.
And Noel Edmonds, as much as I watch him now
on Deal Or No Deal or anything else he might ever do,
he'll always belong in Crinkley Bottom, for me.
Thank you, guests, welcome to the old house here in Crinkly Bottom.
-Noel's House Party was
-Saturday night entertainment show
of the '90s. It was presented by Noel Edmonds and was set in
his made-up mansion, in his made-up town of Crinkley Bottom.
It was absolute must-see TV where anything could happen.
No-one was safe. Even people at home could be on the show.
And now, live from Crinkley Bottom, it's NTV!
You and your family could be sitting at home and suddenly you realise
they had a hidden camera and you were on the telly
and people looked at each other and couldn't quite figure out,
"Hang on, I'm at home but I'm on TV, I'm watching myself."
-If your name is Helen shout "house!"
My mum always would say, "I couldn't think of anything worse.
"Can you imagine that all of a sudden,
"realising you're on the telly?"
She would not like the element of surprise.
Good evening, Helen!
HELEN SHRIEKS WITH EXCITEMENT
One of the biggest parts of the show was the Gotcha Oscars,
where Noel would prank his celebrity friends.
Loads of celebrities fell victim to Noel,
including Phillip Schofield, who was apparently stuck
in a magician's guillotine in front of thousands of people
seconds before he was about to broadcast live on Radio 1.
Good morning and welcome!
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
I am strapped inside a guillotine machine,
but that's the way it goes.
I can't even turn round and cue Roger for a piece of music.
I used to love the celebs even more for it, cos I thought,
"You've got a sense of humour. You've allowed this to happen
"and let us watch it afterwards."
Only one person would jeopardise the beginning of the programme
and that's Noel Edmonds.
It was just brilliant and then, yeah, the old gotcha at the end
and in would walk Noel. It was so funny.
From the House Party, good night.
So let's leave Christine having a house party with Noel Edmonds
and rewind to find out what Russell was watching in the '70s.
Space: 1999 was brilliant and in the late '70s was supposed to depict
how things would look in the future.
The idea was that a scientific community were living on the moon,
Moonbase Alpha, in fact. There was a massive nuclear explosion
and the moon was torn out of
Earth's orbit and hurled into outer space.
They cover it all in the intro, if I'm being honest.
Each episode would see the moon drifting into all kinds of trouble.
-All eagles, prepare to evacuate.
They'd come across loads of strange planets
and even met an evil high-tech robot called...
Hey, don't laugh, that robot's got a very bright light!
Turn it off, turn off that light!
Steady on, Brian.
Some of those watching the programme in the '70s really did believe
that by 1999 they'd be able to live in space.
Yeah, Space: 1999, fantastic.
Unless you were a robot called Brian, that is.
So those where the TV programs that our three celebs were watching,
but what do they most remember about being 12?
Some of my fondest memories of being 12 are playing out
in the late summer evenings
and it'd still be light at 11 o'clock and it was just an easier time,
everything was really cool, no responsibilities, no worries.
The best thing about being 12 by far was the amount of energy
that I had at the age of 12. I could run and play football all day.
Ah... Those were the days.
Just innocently singing in front of the mirror with a hairbrush.
As much as I still might do that to this day, it was much more fun
when I was 12.
If I could go back and give myself, at 12 years old, a bit of advice,
I would give myself a little bit more confidence
and I would advise myself to listen a bit more before I spoke.
Cos I was very chatty.
In many respects it is a difficult age.
If I was to say I had any regrets it would probably be that I didn't...
pay as much attention and apply myself
to what I was at school for.
You're definitely at that stage
where you know you're on the growing-up phase
and changing schools and I remember thinking,
the whole way through the year of being 12, "I'm 13 next year!
"I'm a proper, official teenager!"
and that's a real milestone for everybody.
There are hard times, you're going to get a few spots
and feel a bit rotten. You know, you do come through it.
You'll come out the other side and...
things change. It'll be all right.
Suddenly you blossom very quickly.
You're 13 before you know it, then you're a teenager,
and then you kind of fly off from then, and 12 was a great age,
I guess, as awkward as it was.
And if you're feeling awkward at 12, trust me, it will get better.
So, what have we learnt then?
Be careful when you're watching TV. It could be you.
WOMAN SHRIEKS WITH EXCITEMENT
You can turn your lunchbox into a giant sandwich...for some reason.
Perfect for your light snacks.
And next time you meet an evil robot called Brian, run away!
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd