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Coming up... The stars of EastEnders become 12 again.
I could polish off two bags of chips and two cans of Coke by myself.
The idea of me doing ballet or tap, or something was, "Ooh, it's girly."
We're going to discover what life was like for them when they were 12.
Those feelings are so intense and so strong,
there's nothing puppyish about them.
As soon as you spot someone, you're "Pow!"
I get it now.
Oh... Do you know what? I didn't even get that!
Want to know more? Well...
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 12-year-old kid just like you.
This show lets go back in time with the stars of Albert Square
as they become 12 Again.
She's known as Tanya, Albert Square's beautician.
You said it.
So, back in 1989, were looks as important to Jo?
I was quite a frumpy country girl who was quite into horses.
She's Whitney, Walford's gobby girl with a troubled past.
Oh, that's all right.
But, back in 2003, Shona's own life was a lot more carefree.
I was really fun, really bubbly.
And very talkative.
Jay is the likeable and street-smart Walford kid,
who's struggled to stay on the straight and narrow.
But, back in 2006, he was, well, actually pretty similar.
Don't get me wrong, I've done a bit of ducking and diving, as you do,
to get out of a few things.
But, on the whole, I thought I was a good lad.
Next up, Masood, the much-loved Albert Square postie,
who spends most of his time sorting out his family's dramas.
Yeah, well, life goes on.
But 12-year-old Nitin wasn't quite so confident.
I could joke around.
But, essentially, I was scared, and I was quite shy.
And finally, an actor who's played the good-humoured charmer
Patrick Truman since 2001.
Well, you know me.
And, back in 1951,
Rudolph's childhood was just as happy-go-lucky.
As a 12-year-old boy,
I just enjoyed life.
Today, they are massive soap stars.
But we're going to rewind and find out what they were like
back when they were 12.
When I was 12, I remember I had a real freckly nose.
Um, really fair hair, like, quite a little cheeky face.
When I was 12, I discovered a bit of mascara and hair dyes.
I was quite experimental.
I used to wear a baseball jacket with leather sleeves,
baggy dungarees, and builders' boots. In pink, of course.
I was quite a fatty when I was 12.
I mean, I could polish off two bags of chips
and two cans of Coke by myself, in about 20 minutes.
That doesn't sound very nutritious.
So now we know what our celebs were like as kids.
But what were they getting up to?
At the age of 12, I played cricket for the school.
The coach felt that I could have gone on
and played cricket for Trinidad. But I just treated it as fun.
When I was 12, all I ever did was draw.
It was an obsession of mine, and I didn't have a sketch pad.
But what would happen was that newspapers would come
wrapped in white paper, and my dad would cut the string.
I'd take the white paper, and that is what I would draw on.
I used to ride my bike a lot when I was 12.
Actually, this is quite embarrassing,
I'd put like a boom box, like a big cassette player,
I tied it with a shoelace, on to the front of my bike.
I used to ride down the road in front of my friends
and think I was really cool.
All my friends would go, "Oh, here's Shona, look, you can hear her."
And that boom box would come in handy for Shona's other hobby.
# Check this out! #
We'd have a dance-off.
Dance-offs are competitions
where two or more people bust their best moves
until one is declared the winner.
You won't see it on Strictly.
We'd just be in a circle,
then, all of a sudden, two people would come into the middle.
Let battle commence!
So what shapes did Shona throw?
The kind of moves that were in were, like, the whole Beyonce one.
Yeah, brilliant, yeah.
I'm not familiar.
Oh, that's it, yeah.
Right. I don't fancy your chances against this lot, Shona.
That's what our celebs were up to,
but did they have any ambitions for future stardom?
When I was 12, acting had never come into any of this.
I was too shy to be an actor.
I was very shy.
But, put me on stage as a kid, and my whole personality changed.
Everything became large and exciting.
I didn't think about what I wanted to do.
You know when you're young, you plod through life
and you think everything will pan out all right.
So I never used to worry about things like that.
You don't, do you, when you're young.
Not true, Jamie.
Shona knew exactly what she wanted to do.
Anyone that told me I won't achieve anything, I always said,
"Well, I'm going to be an actress."
I just said it like that.
And that might have looked really arrogant of me,
but I genuinely believed that that's what I wanted to do.
I always wanted to be an actor, yeah.
If you could make a living out of the thing you loved doing most,
then you're the luckiest person alive, aren't you?
And so that's what I set out to do.
But it wasn't all dreams of stardom.
And, for 12-year-old Nitin,
the realities of everyday life could be tough.
Being an Indian kid growing up in a white neighbourhood,
racism was just always there.
You didn't know it was wrong,
you just know people were calling you these names
and picking on you because of the colour of your skin.
We came from a corner shop, which was targeted a lot.
So, they were quite shaky times for a small kid to grow up.
But life in Trinidad for 12-year-old Rudolph was much simpler.
I would get up at about five o'clock in the morning.
I had to walk a block with buckets, to fetch water.
Trinidad is the fifth-largest country in the West Indies,
a series of islands in the Caribbean Sea
just off the northern coast of South America.
My home, growing up, in today's standard, it was a shack.
Literally, one bedroom in which my mother and three of us slept.
I came from, I suppose one can say,
a poor family, comparatively speaking.
In a nutshell, I came from a single-parent family.
In my days as a 12-year-old I got smacked.
There's no question about that.
But I have the greatest admiration for my mother as a single parent.
And, as a kid growing up, it was just beautiful.
Meanwhile, far, far away
in the slightly less tropical climate of deepest Oxfordshire,
12-year-old Jo was leading something of a double life.
I grew up in a very sleepy little village.
One minute I was wearing my wellies
and a big baggy jumper that belonged to my dad, with my scruffy hair.
And then I'd have this circle of friends at school
that were much more worldly-wise, who'd grown up in town,
who wore a lot of make-up and lots of mousse
and their hair piled up high, in pineapples.
And then I'd go back to the country.
I, kind of, had these two different lives.
And, while Jo was jumping from one group of friends to another,
Jamie was about to pirouette into a whole new world.
I came from just a normal school,
to go into this big, famous stage school.
I was not used to it.
The idea of me doing ballet or tap or something was like,
"Ugh, it's girly!"
Well, brace yourself. Jamie, things are about to get a whole lot worse.
I had to try out all the ballet stuff on,
and I remember being a bit nervous.
I remember actually crying. I looked in the mirror crying.
My dad was laughing at me. I was going, "Oh, shut up!"
I'm sure you looked lovely, Jamie.
Once you go and you start wearing them for a little while,
you, sort of, get used to it. It was all right, it was all right.
So, now we know what our celebs were getting up to at 12.
But what were they listening to?
At 12, I grew up with lots of different styles of music.
# You know that I loved you. #
We had Motown.
# Can't help myself
# Cos I love you, and nobody else. #
# D-I-S-C-O. #
At the same time, we had this new scene kicking off.
We'd gone from punk to Two Tone.
Two Tone was a new type of music created in the UK in the late '70s
by bands such as The Selecter.
It mixed elements of Jamaican music and '70s punk.
That music did move me in a different way to anything else.
It made me want to jump, it made me want to dance.
One of the most successful Two Tone bands were The Specials,
from Nitin's home town of Coventry.
And they didn't just play funky music,
they wrote songs that spoke about the problems
young people were facing growing up at that time.
They went on to write Ghost Town
which was about the unemployment in Coventry
and what it had turned this thriving city into - a Ghost Town.
# This town
# Is coming like a ghost town. #
It was just at the beginning of the last recession,
unemployment was beginning to grow,
a lot of kids were being told there's no point having an education
because you're never going to get a job.
# This place is coming like a ghost town. #
Ghost Town brilliantly captured the mood of recession-hit Britain
and topped the UK singles charts for three whole weeks.
With that kind of music kicking off, it was a really good time to be 12.
So, from '70s ska...
into a noughties funk pop classic
that got Shona shimmying on to the dance floor.
-# Hey ya! #
From Outkast was my favourite song when I was 12.
Outkast are a hugely successful hip-hop act,
and Hey Ya was a worldwide smash in 2003,
partly due to this amazing video which saw band member Andre 3000,
his actual name, playing all eight members of a fictional group.
I remember the first time we saw it, and I just loved it.
For weeks after, at school, we'd be like,
# Shake it like a Polaroid picture... #
To be honest, I don't really know what a Polaroid picture is.
OK, quick lesson, Shona, Polaroids are instant photos
where the image begins to develop straight away.
Ah! The whole point is, I get it now. Oh...
Do you know what? I didn't even get that!
The whole point is that you shake them to dry them
and then they develop. Oh!
We got there, eventually.
And, while Shona loved a bit of shaking...
..Rudolph was more into jiving!
We youngsters, we loved the fast, jazzy music.
One of the big songs that I remember was In The Mood.
In The Mood was a song by legendary American big band leader
Glenn Miller, who enjoyed huge success
in the swing music era of the early 1940s.
As a kid, I love dancing.
Throwing the girls over our shoulders,
throwing them between our legs. It was fantastic.
Rudolph, calm yourself down!
So, Jamie, next,
and he raided his father's record collection for musical inspiration.
I think I used to enjoy the old stuff more because my dad enjoyed it more.
Really liked bands like The Police.
# Guess you'd call it cowardice... #
Formed in 1977, way before Jamie was even born,
blond beat merchants The Police, led by frontman Sting, were huge.
Can't Stand Losing You was their first top five hit.
# Can't stand losing you! #
But it was their biggest anthem that got Jamie's toes tapping.
Every Breath You Take is probably one of their most famous.
# Every breath you take. #
HE SINGS # Every move you make. #
Released in 1983,
Every Breath You Take was a global smash
and has since clocked up a staggering nine million radio plays.
Listening to that type of music at 12 just made me feel,
like, different from everyone else, which I like.
We like it too, Jamie.
Now, from '80s dad rock to a gang of funky feminine pharaohs.
The Bangles were just cool.
We loved the fact that they all played instruments.
We just wanted to be The Bangles.
The Bangles had previously charted
with up-tempo tunes like Walk Like An Egyptian.
# Walk like an Egyptian. #
But it was a slushy ballad that made the biggest impact
on romantic young Jo.
We loved Eternal Flame.
# Close your eyes Give me your hand, darling. #
This lovey-dovey smash hit
topped the UK charts for four weeks in 1989.
Eternal Flame was a brilliant song
for all the people you were falling with in love with at the age of 12.
Because there was somebody different every week that you had a crush on.
# Is this burning an eternal flame? #
It was all about, "Is this the one?"
# It's meant to be, darling. #
Your feelings are so raw and so real when you're 12.
That first falling for somebody is massive,
and I hate it when, now, actually, people say it's puppy love
because those feelings are so intense and so strong,
there's nothing puppyish about them, you know.
They're really quite fierce.
We hear you, girlfriend, we hear you.
-Still to come...
Shona remembers a little legend.
Morph was strong. He'd carry Sellotape, no problem.
Nitin recalls a now-controversial '70s sit com.
The way it was written was that the Indians were the clever ones
and it was the soldiers that were the idiots.
You are too kind.
Well, Rudolph didn't have a TV, he just went to the cinema.
It had real excitement. It had the goodies and baddies.
But first, let's see which stories hit the headlines
when our East End stars were kids.
-It's now 14 hours since John Lennon was shot here,
at the entrance of the Dakota building on West 72nd Street,
in the centre of New York.
I remember watching on the news,
my brother came in and switched the TV on.
And said, really choked up, he said, "John Lennon's dead."
There has been a crowd here standing in more or less silent vigil,
and the flowers have been piling up at the gate.
# Love, love, love. #
John Lennon was a founding member of The Beatles,
one of the most important bands in history,
making him an icon and a hero to millions.
At 12, I liked their music, I listened to it.
But, of course,
I didn't know the impact that The Beatles had had on the world.
I did know that they had changed the music scene.
I didn't know what an inspiration John Lennon was.
After The Beatles split in 1970,
John Lennon continued as a solo artist.
He campaigned for peace and, in his most famous song Imagine,
he expressed his hopes for a better world.
# Imagine all the people
# Living life in peace. #
After he died, I was wondering why my brother was so upset.
Wondering why other people were so upset.
So I'm, kind of, going, this guy must be important.
# But I'm not the only one. #
The song was re-released in 1980 to commemorate his death,
staying at the top of the charts for four whole weeks.
Those words really did move me, in a very strange way,
because it was the first time I connected emotionally to him dying.
# Imagine no possessions... #
Imagine became Lennon's best-selling solo single,
and its thought-provoking lyrics continue to have an impact today.
John Lennon's songs and words have become much, much more powerful now,
because that's what people desire more than anything else now.
And a quite different type of hero was making the news
when Shona was 12.
A campaigner for fathers' rights
has managed to get past security at Buckingham Palace.
Dressed as Batman, he has been staging a demonstration.
I remember Fathers 4 Justice, watching it on the news.
I wanted to know what was going on.
"Mum, why are they on this building? Why are they dress like that?"
Fathers 4 Justice was formed in 2001 by dads who'd found
they had little or no access to their children after divorce.
Members of the group often dressed up as superheroes
and staged protests in famous locations
to put pressure on the government to change the law.
-Never has anyone dressed in a cape, mask and tights
got so close to the royal apartments.
What captured my imagination was the fact that
they were in superhero outfits.
My mum explained it to me.
And she said, "It's because children look up to their dads as heroes."
And I thought, yeah, I do. I thought, they're clever to do that
because I related to that a lot.
And, while dads protesting made a big impact on Shona...
..12-year-old Jamie was worried about a deadly virus.
First today, worries about bird flu.
as politicians here have admitted
it's now more likely to turn up in the UK.
When I was 12, I remember bird flu.
I used to think about it, worry about it, a lot.
But the government is also saying, don't get in a flap,
and British farmers insist they're ready for any outbreak.
We heard about bird flu in 2003,
when outbreaks were reported in south-east Asia.
We were all on edge.
"It's in China now, when is it going to come to Britain?"
The virus kills birds and can prove fatal to humans.
I was terrified. Honestly, I was so scared.
I always used to think, how can it contract from bird to human?
Like, who would run up and kiss a bird, in their right mind?
Nobody, Jamie. Nobody's kissing birds.
But the bird flu virus can be transmitted to humans
who have close contact with live infected birds, like farmers.
And strict measures were introduced to stop the virus spreading.
-A three-kilometre protection zone has been set up at the farm.
Birds inside will have to be tested and kept indoors.
And, while bird flu remains a threat,
the chances of people in the UK catching it
are thankfully extremely small.
And, while Jamie was fretting about our feathered friends,
when Jo was 12, epic changes were happening in eastern Europe.
Hello, again. A special Newsround today,
here from one of the new gaps in the Berlin Wall.
When I was 12, the big story,
the big news story, was the fall of the Berlin Wall.
1989 will always be remembered for what happened here.
The year when the barriers between east and west Europe
finally started opening up.
After the Second World War,
East Germany was separated from the west and became Communist.
The Berlin Wall was the biggest symbol of Communism.
Communism is a political system
in which the government controls the economy
and runs things like shops, factories and farms.
I don't think I had much of a concept, at 12, of Communism.
In one way, I, kind of, respected and understood,
in a kind of hippyish way, in terms of a country girl,
you were all ploughing the same field
And then you all shared the corn, right?
That was my simple understanding of it.
But whilst West Germany became rich, Communist East Germany stayed poor
and the regime imprisoned anyone who disagreed with the system.
Once you, kind of, looked into it, it was more of a regime.
And far more oppressive than I had realised.
Thousands tried to escape
and the Berlin Wall was built by the Communists to keep people in.
By the late '80s, people living in eastern Europe demanded freedom
and an end to Communism.
And, in 1989, when the East German government opened the border,
the people celebrated and tore down the wall.
Wonderful, what we have been waiting for.
My friend had a German pen pal.
She went over there when they were tearing the wall down,
and she brought me back a bit of the Berlin Wall.
So Jo had a little piece of history.
And people in eastern Europe had the freedom to travel where they wanted.
Still to come, we ask the all-important question...
What would our EastEnders do if they were 12 again?
I wouldn't change a thing about being 12. No.
You're young, and you've got your whole life ahead of you.
And you are in the midst of everything.
Go to the park, have a dance-off.
Do your things. Ride your bike.
Maybe learn to swim. HE LAUGHS
OK, back to business.
Let's find out what top TV shows our soap stars tuned into
when they were kids.
My favourite kids' show was Smart.
Smart was a kids' TV art show that ran from 1994 to 2009.
I think my favourite part of the Smart show
had to be my little friend Morph.
Morph was a little Plasticene fella
who talked gobbledegook with his friend Chas.
MORPH SPEAKS GOBBLEDEGOOK
You can, sort of, understand it, if you listen very carefully.
Die dan faw.
"Knife and fork."
-Dat dot fuddy!
Well, Chas thought it was. Oh!
Morph was strong.
He carried Sellotape, no problem.
In every episode, Smart would show you
how to turn everyday household items into works of art.
I've got some kitchen roll here.
Now, this is what I've done with the inside of my kitchen roll.
I'd say, "Mum, have we any toilet roll?" She would be like, "Yes."
I'd be like, "The cardboard bit."
She'd say, "We can't use all the toilet roll for the cardboard bit."
"Oh, please, Mum, I've got to make this!"
What you need do is push them into each other, just like that.
She was very good, my mum. She'd be like that...
"All right, it's coming."
Just again push them into each other.
"Hurry up. They're doing it!"
Don't panic, Shona's mum! All that paper wouldn't go to waste.
This is what I'm going to be using, the outside of the kitchen roll.
I've watered down some PVA.
As if you're going to have PVA glue in your house.
I had a Pritt stick, that's about it.
And, while Shona was busy trying to stick bits of loo roll together,
12-year-old Nitin was glued to a now-controversial '70s sitcom.
We had It Ain't Half Hot, Mum, which was a big hit in an Asian household.
It Ain't Half Hot, Mum was a comedy about an army entertainment troupe
posted in India, who put on shows to entertain the soldiers.
There was a character, a lead Indian character, who was brilliant.
And left me shocked to the core to find out he was white.
How dare you! Who do you think you are talking to?
I am bearer to concert party which is top-hole job.
Michael Bates was the actor who played Rangi Ram.
He was actually born in India and spoke Hindi
but was white and, on the show, he wore make-up to look Indian.
His characterisation of an Indian was superb.
You are too kind.
Many families enjoyed watching the show on TV back the '70s,
but these kind of racial stereotypes wouldn't be OK nowadays.
You wait here, saab. I will report to Sergeant Major-saab.
We never saw it as racist, at all.
The way it was written was that the Indians were the clever ones,
and it was the soldiers that were the idiots.
Sergeant Major-saab kindly ask you to wait.
In fact, we were in admiration of the detail of performance.
It seems hard to believe now,
but there was a time, not that long ago, when no-one had a telly.
In those days, television just wasn't in existence.
The only form of entertainment was going to the cinema.
And Rudolph was especially fond of Western movies.
Watching cowboys and Indians, it appealed to us as kids
because it was adventurous.
It had real excitement, it had the goodies and baddies.
And young cowboy Rudolph didn't just watch the films, he lived them!
We created our own form of cowboys and Indians.
We made our guns and we would hide behind trees.
And, as soon as you spotted somebody, you'd go, "Pow!"
Ugh, you got me!
So, those were the TV memories of our EastEnders stars.
But what advice would they give to their 12-year-old selves?
If I was 12 again, I wouldn't eat those two bags of chips
and those two cans of Coke.
I wouldn't change a thing about being 12, no.
-Maybe learn to swim.
I would say to my 12-year-old self, be happy,
go to the park, have a dance-off.
Do your thing, ride your bike. Be fearless.
Enjoy life. Be polite to your mum and dad.
It's a great time to enjoy
because you've got the rest of your life to be serious and sensible.
You're young, and you've got your whole life ahead of you.
And you're in the midst of everything.
It's a glorious time.
So, what have we learnt then?
Those East Germans know how to party!
Wonderful. It's what we've waited for.
Don't ever invite Morph over for dinner.
He's a mucky pup.
And, if you're ever playing cowboys and Indians with Rudolph, duck!
We would hide behind trees,
and as soon as you'd spot someone, you'd go, "Pow!"
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd