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My name is Tracy Beaker, and these are my survival files.
Your essential guide to the ups and downs of growing up.
'Life in the Dumping Ground has taught me a lot about stuff.'
'Complicated stuff. Stuff that can make you want to scream.'
'If you can cope with the stuff that goes down in this place,
'you can cope with pretty much anything.'
I've spent most of my life here.
First when I was a kid, and now it's where I work.
'I've learnt a lot about friends.
'About what life can throw at you.'
'It's not always been pretty, but it's made me who I am today.
'And now I'm passing on my wisdom to you guys in a video blog.'
Pay attention. I've lived through all this so you don't have to.
'On The Tracy Beaker Survival Files this time - doing the right thing.
'How to cope when the right way to act is also the hardest way.
'It can be a dilemma, but I'm here to help.'
Life is full of decisions.
As we grow up, we learn that some decisions are right,
and some decisions are just wrong.
For example, it's right to be kind and tactful,
and it's wrong to hurt people's feelings.
Ugh! Looks like an explosion in a bogie factory.
'It took me a little while to get to grips with that.'
Tracy, wait. Do you not want to hear the welcome speech?
Not the way you say it, you're pants!
'Quite a while, actually.'
You look like a right loser, you do. Not rich and glamorous at all.
They're smart, writers are. Really smart,
with posh hair and swanky clothes, and loads of make up.
And loads and loads. And loads and loads and loads.
Yeah, all right.
Sparing people's feelings is not one of my many natural talents.
It's something I had to learn.
Luckily, I had people around to show me how.
Here's a textbook demonstration from Duke.
Tell me the truth.
Am I a humourless grump?
No. Come on, this is serious. Tell me.
You've had a very heavy workload recently
A master at work.
But dodging questions like that takes a lot of brains -
or a lot of hard work.
It's not easy. And that's my point.
Doing the right thing can be pretty difficult.
'Once, Lol and Justine were making a film
'about life in the Dumping Ground.
'The plan was to put it into a time capsule.
'Everyone was really excited about it.'
He always hogs the video camera!
Oh, whinge, whinge, whinge!
-'But they needed my help.'
It's for the time capsule.
'Without my magic touch,
'their dreams of screen immortality were never going to come true.'
Hi, I'm Lol, the Ground's dashing young soccer star.
I want that re-filming.
'They were desperate for some of my flair.
'But could I be bothered?
'To be honest, I was in a right mood.
'Boy trouble - don't ask.'
Oh, hi, Tracy. Do you want to help us make our film?
Go on! Let it, it looks fun.
Like you said, this stupid project is only for saddo anoraks.
Stay cool, and stay out of it. Go on, tell 'em how it is.
'So I was torn. Lend a hand or put the boot in?'
I wouldn't want to join in to your dumb project
if you paid me a million quid. It's for dorks.
And when someone picks your pathetic rubbish in the future,
they'll die of boredom
Yeah, I know.
Like I said, it took me a long time
to figure out the "sparing people's feelings" thing.
Even now, I often feel like there's a battle going on
between Good Me and Bad Me.
But doesn't everyone feel like that sometimes?
Sometimes when I feel the red mist coming down, I think to myself,
"Don't lose it. Don't lose it."
But then the anger just jumps up and flicks a switch.
And I'm off.
When I'm, like, really tired,
and Poppy and Rosie ask me to read them a story
for the millionth time, I just feel like saying,
"Why don't you read ME a story for a change?
"When's somebody going to look after me?"
I guess do I know right from wrong
and I try to do the right thing most of the time.
But you get tempted.
Like with the money.
We can go to Disneyland, we can go quad biking.
-What's her name?
-Balronica Belanie Bybibulous Saphiebum The First.
-Look, Tracy! Look how high I've got.
No! That tree's dangerous!
But I'm doing what you did, just like you told me.
Not this, you're not allowed!
But you did it.
See? Even Tee has her off days. We all do.
No-one can be perfect all the time, Even me.
And, going back to the day of the time capsule,
it was definitely 1-0 to Bad Tracy.
Ask Jackie for the ketchup.
No. I'm not talking to Jackie. Or Justine.
First they nick my camera, then they make me look like a right dweeb.
Crash, old buddy, pass the ketchup, please.
'Could they finish the film without my help?'
EXCLAMATIONS AND SHOUTING
'They couldn't even finish their tea without my help.
'I had a decision to make.'
Let them fight. You're well out of it.
They need you to take over and sort everything out.
'Should I let the chaos continue? Or sort out the shambles?'
Right! That's enough.
It's obvious you can't do this without my help,
so I'm going to have to step in and take charge.
Excuse me, I thought you said it was for dorks.
Your time capsule will be rubbish.
As I live here, I don't want my name associated with dross.
So, Jackie, you can be my right-hand girl.
Justine, go finish your film, pronto.
You go make another collage.
Make it good. I'll help Haley find her photo,
and the rest of you can dig a hole for the time capsule. OK?
They needed me to take charge, and I did. And you know what?
As soon as I began to knock that bunch into shape,
I felt so much better.
It just shows that doing the right thing
doesn't have to be a pain.
In fact, it can feel totally brilliant.
Isn't that right, Elektra?
Doing the right thing can feel good?
It can, trust me. But maybe not if someone's encouraging you
to do all sorts of bad stuff instead. Ring any bells?
I have no idea what you're on about.
'Hmm. Let's remind ourselves of what happened when Elektra first arrived.
'She made friends very quickly.
'And Carmen and Tee liked her so much,
'they wanted to look just like their new mate.'
# Lead us not into temptation... #
-These are amazing.
-I know, I want loads of them.
We should start a secret girls club and call it "The SGC".
Wow! I've never been in a secret club before!
Ah, how sweet. A secret club. Bless.
And you can't have enough blue hair about the place, can you?
That was an interesting new look.
I'd always thought you were more of a Pretty In Pink type.
Why would you think that?
It was brilliant, having a secret girls' gang.
Everyone wanted to join. Even the boys.
Hey, shall we ask Frank to join the SGC?
It's the Secret Girls' Club.
But we could make it
the, um, Secret Girls' Club And Frank.
Oh, sorry. You'll probably have to ask Liam first.
He's not my boss. I'm in.
Liam was NOT happy.
What are they doing here?
They're my friends.
All of you, out!
Hang on. How's that fair? We're with Frank, and this is his place, too.
-This is between me and him. Tell them to leave.
Frankie boy had lost the plot completely,
choosing that blue-haired freak over his best mate.
That must have been tough,
having to pick between Liam and the others.
Yeah, it was. But he could have chosen to stay.
I loved it at first.
Secret meetings, curry in the attic. It was so cool.
But then, Johnny found out. And, of course, he started stressing.
I knew you were starting a gang.
Leave Tee out. I don't want her getting in trouble.
It's not a gang,
it's a, em, club.
Hang on, Tee. Johnny's only looking after you. Why don't you join us?
Like I'm going to do that.
We don't have any rules yet, so if you join,
you can write some down, then Tee won't get into trouble.
I was worried about Tee. What had she got herself into this time?
I decided to join so I could keep an eye on her from the inside,
and make sure she didn't get into trouble.
Johnny reckons he was doing it for me.
But I just think he wanted to be in a secret gang.
Right. From now on, we're SETA - Secret Elm Tree Army.
ALL: SETA. SETA!
Right. Who wants to be an official member?
Oh. I thought we were all official members already.
Not until you've done your initiation.
Gang Initiation? Didn't like the sound of that.
But everyone else was up for it.
And I had to make sure Tee was OK.
So, I went along with it.
It all started out as a bit of a laugh.
Frank went first. I thought his prank was genius.
Yeah, I was quite proud of that one.
Congratulations, Frank. You're our first full member.
Johnny. You're next.
Frank had set the bar high.
No way could I wuss out after that.
So I just went for it. Frank went for water,
I went for dirt.
'None of this was what you could exactly call good behaviour.
'I don't think it was meant harmfully, though.'
SETA thanks you for your generous gift,
and you're now an official member.
But the dares got bigger and bigger,
like getting hold of a chunk of Gina's hair.
That's quite a good one, actually.
Anyway, Tee rose to the challenge.
I told you to cut OFF a lock of her hair
You didn't specifically say "cut it off," did you?
You're going to have to do it again, because this doesn't count.
Why not? They're Gina's hair extensions, they go in Gina's hair.
That's quite clever, Tee.
Thank you, Frank.
Well, it's not really what you were SUPPOSED to do, but I'll accept it.
Right. Who's next?
Then the dares started getting really serious.
Elektra was setting worse tasks
and it wasn't really a laugh anymore.
Let's raise the game. Toby.
SETA demands of you a member of staff's watch,
and, Carmen, one £20 note from the office.
We're not keeping them. It's just part of the test.
Yeah, we're going to give them back.
'With every new dare, it got harder to say no,
'because they were all in it together.
'Everyone knew what they were doing was wrong,
'but that didn't seem to matter anymore.
'After all, everyone else had done it.'
I didn't want to steal. I hate thieves.
When my stuff got nicked at Burneywood, I was gutted.
I didn't want to put anyone else through that.
But Elektra said we was going to give it all back.
So, I suppose I just went along with it.
'Next morning, Gina and Mike were not happy.
'A lost watch and missing money.
'Something weird was going on.'
Can you lend us 20 quid?
Elektra arrives. At the same time,
a load of thefts just happened to hit the Dumping Ground.
Co-incidence? I didn't think so.
Nor did Mike and Gina.
Someone must know something.
Elektra. Is there something you're not telling us?
I'm new, so you just pick on me?
Look, we all do stupid things.
If you don't own up, you'll end up doing even more stupid stuff.
Search me, if you like.
I didn't do it.
Ask them, if you don't believe me.
They were with me all day.
The tough choices just kept coming.
Elektra had lied, and she obviously had no intention
of handing the stuff back.
So what should the others do? Grass her up?
Or back her up with more lies?
I hate snitching, but Elektra had tricked us.
I just didn't know what to do.
I knew we'd end up in trouble.
I'd said it all along.
Someone had to say something.
Yeah. She was with us.
Sorry, Frankie boy, but that's rubbish.
Trouble is, they were well out of their depth.
You criticise me?
I've only been here two days and I've already got them
-nicking stuff for me.
-Am I supposed to be impressed?
Yeah, it was the 20 quid and I'm going to get more
once I've sold that watch.
What have you done?
First of all, I've just tricked you into confessing.
Let's go and see Mike, Elektra.
I was joking.
I just heard you.
OK, I don't want to be a snitch,
but I was just covering for Toby and Carmen.
Oh! Sorry, Elektra, but it's over.
So, how do you feel about the gang stuff now?
Look, stuff just happens. It's over.
So you don't regret leading the others on a robbing spree?
It's not like I forced them to do it. They went along with it.
They could have said "no" at any time,
and it was their choice.
Give me strength.
'So, what have we learned so far about doing the right thing
'to put into my Survival Files?
'Pretty much every minute of every day,
'we have to make choices.
'Most choices are small, but some are bigger and much harder to call.
'And often the hardest decisions
'come when we know, deep down, the right thing to do.
'But the right choice is more difficult than the wrong one.
'That's especially true in a group situation.
'Sometimes, the way we choose to act can be influenced
'by not wanting to lose face with others.
'And we all like to feel that we are in with the in crowd.
'But sometimes you just have to take a stand
'and choose to do the right thing,
'even if it might make you unpopular for a while.'
Elektra's gang had caused a lot of trouble for the other kids.
But it's funny how things turn out.
Soon afterwards, the tables were turned
and Elektra was the one facing gang trouble.
And she would have to make some big decisions of her own.
'It all started when an old friend of Elektra's, called Kali,
'turned up. They had been in a gang together called the Cobras.
'They'd done a lot of seriously dodgy stuff.
'But this Kali insisted she was a reformed character.'
# Baby, we were born to run... #
-So you seen any of the others?
-No, the old gang's history, now.
That's good to know.
What are you doing here?
Just passing. I'm Tracy, and you are?
None of your business. She works at my care home.
So, in a way, it is my business.
Oh, nice earring.
Matching pair. Snakes, aren't they?
I'm Kali. Old friend of Lex.
"Lex"? Ooh, I like it. Can I call you "Lex"?
No. Go away. Or am I going to be sanctioned for having friends?
Depends on who they are.
Didn't you used to be in a gang called The Cobras, Lex?
She's only doing her job.
We were roommates in our old care home.
Best mates, too.
That was before the gang stuff.
That was my fault. I got Lex into a lot of trouble.
Just done six months in youth detention.
I came to tell Lex that I've changed.
She doesn't have to worry about me anymore
We had to decide - did we believe her?
Again, we decided to give her the benefit of the doubt.
Yeah, I know. Big mistake.
Soon enough, Elektra was sneaking out of the Dumping Ground
to meet Kali's new gang mates.
This is the famous Lex.
Ziggy, Dutch and...
Zizelle. Kali's best mate. Where have you been, then?
Kali was inside for six months. You didn't phone her once.
What would you know?
Just saying. You weren't there for her.
Oh, you're just saying. Is that what you do, just say things?
No, I don't.
I don't have to SAY things to Kali.
I'm there when it matters, like she is for me. Get it?
-I said, do you get it?
You've still got it, girl.
Admit it, Lex, you got the buzz, didn't you?
What were you thinking of, "Lex"? We trusted you.
You were really stupid back then, weren't you?
We thought you were settling down. You were making new friends.
Yeah, boring ones.
Sorry to be harsh, but I need a bit of buzz.
A bit of excitement.
MUSIC: "Typical Girls" by The Slits
'Elektra got her excitement spending loads of cash
'with Kali and the girls, no questions asked.
'It was just like old times for Elektra.
'And now that Kali was back on the scene,
'there was a difficult decision to be made.'
Come back with us.
I need to think about it.
What's to think about?
Spending life in care with a bunch of losers
or splashing the cash with your mates?
You said I was like your sister.
It's the same for me, too. We're family, Lex. Come on.
It's not the same without you.
I'll meet you in an hour.
'Just a few weeks before, Elektra had used peer pressure
'to force the other kids into doing the wrong thing.
'Now she was being pressured, herself.'
Elektra had to choose. Who did she want to be?
The dangerous, thrill-seeking Lex of The Cobras?
Or the new, grown-up Elektra,
who was gradually sorting herself out
in the safety of the Dumping Ground?
The decision was a no-brainer.
'She chose the Cobras.'
What are you doing?
You can't tell anyone about this.
It's that girl, isn't it?
That girl is like family to me.
What about us?
I don't fit in here.
Kali gets me.
I'd rather be with her.
I'm sorry, but I'm going.
'And now it was Toby's turn to make a tough decision.
'The easy option would have been just to let her go.'
I'll catch you guys up.
'But Toby wasn't going to give up without a fight.'
-What you doing?
You're being stupid. Don't go with them.
You'll end up in prison. Like Kali.
You're wrong. Just leave it.
Get off me!
And forget about me. It's not like we're friends, or anything.
Toby wouldn't leave it alone.
He was determined to save Elektra from herself.
He did the right thing, but he had to pay a very high price.
Where are the others?
They'll catch us up.
-Come on, then.
-Give us all you got!
Come on! What else you got, then, eh?
What's that? You want to give us your watch, too?
Isn't that nice?
-What else you got?!
-What else you got?!
Take his trainers.
Oi! Want to pick on someone? Try me.
Give him his stuff back.
'Toby got robbed because he tried to help a mate.
'But because of what he did, everything changed for Elektra.'
Toby, go home. Go!
My mistake. Your friend. Won't happen again.
It shouldn't have happened in the first place.
Don't get worked up. They picked the wrong kid, it's just business.
Seemed pretty happy splashing the cash earlier.
Where did you think we got it from?
I didn't want to think about where it came from.
Maybe I missed my old friend so much
I didn't want to think she was conning me.
You've still got your old friend. I'm still here. I ain't changed.
Maybe you haven't changed, but I have.
Don't make me look bad, Lex.
What you waiting for?
Or how about you?
You made a brave choice, when you stood up to Kali and her mates.
You didn't want to get involved with mugging little kids.
You did the right thing.
Those girls were losers, anyway.
So what made you realise that?
Well, Toby was my mate. And they were disrespectful.
So they made the decision for me.
Elektra did well.
It was tough turning her back on her old life for good
but at least she knew what she was doing.
Sometimes, though, it can be even harder
to choose the right thing because you don't know
where your decisions will lead you.
'For instance, my old mate Crash had to choose
'whether or not to forgive his dad and let him back into his life.'
You got a letter.
It's from your dad.
'Crash's dad had been a disaster.
'He used to get really angry, and treat Crash very badly.
'Eventually, he ended up in prison.'
'Even thinking about his dad made Crash angry.
'So the thought of actually seeing him
'got him into a right state.'
Can I come in?
'Crash wanted to be able to forgive his dad.'
You going to see him?
'But what if they both got angry?'
'And the whole thing started all over again?'
Elaine says he having anger management classes.
Well, that's a good thing, isn't it?
Too little, too late.
He might just want to say he's sorry.
People like him always say they're sorry.
They just never mean it.
'Crash decided to take the risk. He agreed to meet his dad.'
'They hadn't seen each other for years.
'It had been a really tough decision for Crash
'to go through with the meeting at all.
'They had to put years of pain and betrayal behind them
'if they were ever going to sort out their relationship.
'So what did they do? Yep. That's right.
'Had a kick about. Men!'
'But finally, once they had re-enacted
'the whole of that year's Cup Final, twice,
'they knew they couldn't put it off any longer.
'The two blokes had to do the most difficult thing -
'talk to each other.'
You hurt me.
I'm really sorry.
If I didn't love you,
I might have got over what you did to me.
But I haven't.
I'm still angry with the whole world.
And it's your fault.
And I wouldn't blame you if you never forgave me.
I didn't say "never".
And once he'd told his dad how he felt,
they were able to move on.
They're good mates now, those two.
And all because Crash took the difficult option.
He did the brave thing, and the right thing.
'So what can I tell you about doing the right thing
'to upload into my survival files?
'Well, deep down we all can usually tell
'whether something is the right thing to do or not.
'But life's never that simple.
'There can be all sorts of pressures to stop you doing the right thing.
'For instance, if all your mates are up to something
'you know is dodgy, it can be hard not to go along with them
'in case you end up seeming like a goody-goody.
'That's what happened with Elektra's secret club.
'And no-one was strong enough to be the one to say
'the pranks and the thefts had to stop.
'It takes guts to stand up and be the one to say
'"enough is enough."
'But it can be done.
'Elektra herself is proof of that.
'She realized that she couldn't stand by while the Cobras
'were stealing and bullying.
'She did the right thing even though it wasn't easy.
'Sometimes, though, it can get even more complicated.
'It was hard for Crash to tell exactly
'what was the right thing to do
'when it came to meeting up with his dad.
'It would have been easy to run away,
'but he went for the harder option, and faced the problem head on.
'And facing up to your problems,
'rather than trying to ignore them,
'is always a good thing to do.
'So that's the Beaker guide to doing the right thing
'safely uploaded to the Tracy Beaker Survival Files.'
# Temptation... #
More gems of wisdom from my experiences next time.
And not missing that is an easy decision to make.
Remember, I've been through all this so you don't have to.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Email [email protected]