Episode 1 That's Britain!

Episode 1

Nick Knowles and Julia Bradbury present a warm-hearted studio show about the good, the bad and the ugly in modern Britain. With Grainne Seoige, Ade Edmondson and Shaun Williamson.

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Hello and welcome to That's Britain. Over the next four weeks, we are


here to help you let off steam about the things in modern Britain


that drive us up the wall. From roadworks, to recycling, we will


get to the bottom of whatever makes you grumpy. On That's Britain


tonight: Grainne Seoige asks whether we are a nation drowning in


junk mail. We go on the hunt for Britain's most perilous pothole.


Stanley Johnson tests whether we are a nation of secret say mar tans


with a hidden camera sting. EastEnders' Shaun Williamson


campaigns to bring back the bus conductor -- say mar tans. There


they are, our team of intrepid reporters who will be travelling to


length and breadth of the country to try and fix "Broken Britain".


Stanley Johnson, Grainne Seoige and Shaun Williamson. Each week we have


a report from our special investigator, Ade Edmondson. He's


got an access all areas pass to see how Britain works, or sometimes


doesn't. Tonight, he slipped past airport security to find out what


happens to our luggage when we kiss it goodbye at the airport. We want


to hear from you. It is your show. This is our WordWall. Yes! We know


it often feels as if you are talking to the wall and you are on


That's Britain! The wall talks back. You tell us what is driving you mad


and our magic wall turns your gripes into grumpy graffiti.


want to know what is getting your goat - queues, fly-tippers,


Christmas? If it is getting on your nerves, we want it on our wall. The


more e-mails we get, the bigger the word is on the wall. You have been


e-mailing us all week. This is what is irritating Britain right now. So


far, you are grumpy about - Tube drivers... That's because they are


talking about going on strike on Boxing Day. I can understand that


one. Bus lanes. Express checkouts. Small one on the left. I don't like


express checkouts because I like people. I like people so we agree


on that one. Queues at petrol stations. They have turned them


into shopping centres! People get their petrol and go off shopping


for 20 minutes. I don't get the squeaky bottles. What is going on


there? We will find out. Lots of people are upset about it. We will


be updating the wall later in the show. So keep the e-mails coming in


by going to bbc.co.uk/thatsbritain. Or e-mailing


[email protected] and put the thing getting your goat in the


title of the e-mail. You can tell us why in the body of the e-mail


but put the word you want on the word in the title space. No


politics or people's names. Our names might pop up quickly! Of


course, you can join in with everything we are talking about by


tweeting us - @bbcthatsbritain or go to our Facebook page. One of the


things you have been talking to the wall about is junk mail. According


to Which? Magazine, we are bombarded with 11 billion pieces of


junk mail a year. 11 billion! To give you some idea of the numbers


that we are dealing with, that much paper weighs the same as 50,000


double-decker buses. Ridiculous! Why do we get so much of it? More


importantly, can we stop it? Grainne Seoige has been to


investigate. Direct mail or junk mail drives many of us around the


bend. We don't ask for it. You have no interest in reading it. It never


has to throw it away. Who is responsible for this growing pile


of waste paper and how do companies get hold of our details to target


us? The answer might surprise you. How do you feel about junk mail?


despise it. Don't like it. I never look at it. It goes into the


recycling. Do you get a lot of junk mail? Yeah, much too much.


don't like it? No. It is a waste of trees! You may think those piles on


your doormat are growing and you would be right. Until a year ago


there was a cap on how many pieces the Royal Mail could deliver to


your home. The bar was set at three a week but then the limits were


axed. Royal Mail can deliver as much as they want. I have recruited


some help from the kind residents of the North London suburb of Stoke


Newington. They will stockpile their junk mail and keep tabs on


the amount of it that comes through their doors. I hope they have


plenty of room for storage. Some days I only get junk mail. I don't


get ordinary post any more! haven't opened it up until now. It


is going straight in the bin. when it is finished with, junk mail


is a sizeable monster to dispose of. A staggering 11 billion pieces are


delivered every year, that is five million dead trees, or chopping


down an area the size of Epping Forest annually. Junk mail is the


gift that keeps on giving so someone must think it is a good


idea otherwise why would we keep getting it? I have come to the


place that celebrates junk mail, the Direct Marketing Association


represents hundreds of companies sending unsolicited advertising


into our homes. How can this be good business practice? Advertising


mail generates �16 billions of sales each year and about 300,000


jobs. You believe it works as a form of advertising? Absolutely it


does. More than 17 million people purchase from a catalogue in the


last 12 months and when it is well targeted, it is particularly


effective. It's been said to us that without this type of


advertising, there would be no Royal Mail. Is that what you are


suggesting? I think that is very true. More than a quarter of the


revenue that the Royal Mail generates is from advertisers and


if you took that revenue out, it would be unsustainable. Even some


of those who actually push junk mail through our letterboxs have


recognised the Royal Mail's dependency on it. This postie asked


us not to reveal his identity. probably deliving 2,000 to 3,000


items of junk mail a week. It is like the Royal Mail are competing


for the least lucrative market which is junk mail. In Stoke


Newington, how is our junk mail spot check going? What our


householders are finding is they are receiving a mix of hand-


delivered advertising sheets from local businesses and unaddressed


and directly addressed material delivered by the Royal Mail.


Catalogues. Estate agents. Food. Improving the home. Gardeners. More


builders. How do businesses that we haven't given our personal details


to get hold of them? That information can come from an


unlikely source. It's someone who has to know where we live - the


Government. They are selling an edited version of the electoral


register which contains our names and addresses. That is how Direct


Marketing Companies know who we are and where we live. I'm going to see


Caroline Spelman to see what she has to say about the Government


trading our details. You sell on an edited version of the electoral


register, that is how they have the information. It is one source by


which companies acquire information about our address and our name. But


there's more than one way in which they receive that information.


fact, Caroline Spelman has just launched an opt-out scheme to limit


junk mail and she sees no conflict of interest with the Government


selling our addresses. You have the perfect opportunity to take back


some power and control over what comes through your letterbox. From


April next year, you will have an easy way to stop that unsolicited


junk mail coming and have some control over what comes through


your letterbox. The agreement covers half of all junk mail.


What's clear is that this scheme isn't comprehensive and while the


Government is making a lot of noise on the one hand about addressing


junk mail, while they and big business are still buying and


selling our details, all they are going to do is address the effects


and not the cause. What about how this could impact on the Royal


Mail? If the volume of junk mail drops surely their revenue will


drop? Pushing up the price of a stamp perhaps? Will we be willing


to pay extra for less junk mail? would be happy to do that. If they


could stop it, I would pay more for my stamps. 48p for a first-class.


So you don't think you should pay any more? No. We will see the


effects on the Royal Mail and junk mail when the scheme launches next


April. What about our snapshot of how some householders are being


affected now? After three weeks of junk mail collection, the final


tally is nearly 800 pieces from just 20 houses. That is 40 pieces


per house and a lot of wasted paper. What to do with all that junk mail?


We have given it to Michelle Reader to see if she can give purpose to


what many people consider to be unwanted, intrusive and unnecessary.


Can junk mail ever be a thing of beauty?


APPLAUSE OK. You have brought your friend into the studio. Beauty is


in the eye of the beholder. This is Michelle Reader's creation. It is


an extraordinary amount of junk mail. He is very hardy. He is


wearing shorts and a short-sleeved top. That has to say an awful lot


for his ability to do the job. is amazing how much rubbish comes


through the door? Absolutely. It took six days to make. Tell us


about the opt-out clause in April? How does it affect us? You can stop


some of it. There is a one-stop- shop replacing a system where there


are three websites to go to now. Any company that has signed up with


the Direct Marketing Association, you come off that list and you


don't get anything delivered through them. Anybody here signed


up? It is launching in a while. will this affect the Royal Mail?


was said that the Royal Mail really needs the revenue that it gets from


people signing up to have their junk mail delivered. So we asked


the Royal Mail would they be affected. They said the number of


letters that people and businesses send to each other is in


significant decline. The UK has one of the most high quality postal


services there is. It needs to be paid for. That is why it is


important that Royal Mail behaves like any other commercial business


and handles as many mail items as possible. They need to do this.


Direct mail has a legitimate purpose. Thousands of companies


large and small sign up and we are proud to play an important role in


supporting economic growth within the UK. LAUGHTER Who said "ah"?


Royal Mail aren't the only ones who deliver junk mail? Absolutely.


There are other businesses that send junk mail also. I want to


point out five million trees! never mind the trees... Yes! Never


mind the trees! The thing is, people are finding it hard to make


a living. These businesses that are posting these leaflets, if you are


running a pizza shop, or a window sales shop, you have to get it out


there some way. I was a bit like you in that this stuff annoyed me


until I looked into it further. This is the only way they can


advertise. They can't pay for big splashes in the magazines. This is


the way they get the word out. It is a shame we get so much of it.


Grainne will be looking at overcrowding on trains next week.


Thank you. Breathe in! APPLAUSE Supermarkets self-checkouts, you


can get through an entire day without ever speaking to another


human being. That's Britain is trying to change that. We want to


bring back the personal touch to our daily lives by bringing back


the jobs we have lost to technology and cost-cutting. Here is Shaun


Williamson to explain what he would Progress is amazing. It is daunting


even if you think about it. In the last 50 years we have built trains


which run under the sea, motorways which criss-cross the country and


planes which carry over 170 million of us in-and-out of the UK every


year. But you know what? I think we have lost something along the way.


Now, hang on! Wait for me! Wait for me! Thanks, Mr Conductor. You are


Where have all the bus conductor has gone? There is no one to


welcome you, no sense of community, no camaraderie. The best you can


hope for is a man who keeps his eyes on the road, instead of the


yobs at the back of the bus, throwing crisps. Bus conductors


were once an everyday sight. Back in 1965, there were nearly 80,000


of them, but the drive to cut costs put paid to them, and today there


are only a handful left. For one day only, we are begging an old


tradition back to the streets of Brighton. The route must of course,


a driver called Dale, and me, a bus conductor with a mission. All


aboard! Are you working? A I'm trying to. The fantastic. How much


do I owe you? Please take a seat. Do you remember bus conductors?


you could ask them questions about where you were going, where was the


best place to stop. For we are doing this to bring back the bus


conductor. How do you feel about that? A very happy, brings back my


childhood, when I was going to school. Do you remember them as


grumpy or friendly? For an Lea, always. As it gets busier, more of


my passengers want to return to the good old days. Young mothers with


pushchairs, travelling with the baby in their arms, the conductor


would help. If you stood up when the boss was moving, the bus


conductor would shout at them. Could you tell me who this is.


It is Blakey, the star of sitcom On the buses. I have got to be honest,


I am having a great time, and I think the passengers are really


enjoying having a conductor back on board the bus. The crunch question,


as always, if is would they be willing to pay to see my cheery


chubby face every day? It is not cheap running a bus service, and


bringing back conductors could bring up fares by a quarter, 20p on


a �1 ticket. I would, yes. I have got someone! It sounds good


actually, particularly when my children I using the bus to go to


school. When you multiply that by the amount of journeys they do, it


is a lot. Bringing it back should not just be about money, because


most of the people I spoke to said they would feel safer with a bus


conductor on the bus. You had fun. I want to be a bus


conductor. I know that would be a tragedy for the acting industry.


What a lovely job. You yourself mentioned Yorkshire beat cheeky


face, do you think that helped you in pursuit of your job? It helped


me on the day because a lot of people recognised me, but it is


about being helpful, polite. What people wanted was an authority


figure on board who could potentially put themselves between


you and your boss, or whatever. -- you and yobs. Presumably some of


them would never have seen a bus conductor before? There was a young


Polish man who got on, I asked him if they had bus conductors in


Poland. He said yes, they do. I said, are they popular? He said no,


they get killed because they ask for money. I would like to cancel


next week pothole bus conductor special from Warsaw! Tell me about


the kit. One of the sounds of my childhood. That will get you home.


I might need a lift after the show! It is just a wonderful experience,


it really was. Thank you for doing that. Shaun Williamson.


He says bus conductors would bring back a sense of community, so we


Lines will be closing at about quarter to nine, so you haven't got


very long. We will bring you the result later. Let's have a look at


our WordWall to see what has been vexing you so far this evening.


Remember, you e-mail us to tell us what is getting on your nerves, and


we put it on the wall. A lot of you were unhappy about duped drivers,


bus lanes. Since then... You have inundated us. It has been a better


than a good -- been an avalanche. had a feeling dog poo would feature


on tonight's show! People are really worried about it. We have


got a piece on letter coming up later. That is very interesting,


the bin men. Lane hogs, people hanging in the middle laying.


your foot down, not the time encouraging you to speed. Steve


Ryan pothole says people who park in front of petrol bombs and don't


buy fuel. Alice Clark is annoyed about rubbish outside fast-food


outlets. It you have a shop that produces rubbish like that, you


should do something about it. The last couple of years have been talk


for local councils with government cuts forcing them to tighten their


belts. It doesn't seem to stop councils spending money on things


that many of you feel should not be a priority. This is the part of the


show we are calling don't get me started. Staffordshire County


Council have got 71 balls! They have been installed outside the new


�30 million office building. To us they might look like balls, but the


council say the bollards are an essential and two terrorism measure,


and they also say they prevent ram- raiding on the offices. Sounds like


absolute bollards to me. How much did they cost? 20,000. 8000. The


onset is �587 each, total cost 40 grand. �40,000 might get you


started, but still in the Midlands, Warwickshire County Council might


be getting you started because of the statue. It is called gold Leaf:


Buried Sunlight and you can see that being put up in the Pooley


Country Park. It is covered in small gold coloured sheets of metal.


They say they chose the design because it is thought provoking and


would distract people from the nearby motorway. How much do you


think it cost? 15,000. I will give you �10 for it. A in fact, it cost


Warwickshire council �100,000 to put up. I might fancy looking at


the motorway instead, wouldn't you? The way things are going, it's


ridiculous. Finally, how about this. This is what some residents in


Bristol are calling the bridge to know where. It is the replacement


for a damaged road bridge. It used to be used heavily by cars, but


this is simply a footbridge. Only pedestrians, pedestrians and horse


riders can use this. How much do you think it cost? Quarter of a


million. They have gone big this time. �1.6 million. Me and the boys


would have quoted a quarter of that and still been very happy with it.


While we were... We have slowed down. While we were filming, we


worked out an average ourselves. Four people crossed the bridge in


an hour. At that rate of use, if everybody paid �1 for the return


trip, it would be paid for in 68 years. A local councillor said you


just can't get a bridge over a motorway for less than �1.6 million.


So, a bargain really. If you know any more of these examples, get in


touch. Flying seems to be more annoying


than ever these days. Airport security delays, cancellations for


fog. This morning I was stuck on the runway at Manchester. There was


a point when they thought I would not make the show. I was going to


be on my own. Recently one airline even forcing passengers to pay for


the plane's fuel. But what drives us up the wall is when it airlines


lose our bags. How hard can it be? One man can tell us. Ade Edmondson


is our insider, and he has been on a mission to follow his own


suitcase on an incredible journey, starting in Manchester. Over 29


million pieces of luggage go missing every year. 29 million!


Although the people in charge prefer the word mishandled than


lost. Get mishandled! He is never going to get that in there! To


avoid my own separation anxiety... From Manchester to Heathrow to


Amsterdam - yes, two flights. It is handover time. So you are going to


print a sticky label? I am, yes. The bag number is completely


unique? Yes, it is. So if my bag went to Timbuktu, someone could


scam that and say it is my bag. So it is fully international, who


knew? It doesn't matter where it goes missing, it should always come


back to me. You might think it is on its home from here run-in. It's


not, there are cameras everywhere, scanning my barcode, which allows


people like Charlie to track every move my bag makes. This is how many


times it has been seen, and these are the update afterwards. It has


been through the scanner. It is boarding time for me. Let's hope it


is boarding time for my bag. In the same way I go through a gate, my


bag is separated to make a beeline for my flight. Thank you. These


trays are the last step. They read my barcode and tip my bag on to the


right section for my flight. We are not allowed to film on the plane,


so I will see you at the other end. We are flying south to the hadron


collider of baggage sorting. Heathrow's state-of-the-art


Terminal 5. I am guessing my bag is going to find this quite a


challenge because Terminal 5 is enormous. How will my bag make it


amongst the thousands of other bags that are here? Welcome to the


baggage sorting plant. It is a quarter of a mile long. It is like


an epic version of every game you ever played as a kid. There is some


scale extracts, a bit of pinball, some roller-coaster as... And a


ghost train. It is like a theme park for bags. Very important when


it lands that it is facing the right way, so they have this


scanner. That arch is a camera, it takes a shot, says it is facing the


wrong direction so it it just the flippers to make sure it is going


the right way. Perfect! 40-50,000 bags go through here every day, and


how do they know what is going where? Surveillance. This package


manager is responsible for everything that passes through here.


I can see Scanners everywhere. How many times will my bag be looked


at? Up to 400 times, it will pass through scanners. These blue ones


go about 30,000 mph, don't they? They do. Can I go on one? No!


are essentially intelligent bag machines. There is a computer chip


saying exactly where each bag needs to go. After 18 kilometres of


sophisticated computer wizardry, your bag eventually comes face-to-


face with the most advanced technology the world has to offer.


Philip. Yes, no one has yet invented a robot as efficient as


the human at packing bags into a They get a last check on that?


do. If it goes green, we can load it. If it goes red, we investigate


it to make sure it doesn't go on the flight. A green light means


this bag is in the right container for the right plane and it can make


its way to the aircraft's hold. I better dash! Amsterdam. Cheese,


tulips, windmills and clogs - don't think I pack any of them! -- don't


think I packed any of them! There's my bag. You can see my bag. Very


distinctive. Family heirloom. There you go. There's my bag. And I


shouldn't really be very surprised because I have looked at the


figures and the chance of your bag going missing, delayed but catching


up with you, is 1.2%. The chance of your bag getting absolutely lost is


0.00005%. You would have to take 200,000 flights to be guaranteed


that your bag would go missing. It is not bad, is it? Right, well,


experiment over. I better get back to London. I hope they don't lose


my bag! APPLAUSE


So, that all went swimmingly? gobsmacked by the amount of


technology they got back there. When you see your bag disappearing


you think it is going to a big empty shed where three blokes


smoking fags and reading a paper might kick it in two or three hours


and then put it on to the wrong plane! This is reassuring then?


Except we finished filming and on the way back to London my bag went


missing. No?! Not stunt missing? went missing. Got it two days later.


Right. Who were you flying with? EasyJet! We did ask easyJet what


happened to your bag and this is I still think it is the weirdest


thing to tie a bit of paper on all your valuables and just chuck it in


there. The best bit of advice I had was to write your name and


telephone number on an A 4 piece of paper and put it on the inside of


the case. If the label comes off, people will see there's your


contact details. What if it gets lost lost? If it is not claimed in


three months, it goes to auction. Really? Yes. You can buy other


people's luggage. LAUGHTER bizarre. Randomly? Yes, we bought a


case so this might be yours! LAUGHTER I'm very excited now.


seems to be 500 bits of paper giving your name and address, Nick!


PHONE RINGS What? When? How? Where? How hard can it be? I'm on my way.


Sorry, got another mission to investigate. See you next week.


Still to come: We are out on the beat with the men and women who


police our rubbish. We will find out where in Britain has the worst


pothole. We meet a hidden hero who keeps the


blood flowing through the veins of the NHS. APPLAUSE Now, let's talk


rubbish. You do every day! Barely a day goes by without another rule


telling us how to put our bins out, recycling, it never stops. What is


it like for people who have to enforce our rubbish laws and keep


Britain tidy? This is a dream job for me. Meet the environmental


enforcement officers, or the bin cops. We are following the working


lives of bin cops from three different cities - in Preston we


will be with Gary and Paul. In Oxford Dan and Mandy. First in


Hereford, Craig. Craig likes to lead from the front. This morning


he's on litter patrol in Hereford town centre. The team was set up to


address environmental crime and part of that is obviously littering.


Now, with the team out and about, it makes a big difference. That is


what we are trying to do, make a difference. Just seconds into the


patrol, Craig's quick to the draw with his fixed penalty pad! I'm an


enforcement officer. You just put your cigarette butt on the floor


making no attempt to pick it up. That is littering. Is it Mrs, Miss?


That is an �80 fine reduced for quick payment but still an


expensive habit. Dropping a cigarette on the street became an


environmental crime in 1990. come round that corner, you know


they are going to be there. I don't miss much! It is not long before


Craig has two more smokers in his sights. Craig moves in for the kill.


Are we in trouble? You are. Your cigarette butt went down that drain.


The penalty? Another �80 fine for littering a water course. There are


plenty of bins nearby, positioned on the wall. There is a bin at the


far end. Then they walked away. At which point, I approached them,


pointed out the offence to them and they fully accepted it.


counties east, we are in Oxford, a city of dreaming spires and


Britain's brightest young brains. It seems the students aren't so


clever when it comes to rubbish. Mandy and Dan are a couple of


environmental enforcement officers and it is all about education,


education, education. We are with the council. Just noticed the bits


that you have got down here. Yeah. Any intentions on moving it? We had


it in the recycling bin. Somebody knocked it over. If you could get


it back into the recycle bin. If you can pile that back into your


recycle bin, that will be brilliant. In Oxford they only collect the


rubbish once a fortnight. We are going to go designer! It is an


offence to put your waste out too early, too late, in the wrong bin,


or in the wrong place. When bags appear where they shouldn't, Dan


and Mandy have to find out where the rubbish has come from so it is


on with the forensic gloves and time to dig for clues. We call it


bin diving! Bin dip! You have to make it slightly entertaining!


There's tissues in there covered in blood. This one smells of fish.


Hungry work this bin-dipping! want a grape? I will pass.


sure? Jiffy bag has been sent to one of the occupants of the flat


just here. They have identified a culprit from a letter. From one


small carrier bag we've so far got one, two, three, four-pieces of


evidence from it so definitely what we deem a good bag. The offender


could be prosecuted but Dan and Mandy are keen to talk to them


first before taking the matter further. But up in Preston, ex-


coppers Gary and Paul take a very different approach. Yes, it is


tough love up north. They have been called to a cemetery where rubbish


has been dumped. We will have a look now to see if we can find any


evidence. LAUGHTER It's a thong! While Gary searches for that


evidence, Paul speaks to the womans who house backs on to the site


where the rubbish has been dumped. How long has this been here?


claims to know nothing about it. Feel the weight of that! That is


one soiled nappy. To do that in a cemetery is just ridiculous.


have a bag here, it is a white bin bag full of household waste items,


you've got cardboard, cans, plastics. Then unfortunately, for


her, she's left a letter in it. I've got the evidence here. It's


got her address on. Got the tenancy date. It's got to be her. I have


proven her to be a liar. She had a brief moment in life where she


could have done the honourable thing and own up and maybe we might


have taken a different approach. Now that me and Gary have had to go


through this mess here, that is it, she will be prosecuted. It is


simple as that. Prosecution can mean anything from prison to a


maximum fine of �50,000. To come and dump waste in a cemetery is


just beyond contempt. Even in death, no peace! I like Gary and Paul.


They gave her a chance. She didn't. She didn't own up. As for Dan and


Mandy, clearing up after students, good luck with that! Yes. I like


Craig. He said he wants to make a difference. My dream scenario...


Too fast on the fines, it was only a cigarette! Only a cigarette? Made


of plastic which takes 500 years to decompose. As we saw there, make a


mistake with your rubbish, the bin cops will nick you. Stop smoking!


Makes me cool! What goes in what? I will make a four-course meal.


me run you through this. This is for paper and magazines. Clothing


and textiles, plastic bottles. Cardboard. Food waste inside,


outside. For the squirrels? Glass tins, foil, aerosol. Finally, your


general rubbish. I am a recycling queen. We have a responsibility to


recycle. This is too complicated and too much! But to be fair, North


Staffordshire council toed us this is an award-winning scheme which


has doubled the amount of recycling there. I think that people


shouldn't recycle. I think you pay your rates and then the council


should deal with it. Oh, I get it! People clear up after you? No, it


is not that. If the Government cared that much about it, they


would tell the supermarkets to make all packaging biodegradable instead


of trying to tax people who are finding it hard enough to make ends


meet. Personal! Personal responsibility! Earlier in the show,


Shaun Williamson launched our campaign to bring some of our much-


loved services starts with the bus conductor. We asked would you be


willing to pay an extra 25p on your bus fare to bring them back? We


will tell you later. The lines are now closed. We British like to


think that we are a helpful bunch but is it really true? Stanley


Johnson has been testing our public spirit with some hidden cameras.


What is it about? We are aiming to find out how helpful are we? Is


there a secret say mar tan in us? Are we still opening doors? We went


off with the secret cameras to Birmingham and we said just how far


can we push this? -- Samaritan. Let's see how he got on. My job is


to see how many shoppers will stop and help our actor Harry park this,


his beloved old banger, in the parking space. We are conducting


our experiment in the car park of a busy Birmingham shopping mall


during lunch hour. It's the perfect place to see if we British are good


eggs or are rotten stinkers. Here is Harry getting his car in


position. Already in character, he is making a complete pig's ear of


it! To record the experiment, we have got cameras hidden in the car,


our crew van, behind this window, and in this bag. I will be keeping


a close eye on the action nearby. Time to see if Harry can get anyone


to help. Excuse me, guys, you haven't got a minute have you?


Excuse me? You haven't got a second? You haven't got a minute


have you? Can you back me into here? Yes, no problem. I'm not very


good at parking. It's my wife's car. Frightened to death of banging it!


You think you would be able to get a bus in here! I will pull out a


bit. His charm has worked. She is guiding him in. OK? He is making a


hash of it. A complete hash. Straighten up. Is this kind lady


the only one who will help? Every single person he stops agrees to


help him. 16 of them no less. And only one of them laughed at Harry's


terrible parking. That is marvellous! But now for a bigger


test. Stop! I want to see if anyone will go the whole hog and park the


car for poor Harry. Can you drive? Yes. I don't want to take it.


you sure? Honestly. No, she is shaking her head at that one. Will


anyone get behind the wheel? Could you do it for me? No. You couldn't?


No. Can you drive? I have to get back to work. She is shaking her


head. Just when I was about to lose faith, bingo! Yeah. Jump out, I


will get it in for you. Cheers, mate. Oh dear. Don't worry. It is a


nightmare. She will kill me if I bang it! We have got it! He is not


You might have to Revitt, it keeps cutting out. Amazingly, eight out


of the 16 people agreed to drive a complete stranger's car. One final


test to see if anyone would go the extra mile. I will just get a


ticket, hang on. Harry disappears in search of a parking ticket. Just


watch it for me. She's getting out, wondering what has happened to


Harry. Where has he gone now? most people, it is a step too far.


He has wandered away. She doesn't want to wait. Can this be the end


of the story? No, it is not, because four Good Samaritans don't


give up on Harry. Where do you get the ticket? Free parking. I'm not


from round here. What made you stop? And nothing, he just seemed a


bit nervous so there is nothing wrong with taking five minutes to


help somebody. I generally always stop if somebody asks for my help.


This has proved the spirit of goodwill is a live in Birmingham


but right now I'm going to get a free lift back to the studio.


I have to say, it warms the cockles of my heart to think in this blame


culture that people would have a go at parking the car. I am not sure


where the cockles are! Just advising somebody to park a car,


moving left and right, if you go in reverse left and right, and getting


them to drive the car, it is magnificent. How many people would


take the trouble. It was a terrific example of how far people are


prepared to go. Eight people were prepared to do it. We wanted to


persuade somebody not just to look after the car but a drive Harry


home in his car but we couldn't get people to go that far. You are


going out doing more of this, what are you pushing for? We are pushing


what you might call the ultimate shopping experience. I don't go


shopping much, but we are going to see how far we can push people to


help other people shopping. We have been talking about getting a bus


conductor on, would you pay extra on the offer to bring them back?


would, because I am a cyclist, and I liked the bosses where you can


just hold on to the poll! Stanley Johnson! Rather surprisingly, one


of the words that didn't feature large on our Word wall earlier was


pot holes because one report estimate they could cause �320


million of damage to our cars every year, but which is the worst one in


Britain? Here are some of the candidates we have been tipped off


Some horrible ones in there. Every week we are going to be awarding a


trophy, this week it is the worst part hole in Britain. Isn't that


nice? We were going to award the trophy to this one on the A 20 in


sorry, because it is the worst I have ever seen, but we thought


about it and we have ruled it out because it has been repaired now.


More of the trench! The winner of the worst pothole is this one in


Bolton. In their defence, Bolton council said they have put in a new


code of practice, and this one is due for repair. What about the


other ones we have just seen? West Yorkshire council have said it will


be fixed on January 5th. Happy new year! Northamptonshire County


Council says they prioritise longer-lasting repairs, and that


has led to a 23% drop in reported defects. A lot of them blamed last


year's cold winter. Next week we will be handing out the award for


the worst road works in Britain and we are looking for nominations from


you. Is your rode the most dug up in Britain? Have you got roadworks


but no road workers? Tell us where to send our cameras. Now it is time


for the That's Britain news with the delightful Nick Knowles. Good


evening. Here are the headlines - if you are taking a black cab to


Oxford be careful what you say. CCTV cameras have been introduced


to taxes. The council says it is to protect drivers in case of attack.


We say we can't wait to see the taxi footage from all the Christmas


parties. The North Wales council has spent


�400,000 to put a carpet on a bridge used by horse riders, it is


claimed it is to stop the horses being scared by the sound of their


own hooves. The bridge is due to open in 12 days, it is already


proving a hit with the horses but not so much with the locals who


worry they will be saddled with the bill. That's why, when it was put


to the vote, some of them voted neigh. Finally, a shopper in a


Tyneside supermarket was almost band of do being told the limes


were a dangerous weapon. The till raised an alarm, and the assistant


said it was dangerous to buy more than one because the citrus could


damage people's lives. She was then told it was part of an elaborate


joke. The before we finished tonight, there has been a lot of


complaining on the show, and that is what it is about, but we should


also point out that Britain is a nation of unsung heroes. We don't


even know they exist, but if they weren't there, the nation would


fall apart. Meet the first of our hidden heroes. John Kirkwood runs


the largest blood processing centre in the world. My job means a lot to


me. I have been in the same job for 30 years because I really enjoy it.


I enjoy the fact that this organisation makes a difference to


people's lives, and gives me a real sense of achievement. At the NHS


blood and transplant centre supplies blood to hospitals across


the south every year. Half of Britain's hospitals rely on


supplies from this centre. order that has just come in his


from Cheltenham General Hospital, and it is due to be dispatched at 1


o'clock so we have to get moving. John and his team make sure every


drop of blood is screened so it is always safe. This will be


transfused within the next few days and it gives a higher level of


satisfaction to know you are helping to save lives. Here it is,


ready to go. If you look at the clock, we are 10 minutes early. I


don't think many people can say they do make a difference, but that


is what I like about the job. his dedication and others' that


keeps people alive. You can also be a hidden hero, and donate blood


yourself. Details of how to do that is on our website. Let's have a


look at tonight's final wall, these are the things that have been


bothering you the most. This is how it looked earlier. Dog poo, as


strikingly large! Junk mail, poor customer service... So, we can go


through and see how it has changed. Thousands and thousands of people


have been e-mail and, and a lot of it seems to be about dog poo, and


now it is even bigger! Cold call us, that is something we haven't talked


about. Slow drivers, bad driving, we will definitely be looking at


that in the coming weeks. Fuel prices. Fireworks, and speed bumps.


Some of these subjects we will take a lookout and bring report later in


the series. You have been getting in touch with your stories. Do we


have e-mails? One viewer says spitting is a horrible habit that


seems to be spreading. People should face fines if caught. I


agree with that. Bus conductors are a great idea but they need danger


money these days as there is no respect anymore. Margaret is


annoyed some councils recycle some plastics, others don't, it is


unacceptable. Let the council's speak to each other to ensure


recyclable things can be put in the bin. We asked do earlier if you


would be prepared to stump up more money on your bus fare to bring


back the bus conductor. The vote is in, and are we going to see a


return of the bus conductor? Let's have a look. Look at that! 81% said


yes! Come on! I am really chuffed. I think that says a lot. Do you


think it is the security? It is interesting your caller said they


would need protection. A lot of the lack of respect came when they took


away the uniformed jobs. If you bring them back, hopefully a new


generation of children would learn to respect them. When you think how


tight times are financially, even in this climate, people are saying


they will pay an extra 25% to have that security. The most vulnerable


people normally get their travel paid for, don't they? So, sorted.


am really buoyed up by that. Thank you to everyone who voted. That is


a fantastic result. It must be your chubby cheeks. Shaun Williamson,


the best bus conductor in the country! Sadly, that is the end of


the show. Thank you to everyone for getting in touch. You can keep e-


mailing for nominations for the worst roadworks. Thank you to Shaun


That's Britain is a warm-hearted studio show about the things in modern life that drive us round the bend - from road works to hospital parking charges, and from littering to overcrowded trains. Presented by Nick Knowles and Julia Bradbury, the show reveals how Britain works and attempts to make life a little better for everyone in the UK - or at least have fun trying...

In this episode Grainne Seoige tackles junk mail, Ade Edmondson follows the journey a suitcase makes though the airport system, Shaun Williamson tries to bring back bus conductors and Stanley Johnson highlights the amazing public spirit of the British public with a hidden camera experiment. We also try to find the worst pothole in Britain and celebrate the hidden heroes doing the jobs that keep Britain ticking.

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