Nick Knowles and Julia Bradbury present a look at modern Britain. Grainne Seoige tackles hospital car park charges and Ade Edmondson follows the journey of a letter across the UK.
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APPLAUSE AND CHEERING. Hello and welcome to That's Britain, the
programme that points the finger at the madness of modern day life.
From speed bumps to bankers' bonuses, we will look at what's
winding you up. On That's Britain tonight: Grainne Seoige looks at
sickening hospital car parking charges. Signed, sealed, but is he
delivered? Ade Edmondson tests the Royal Mail to its limits. Stanley
Johnson moves house with his hidden cameras. Are students as lazy as
they're painted? Our bin cops stop at nothing to bring down the fly-
tippers. APPLAUSE. All that and lots more
tonight. Let's say hello to the That's Britain team over there,
Grainne Seoige, D, -- Ade Edmondson and Larry Lamb. APPLAUSE AND
CHEERING. Now, tonight Larry is carrying on the fight to bring back
the personal touch to our lives and it's a tough one this evening. Last
week thousands of you told us how unhappy you were about petrol
prices, well this week can he convince you to pay pay even more
for fuel in order to bring back the petrol pump attendant? You will get
a chance to vote on that later. you have been a victim of bad
customer service and nobody's listening Jasper will take on your
case live, right here in the studio. Most importantly, we want your e-
mails on this show your words count. This is your word wall. We The wall
is actually talking back. You tell us what's driving you around the
bend and our computer turns your gripes into graffiti. So, we want
to know what's bugging you, call centres, bad drivers? It doesn't
matter what the topic is, we will send our crack team to investigate
for new future shows. Let's see what you have been letting steam
off about this week. There you go. So wind turbines, it was big on the
wall last week and now it's number one. In fact, I have to say Wye
have agreed with that last week, not because of how they look and
the noise, because I thought they didn't make much electricity and
pay off the cost and concrete. But I have been doing research and I
have changed my mind, I like them now and think they're a good thing.
They generate between 1-2% of electricity, so still small.
don't have to live next to them either. There are 3,000 turbines in
the country now but Chris Huhne announced he would like 32,000 more
over the weekend. Also NIMBYs is up there. Over here. It means not in
my back yard. Peter wrote in to say plans get put forward for roads to
be upgraded. The NIMBYs jump out in force. Housing estate gets put
forward and they jump out in force. Interesting we are asking somebody
to complain about things and somebody is complaining about
people complaining. Petrol prices and parking charges are there as
well. We will look at both of those items later. Stay tuned. We will be
updating the wall later. So keep the e-mails coming in. Remember, to
put the thing that's getting on your nerves in the title of the e-
mail and you can tell us why in the body of the e-mail but put the word
you want on the wall in the title space and no politics please or
people's names. Of course you can join in with everything we are
talking about by tweeting us or going to our Facebook I page. The
NHS is often held up as one of the glories of modern Britain. It's
supposed to be free at the point of delivery. But is it really free?
High parking charges, visiting a hospital can add insult to injury.
But a high -- are high charges the only way the NHS can cope with
demand? Grainne Seoige has been to find out.
You have been telling thaus hospital parking charges are
driving you mad. Some of you have been fined. Others have had to
choose between staying by a sick loved one or popping out to top up
the metre. If you are paying for parking every day of a long-term
period it can be very expensive especially if you have gone for
treatment. My father was in hospital and we were paying a
terrible amount of money between the family for car parking charges.
My mother was terminally ill and I was visiting her this year and I
went to visit and I didn't know how long I was going to be because she
was in surgery and I kept having to run tout my car -- run out to my
car to renew the metre. My son is two years old, when he was being
born it was impossible to get parking there. Just to see him for
the day would be �7 at a time. wife had surgery 18 months ago and
I was visiting her on a daily basis in hospital and it starts adding up
quite significantly. Karen is in remission from cancer. This has
involved multiple trips to various hospitals. Currently, she is a
patient at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead in north London. You
have been having treatment at this hospital, what have you been having
done? Specifically here I have been having reconstruction surgery.
a stressful this thing to go through, isn't it? Very stressful.
I mean, you know, you sort of have the first shock of being diagnosed
and all the preventive treatments, the operations and the chemotherapy.
It's a three-hour round trip for Karen on public transport so she
drives here, charging �6 for two hours parking make it is one of the
most expensive in England. The maximum time you can park is for
five hours at a cost of �15. How much does it cost to you park here
an hour? It actually starts at �3 here. How much money do you think
you have spent since since you were diagnosed? Sort of in the region of
�150, maybe over. It's something you really, really shouldn't have
to think about. Everything else that you are going through.
hospital is in the heart of trendy Hampstead and the hospital say they
charge for parking to stop shoppers from nabbing all the spaces. In the
Royal Free's case they claim they don't make profit. Though costs
remain at the high end of the parking scale. And charges vary
across the country. The cost of being sick for 24 hours in tkhorly
-- chorely is �1.50. When you turn up at a hospital you don't know
what the charge is going to be, though hospitals we have spoken to
say car parks cost money to run and charging means frontline services
don't suffer. Liz Humphrey also had breast cancer and she has made over
40 visits for treatment. Her local hospital, the Luton and Dunstable
charges �4 an hour for parking. When you get to the hospital and
you have been in and out many times, and there are charges, how do you
feel about that? I think that it is stressful enough going through all
the treatment and then to actually think that you have still got to
pay quite a bit of money for parking, you have to deal with it,
but it's not ideal. It doesn't sound user friendly, particularly
when you are in a situation where it's hard going, going in for
treatment and it's often not very pleasant. No, no. Liz has spent
over �100 on hospital parking fees, and it's not practical for her to
get there other than by driving. Plus, when she was an in-patient
her family made many visits to see her and they all had to pay to park.
For the Patients' Association charging people who are ill and
their visiting families for parking amounts to taking advantage of the
vulnerable. Some poor devil takes their tphaerest -- nearest or
dearest in when they can't get an ambulance quickly, they have no
change, they come out and have a ticket. If you have somebody in
there for a long time you might spend a a fortune, even though you
happen to be living on the breadline, you have to pay for
parking. Last year alone profits rose by 14 years and hospitals made
�32 million in profit from car parking charges. We have been told
that profits have been ploughed back into hospital services, and
that without them patient care could suffer. But the system
remains unpopular with those who think it's unfair and expensive. In
fact, there is no regulation covering how much a hospital can
charge to park. There is a charter which suggests charges should be
fair and proportionate but hospital trusts can now make that decision
for themselves T also seems to be very English problem. In 2008 the
majority of hospitals in Scotland and Wales scrapped their parking
charges, but they still exist in England. The Department of Health
told us individual NHS Trusts must be allowed to control car park
charging and the Government shouldn't interfere. So I went to
see the NHS Confederation to see what they had to say about it.
Trusts have to be very transparent about how they set their car
parking fees. Why isn't there a standardisation of the charges, why
is there such difference between what the hospitals charge people to
park? Some place it is may actually cost a lot more, say a city centre
hospital for to you run the car park. People feel it's a tax on
being sick. Really public transport isn't an option for them. Yet when
they park their car they're being made to pay to go into hospital.
And a lot of people can use alternatives to get there and
people need to consider those alternatives. And for people who
are attending frequently there will be concessionary schemes that
enable them to offset the cost so it's not costing them that much to
get to hospital. But with some Trusts making over �1 million
profit and one making over two, the the Patients' Association is having
none of it. It's an extra tax they're charging and they're not in
a position to tax anybody. The Government is, and therefore the
Government should do something about it.
This is a story I have covered before. Exactly how much
unhappiness did you encounter about this? This is such an emotive issue
for people because we have all either been to hospital or visited
somebody who has been there and whether you are the patient or you
are going in to see one of your nearest and dearest, nobody wants
to be there. They're there because they have to be and to have to pay
to be there or stress about the fact your car may be running out of
money is a terrible thing and people find it really outrageous
and frustrating that somebody belongsing -- belonging to them
could be ill and they are fretting about a car outside. Karen is
undergoing ongoing treatment for her breast cancer now and ongoing
charges as well. We were in touch with the hospital in Hampstead and
they said they do make allowances for groups. They say they're
concerned that Karen hadn't been informed of her parking entitlement
and they're looking into it. They would advise she contacts the
office to ensure she has free parking in the future and they're
committed to supporting the care of patients and needs of staff. I
suppose that goes for anybody who is attending a hospital on a
regular basis, make sure you contact them and find out if you
are entitled to parking concessions. David, you are attending a hospital
on a regular basis at the moment. There have been changes, what's
happening at your NHS Trust? We go - my wife and I go to Southport or
Ormskirk regularly and we were astonished and really put out to
discover that from the 1st November we would have to pay car parking
charges, even though we have a blue badge. You have a disabled blue
badge and now you are you are being charged to park as well. Absolutely.
It's customary everywhere throughout the country that people
with blue badges, because of the extra cost of disability, get that
concession and yet that has been snatched away from this group of
people, at the time of greatest need. What is this Trust saying in
response? We asked the hospital Trust which manages Southport for
an interview but we didn't get one. They sent a statement, they said
the cost increased in November, the first rise in more than two two
years. They said in common with other hospitals the Trust
introduced charges for blue badge holders. But they also said they're
already providing free parking for patients in receipt of certain
Government benefits and blue badge holders who receive the benefits
remain entitled to free parking. They say after we covered our
parking management costs all The Remaining money raised from parking
goes towards patient care. Most of the hospitals are keen to point
that out. But people are still having to pay. Not all hospitals
charge for disabled parking. Moving things on, David, you are trying to
persuade your Trust to change things through people power. People
power can work? Absolutely. Luton and Dunstable have reacted to
feedback. I will let you straight in. This is what they've said. From
January some short and long-term stays will be cheaper. They say
they've had to make difficult choices to protect frontline
services and all the parking money goes back to the budget. They say
the charges are necessary for safe parking and while they did increase
reluctantly the car parking charges in April for the first time in four
years there are a wide range of concessions available. David, we
are running out of time, but the best of luck with your campaign.
And you are taking on household energy bills next next week. Yes,
indeed. Thank you. APPLAUSE.
Obviously, hospital parking charges are an emotive charges. In 1955 the
health service cost 9%. Where else would you raise the money? Now,
moving on. Ade has been getting inside the machine that is Britain.
Where have you been this week? do you e-mail? I do. Do you text.
Tkoeu. Do you tweet? I do. Do you write letters. No, but Wye like to
It may surprise to you know that the Post Office delivers 62 million
letters a day. Around Christmas that goes up to 130 million letters
a day. A lot of people grumble about the price of a stamp but for
46p they promise to deliver something from one part of Britain
to the other end. So I decided to take them up on this, give them a
challenge. I decided to post a letter in south-east England and
follow it all the way to north-west Scotland. Who is going to get there
first? Me or the letter? The race is on. Let's see how you got on.
We all like to moan about the mail. First class doesn't guarantee next
day delivery, the postman never rings twice and don't get me
started on the cost of a stamp. I mean, how hard can it be to send a
letter? Well, to find out we are going to
follow my little letter on an amazing 500-mile journey. It's
going to be travelling by lorry, plane, by boat, even by foot. All
the way from this little postbox in Surrey, to Scotland.
Hello, Mrs McCullOch. Here is hoping. The first step is the
easiest. The postman arrives, puts letter in bag, and there it is.
Look, there is our letter. And it's on to Britain's largest
mail centre in Gatwick. So far, so simple. But this is
where our post starts to get all technological. Welcome to the belly
of the beast. It's the size of two and a half football pitches. 650
people work here. It's one of 59 Most of the work here is carried
out by imps. No, not nasty devils with pointy sticks and shiny tails,
integrated mail processors. They may sound like huge impersonal
machines, but they have got names. Look, Milly, and this one is Sue.
The first job is to eat all the letters, digesting them inside a
huge drum. Thin letters fall through the gaps. Anything larger
than six millimetres gets spat out. I mean anything. What are the most
unusual things you have had through the post? The most unusual is we
had a piece of toast. An actual piece of toast, with the address on
it? Yes, wrapped in a plastic bag ah, dress on it and a stamp. Mmm...
Toast! The next job is to weed out large flat items like A4 envelopes
and magazines. With a ramp called a salmon leap. Where's the little
salmon? Oh, there's one. All the remaining fish swim to another part
of the machine, a computer that reads and photographs at dresses of
ten letters a second or 35,000 an hour. It can read even the most
terrible handwriting, so doctors and teachers can use the Royal Mail
as well. The only snag is it can't read letters that are upside down.
Machines! But the solution is this little sensor here. It's kind of
got a nose that sniffs out the stamp. If the letter is the wrong
way up, it flips it over. Excellent. The whole process works in perfect
harmony, until this happens. And when it does, there's Martin.
Martin's job is to work out the destination of those letters which
aren't properly addressed. This one here is a lady who's move add way
somewhere in West Sussex. Harding, moved away, West Sussex.
That's straight off someone's computer. And this one. Thaiz
cracker. I think I might have sent that one.
My letter has now got a plane to catch. I know what you're thinking,
we're right by Gatwick Airport, but no, this is Britain. For some
inexplicable reason my letter will get onit a lorry and go 70 miles
round the M25 to Stansted. At Stansted, the mail gets loaded onto
one of Royal Mail's 64 charter flightsment -- flights. It touches
down in Edinburgh about 10.30. It's met by a red postal lorry, raced
through the night to Glasgow, sorted, again and driven to the
ferry port. It's a very -- it's very early in the morning. I'm in
the ferry port and it is a little chilly. Here's my ride to the
island. Bang on 7.35, the van hits the ramp. It's almost the last leg
of our odyssey. Mrs Mcculloch is Hello there. Are you Seve. I'm
hoping you have my letter in the bag there. Can I get in and we'll
go to the sorting office? It's only a ten minute drive. My letter's
been travelling now for more than 20 years. I feel like Jess the
little black and white cat # Postman Pat and his black and
white cat." I can see my letter. My letter's sorted for the last time.
I think I'm putting them all in the wrong holes. I'm in for a long day,
if you have. Without even as much as a cup of tea, I'm off to meet
Mrs M. Hello. Good morning. Are you Mrs
McCulloch. Yes. Stkpwhri brought you a letter. -- I brought you a
letter. It's from me. What does it say? Please may I have some
breakfast? May I? I would like a cup of tea, sausages, bacon, black
pudding..., marvellous, where should I sit? Oh, are you cheeky.
have to ask the big question, how good was breakfast? It was odd. She
gave me sausage rolls and chocolate rice crispy cake things, which I
think almost passes for health food. I'm only joking. Now the imps are
absolutely incredible. Smelling machines? I know it's very
efficient. As a controlled experiment I posted ten other
letters at the same time in different boxes. Guess how many got
to their destination the next morning? Ten. Yes! You're right.
Martin with the unaddressed, did he get any of those to their homes?
corrects a lot of them. The one that's are completely stupid. They
go to a unit in Belfast, licensed to open letters and decide where to
put it. Nice they make the effort though. There's an upper tier, I
love that, professional letter openers. You hear of letters that
get posted and are lost in the system for years and years. You've
got an extraordinary example. Earlier this year, Margaret got a
post card, not very unusual, you might think. But it was posted in
1954. This is the post card. It was sent by her sister-in-law, on her
way to Malaysia. She stopped off and posted this in modern day Yemen.
The first line of the post card says, "I am very hot." I like that
the card was made in Britain. reached Preston in 57 years after
it was posted. Sadly, four years after the sender had died. What
happened to it. Where has it been? I asked Royal Mail about this, they
say they don't have loads of mail hanging about. It's usually the
case it's been misdelivered in the first place and it's taken a long
time for someone to re-post it. If you are at home and have lovely
post cards or a love letter from someone else, pop it in the post.
It might make someone's day. Your final mission next week? About
Christmas, what's the most important thing? Santa. Brusel
sprouts. That's right. I'm going to follow the logistics that
supermarkets go through to get all the ingredients for our Christmas
dinner into the supermarket in time for the perfect lunch. Very good.
Our inside, Ade Edmondson, everybody am -- everybody.
APPLAUSE Now That's Britain has been trying
to bring back the people and jobs that have been replaced by
technology and cost cutting. So far you've agreed. Viewers who voted
said they would be prepared to bring back milkmen and bus
conductors. This one this week might be trickier. Last week you
told our word wall in your thousands that the thing annoying
you the most is the cost of filling up at the petrol station. Can Larry
Lamb persuade you to pay more if it means we bring back the petrol pump
attendant. I think you might be a lamb to the slaurt on this one.
Here we go again, an almost empty tank. Normally I'm all for self-
service, even for me there are times when I don't want to get out,
it's freezing cold, it's rainy, you pulled up on the wrong side of the
pump. You pull the nozzle over and it won't reach. Then you can't get
the cap straight back on. You get in to pay and you've left your
wallet in the car. Perhaps it's time to bring back the forecourt
attendants, hey? A bit of service in the service station. When I
started driving, a visit to the petrol station was a much more
personal experience. There was someone who filled up your tank,
cleaned your windscreen, checked the oil, water and pressure of your
tyres and sent you off with a smile. Well, a man can dream, can't he?
Today, I'm going to be turning back the clock totz time whlz we used to
have petrol pump attendants. I'm going to fill people's tanks.
Nobody has to get their hands dirty because it's down to me. Do the
great British public want petrol pump attendants back? And more
importantly, at 4p a litre on top of the price, are they prepared to
pay? Come on, come and get serve add long here. Shall I just fill it
up? �35. We're trying to find -- to find out whether people think it's
a good idea to have attendants, what do you reckon? I think it
would be nice. I think the older generation would like it. Maybe
quite a lot of women might like that. This is the tricky bit. I
went a penny over. Don't worry. Lovely to talk to you. Thank you.
Nice to meet you. Maybe I've got a talent for this. Come up to the
first pump here. Perfect. Here's my key. We are finding out about how
people feel about having their car filled up by an attendant,
especially with a car like this. With my personal service, the
queues were building. The last lady thought they had a special on lamb!
Come on. I hate this. Do you? much prefer to have my car, sit in
my car and have it done. This is going to be really sexist. Go on.
Women, it would be a good idea. Most of them ain't a clue where the
water goes. Fascinating people's responses.
People want the service but are they prepared to pay for it. If
garages employed attendants on the minimum wage you would whack on 4p
a litre. How do you feel about the concept of pump attendants, you'd
be speaking about another 4p a litre? As long as my company pays I
don't mind. Diesel is dear enough as it is. You have to pay extra.
It's dear enough as it is. Once again back to the money side.
You're diesel? I might even tip you. Thank you very much. I need a �5
scratchcard. That's my day on the pumps almost over and what have I
learned? The main thing is it's price. Everybody likes the idea of
the service, but the minute you start to talk to them about 4p a
litre on top, it doesn't seem quite Here to make his case in person is
former East Ender and Mr Larry Lamb. I was going to say it's not like
acting, but it is in a way. It's a performance. Yes, you're with the
public. There's an element of entertainment. I remember going to
stations and having the crack with the people who served it. You still
do in the country in different places around the world. It's, if
you're going to do it, you have to be prepared to have that
interchange. That's the thing that I liked about it. I have to say, I
did that job for about three months when I was 17. I filled up Bob
Monkhouse's Jaguar. My boss used to say, you're talking too much and
slowing down the traffic. Absolutely. That's what people want.
They want to have the crack. think you're right. Was there
difference between men and women in how they responded?
More women are interested in it. It all levels out when you talk about
the fact it's going to cost money. That's the thing, petrol is so
expensive. People complain about it all the time. 60% of it on tax to
the Government. How will you convince people it's worth chucking
3p on the price of a litre. You're not. You can talk to everybody and
most people when you spoke to them, they're all for the idea. They like
it. Young people that have never experienced it before rather liked
it. I had people who were bemused, what you mean there were people who
served you petrol. They've never seen it. They suddenly realised
they'd missed out on something. You're not selling it. We're not
going to win this. I have a feeling, the problem is that the technology
is advanced. What you're trying to do is attach something from the
past to a modern form of what we do with something else. Thank you for
making your case so well in favour the public think. Larry Lamb, thank
you very much. APPLAUSE
There you go, Larry says bringing back petrol pump attendants would
cut queues and brick a friendly face back into our lives. Would you
pay an extra 4p a litre to your fuel to bring back petrol pump
attendants. This is an extra �2 for We'll bring the results later on. A
few e-mails that have been coming in. David has an issue with
spelling errors and poor grammar, the result, he says, of spell
checker and failed education system. A few e-mails on bad grammar. This
is the only one with no spelling errors. Colin says "Why not put 25p
on the national insurance contribution and do away with
hospital parking charges. We will all use the hospital at some time."
Still to come: The bin cops take on the fly-tippers. The hidden camera
house move traps more secret se mare tans. And the hidden hero who
How can we change something that we are not happy with or get people
with power to take us seriously? It seems not many of us know how to
complain properly. I am hopeless at making complaints. I think because
I am British. I feel if I have one and it's quite justified I don't
mind complaining. I won't complain in restaurants because I don't like
people knowing that I am complaining about them when they're
handling food n case they spit in it or tamper with it in some way.
People don't like it when you make complaints, they make you feel
uncomfortable like you shouldn't have done that. If something's not
right you have to say something. How are they going to improve their
service if they're not aware of the problem. Now, I am a stroppy cow
and I always complain but am I doing it properly? I am going to
find out, here to tell us how to get the treatment we deserve is a
man who always gets what he wants, Mr Jasper Greenson. Jasper has
written over 5,000 letters of complaint and three books. He is
the complainer and he does this not for money, but for love. How did
you become a master complainer? suppose I like writing letters and
don't like injustice and it's very heartwarming when you get a good
result. What do you consider a great result, what is one of your
successes? Actually helping a chap who was very poorly-sighted, who
was elderly, who had been missold double double glazing and I got his
money back for him. It's very satisfying when you make a good
complaint. What do we do wrong in this country, why don't we complain
efficiently all the time? We are very bad complainers. We are
whingers and we don't complain effectively. Complaining
effectively is about communicating and expressing yourself clearly.
Quick example, my beloved wife tripped up at a petrol station,
smashed her tooth, rang me on the mobile, within half an hour the
entire main board of that petrol company had had the letter and we
got a quick result. Because you sent it to the right people.
Absolutely. That's a key thing, get through to the right people? That's
a good point. You have to be communicating with somebody who is
going to care about your complaint and usually that's somebody at the
top of the organisation. I on one occasion took the ultimate example
there, complained to the Pope. Copied to Cardinal Hume and the
following day the Cardinal's assistant sorted the thing out. The
ultimate complaint, never heard from the Pope's boss. You got a
response. Some of our viewers have been in touch with some problems.
The first is from Diane from the West Midlands. I recently had a
nightmare holiday on a a cruise liner. They lost my luggage on day
one and all the clothes I had was the clothes I was wearing. I didn't
receive my luggage until 11 days after I returned home. The company
have offered me �150 towards the next cruise with them themselves,
my holiday was a complete nightmare without my luggage and I want my
money back. What should tkoeu? I do? She has complained and not
happy with the response. Nightmare scenario, her cruise was ruined.
She didn't have any clothes. That's a bad one, obviously. She needs to
grab the attention of the company concerned. How do you do that? Come
at them left of field. I have written letters in medieval style,
blackmail style, all sorts of things. In this case I would try a
low em-- poem. And I got a poem back. Will you write for Diane?
will be delighted. Next, Helen from Wales and she has a issue.
received a large number of text messages, but when I have had my
bill they are service messages and I have been charged �280. I have
complained to the phone company and to the people that sent these texts
and nobody seems to want to help. The company behind them have
offered me �125 as a goodwill gesture. It still leaves me �125
out of pocket. What should I do to get my money? Unsolicited text
messages, deeply annoying and very expensive. She's already gone down
the route of getting in in touch with two different people.
things, don't bother ringing, it's a strange thing with telephone
companies, you can't get through. Silly that! Haven't they got enough
phones? If the company is reputable they will respond pos toeufl --
positively. Failing that, sue in the small claims court, it's there
for ordinary people. There is a chance this could and serious fraud
situation or similar situation. That's possible. You are saying
take it as far as you can. Indeed. Thank you very much. Keep sending
your problems in and we will get our complainer to give you the best
advice he can and if you think the advice isn't up to the mark you can
always complain to him, try a poem maybe.
Are we a selfish and unhelpful nation? Stanley Johnson is on a
mission to prove we are not with his hidden cameras. Will students
in Leeds live up to the stereo type and not help a damsel in distress?
The challenge is to see how many people will help Jennifer our
actress load up her possessions into a removal van. She is going to
ask them to become her own removal van men or women. To cover the
action we have cameras hidden inside this bag, in the house, and
inside the removal van. I will be watching this moving drama on a
monitor from our specially blacked out van. It's a bit grim up north
today. Windy, rainy and cold. Hardly the ideal conditions to stop
busy students racing home to play on their PlayStations or, Heaven
forbid, go to a lecture. Let's see how Jennifer gets on. Jennifer has
been waiting ten minutes now. Excuse me, could ski a big favour.
--. Could I ask a big favour. has her unsuspecting victim. Could
you you help me get my sofa into the back of the van. He stopped
without hesitation. It's a bit manky, sorry. It goes into the van,
heavy sofa. Do you mind helping me with a box there? Next, two things
we placed 50 feet down the road. Handle with care. Thank you so much.
She's getting him back to do the chest of drawers now. I have ruined
your afternoon. The van's nearly full. But little does the poor chap
know his work is not over yet. have one more thing. Would you
mind? That's OK. Are you sure? OK. Apart from this chap, four other
people were more than happy to help Jennifer load all the things into
the the van. Although with one of them, it was touch and go whether
they would ever get that sofa in. Left a bit, right a bit. Totally
brilliant. Sofa, chest of drawer, book case, where will it end? Not
there. Next, can she get any of our five Samaritans to wait while she
goes back to the flat. Do you mind staying with it for two two ticks?
Is that all right? We will be pushing them as far as we can. He
is taking out his phone now. Sorry, dear, I am going to be late, is no
doubt what he is going to text. That's three minutes gone. Five
minutes. Jennifer has yet to emerge. Eight.
A certain amount of tkpwrupl tkpwrupl -- grumpiness is setting
Nearly ten minutes have passed and not one of Jennifer's helpers has
legged it. Time to put the poor chaps out of their misery. Well,
not totally out of their misery. Thank you. There's one final big
ask. Is there any chance you would come with me and help me at the
other end, really quickly. She's literally, up Victoria Road. I have
a deadline to hand in today and I need to print it off and take it
back to uni. I could drop you off. Sorry, I have to go. OK. All right.
Thanks anyway. Thank you for your help with this much. That's a very
polite no. Essay crisis, no doubt. What about this chap? Thank you so
much. Yeah, I have one more ask. But it is a big one. Sorry. OK.
dear. Looks like we have reached the limit of people's kindness.
Thank you. Have a good day. Literally just whip us around, down
to the end of Victoria Road. It's getting dark and this one also
looks like a no. Sorry about that. OK, don't worry. But wait, hang on.
She's not giving up that easily. would be really grateful if you
could. How long will it take do you think? About five minutes. That
will be fine. Are you sure? You are amazing, thank you. This is it.
This is the jackpot. Well done, Leeds. Talk about moving, well, I
am moved too. Another two people also went the
extra mile. What this afternoon shows is people
really will go out of their way to help. Moving is thirsty work, I am
going to drink my tea and leave these guys to clear up.
APPLAUSE. Stanley, so far so good, very good
joke. Enjoyed that. You used your technique again of using young
ladies to good effect, rather than asking yourself. Are we happy with
the students of tomorrow, is Britain going to be a bright and
cuddly place? I was worried when I set off for Leeds. I was worried so
I thought these students, are they going to be helpful? They're going
to be much too busy, they might even be studying, I thought. If
they're not partying they're going to be revolting, revolting against
the savage cuts. But they just came up - they played a brilliant game.
Not only as it were they helped her - helped her drawers, sorry. Let's
move on. Helped the drawers into the van. They got her drawers into
the van. Let's move away from drawers, Stanley. On the other
subject, are you much of a complainer yourself? I never
complain. My view of life is, I am being serious now, we have it so
easy in this country. I spend a lot of time travelling around the world
seeing people almost have nothing to eat. Why should we complain?
What are you up to next week? topical event, we are going to
Bradford and we are going to have a festive event and I want to tell
you something... We haven't time, Stanley. Our little lady Jennifer
is going to get her claws into Santa. That should be interesting.
Can't wait to see what happens. APPLAUSE.
He is priceless. Now, earlier the lovely Larry Lamb had the job of
trying to persuade to you pay more for your fuel to bring back the
petrol pump attendant. For now, the vote is closed. Please don't vote
any more as you will be charged but your your vote won't count. Now
it's been a busy week here on That's Britain, and here is sa
roundup of what's been happening with your host Nick Knowles. Thank
you very much. Ever wondered what really makes us happy? You need
wonder no more, a new survey commissioned by the Government can
answer the question. After exhaustive research they've
discovered we are all happier if, wait for it, we have a job, good
health and cash in our pocket. But you might be less happy when you
discover how tfp costs them and therefore to us come up with this
startling revelation, over the next four years the survey will cost �2
million. A Government spokesman told us the survey helps us make
sure decisions on policy and spending are made in a balanced way
but will help people with the big decisions about their own lives.
Finely, -- -- in scenes reminiscent of a heist movie tworbgs women were
caught on CCTV loading their car with �400 worth of booze stole
tprpb a supermarket. They made to make their escape. The plan was
full-proof with one exception, they forgot to put petrol in their car.
So they enlisted an innocent passer-by to help push the car full
of stolen booze to the petrol station where they made their
escape, unaware it had been caught on camera. The dozy thieves were
caught and prosecuted after after trying to steal more booze from
another supermarket. That's the news from around That's Britain.
You might think fly-tipping is where people dump their rubbish
everywhere apart from the bin. But in parts of the country leaving
your rubbish out on the wrong day is fly-tipping. But there are
environmental enforcement officers. In Preston in North West England,
Gary and Paul have been called to deal with a problem at one of their
recycling sites. Welcome to our world. Good God. The bins are
nowhere near full, but people have dumped bags of rubbish on the floor.
It's a very hard process I know. We're asking a lot. But, no, they'd
sooner dump it on the floor and get a council officer to come along and
do exactly what they could do in seconds, put it in the bin. Fair
play to them, they've tied it up in more sons bags, well done. We'll
give you a point for that. But then it's the old, what shall I do with
that? Shall I put it in a bin or go to the recycling site and throw it
on the pavement? I'll do that. used nappy is not recyclable.
Neither are pizzas, chicken legs, sa mosas and old tellies. If we can
find any addresss in this lot, we will per sue them. They will get a
fixed penalty ticket. We will not put up with this. We have birthday
cards there. We have bags and bags of cans. We've got takeaway pizzas.
This is possibly somebody who has just celebrated a birthday. He has
a good time on his birthday. It's my birthday today and I end up
going through bags of (BLEEP). finds evidence on a wrapper. They
are leaving all their details. There you go. I'll have that.
Even someone who has gone to the trouble of shredding their
documents isn't beyond the long arm of the law. We'll keep that one for
evidence. This affects people's lives to. Get hold of these people
and make them pay for it, nothing better.
Before they can get hold of anyone, they have to work through the
evidence they have. I do love jigsaws, especially when there's
the potential of sending somebody a love letter, giving the
opportunities to pay a little fine. Paul is piecing together a letter
found at the dump in the hope that he will hit the jackpot with a name
and address. It is what you call doged determination. But will it
bring results? Fplgts the one little bit of paper that I need to
complete the jigsaw is missing. That's the bit with his address on.
He lives to dump another day I suppose. Undeterred he moves onto
another suspect's rubbish and even more intricate puzzle. Now for the
huge jigsaw. I need to patiently go through these to find anything that
might give us a clue. persistence pays off. Now I've got
first name, surname and an address. Important news about changes to
your account. Yeah they'll be getting some important news from me
shortly. They will have an �80 fine coming. Armed with a name and
address, Paul heads out to confront the suspect. Good afternoon, could
it be Mr Davis. That's right. That's a picture... Oh, well it
were all fastened up. I've unfastened the bag to see what's in
it. That's the first time I've ever put anything there actually. We are
investigating that as an overall complaint of fly-tipping. Oh, right.
And you're part of the problem. Sorry. The probltd is that we have
to consider whether or not you should get a fixed penalty ticket.
Sorry about that. He saw the rest of the bag there's and thought well,
everybody else is dumping, so why shouldn't I. If you put stuff there
tidily, there should be no problem. It's a bit much when the council
comes round knocking at your door. Even hard-nosed Paul has a pang of
conscience about issuing a ticket to the pensioner. This man may not
have dumped chicken legs and pizzas on the floor of the recycling point,
but leaving shredded paper there is still technically an offence.
try to balance things and think well, should I let him off with a
warning. In this instance, it's highly likely that the decision
will be that he gets a fixed penalty ticket. In fact, you'll be
pleased to hear that the pensioner you saw there was not fined. But
you might be appalled to hear he was given an official caution. It
seems to be heavy handed when he's packaged up his rubbish, taken it
down to the place and the only reason he didn't put it in, is that
he was worried it would blow away. Yet they've cautioned him. They had
to make a judgment call, and that was not to fine him, warn him
instead. Our bin cops might be on borrowed time. This looks like a
speed camera, but it's an ought mauted -- automated anti-fly-
tipping device. Imagine I'm going to be a fly-tipper here and
demonstrate. I'm going to illegally dump rubbish. That's handy. What
happens is you're strolling along when all of a sudden... Stop, if
you are fly-tipping or committing any other illegal act, your photo
has been taken and will be used to prosecute you. Leave this area now.
LAUGHTER It really is very aggressive. If my
mum before she passed on, had walked past that, would it would
have scared the day lights out of her. It will store your picture,
even if you're innocently walking past it. We have so much CCTV
already, and I'm afraid that the expansion of CCTV hasn't been
covered by legislation, what is that going to be used for. When you
ask people in this country, they feel safer than anywhere else
almost in the world because of the number of cameras. The other thing
to remember is fly-tipping is a massive problem. It costs �100
million a year. If you don't know what this is used for, ten years
down the line, oh, you haven't paid your tax bill. Oh, by the way, this
is the second time you're into this cake shop. Britain was one of the
first countries in the world to supply its population with clean
drinking water from the tap, all the way back in the 19th century.
With reservoirs getting empty year on year it's a tough job keeping us
all watered. Meet another hidden hero, the man whose job it is
literally to turn on the water works. Dave Reynolds supplies 2.6
billion litres of drinking water to nine million people every day.
an extremely satisfying job. I've always been interested in water.
I'm a fisherman at heart. I spent most of my childhood sitting by a
river. Moving to the water industry was just what I wanted to do.
is a water quality manager for South East England. He makes sure
that the drinking water we take for granted is 100% safe. What we do is
one of the greatest advances in public health. Our customers can
trust their water supply not to make them ill. 147 years ago that
wasn't the case. -- 100 years ago that waents the
case. Dave and his team test two million water samples every year.
They're looking for dangerous bugs or kaemicals that may contaminate
the water supply. There are 100 people doing critical work here.
Today's job is to ensure there are no bacteria in the samples. I've
just added food for bacteria to grow on. I'm mixing it up. The next
stage will be to put it in an incubator to allow the bugs to grow
if they are there. I find this quite exciting, because I am a
scientist at heart. So actually seeing science put into practice is
something I really enjoy. As you can see, all of these customer
samples have no colour change in them, so have no bugs in them.
another successful day at work for Dave. It's really pleasing going
home at night to know we've done a good job, but nobody's really
thinking about us and we're doing it in the background. Keeping
millions of people supplied with safe drinking water is what makes
Dave a true hidden hero. APPLAUSE
I have to say, I've travelled with Comic Relief and you as well, where
there isn't fresh water. The illness... We take it for granted.
It is an extraordinary thing to have clean water. Earlier we asked
whether you'd pay an extra 4p a litre of fuel to bring back the
petrol pump attendant. Tough one this. Do you think you've pull
today off? No way! Well the votes are in, so let's see if you are
prepared to bring back the petrol pump attendant, has Larry done us
You were talking too much, love. know, that's what it was.
Officially we have to say you are the first person not to pull that O
you were up begins it. It's the cash isn't it. That's it. It's the
cash. It's the cash that counts. all like someone to chat to at the
station, but it's not going to happen here. Thank you Larry.
Thanks to everyone who voted. Thank you so much to the wonderful Larry
Next week, Angela Rippon will champion her own personal bring
back passion. Now to see how the word wall has changed from the
beginning of the show. You e-mail us with what's ticking you off and
we turn your moans into a grumble pudding. This was earlier. There we
go. Earlier it was wind turbines, petrol prices, parking charges.
Now? Since you've been inundating us, let's see what the change is.
In the middle, hospital parking charges. Interesting, the
Government says today if hospital parking charges were to be scrap
today would cost an extra �100 million. Where would that come
from? Cold calling is a worry. The amount of cold calling that goes on,
you can understand why that's appeared. Car insurance is
something else reappearing. Interesting stat about that. It
costs -- costs are up 40% now. But crashes caused by injury are down
30%. Possibly because of the amount of cold calling from people saying
"Would you like to make a claim" Which is putting up claims. What
else, customer services. You know, what I think we have to call it a
day. Very interesting stuff though. That is it tonight. Keep sending
your grumbles to the word wall. It changes every day. See if you can
make your bug bear onto the show. We're back at the same time next
week for our final show. Thank you to everyone for getting in touch.
Thank you for your stories and e- mails. If you've had bads customer
service and don't know how to get satisfaction, send us your problem.
Go to the website. Thanks to our complainer who managed to finish
his poem for our viewer Diane. Diane Jasper is sending the poem to
That's Britain is a warm-hearted studio show about the things in modern life that drive us round the bend - from queues to fuel costs, and from airport check-ins to fly tipping. 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 epsiode, Grainne Seoige tackles hospital car park charges, Ade Edmondson follows the journey of a letter across the UK, Larry Lamb tries to bring back petrol pump attendants and Stanley Johnson highlights the amazing public spirit of the British with a hidden camera experiment. We also try to find the worst queue in Britain and celebrate the hidden heroes doing the jobs that keep Britain ticking.