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One of the most fascinating (and longest running) TV projects is back for a two-parter, as we returned to visit the five kids we first met when they were mere infants. And you thought your adolescence was tricky…
In a nutshell
A lot of people probably won’t remember, but Born To Be Different has been with us for quite a while. In an age of transitory, flash-in-the-pan pleasures, not to mention fleeting TV formats that last about as long as a TV exec’s sushi lunch, it’s rare – and refreshing – to find a sensitive, thoughtful, actually-important documentary that dares to play the long game. Consider the fact that this show originally hit our screens 15 years ago, when cameras first visited a number of young kids born with disabilities.
Since then, the filmmakers have returned periodically to see how things are going. See what we mean? This is ambitious programme making, and last night it was time to check in again, now that the kids are in full-fledged adolescence – never an easy period at the best of times. We caught up with William, who’s had to draw on incredible (indeed, unimaginable) reserves of strength to cope with having tuberous sclerosis, which has left him stricken with tumours. Watching him deal with more upsets – this time involving a kidney tumour – was almost too much to bear. But there was inspiration here too, notably for head girl wannabe Zoe, who wasn’t about to let inflexible limbs get in her way.
What's the verdict?
The kind of show that will shame you into never moaning about your life again, Born To Be Different is also a celebration of human resilience – here’s hoping there’ll be many more updates as the years go on.