Social activist Darren McGarvey ‘crosses over the tracks’ and back again in this new series which takes a thought-provoking and entertaining look at social class in the 21st century.
Over the course of four hour-long episodes, he dons tweeds at Lauriston Castle, goes out on a grouse moor, and gets acquainted with cricket and polo, and meets a young social activist of the next generation Erin, an inspiring teenager who helped force the government to change their policy on how exam grades were awarded during the pandemic.
Darren goes to Scotland’s oldest council estate in Dundee, talks to gambling addicts, gets into the nitty-gritty of rural landownership and working life in a call centre, and talks to people from many walks of life and experience including a butler and Scotland’s first home-grown billionaire Tom Hunter.
Meeting a wide range of people Darren confronts the existence and impact of social class in Scotland today, challenging his own perceptions of class along the way.
Darren said: ‘I have spent a lifetime railing against the middle classes… but I am at a crossroads. In this series I’m seeing how others live and I’m starting to question my own social class.
‘So is class a thing in the 21st century? Are we all born equal or are some born more equal than others?’
This new series follows his much acclaimed Darren McGarvey’s Scotland series on BBC Scotland which looked at poverty, giving a much-needed perspective from people living the life at the sharp end, which in turn evolved from his award-winning book Poverty Safari. Like Darren McGarvey’s Scotland, this new series has been made by Tern TV, with award-winning filmmaker Stephen Bennett.
The first episode, which opens with him in a suit at Lauriston Castle, is titled Identity Crisis. Beginning with a linguist examining Darren’s accent, this journey quickly spirals out into an authored examination of the impact of social class today and Darren’s own identity crisis. A fun session of croquet is off-set with an interview with a voice-over coach who helps people change their accents, a challenging discussion with a butler about class, and look at marriages across the class divides.
Darren McGarvey’s Class Wars is a four-part series starting on Tuesday 9 February on BBC Scotland, from 10-110pm.