mon 22/07/2024

Peckham Finishing School For Girls, BBC Three | reviews, news & interviews

Peckham Finishing School For Girls, BBC Three

Peckham Finishing School For Girls, BBC Three

The class war is on a reality roll: Peckham and Home Counties' lasses eyeball each other out

Posh girl Catriona (right) with her 'Peckham sister' Sarahcredit: BBC

We know the format: take a bunch of posh, privileged types - held up as examples of cluelessness when it comes to how “ordinary” people live by privileged, overpaid TV executives - and plonk them down in the middle of some dodgy council estate. Remove their credit cards and give them £6.50 to last a week. Watch as they baulk at the amount of cash their new, jobless neighbour manages to spend on fags, kebabs and the occasional drug habit.

Watch as they wonder how to react to the plight of a harassed single mother in a mouldy one-bed flat who’s railing against immigrant families being given“five-star” treatment by the local council. And then watch with uneasy amusement as they manage to make complete tits of themselves. Not even their public school charms can save them in the “real” world.

We saw it recently on Channel Four’s Tower Block of Commons, where a bunch of “hapless” MPs were packed off to their new high-rise digs in different parts of the country. Except for Mark Oaten, whose notoriety extended to those who could barely tell you who was leading the country, few of the locals knew who these privileged infiltrators were. I imagine we were meant to read such ignorance as “disenchantment with politics”.

And so now, from the same TV staple, though on the not-so-prime BBC Three, comes Peckham Finishing School For Girls - which sounds even trashier than ITV’s From Ladettes to Ladies, which is kind of the territory we’re talking about but in reverse (gaw, I never realised I was such a sucker for this particular reality class-war format).

So this was the deal: four Home County gals are paired off with four hard-faced Peckham gales for this new three-parter - so instead of jolly japes with hockey sticks, we get self-defence lessons on how to disarm someone coming at you with a knife. And we also get an insight in how to dress “appropriately”, ie not in pink Alice bands like posh, polo-playing Catriona, but in the latest “street” fashion from Primark (one posh girl, Claire, mimicked the look by pulling her hair back tightly to give the wind tunnel effect, while another asked where the bracelet-sized hoop earrings were).

And were these HCGs (to give them their homie tag) apprehensive? You bet they were. The build-up as the camera slowly panned the mean streets of Peckham Rye made even this viewer want to cower behind the settee (or sofa, if, unlike me, you’re not a South London girl with more than a nodding acquaintance with the area). There were hoodies skulking on every street corner, pit bull terriers straining like potential mad dogs against every leash, bad boys on bikes calling out “I want to beat the whitey”, which apparently means “I want to have sex with that white girl”. But worse still - at least for the posh girls who huddled ever more tightly together for comfort - there were skinned goat’s heads heaped in a pile. Yes, that’s right - shiny pink and with bulging eyes and huge, cud-chewing teeth and lolling tongues, spotted at one of the African food stores. Only one of the girls, the sensible, committed-Christian Serena, was prepared to show any genuine interest in such unusual ethnic fare, rather than merely squeal with mild hysteria.

So how did they end up getting on with their Peckham “sisters”?  There were the usual noises - from Claire and Catriona - about benefit scroungers, single mums and “my taxes". But, when it came to face-to-face time, the posh girls did, on the whole, make an effort, while the Peckham contingent - particularly bi-polar Sarah and sucked-on-a-lemon-features Kerri - eventually fell into what seemed like the default position of defensive and aggrieved. They felt “disrespected” due to some fairly innocuous remark made by one of the poshees about bullying and public schools and walked off in a huff. The posh girls, meanwhile, had largely learned the benefits of holding back and taking it on the chin, even though they’d been “dissed” themselves. The trailer for next week, however, promises a fight-back. Yay.

As someone who went to a Peckham “finishing” school myself (for ladies of a rather wayward disposition - I think you‘d call it a referral unit) I watched this programme with obvious interest. I can personally vouch that Peckham is indeed scary - and, yawn, it's not all “fuelled by the meeja”. The girls are scary - at least to me who always thought that Jade Goody went to a rather “posh“ school, actually, going by the standards of the borough as a whole (Southwark). The pit bulls are scary. And the scowling hoodies are scary. Scarier still are the low aspirations - and not just among many of the kids who live there, but the people entrusted to teach them.

I shall definitely be tuning in next week - though probably only to chant “Fight, fight, fight”. Well, you know, you can take the girl out of Peckham….

Instead of jolly japes with hockey sticks, we get self-defence lessons on how to disarm someone coming at you with a knife

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"Peckham is indeed scary" - oh come on. Who are you kidding? I sat watching this show laughing. It really was inner city living portrayed through the 'entertainment' lens of a TV producer for cheap and easy televisual kicks. It was such a gross misrepresentation of the area. All that guff about having to do Kung Fu to 'stay-alive on the streets' - honestly - please, Peckham is hardly Helmand Province. Have lived in the area for 12 years, and I can honestly say I have never seen anyone with a knife, gun, shooting up in alleyways blah, blah, blah... That's not to say it doesn't happen (as in most places in the UK it now does). Maybe I've been really lucky - but maybe it's actually not part of life for many of us who get on with day to day living here. It really was a shameful rubbish that completely misrepresented the area.

I watched last night programme and was quite surprised how the Peckham girls seemed to think it okay to say anything they like to the posh girls no matter how rude but if a hint of anything unfavorable was said to them they were being insulted. My background is nowhere near the posh girls but I certainly would not have told one of them they were stuck up until I knew them a lot better. Surely there must be some nice friendly girls who accept outsiders without throwing insults at them.

The 'posh' girls must have been paid well to tolerate the aggression from the 'Peckham sisters', who have huge chips on their shoulders. Worrying that Peckham Finishing School seems to start from the premise that a Chavvy lifestyle is normal and must not be challenged. I grew up on a council estate in south London, but that did not make me want to descend to being 'street' - exactly the opposite

Thank god for the synopsis and these comments. I'd hate to have to sit through the programme in real time.

I live in Peckham - on Rye Lane in fact, so it's quite entertaining to have my home area featured on BBC programming. Personally I don't think the 'posh' girls were especially disrespectful to my home area, and they would be warmly invited as guests in my flat here - personally I won't be pre-judging them on the basis of stubborn ignorant self-defeating pride.

In regards to the production "Peckham Finishing school for girls", I felt that it was highly upsetting and angering to watch- I felt that it did not address the positive elements of Peckham as such-it was predominately on negativity and violence from the PECKHAM SISTERS which was in fact disappointing-as many young people in peckham are not like that and do not portray such examples, especially that of myself , and friends I have who come from a variety of harsh backgrounds who are going to the top universities this year and are trying our best to succeed and achieve. Even though I was underage and unable to therefore represent the hard-working, youth and bright students which exist in peckham, other well-mannered and polite individuals could have definitely done that peckham is not full of young mothers, "chavs", and bullies who "break" young kids' jaws. Rather than changing the stereotypical view of people in peckham, I felt that this documetary made it worst, and confirmed views of those who thought that peckham was not a safe area, full of people who are lazy, use benefit allowances of alcohol and roam the streets, as well as failing to have an education, WHICH IS FREE AND ENTILIED TO ALL YOUNG PEOPLE in society regardless of many negative externalities. The Peckham sisters were extremely rude, and I was specifically not impressed with the adult, who claimed she was a “SOLIDER” I am sorry, but she is not a solider, I will kindly advice her to get that tattoo removed ASAP. A definition of a solider, if someone who fights in wars such as those in Afghanistan and Iraq, soldiers are people who fight hard to achieve goals: those like Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks et al. THEY ARE SOLIDERS. She does not define a solider because she claims benefits-has the opportunity to get an education and achieve goals (especially because discrimination is less for her as she is white), and claims to have had a hard life. Overall, I liked the episode at the church as I felt that was perhaps the only positive filming showed, however they failed to show more positive parts such as youth centers e.g. Damilola Taylor centre and its success since it started, it failed to show diversity of all cultures, it failed to show hard working and successful individuals and most of all it failed to show harmony and true unity amongst Peckham’s members which was what the show was theoretically meant to be about-rather than proving those who fought Peckham was a bad area wrong- the producers and some Peckham sisters proved them right!

Catriona is so stupid, she hasn't developed the empathy of a five-year-old. Last time I watched she appeared to be making progress, learning homeless people were in fact people, no less intelligent than herself, then next thing you know she's making fun of how some of them smell. What a bitch. The Peckham girls really annoyed me for the way they treated the posh girls before even having met them, but their attitude changed after getting to know them in a group activity. For a minute. Then Cat thought it'd be a good idea to tell Sarah, the girl who suffered from depression and the most vulnerable of the group, that one of the girls had thought she was a thug upon meeting her. As Sarah herself said that was a part of her life she wanted to leave behind and she was hurt at the thought that people's perceptions of her hadn't changed. When she went to see the girls, Claire, who apparently was the one who made the comments, failed to apologise, and instead snapped at her, looking like she expected an apology herself, as her opinion of Sarah had since changed. Next to Cat, Claire is the bitchiest most ignorant person on the show, the other two HCGs are at least respectful of the other girls and the locals, but these two have no idea what horrible idiots they sound like 99% of the time

Tbh i recon that the Snobby girls are right bitches and they have no respect for anyone!! i recon that the peckham girls have the right to think they're stuck up bitches.... cus they are?! i like SARAH :D

what was it sarah was saying, when she sat in the middle of the room ... soldier ... :/ i believe it was related to her tattoo ?

Although I enjoyed the programme, I hated the fact that we were there to learn that Peckham people are not chavs, not criminals, not a waste of space yet protrayed those poor Peckham girls as exactley that. Peaches although obviously does good work, let the girls down. I would have loved to see the Peckham girls pick out an outfit for a country ball or socialise with dignitries. See how they would have dealt with life out of their comfort zone? They should have swapped roles for 10 days and see how they liked it, not a one day visit - loved it when they said 1 of the Peckham girls couldnt afford the trip to Dubai, well who could? Shame on the BBC.

I really liked Kerri, wish she had her own show tbh. This was probably my favourite episode. Cat really improved, she came across a lot better in this episode so it was a bit sad to see her so upset at the end. That said, she really needed a reality check, and though deep down I'm sure she's an alright person, clearly she's been spoilt and sheltered too much to the detriment of her personality. Steph was my favourite 'posh girl.' Claire gained the least from the 'experience' by far; saw it as a joke and ultimately learnt the least. I doubt it had any impact on her. I barely noticed serena until todays episode where they wouldn't stop banging on about her virginity- despite the fact that she clearly hated it. All in all a rare enjoyable programme from the BBC, however it could have done without the 'posh girl introduction' every five minutes.

Yes i thought the program was very good i dont like stuck up rich people who think thay are different from the rest i have been to some of these parts in london and its not that bad at all the people are very nice and helpfull .i would like to email kerri or meet her i thought she was a sweet girl but there is no email address for this TV progam

i thought this program was very good nd i would like to talk to the people featured in it because i think they were very brave to say the stuff on tv tht they did and i wuld luv to talk to kerri

This show was one of the best things I have seen on tv! I think Kerri should have a spin off show, she was awesome.

i just like to say, i agree that kerri has had a hard life but i feel its because of her facety attitudes to people which made her life much harder, i think is wants to be black i dont like how she specks and go's on, i know she is from peckham but that aint peckham chat, its street black chat, and the other 3 girls wasn't specking like that so i feel she has just tried her best to push up herself in to the black culture and thats something i dont like, i think she should be herself drop the black talking. i am a black woman and when i see people trying to be some one there not it offends me.

Kerri Rocks, Her music sounded awesome even though it was playing from her mobile phone. Someone needs to giver her a break she could be a star. Kerri if you are reading this I live down the road from you and I am in the Music Business too, email me.

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