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Paddington Green

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      25.04.2002 02:09
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      It's been ages since the last series of Paddington Green, and the thing which reminded me about the wonderful programme was when I walked past Mr. Gilbert's - the wigmaker's shop in Praed Street, and saw that on his door he had a newspaper cutting of when he was in the paper being interviewed, shortly after the programme had been put on TV, he must of been proud. Living not far from Paddington Green myself, and having a boyfriend who actually works in Paddington station, might of been the first few things which caught my eye as I was flicking through the weekly TV Times. Paddington Green stood out on the page like the sight of my front door. It was written in big bold black letters and even picked out as a TV 'must see' of the week. I quickly put a little asterisk next to the article, so that I would remember to either watch it or record it, depending on whether I was in or out that evening. It was a Monday night around Christmas time (28th December to be exact), my boyfriend was out working and I was stuck indoors sitting in front of the TV with the cat on my lap. I picked up the TV Times to see what was on, and it was then that I noticed that there was only about 10 more minutes until it got to 8.30pm, when the programme was about to start. Wondering if I'd recognise anyone from my home town, I sat and waited for the fly on the wall documentary to begin. What would be so fascinating about people's lives where I live? Nothing that special ever happens around here... The adverts then ended, the BBC One logo appeared and then the lovely catchy jazz music opened up the start of the documentary...I could tell that this was not going to be just a one of series, there would be plenty more to follow. Different scenes from my area appeared, I saw the place where I used to go to school, the hospital in which I was born and many other important factors of my own life. And then just before it led into the actual programme,
      a street sign saying Paddington Green W2 City of Westminster. If you didn't come from my area then you might think to yourself 'what a strange lot of people - all in such a small little town, yet with so many weird lifestyles' but I am sure that this is the case for many other little towns around Britain, especially within London. One small thing I would like to point out is that some of us do lead ordinary normal lifestyles with not as many outrageous happenings going on in our life, so please do not be afraid to pop in and visit our town, take a picnic to the beautiful green and sit in the sun for a few hours, you won't get some strange old men trying to sell you wigs or special formulated age cream or women trying to sell you scooters. Anyway back to the documentary...well some could call it that. In my opinion it is more of a soap because it is factual, yet based around people's lives and if you didn't know that it was all non-fiction, then you might even mistake it for something close to Eastender's - I mean, even the voices are similar. I found a news article saying that people worldwide have come to Paddington just to find some of the well loved characters and have left being pleased at seeing a sighting of them or have been disappointed by not finding them. I found out that the TV docu-soap which features people within four square miles of Paddington Green, is broadcast in America, Europe and Australia! There are many characters throughout the programme, some of them who are regularly shown and others who are just in the background and don't really have much to say, but all of them play a role and build up the whole Paddington Green atmosphere. In total there were four series'... My favourite character throughout all of the series has to of been Jackie. Yeah, people have been cruel to her, I mean, she hasn't exactly had the ideal lifestyle, but it is getting better, as all viewers
      of the programme have noticed. Jackie is a transsexual who was born as 'Jason' 28 years ago. In about 1993-1994 she had the gender operation and then unfortunately had to get into prostitution to make money for more plastic surgery. After being discovered on Paddington Green, it has been found out that she has an amazing talent for playing the piano, which could be due to her foster parents buying her a piano when she was a young boy. After all of the hype of the show, she has even released her own single which entered in at number 14 in the charts. Having run the risk of heavy fines by the police for soliciting on the streets, Jackie began working from home. When she decides to have plastic surgery on her nose and chin, the finishing touches in her long journey to become a woman? she must have an AIDS test. The hazards of her profession make the risks of contracting AIDS much higher, so the wait for the result is an anxious time. Despite her fears Jackie needs money, so she continues working the streets. I found Jackie's own personal website when looking up to see if I could find when the next series of Paddington Green was to be aired. Her web address is: http://www.jackiemcauliffe.net and makes really interesting reading. Another important character was the workaholic locksmith (Jason) who seemed to never put his interests in the right place and was always on jobs and call-outs rather than taking his girlfriend out, in fact often she would go to work with him because that was the only way that they would get to spend time together. Jason's love life is as turbulent as ever. He's no longer with the girlfriend who he let down so regularly on the TV, but they're still friends. Jason Osbourne now lives in St Mary's Mansions in Maida Vale. His neighbours include Lulu and Michael Flatley. He's also helped hapless pop singer Finlay Quaye out 14 times last year and 8 times this year. If you ever need Jason'
      ;s services he's on 0800 7839306. Mr Harry Gilbert who is a wigmaker and also a hotel manager (3 double rooms and 3 single rooms) has become not only a local star, but also a national one. He has worked from the same shop for 20 or more years and has noticed the main changes among Paddington. His wife, Joyce is mentioned throughout the show and so is his salon. His wigs are made to measure and fit, he takes a lot of pride and care in his work and his wigs are fairly reasonable prices too. Mr. Gilbert has appeared in a Halifax commercial recently, so even if you didn?t watch Paddington Green, you might recognise him from there. At the bottom of his salon in an underground cellar, Mr Gilbert had been working on some magical miracle wrinkle free cream and he reckons that it is a marvellous invention and will be a huge sell out craze. Danny (real name Donovan), is a bus conductor on one of the London bus routes around Paddington and he is always getting into trouble at work. He frequently has to dodge being sacked, as he seems to go mad in a very un-public mad fashion. He always seems to have something to complain about - in general, he doesn't like people and they don't seem to like him, but apart from that he seems relatively friendly, and I think he secretly wishes that he had a different and better job. He has so many problems with his boss, that Danny Green seems to take regular days off work and when he tells his boss excuses such as 'he had groin strain', he doesn't believe him. In the middle of the first series, Sameer Vaswani is introduced, whose dream of opening a restaurant on the Portobello Road is costing him more than he bargained for. He managed to get the restaurant up in time but by then it was the end of the first series and he was never mentioned again in the other series?!? Claudia Agius is the daughter of an owner of a scooter shop. She seems really gobby and shows off too much, not th
      e sort of person who you could tell your secrets too. She is really into spiritual stuff like tarot cards and horoscopes as well as an excessive hate of the number 13. When she goes to look for a new house or flat to move into and finds out that the one she is interested in is actually a number 13, she has a fit about it! Her driving skills leave much to be desired too. Her and her father always seem to argue, but in the end he always gives in to her. Another dream she wishes to pursue is her singing career - a doubt very much that anything will come of that, if her singing skills are as bad as her driving. Dave is a carp park manager. He has bad chest pains throughout the series which is constantly nagging about and one day his twelve year old son came to spend a day working with him. Dave Chambers devises a new money- making scheme, an antiques restoration project to be run with his Italian friend Luigi. In the third series a teenage model named Kelly is introduced but her storyline was not that big. Mr. Chin, a Chinese man who owned a mini cab service always seems to be facing daily dramas at his firm, with his employee's taking off extra days that they cannot afford to do. He faces challenges such as living on his own for the first time in twelve years, and driver Helen Ediale's (who works for Mr. Chin) Nigerian fiance runs into an immigration setback. Entrepreneur Camilla Arthur struggles to juggle her jobs as a DJ and a casting agent with single motherhood. She then decides to leave London for the bright lights of Los Angeles. She finally leaves Paddington Green and has to leave her six year old son, Frankie behind, who she will not see for at least three months. Fat boss magazine editor Mat is always sweating to hit his deadlines on time - and his boss is none too happy. When he finally does complete it the boss finds that a page is missing but it still has to be sent off to the printers to be published.
      It comes back all alright but then Mat gets offered some better higher paid freelance work instead of the £150 he is getting paid for his magazine work. After watching this programme, I was interested in finding out what would make someone choose my area as a place to study and carry out research about people who just lived life like any others. Then I found out that...the series was conceived by ex-BBC producer Jeremy Mills when his daughter was in hospital in the Paddington area. Wandering around the neighbourhood he found it fascinating and an excellent subject for a docu-soap. I recently found out that the composer of the title tune was Guy Dagul, and he has also made the theme tunes from programmes such as London?s Burning and Extreme Machines. I love the tune so much that I even have it as my start up theme tune to Window's, every time I turn my computer on! After three series aired in 1999, there was pause for nine months before it came back on screen. Ross Kemp was replaced by Todd Carty as the narrator. Apparently a total of 24 new episodes have been made as per end of 2000. At the moment, Paddington Green is taking a break and might be recorded again in the summer for a new series at the start of 2003, lets just hope that this is the case. If you want to watch the first old series of Paddington Green, then I think that they are currently being repeatedly screened on Sky's 'Horizons'. every weekday at 12pm. I can?t wait to see what fun they have in store for the next series, and hopefully some of the characters will be the same and I can follow on with their interesting life stories...

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        21.07.2001 22:21

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        Were you to categorise Paddington Green, then you would probably find yourself using the terms docu-soap or docu-drama. These are the buzzwords that have recently been applied to the spate of fly-on-the-wall documentaries that have graced our screens. Some such series have been thouroughly risible, Lakeside for example proving that simply following people around with a camera is not the key to quality and engaging viewing. Paddington Green however may just be the best of a breed. The characters are well chosen and you are quickly drawn into an empathy for their individual plights. Whatsmore, the programmes are beautifully pieced together providing a natural, coherent and well paced narrative. Given the reality shaping way in which documentaries such as this are edited, this is no mean feat. People may well have tired of the enforced celebrity status of people such as Maureen Rees from Driving School, but there should always be a place on Television for such high quality documentaries as Paddington Green.

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        07.09.2000 04:45
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        Paddington Green is a fly on the wall documentary based on people’s lives in that area including a motorbike shop which is run by a father and daughter who constantly row. A bloke who had a sex change a long time ago and is now a prostitute working the streets and you saw her having a facelift. A Locksmith who is always kept busy and is constantly in trouble with his girlfriend and his mum. And the best bit for me had to be an old man who lived in one room only of his house, as all the other rooms were so full of rubbish he couldn’t get in them. His garden was infested with rats as he used that as his toilet and it was totally full of rubbish, which he’d collected over the years. The council got the job of trying to clear it up and he didn’t want them to do it so there were constant rows. In a way you felt sorry for him but he was so argumentative it was almost comical. There is a new series on at the moment but it’s all new people and I can’t get into it this time round.

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          19.08.2000 16:01

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          Beyond the fact that this shows Paddington Green never seems to show the green I jnow in London I quite enjoyed the first series but began to get a bit bored towards the end. Some of the characters are interesting but after a while it becomes too samey. Also it has that common characteristic of todays docusoaps - jumping around. They start one story, jump to a second, return to the first sart a third, return to last weeks etc etc. This means you cant really follow the story of one particular character - you have to endure them all. Its OK to dip into if you have half an hour to spare but I do not find it a must see show.

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          18.08.2000 17:18
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          The first series of paddington green was quite good, I watched all the episodes and thought the people involved were a strange bunch of people. You have Jackie- the transexual who prostitutes herself to make money for plastic surgery, yet she has an amazing talent for playing the piano. The locksmith- his long suffering girlfriend goes to work with him or she would never see him, he is total workaholic. the wigman- he is so funny, he reminds me of someone, I cant think who, but I have to admit all the wigs he provides look awful on the persons head, then he was trying to create a wonder cream which looked like it was a jar full of mould. The junkman- hmm! how anyone can buy such rubbish and think they have a winner I do not know. The bus driver-always in trouble at work the scooter shop- this woman knows how to keep the men in line, but cant say much for her driving skills. There are lots of other characters, each with their own weird way. The first series was great. The present series I am highly disapointed with, it lacks everything the first series was about, it is dull and boring with no fun or nothing worth mentioning. I dont know why, but the appeal has vanished, I no longer enjoy watching it and the bbc should pull thier socks up quick or this will be lost for ever.

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            18.08.2000 06:58
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            PADDINGTON GREEN This programme is very addictive. I think it’s because you’re watching real people and I find that very interesting indeed. Watching each week their lives unfold before your very eyes, their sorrows and their joys are shown to millions of viewers and we at home wonder at it all. The last series was absolutely brilliant and I watched faithfully each week just like you would if it was soap. What will happen next? I can only hope this time round will be every bit as interesting. So far so good, the people staring this time seem to lead those kind of lives, the ones that are fraught with this happening and that. I can’t wait for it to unfold.

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            18.08.2000 05:10
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            BBC! what have you done to paddington green? where have all the characters gone? The constantly-nagged locksmith, the wierd wig seller with the jars of goo in his cellar, the transexual, piano playing prostitute...from what i have seen of the new series the BBC, rather than picking a cross-section of the community have simply picked characters who they feel will apeal to us. I used to be an avid viewer of this show but it just doesnt catch my attention any more. It may be that over time, as the characters evolve, i may become more attached to them but the only character that stands out at the moment is the "Fat Boss" magazine editor who nevers seems to be able to get a issue out within the deadlines, hmmm this sounds familiar to me....come on BBC sort it out! how about a follow up on the jars of goo and a little insight into what Jackie is doing now....I am very dissapointed.

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            18.08.2000 04:10

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            I simply cannot get into the new series of Paddington Green, although I loved the previous series. Why, oh why have they changed the characters? Bring back our old favourites, Jackie the prostitute, that stupid man with the car parks, and the wig maker with his anti-ageing lotion, then there was Claudia the gobby girl in the scooter shop and Danny the bus ticket collector. The old series is being shown again on Sky's UK Horizons which I watch instead of the new one. So come on BBC bring us back our old favourites, we want to know what is happening to them.

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            16.08.2000 22:35
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            I loved this program the first time it hit our screens; I found it rather interesting. It was a documentary about people living in Paddington Green London. My favourite character was Jackie, the transvestite prostitute. I am still trying to work her out, I'm positive there is something strange about her, I've studied her throughout the show, and a lot of things she says are contradicting. Personally I think, this is just a theory, but a reckon she is really a woman, I think she is pretending she was a man, obviously I have no proof of this, but this is my personally theory. Even so a think she's a very interesting person, and I would love to have a chat with her. The other character I liked was the wig maker, he was quite a card, this woman went in to buy a wig, she tried in on, and he actually said. "This wig, doesn’t suit you very well, because of the size of your nose." His hobby was dancing, he looked like, he could drop dead at any moment. The character I didn't like was that bloke, who thought he was some kind of entrepreneur, he would go about buying a load of old junky furniture, pay about £200 for it, and it was so rubbish, no one would even consider buying it. They are currently rerunning Paddington Green, at the moment, but I just can't get interested in it, like the last one, most of the characters are pretty dull. The only character in it from the last episode is Camilla, and I think she is a bit of a drama queen. In my opinion, this show doesn't work a second time round; they would have been better doing some kind of update, on the past characters.

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              15.08.2000 04:28
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              I dont know why it is compulsive viewing but Paddington Green is. This new series is featuring mostly newcomers and it gives you an insight into how other live. In the last series to watch Jackie the prostitute stuggle helplessly through her life and come up trumps at the end was very uplifting - she must be proud of herself. At the moment they are following a women who is selling everything and trying to get over to LA, leaving her 6 year old son behind - could never do that myself. A couple who have been together for sometime and have children and have decided to get married in two weeks and are completely disorganised. It also features a very courages blind man who lost his sight when he was mugged and his boyfriend who lost his leg in that pub bombing in London last year - really hope they get back together. So as you can see it is pretty interesting and is a slightly different style fly on the wall documentary - give it a try, it is on twice a week on BBC2 Tue and Thur I think around 10.20pm

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              10.08.2000 22:17
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              I think there's a new series of Paddington Green out at the moment, but I must admit I have only watched the first series (which is now being repeated on Horizons). It's one of the better docusoaps I think (The Cruise being the worst of all time) as the characters who were chosen to appers were all interesting in their own way and you 'cared' about what happened to them. If there are characters in this type of program you don't care about then the program isn't as interesting I find. One of the more fascinating characters was Jaquie the prostitute who used to be a male. One couldn't help but admire her for for what she had overcome in her life. Also the workaholoc lcoksmith !?!?! whose working all hours job played havoc with his love life. There were many other characters featured of course during the series. Definitely worth a look on satallite though if you missed it the first time round.

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              09.08.2000 05:19
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              Welcome Back, Paddington Green This fly-on-the-wall documentry is cameo of London life and in my opinion addictive viewing I for one will be reserving a seat in front of the tele for as long as the latest series lasts. In the original series the characters and their behaviour were unbelievable. We saw into the lives of; A strange wig maker and his even stranger ‘lady-friend’. A trans-sexual lassie with an intimate knowledge of the area and its men-folk. A big coloured guy with a talent for entertaining. In the second series there was a young woman who ‘helped’ her father run a motor-cycle shop. She was “a proper caution” as my Granny used to say. Then there was the lock-smith with ‘the girlfriend’ and ‘the mother’ on a leash which none of them wanted to cut. I wonder if he’ll be back in this series. I hope so, he wasny bad for a blonde!

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