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Friends reunited!

The cast from Old People's Home for 4 Year Olds stand in a line in front of a snowy backdrop.

Channel 4, in partnership with Age UK, today announced a festive return to the Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds.

The 1 x 60 Christmas special, a CPL production, returns to St Monica Trust’s Cote Lane retirement community.

The show reunites the Trust's residents including Hamish, Zina, Pat and David together with some of their young friends like Solomon, Nelson, Millie and Eva to find out how taking part in the series has impacted their lives.

An audience of 2.8 million

The two-part series which aired in August and averaged an audience of 2.8m was inspired by a revolutionary American scheme.

The ground-breaking show brought together a group of older people and a group of four year olds for a six week period to attempt to prove scientifically that these two generations can transform the physical, social and emotional wellbeing of the old volunteers for the better.

For the first time, a team of geriatric specialists medically tested the impact the children had on the older group and delivered significant results, showing major improvements in the mood, memory and mobility of the older residents.

Festive special

But what has happened since the experiment ended? Are the older group still showing signs of progress? Did the friendships with the children and their families develop further?

In this festive special the older adults and children will prepare for a festive Carol Service to which their families will be the guests of honour – and Santa Claus and his reindeers may also make a cameo appearance.

The three geriatric specialists – Professor Malcolm Johnson, Dr Zoe Wyrko and Dr Melrose Stewart – all return to give their insight into the continued progress of the older group as well as focussing on loneliness and its impact on the elderly paying particular attention to why Christmas is such a tough time for older people.

Social isolation

Channel 4’s Commissioning Editor for Factual Entertainment, Lucy Leveugle said: “With social isolation amongst the elderly such an issue, seeing the impact the children had on the older adults made not only for a heart-warming watch but had real-life legacy.

We are delighted to be back at St Monica Trust to see how our contributors’ lives have changed and to highlight the very real issue of loneliness amongst the elderly at Christmas.”

Chief Executive of St Monica Trust, David Williams said: “It’s an absolute pleasure to welcome CPL and the children back to the Trust to film the Christmas Special.

“The Trust has worked in partnership with Age UK on a number of community initiatives in Bristol and we’re excited to be helping them spearhead this national campaign to highlight social isolation among the older population.”

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK said, “At Age UK we’re thrilled that this much-loved show will be highlighting the loneliness and isolation that suck the joy from life for so many older people, and the simple things we can all do, at every age, to help them, both at Christmas time and throughout the year.”

Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds at Christmas was commissioned by Channel 4 Commissioning Editor for Factual Entertainment Lucy Leveugle. The 1 x 60 will be made by CPL Productions (a Red Arrow Entertainment Group company) with executive producers Murray Boland, Trish Powell and Danielle Lux.