Bad Lads Army

This Royal Television Society award-winning living history format, sees thirty 18-24 year olds from different social backgrounds enduring a regime, which half way through the last century was known to turn boys into men: National Service (The UK Military Draft).

The experiences of the boys as they undergo four weeks of gruelling British Army basic training under the eyes of some of the world’s toughest ex-soldiers, is inter-cut with the real life experiences of the famous and not-so-famous, who suffered it all for real, fifty years ago. Sequences of 1950’s archive footage back up the modern day emotional and physical experience. Can 1950's National Service army training go some way to reforming a group of young criminals and wrongdoers? Following the success of Lads Army, the popular living history series returned in 2004, now a recalcitrant section of society is put through their paces in Bad Lads Army. New groups of thirty youths undergo a month of marching drill, intense physical exercise, harsh discipline and scratchy uniforms. Dragged kicking and screaming towards a final passing-out parade, we see tears and tantrums before our lads start to mend their ways and believe both in themselves and the experience. By the end, they have learned a lot about discipline, respect for themselves and others, and a number go off to join the army for real. This series proved to be an 2004 ITV factual summer hit, with consistently high ratings, and its ITV2 tie-in Privates Exposed also won its multi-channel slot. In our 2005 series Bad Lads Army: Officer Class, we give thirty new recruits an added challenge: Could they, as potential officers, deal with the pressures and responsibility of privilege and power over their peers? Gentleman they may not quite have been, but by the end of this intensive period in their lives, officers they most certainly are. 2006 sees another series, this time it's really EXTREME as the Lads face the challenge of Parachute training.

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