Age of Loneliness: TV Review

Sue Bourne’s documentary follows individuals’ discussions of their loneliness after Britain was voted the “loneliness capital of Europe”. The programme showcases how common loneliness is, with a university student discussing her problems making friends, to a stay-at-home mother whose lack of – as she puts it – ‘adult conversation’ leads to serious spouts of loneliness.

Bourne isn’t afraid to explore the difficult questions as she asks single 40 year old Jayne in regard to her lack of partner, “do you ever think this could be it?” To which Jayne emotionally responds that she can’t let herself believe “this is it”.

After delving into several lonely case studies, Bourne begins to establish solutions to loneliness. With widows discussing the importance of volunteering, one man states “it keeps the juices flowing”, whilst stay at home moms are arranging buggy walks.

The programme paints an at times unsettling picture yet ends with the more positive motif of overcoming loneliness. A difficult step, often requiring other people. We all know someone who is on their own, who might be feeling lonely and it’s time to make that extra effort.

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