True Stories: Extraordinary Hoarders

8:30pm Wednesday, October 7 on Prime


This documentary takes a closer look at people who suffer from a hoarding compulsion which compels them to keep various items that to the outside world are considered worthless but to them are hugely valuable.

Forty-Eight-year-old William is the first man in Britain to receive an ASBO (Anti-Social Behaviour Order) for hoarding. For him, hoarding is a full-time occupation – and he’s inspired by his childhood heroes, The Wombles, who used to collect rubbish on Wimbledon Common. He believes that Uncle Bulgaria, the Chief Womble, tells him to collect.

But William doesn’t just collect any old discarded items – he collects his neighbours’ rubbish. Every night, under the cover of darkness, he heads out on a stealth mission to forage for goods however, his local council are keeping a close eye on him, and William could face an enforced clearout. Is William merely an eccentric or is there a more deep rooted reason to his hoarding compulsion?

Maureen believes that things have emotions, just like people. For her, the idea of throwing something out is akin to being held at gun-point. But after eight years of medication and thirteen different therapists, she’s realised that things have to change. For the first time in seventeen years, she decides to let her cousin into her apartment to face up to her hoarding. It’s a big step, and one which may help Maureen move forward.

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