Filthy Rich And Homeless

LIVING CHANNEL – Fridays from 12 June, 11pm

In Britain today, the rich are getting ever richer. They live a life of privilege, comfort and security that only a few of us will ever achieve, and that many of us can barely even dream about. So what do you give somebody who has everything? Nothing. In Filthy Rich and Homeless, five of Britain’s wealthiest people take part in one of TV’s most hard-hitting and controversial experiments ever – living the life of the homeless on the streets of London for ten days solid. This bold social experiment created by experts Rebecca Pettit and Craig Last, sees the wealthy volunteers face the very harsh realities of life for those who have nothing.

Tuesday 2 December, 9.30pm

Charles, Clementine, Ravi, Thomas and Darren have already spent a week sleeping rough on the streets. Now they are sent to live in various hostels across London on Filthy Rich And Homeless (tonight at 9.30pm on TV ONE).

Though the five wealthy Brits taking part in one of TV’s most controversial experiments are coming in off the cold streets, they are now entering an even more frightening world.

Ravi finds himself in Arlington House, one of London’s oldest hostels where many of the residents are alcoholics. Ravi says being homeless is the result of failure. From the start of the experiment the dot.com millionaire and successful club promoter set out to show that homelessness was avoidable. Ravi believes all that is needed is a bit of initiative, but after sleeping rough for the first few nights he admits, homelessness isn’t that simple.

He says he is starting to realise how useless it feels. “You’re spiralling down and down and just getting further and further down. My view was that [homeless people] could pull themselves up – I don’t think it’s as easy as I thought it was.”

For the first time in Ravi’s life, he has had to face failure and is confronting a few demons of his own, as his preconceptions about homelessness are challenged. Now he’s in a hostel where there are far too many problems for him to solve and nowhere to hide.

He says the alcoholics living in the hostel are people he would normally avoid. “My general view, in my mind, is that these are people you keep at a distance, for your own safety. You may give them a donation or something, but it’s over there and at a distance.”

Elsewhere, Thomas makes friends with a recovering heroin addict at his hostel, and Clementine gets bored where she is staying and opts for a posh lunch out with a friend.

Halfway through the experiment, the wealthy guinea pigs are having their lives capsized, but are their perceptions of homelessness changing in any way? Is living alongside some of the poorest and disregarded members of society teaching them anything about themselves?