Leaving Home at 8 (Channel 4, Thursday, 11 February, 9pm) is set to appear on our screens and break our miserable little hearts. Basically, it’s a show that revolves around sending children to boarding school. Yessir, a show about one of the weirdest institutions you can think of.
The boarding school has always been something of a mystery to me. The walled garden of boarding school life has always seemed cruel from the outside looking in. Single sex classes, strict posh blokes with daft names barking orders at you, children away from their parents and beastings and all that stuff that I’m incredibly glad of avoiding in my time on Earth.
If indeed, all those things are true at all. I wouldn’t know. They don’t exactly do open days do they and I certainly didn’t know anyone from a boarding school.
So these parents send away their under-tens and everyone feels dreadful. The parents get pangs of guilt and the children all erupt into snotty tears as they are yoinked out of family life and sent to a prison of learning.
Cameras follow these little hollowed out souls as they weep alone and we’re granted access to watch it all in horrible close ups.
This should be mandatory for all parents considering sending their offspring to a school like this… and maybe, just maybe, the end of the show will reveal that boarding school isn’t all relentless gloomery.