Reality TV host Mary Portas is determined to get over 65s back to work in a brand new show on Channel 4.
The new programme aims to put the wealth of skills and experience seniors have back into the marketplace and challenge employers to abandon old notions of ‘retirement age’.
The three part reality TV series follows a group of seniors find work through Mary’s pop-up recruitment agency. Contestants work in a range of industries, from catering to building.
Speaking about the motivations behind putting together a show like Mary’s Silver Service, Portas told What’s on TV: “We’re living in an aging society – people are living healthier and living longer, and therefore the retirement age isn’t as relevant any more.
“According to a lot of research many able-bodied people [who retire] don’t feel worthwhile any more. Huge amounts start watching TV and don’t know how they could possibly return to the community or get back into work. So we thought it was a great opportunity to set up a pop-up recruitment agency!”
The show offers a refreshing perspective about over 65s in the workforce, and aims to highlight that writing off pensioners as employees misses out on huge opportunities.
“I get approached with different show ideas, but I really wanted to do this one. I adored working with the over-60s in Mary, Queen of Charity Shops (2009), and really wanted to do it again, as it was a really uplifting experience,” Portas continued.
“They’ve a great sense of duty, commitment and loyalty, which I loved. Working with old age pensioners is inspiring, and taught me something.”
The idea proved popular with seniors from the outset – hundreds applied to be part of the show, many said they jumped at the chance to feel needed and useful again and to have a schedule with purpose.
You can catch the first episode of Mary’s Silver Service on Channel 4 at 8 PM on Wednesday 4 June.
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