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close to the edge

BBC Four has turned the structured reality series on its head. Instead of the buff and tanned twentysomethings of 'Made in Chelsea' or 'TOWIE', its new series will feature a group of Bournemouth pensioners in their 60s, 70s and 80s.

It will explore how they cope with the challenges of ageing while still living their lives to the fullest.

But don't think it'll be all bridge club and napping in front of 'Antiques Roadshow'. It will feature romance, rivalries and friendship, as well as the tough times coping with illness and loneliness.

The cast includes Vanessa Coleman, a former brothel madam turned Ukip fundraiser. The rest remain unnamed, though they will include "a business entrepreneur, a comedian dating again for the first time in 40 years and a political activist."

"'Close to the Edge is a surprising new series that gives the older generation the opportunity to tell their own stories," said Cassian Harrison, BBC Four's channel editor.

Executive producer Karl Warner added: "Television about old age tends to be focussed on single issues but 'Close to the Edge' combines drama and documentary to help give a voice to a broader range of stories being lived out by the over 65s.

"The cast are complex, funny and outspoken – and like most things in life, get better with age."

The six-part series doesn't yet have a broadcast date.

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