BBC Radio 4 is currently running a series ‘Whatever Happened to the Working Class?’ which focuses on Manchester (because that’s the city where Sarfraz Manzoor, the presenter, went to university). As ever with these programmes, it is very much the presenter’s take on an issue that’s complex, with people’s narratives and stories distilled into media soundbites. And the answer is, surely, that the working-class never went away – so that’s dealt with that, then. But still worth a listen. The first prog went out on Feb 18 but is available on BBC Listen Again; the next is scheduled for Feb 24th. Listen out for Selina Todd talking about the research featured on this website.
Also featured in the BBC series is the MaD (Moston Active Drama) theatre company, who are a fantastic Manchester-based working-class theatre group. Many of the company are teenagers living in North Manchester, defying the usual stereotypes about apathetic hoodies – and bringing a proper disrespect for authority to their stage productions that offer far more insights into working-class life than the BBC series promises to do. If you’re in Manchester and fancy getting involved with MaD, their website is in our list of links.