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Old School With The Hairy Bikers

Teenagers and pensioners are the most marginalised age groups in society. Can the Hairy Bikers transform their lives with a radical project?

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Hairy Bikers with students and pensioners of the Old School project Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: Maverick/BBC The Hairy Bikers, Dave Myers and Si King, have a big new challenge ahead of them. At a struggling school in Oxford, they are taking two groups in society often marginalised, at odds and with a range of different challenges – pensioners and teenage pupils – and pairing them up for a term to see if 12 unlikely couples spending time together as equals can transform their difficult lives. The scheme, inspired by projects in the US and Japan, aims to tackle loneliness and promote understanding between the generations.

As series co-producer (in partnership with the BBC), we've collated a range of resources on intergenerational practice, misconceptions about age and mentoring/volunteering. You may like to:

The first episode of Old School with the Hairy Bikers will be broadcast on BBC Two on Tuesday 10th May 2016 at 21.00. Full broadcast details, and watch again links, can be found on

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Senior Partner: Clive & Junior Partner: Jacub at The Oxford Academy Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: Maverick/BBC The Hairy Bikers have only four weeks left at the Oxford Academy to prove that their social experiment pairing up teenagers with pensioners is working. Can friendships between the old and the young transform both groups?

But there’s trouble brewing. Jacub, who has ADHD, is still getting detentions and risks being thrown out of Old School unless he improves his behaviour.  His older partner Clive is on a missionto find out how Jacub’s gaming habit is affecting his learning.

Wez had a tough upbringing and he’s also in trouble, he has been withdrawn from his Maths GCSE exam for missing too many lessons. Can his partner Dave help him to become re-motivated by joining Wez in class?

Battling these problems, will the Bikers ever get the evidence to prove Old School is worth continuing and attract funding to pay for it? However, many of the partnerships are thriving – those who initially helped their partner are now starting to receive help back. And could the simple act of giving also transform the giver?

Shy Charisma has been helping Hanif learn English and how to send emails. Now Hanif has reciprocated by helping Charisma with her driving lessons. Charisma’s confidence is growing by the day.  The School organises a special event and invites potential sponsors, educational specialists and charities to hear from the partners themselves about the project and their new friendships.

As well as re-testing the senior participants for improvements in mobility, strength and memory, and the pupils for improvements in behaviour and confidence, the GCSE results are about to be revealed.  Will the numbers prove Old School is working? And most importantly, will the Bikers’ experiment raise enough cash to guarantee Old School has a future? And could older partner Dave’s childhood dream be realised at last, courtesy of his teenage partner Wez?

Episodes in this series

Episode Description
EPISODE 1 Can an intergenerational experiment with 12 teenagers and 12 pensioners benefit both groups? Read more
EPISODE 2 Four weeks into the experiment tensions are running high - will the rifts put the old school project in jeopardy? Read more
EPISODE 3 With only four weeks left at the Oxford Academy, we look to see how the old and young have learned from each other. Read more


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