C4 orders four-year-olds doc from RDF TV

UK broadcaster Channel 4 has ordered The Secret Life of 4 Year Olds (pictured), a documentary following 10 four-year-olds over the course of a year from Zodiak Media-owned indie RDF Television.
January 14, 2015

UK broadcaster Channel 4 has ordered a documentary following 10 four-year-olds over the course of a year from Zodiak Media-owned indie RDF Television.

Set to air early this year, The Secret Life of 4 Year Olds (working title; pictured) centers on a group of children who meet in a specially equipped nursery. The doc focuses on the four-year-olds’ behavior and social interactions, which are being monitored by educational neuroscientist Paul Howard-Jones and developmental psychologist Sam Wass.

The doc is produced by RDF in conjunction with bio-medical research charity the Wellcome Trust. Teresa Watkins is exec producing for RDF, while Nicola Brown serves as series producer. Sara Ramsden is the commissioning editor for Channel 4.

“This is a film that works at several levels,” said Ramsden in a statement. “There is great drama in the ups and downs of the children as they fall in and out of friendships and vie for supremacy in the nursery pecking order.

“But there is also great insight as we realize the significance of these first forays into the social world,” she added. “This is the age that we first lay down memories that can last until adulthood. These are some of the most important months in any human’s life.”

Watkins, executive producer at RDF, added: “Four-year-olds are fascinating – smart, imaginative, unfettered, unpredictable, funny. It wasn’t until we starting looking at the science of four-year-olds that we realized they’re also blueprints for their future selves. This makes the film really interesting for people of all ages: you can’t help identifying with the four-year-old you might have been.”

About The Author
Justin Anderson joined Realscreen as senior staff writer in 2021, reporting and writing stories for the newsletter and magazine. During his 20-year career he’s filled a variety of roles as a writer and editor at a number of media organizations, covering news and current affairs as well as business, tech, the film and music industries and plenty in between. He’s also spent time behind the scenes in television production, having written everything from voiceover scripts for documentaries to marketing copy. He has a degree in Journalism from Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University).