8 episodes

Series exploring the lives of two people in their late 40s who sleep rough in London's Spitalfields.

Tara and George BBC

    • Podcasts
    • 5.0 • 6 Ratings

Series exploring the lives of two people in their late 40s who sleep rough in London's Spitalfields.

    Beyond Tara and George

    Beyond Tara and George

    In the six months since Radio 4 shared the stories of Tara and George, a pair of rough sleepers on the streets of east London, the Government has published statistics that reveal the true toll of being homeless - last year there were nearly six hundred deaths on the streets of the UK and the average life expectancy has fallen again.

    Tara and George, as well as being familiar figures in their neighbourhood, are also on the radar of local agencies and charities. George has a regular hostel place; Tara's situation is more complex. But, as they revealed to Audrey Gillan in an intimate series of documentaries last summer, sleeping rough is typically a symptom of myriad other issues.

    In this follow-up documentary recorded during the new year's first Severe Weather Emergency Protocol, Audrey catches up with Tara and George to see how they're coping with the cold and she pursues a simple question, prompted by attendance at a memorial service at St Martin-in-the-Fields for those who've died on the streets in the last year - what would it take to prevent the unnecessary deaths of homeless people?

    Produced by Alan Hall
    A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4

    • 27 min
    Episode 6: Blood Lines

    Episode 6: Blood Lines

    Life on the streets is hard and precarious but every soul who sleeps on a pavement has a story. Tara and George is a six-part series exploring the lives of two people in their late forties who sleep rough in London's Spitalfields. It asks the simple questions - what led them there and why do they remain?

    Journalist Audrey Gillan has come to know them as neighbours in this diverse and fashionable area of the capital, and has been recording her conversations with Tara and George for nearly two years.

    In this final episode, Audrey tries to find Tara's children who she hasn't seen since they were babies. She goes back up to County Durham to talk to the brother who has long believed George to be dead and visits George's estranged - and ailing - father in Derby.

    Written and presented by Audrey Gillan
    Produced by Audrey Gillan and Johnny Miller
    Original music by Francis Macdonald
    Series Producer: Alan Hall

    A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

    • 27 min
    Episode 5: The Long, Hot Summer

    Episode 5: The Long, Hot Summer

    Life on the streets is hard and precarious but every soul who sleeps on a pavement has a story. Tara and George is a six-part series exploring the lives of two people in their late forties who sleep rough in London's Spitalfields. It asks the simple questions - what led them there and why do they remain?

    Journalist Audrey Gillan has come to know them as neighbours in this diverse and fashionable area of the capital, and has been recording her conversations with Tara and George for nearly two years.

    In this fifth episode, Tara and George endure the hottest summer the country has experienced for years, Tara carries signs of having suffered an assault and George, his health visibly deteriorating, returns increasingly often to his hostel.

    Written and presented by Audrey Gillan
    Produced by Audrey Gillan and Johnny Miller
    Original music by Francis Macdonald
    Series Producer: Alan Hall

    A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

    • 27 min
    Episode 4: The Life of Tara

    Episode 4: The Life of Tara

    Life on the streets is hard and precarious, but every soul who sleeps on a pavement has a story. Tara and George is a six-part series exploring the lives of two people in their late forties who sleep rough in London's Spitalfields. It asks simply, what led them there and why do they remain?

    Journalist Audrey Gillan has come to know them as neighbours in this diverse and fashionable area of the capital, and has been recording her conversations with Tara and George for nearly two years.

    In this episode, Tara opens up, little by little, about her childhood in London, missing her mum and what led to her three children being taken away from her.

    Written and presented by Audrey Gillan
    Produced by Audrey Gillan and Johnny Miller
    Original music by Francis Macdonald
    Series Producer: Alan Hall

    A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

    • 27 min
    Episode 3: County Durham

    Episode 3: County Durham

    Life on the streets is hard and precarious but every soul who sleeps on a pavement has a story. Tara and George is a six-part series exploring the lives of two people in their late forties who sleep rough in London's Spitalfields. It asks the simple questions - what led them there and why do they remain?

    Journalist Audrey Gillan has come to know them as neighbours in this diverse and fashionable area of the capital, and has been recording her conversations with Tara and George for nearly two years.

    In this episode, Audrey travels north. Before running away to London on a National Express coach "at the age of 12", as he tells it to Audrey, George grew up in the former pit village of Nettlesworth, County Durham. Still living in a house across from George's family home, Audrey finds his aunt Lillian. In an attempt to capture a sense of what George left behind - and ran away from - Audrey goes in search of other members of his family.

    Written and presented by Audrey Gillan
    Produced by Audrey Gillan and Johnny Miller
    Original music by Francis Macdonald
    Series Producer: Alan Hall

    A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

    • 27 min
    Episode 2: Looking for Tara

    Episode 2: Looking for Tara

    Life on the streets is hard and precarious but every soul who sleeps on a pavement has a story. Tara and George is a six-part series exploring the lives of two people in their late forties who sleep rough in London's Spitalfields. It asks the simple questions - what led them there and why do they remain?

    Journalist Audrey Gillan has come to know them as neighbours in this diverse and fashionable area of the capital, and has been recording her conversations with Tara and George for nearly two years.

    In this second episode, Tara goes walkabout and George, sitting in his favourite spot on the doorstep of the house lived in by the collaborative art duo Gilbert and George, shares alarming news about his health.

    Written and presented by Audrey Gillan
    Produced by Audrey Gillan and Johnny Miller
    Original music by Francis Macdonald
    Series Producer: Alan Hall

    A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

    • 27 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
6 Ratings

6 Ratings

KJE47 ,

Compassionate look at the lives of a homeless couple

Can’t wait to hear the rest of this series. The human connection that Audrey has with Tara and George, the homeless couple sleeping rough in her neighborhood, is compelling listening. She took the time to get to know and truly listened to their stories.

YoctoArts ,

Compelling and moving

Loved the first two episodes of Audrey Gillan’s relationship with Tara and George. Life affirming, real and sensitively documented. Tara and George’s journey are in the safe hands of master storyteller and compassionate human.

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