STV Appeal: Are our kids born to lose?

Hollywood star Paul Brannigan explores issues of child poverty and looks at his own experience of being brought up by herion addicts in a documentary called Born To Lose? As part of the week of special programmes for the STV Appeal, Paul wonders what the legacy of Scotland’s poverty is on future generations.

From the drug dens of Glasgow to the glittering lights of Hollywood, Paul, star of Angels’ Share, has come a long way, but can anyone truly escape the legacy brought by generations of Scots born into poverty?

The programme, on STV on Wednesday at 8pm, includes some of the world’s leading scientists discussing how stress experienced by pregnant mothers is genetically programming children to survive in harsh environments.

They say it’s an evolutionary throwback to earliest man, when life expectancies were less than 30, but now people are living longer, the complications it causes are becoming apparent.

A father to a four year old boy himself, Paul wants to know what effect the life he and his ancestors led has had both on his own health and his son Leo’s.

He’ll take us back to his time as the child of two heroin addicts in a rundown tenement. He reveals the life of gang violence and crime he is desperate to leave behind, and for Leo to never experience.

The implications are international. The world is watching and hoping for Scotland to prove that, no matter their start, no child is ever Born to Lose.

The STV Appeal exists to help fight childhood poverty, find out what you can do to help.

STV Appeal 2012: Born To Lose? Wednesday, September 5, 8pm on STV

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