In the last of her W documentary series Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over, the presenter heads to a stately home to sample life among the landed gentry
Whereas most teenage boys are out drinking with their friends or playing football in the park, Harry Arkwright spends his time exercising his thoroughbred horse, River, or shooting pigeons on his family’s country estate, as we see in this final episode of W’s Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over.
Stacey spends the weekend with the Arkwrights to see just how the other half live.
She talks to Harry and his sister Violet about how they felt starting boarding school at just eight years old and, despite her misgivings, she even attends a hunt.
Hatton Hall, a 900-acre estate in Warwickshire, has been in the Arkwright family for generations but Stacey learns how owner Johnnie has managed to turn its fortunes around and enable their children to live a life of privilege.
‘Your job is to pass it on to the next generation in slightly better shape than you found it,’ says Johnnie.
‘We try to do our best not to be flash and, above all, we never take ourselves seriously.’
‘I’m very fortuitous,’ says Harry.
‘You aren’t going to have a fun life if you have no friends and you’re not going to have friends if you’re a spoilt brat.’
So how do the family explain their love of hunting?
‘It’s like other people have culture and religion,’ says Harry’s sister Violet, 15.
‘And that becomes family tradition – hunting has become like that to us.’
‘It’s not posh; it’s just a genuine rural community enjoying itself,’ adds Johnnie.
‘I find there’s a lack of understanding about the rural way of life.’
TV Times rating: ****
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