Viewers will see 'graphic' footage of sex-change surgery in a new documentary series about the lives of transgender people. Channel 4's Girls Will Be Boys And Boys Will Be Girls will follow seven people in their everyday lives and also as they gather at a rural retreat to talk through the problems they face. Among the stars of the four-part series are a 52-year-old former police officer called Karen who is about to undergo surgery, and Max, from north London, who wants to become the first transgender rabbi. They are followed by the cameras as they meet other people who have had surgery and go out together to pubs and shops and deal with people's reactions. Programme maker Sam Whittaker said: "We've asked people to go down to the local pub and meet with Middle England and say, 'Hi, how are you?'" Speaking about the show at an event for journalists, Channel 4 News presenter Cathy Newman said: "Some of it's quite graphic, there is footage of a man in genital surgery." Max said he hoped the documentary would show people there was more to the issue than surgery. He said: "Something that came through from all the people in the house is that surgery is something that you might choose, you might not choose, but that emotional journey is a lot more important about how you feel and how you relate to your body." In another new programme, called Mummify Me, a team of top scientists will try to mummify a corpse in a bid to solve the centuries-old mystery of how the ancient Egyptians managed to preserve the bodies of their pharaohs.
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Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.