Sunday, February 25, 2024

Playground victims

Sarah Tucker shares the latest of her “playground politics” experiences

 

My son started at a new school a few weeks back. Five foot eleven, half of him at 13 he is now taller than me.

 

Journalist and author Sarah Tucker’s son, Tom

He was a bit nervous, I cried in the car after I dropped him off and he refused to hug me in public, but that’s normal and natural – the crying and the non-hugging. Seems only yesterday he was three foot nothing and starting infant school. This time is so precious, still even in the teenage years which many parents dread, it’s the last chance to have any semblance of nurturing. I feel I can tell you that.

 

The other stuff, the negative stuff, well, I’ll leave that to fiction. Because you should never wash dirty linen in public or so the saying goes although it’s become the sure fire way of getting the 1/2 hour of fame. If it’s to sell a book, film or make more money then it has a purpose: a potentially positive end result where others learn from your mistake and you learn from your mistake and it’s not just a matter of ogling you as a loser. If you are doing it because you want to be famous for fame itself, then it has none.

 

Jeremy Kyle and all the chat shows get the common man to be open and honest about themselves. Celebrities rarely, if ever, are honest, because they realise or fear that the masses wouldn’t like them if they were. Real people don’t have publicists to guide them through the media mire, and lay themselves open to ridicule by laying themselves open.

 

“The Playground Mafia” by Sarah Tucker

So, when I was asked on ITV1’s Lorraine show a few weeks ago to talk about playground politics I was excited. Here was an opportunity to talk about an issue that is relevant not just in this country but globally, the bullying that goes on between mothers. A subject I know a lot about. I have the stats, done the research, written the book, devised the app (Mummy Mafia), rehearsed the stage play but no, they wanted me to talk about my own ‘personal journey’ dealing with playground politics. Nope. Not going to do it. I’ll talk about how to deal with it, Ill talk about the book and the numerous funny, sad, ridiculous anecdotes but as my son is still at school (albeit he’s moved to a new one), there are repercussions.

 

The TV wanted a ‘victim’ and I wasn’t going to be it, even one that had recovered. In the end, they chose a woman who was prepared to talk about her experience of it.

 

Sarah Tucker’s son, Tom, as Gollom

That week, I saw the mothers from my old school at my son’s school’s superb production of The Hobbit – the production is so good it made the Evening Standard and BBC London News, my son plays a wonderfully dark Gollum) and had a coffee morning with the new mums, who were the usual suspects of the previous playgrounds, I will say no more.  Not until my son has left for college or university will I talk directly, but until then the books will always be fictionalised, the interviews about the experience of others and all linen will be washed but under the guise of creative imagination.

 

Sarah Tucker is an award winning travel journalist, novelist, producer and broadcaster. She has edited, produced and presented her own radio and TV series as well as presenting reports for BBC Holiday Programme and anchored I Want That House on ITV. She is the author of best selling novels The Playground Mafia (short listed for the Good Housekeeping book of the year 2007) The Battle for Big School, The Last Year of Being Single, and The Control Freak Chronicles.

 

For more information about Sarah Tucker, go to: http://www.sarahtucker.info

 

Buy The Playground Mafia on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Playground-Mafia-Sarah-Tucker/dp/0099498456/ref=sr_1_7/202-9265101-5575054?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1193856472&sr=1-7

 

Follow Sarah Tucker on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/madasatucker

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