THE first episode of The Might Redcar was a story of hope – and of family.

Kaitlyn hopes to pass her GCSEs and go to drama school so she can make her mam proud.

Dylan wants to make it big in the music world so he can bring his younger brother up to live with him.

James want to get his head down, graft and see his mam smile. He also wants to get away to Magaluf for a week and meet some lasses.

Of the three main characters, James is the one teetering on the edge. With a dad in jail and a cousin convicted of a stabbing, he admits there are “magnets” pulling him one way and another, good and bad.

The closure of the steelworks is addressed earlier, with one former worker saying: “Four generations of my family worked in the steelworks, as though we belonged to that industry.”

But this story isn’t just about the steelworks, it’s about the struggles of parents to give their children a better life than they had, and of young people desperate to forge their own path.

The excellent local narrator Madison Cooper makes the documentary feel like it belongs to Redcar, rather than it being an intrusion.

The stylish shots of the beach and Eston Hills contrasted sharply with graffitied walls and empty town centre shops.

Clearly there are going to be hard times ahead, especially for troubled James, whose efforts to find work have failed so far, but at no point did the programme feel patronising. Quite the opposite, it was warm, moving and a refreshing change to see such an honest, but uplifting depiction of life for young people in the North-East.

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