Teenagers - spots and all.

AFTER devoting so many hours to studying wildlife, it was inevitable that sooner or later TV documentary-makers would get around to teenagers. This opener of a three-part series filmed five girls, aged between ten and 16, over two years during which time "they talked to us with unparalleled frankness".

The children themselves often seemed far more adult than the grown-ups airing their views. "I don't want to grow up because it's best to be a kid," said young Rebecca - or was it her twin sister Jessica?

One expert was described as a "professor of child development" which made her sound like a body-building Baron Frankenstein. All the same, the scientific facts behind growing up detailed here were fascinating. Claudia has been dancing seriously since she was three and is ambitious for a career in dance. But growing up, literally, is causing her problems at the theatre arts school she attends.

She has shot up six-and-a-half-inches in one year, and lost her balance as a result. That's because bones grow faster than muscles, leaving her with long legs but without the muscles to control them. That will change eventually, but contributes to the trauma of adolescence.

Hormonal rushes result in behavioural changes, causing daughters to become more argumentative with parents or lose their confidence in the company of others. The curse of growing up is self-consciousness and insecurity.

All the changes of puberty for females are for one purpose - making babies. Once a girl reaches a certain weight, she's big enough to have a baby and the body reacts accordingly.

Over the two years they were filmed, we saw the five turn, to various degrees, from children giggling about pubic hair to self-possessed young women shopping for bras.

And so to spots. They're not caused by chocolate or stress and have little to do with how much you wash, we learnt. They're caused by allergies and infection.

All the same I could have done without the shot, in extreme close-up, of a spot being squeezed and the pus oozing out. There's one good reason for anyone not to wish they were a teenager again.