Brian Cox reflects on ‘seeing both ends of the wage gap’

‘We need to stop loading the dice in favour of the rich’: Brian Cox, 76, returns to his old school and reflects on ‘seeing both ends of the wage gap’ in his Channel 5 series

  • Brian Cox: How The Other Half Live concludes on Thursday at 9pm on Channel 5 

Brian Cox is set to return to his childhood school in the final episode of his Channel 5 series How The Other Half Live as he reflects on seeing ‘both ends of the wage gap.’

In a clip released ahead of the episode’s broadcast on Thursday, the Succession star, 76, admits that after seeing a glimpse at the struggles faced by those on the breadline, he’s realised the world ‘needs to find a sense of unified purpose.’

It comes after Brian reflected on his own experience with extreme poverty as a child growing up in Scotland, confessing in the series that he is in ‘constant fear of becoming poor again’.

Candid: Brian Cox, 76, is set to return to his childhood school in the Final episode of his Channel 5 series How The Other Half Live as he reflects on seeing 'both ends of the wage gap

Candid: Brian Cox, 76, is set to return to his childhood school in the Final episode of his Channel 5 series How The Other Half Live as he reflects on seeing ‘both ends of the wage gap

In a clip from the closing moments of the episode, Brian returns to the place where his school once stood, but learns it has since been replaced by a row of houses.

The Emmy winner jokes: ‘I thought they would have kept it as my legacy!’

Brian then narrates the clip by noting that he would soon be returning to work on Succession as ‘churlish’ billionaire Logan Roy, describing him as ‘a man who doesn’t give a toss what happens to the people he is trampling underfoot.’

Looking back: In a clip released ahead of the episode's broadcast on Thursday, the Succession star, 76, admits he's realised the world 'needs to find a sense of unified purpose'

Looking back: In a clip released ahead of the episode’s broadcast on Thursday, the Succession star, 76, admits he’s realised the world ‘needs to find a sense of unified purpose’

Blast from the past: In a clip from the closing moments of the episode, Brian returns to the place where his school once stood, but learns it has since been replaced by a row of houses

Blast from the past: In a clip from the closing moments of the episode, Brian returns to the place where his school once stood, but learns it has since been replaced by a row of houses

Back to work! Brian then narrates the clip by noting that he would soon be returning to work on Succession as 'churlish' billionaire Logan Roy

Back to work! Brian then narrates the clip by noting that he would soon be returning to work on Succession as ‘churlish’ billionaire Logan Roy

But, reiterating his point from the start of the series, Brian adds: ‘I am not Logan Roy.’

Paying a visit to a fish and chip shop, Brian asks the server for a bag of ‘batter bits,’ and as he exits the shop he looks back at his experience filming the programme.

He says: ‘Making this series, I’ve seen both ends of the wealth gap, in Britain and America. And I’ve been touched to the core. 

‘Surely it’s time to wake ourselves up, before it’s too late, stop loading the dice in favour of the rich and find a sense of unified purpose, and if we don’t have this sense of unified purpose, what are we? What are we doing? And that’s the tragedy.’

Departing: Paying a visit to a fish and chip shop, Brian asks the server for a bag of 'batter bits,' and as he exits the shop he looks back at his experience filming the programme

Departing: Paying a visit to a fish and chip shop, Brian asks the server for a bag of ‘batter bits,’ and as he exits the shop he looks back at his experience filming the programme

Final thoughts: He says: 'Making this series, I've seen both ends of the wealth gap, in Britain and America. And I've been touched to the core'

Final thoughts: He says: ‘Making this series, I’ve seen both ends of the wealth gap, in Britain and America. And I’ve been touched to the core’

Open: 'Surely it's time to wake ourselves up, before it's too late, stop loading the dice in favour of the rich and find a sense of unified purpose,' he says

Open: ‘Surely it’s time to wake ourselves up, before it’s too late, stop loading the dice in favour of the rich and find a sense of unified purpose,’ he says

Brian’s documentary series has explored the wealth gap between the rich and the poor – as well as his own complicated relationship with money.  

In the opening episode, the actor branded money his ‘own personal demon’ and said his ‘destitute’ childhood – which at one point saw his mother down to her last £10 – ‘hangs over him throughout his entire life.’

He said: ‘I still have a fear that it’s all going to be taken away and I’ll end up in poverty again. It never leaves you. 

‘It’s like the Damoclean sword that hangs over you throughout your entire life. 

‘I never really felt it much when I was young, I was a kid and just got on with it, I was literally surviving. But as I got older I’d look at that boy and think, my God, he survived, how did he do it? It’s still a mystery to me.’

How The Other Half Live: It comes after Brian reflected on his own experience with extreme poverty as a child growing up in Scotland

How The Other Half Live: It comes after Brian reflected on his own experience with extreme poverty as a child growing up in Scotland

Honest: He randed money his 'own personal demon' in the two-part documentary, How The Other Half Live (pictured in the show with model Caroline Derpienski)

Honest: He randed money his ‘own personal demon’ in the two-part documentary, How The Other Half Live (pictured in the show with model Caroline Derpienski)

The Golden Globe-winning star said: ‘It’s [money] my own personal demon. After my father died, my mother discovered his bank had the sum of £10 in it. We were destitute.

‘My mother only had a widow’s pension, which would often run out before the end of the week. So I’d go to the fish and chip shop and ask if they had any scraps – the bits of batter at the bottom of the fryer – and take them home for us to eat.’

Brian co-created the series because, after playing foul-mouthed billionaire media mogul Logan Roy in Sky’s hit drama Succession for four years, he wanted to investigate the growing wealth gap across the world, particularly in his homeland and his adopted country America.

Pictured: Brian with his father, who was a shopkeeper with socialist leanings who used to allow customers to take goods and pay for them later - causing a huge rift between his parents

Pictured: Brian with his father, who was a shopkeeper with socialist leanings who used to allow customers to take goods and pay for them later – causing a huge rift between his parents

The result takes him on a deeply personal journey that sees him go back to the Dundee home where his father met a premature death, leading to a childhood steeped in poverty after his mother had a breakdown.

He also visits the super-rich playground of Miami and the soup kitchens of New York.

Brian left home when he got a grant to study acting at renowned drama school LAMDA in London.  

Describing money as ‘the tragedy of the world’, he said: ‘Wealth is becoming more concentrated in that top 1 per cent and the rest of the world is suffering.

From rags to riches: 'After my father died, my mother discovered his bank had the sum of £10 in it. We were destitute'

From rags to riches: ‘After my father died, my mother discovered his bank had the sum of £10 in it. We were destitute’

‘When you play one of the richest men in the world you live that life for nine months of the year where you’re in a kind of cocoon, and I feel there’s an inequity that needs to be dealt with. 

‘So this series comes very much from what I grew up with and what I saw, having been lower middle class and having a relatively happy childhood until my father passed away.

‘Many people don’t have the means by which they can achieve any kind of standard of living for themselves. Money is the tragedy of the world.’

Last month the actor spoke to The Daily Telegraph about finding success and wealth in Hollywood, saying although he is a TV star, he is not ‘one of them’ or a ‘multimillionaire’.

He said although money makes people safe it also makes them ‘guilty’, saying that everybody suffers from their exposure to money in some way.

As for leaving his four children inheritance money, Brian said he thinks his property will be divided amongst his offspring.

The actor admitted he doesn’t want any promise of inheritance to be too much of a ‘safety net’ for them and he still wants them to get out and ‘work their asses off’. 

Brian shares his two eldest children – Alan, 52, and Margaret – with his ex-wife Caroline Burt, while he also has sons Orson, 20, and Torin, 18, with wife Nicole Ansari-Cox. 

Brian Cox: How The Other Half Live concludes on Thursday at 9pm on Channel 5.

Passionate: The documentary explored the wealth gap between the rich and the poor - as well as his own complicated relationship with money (Brian pictured on Question Time last month)

Passionate: The documentary explored the wealth gap between the rich and the poor – as well as his own complicated relationship with money (Brian pictured on Question Time last month)

Source

Related posts