Saturday 22 July 2017

'We'd do it all over again' - The Irish siblings who lived in Victorian 'slums' for new BBC show

John and Maria Barker - (C) Wall To Wall Media Limited - Photographer: Joe Sarah
John and Maria Barker - (C) Wall To Wall Media Limited - Photographer: Joe Sarah
(L-R) Saudii, Saydii, Shazeda, Andy, John, Maria, Russell, James, Mandy, Rebecca, Young Heather, Allison, Olivia, Graham, Heather, Adrian, Wiebke - (C) Wall To Wall Media Limited - Photographer: Joe Sarah
Amy Mulvaney

Amy Mulvaney

Two Irish siblings who lived in Victorian 'slums' for a new BBC show have said they would do it all over again.

Maria and John Barker, from Cork City, appear in tonight's episode of The Victorian Slum on BBC Two.

The pair arrive at a lodging house, known as a doss house, in London with no money and have to live as their ancestors did in the 1870s, including how they dress, what they eat and the conditions in which they sleep in.

They have to look for work to pay their way in securing a bed for the night, as well as surrendering all of their 21st century luxuries - even showers. 

Maria (21) and John (25) spent 10 days in the doss house, which Maria said was "scary and disgusting."

Despite their gruelling stay, Maria said she'd do it all over again.

When asked what he missed most about home, John said coffee, family and having his own space made the top of the list.

However, he said he tried not to focus on what he didn't have.

"I had to put it to the back of my mind. Instead I just threw myself into the way of life and kept in mind those who actually lived that way."

Watch The Victorian Slum tonight at 9pm on BBC Two.

(L-R) Saudii, Saydii, Shazeda, Andy, John, Maria, Russell, James, Mandy, Rebecca, Young Heather, Allison, Olivia, Graham, Heather, Adrian, Wiebke - (C) Wall To Wall Media Limited - Photographer: Joe Sarah
(L-R) Saudii, Saydii, Shazeda, Andy, John, Maria, Russell, James, Mandy, Rebecca, Young Heather, Allison, Olivia, Graham, Heather, Adrian, Wiebke - (C) Wall To Wall Media Limited - Photographer: Joe Sarah

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