Beautiful Britain (BBC Radio 4)

Over the sound of ripping wax-strips, nail drills, clippers and trimmers, Toyah Willcox invites us to eavesdrop on usually private conversations taking place in hair and beauty salons across the UK.

In this Radio 4 fly-on-the-wall documentary, we drop in on appointments at Totally Polished in Blackpool, The Topiary Salon in Basingstoke, Smith Hair Studio in Edmonton and Not Another Salon in London’s East End.

From holidays and bingo wins to hospital appointments and bereavements, customers relish the opportunity to swap stories, gossip and enjoy an hour’s escape from the stresses of daily life. Beauticians and hairdressers are trusted confidantes, privy to shocking secrets, but they also provide an independent ear and a comforting shoulder to cry on.

For Toyah’s friend and hairdresser to the stars, Keith Wainwright MBE, a trip to the salon is also an important source of physical and social contact in an increasingly online world.

Producer: Victoria Ferran for Just Radio
Executive Producer: Susan Marling

Broadcast: 11th May 2018

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