Hothouse Kids

BBC Radio 4
Producer: Neil George

Deborah Bull investigates what it takes to succeed on a global stage, in music, sport or dance. She visits Kiev, where children begin intensive training in gymnastics in their third or fourth year and talks to students from Korea's ballet schools, where six year olds are already dancing for 5 - 6 hours each day. In conversations with the directors of the Yehudi Menuhin School, Chelsea's Football Academy, Central School of Ballet and the Youth Development director at the Premier League, she discusses whether our responsible attitude to child development in Western Europe might, before too long, rule us out of international competition. And she asks whether the price young people have to pay to be the best in this hothouse environment is, in the end, too high.