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Chattering Class

Prince Harry

Even republicans approve, surely?

Microwaving tea

Recommended by scientists, apparently. Disgusting

No televised election debates

Disappointing; we were rather looking forward to May vs The Sturge


Olivia Coleman = nailed-on Future National Treasure

Spring Bank holidays

Too close together! Very bad!


“I queued for THREE BLOODY HOURS at B&Q for a new recycling bin! The entire town’s in CHAOS”


To be listened to whole on a long journey for maximum effect

Using a proper paper map

Strangely satisfying

The “Flash” Flash ad

It’s back! Possibly the best ever singing dog in an advert ever

Crap tacos

Reheated, with too much chilli: middle-class kebabs, basically

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The Periodic Table of the Middle Class
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    The Fair To Middlings

    Martin & Sylvia. Retired (Martin a former chartered accountant) with grandchildren, active with volunteer groups and travel. Live in large detached, old house in small town 40 miles or so from city. Enjoy quality TV (usually period drama and documentary DVD box sets) and gardening, and have penchant for new gadgets. Try to keep up with modern culture, but shudder at coarse language and sexual explicitness.
    Role models: Joanna Lumley, Trevor McDonald.

    Saga Louts

    Lionel and Jenny. Live in a detached house in wealthy suburb, 15 minutes drive from Lionel’s old business (fridge importing; his son runs it now). In late 60s and having best time of their lives, using generous pension plan to fund hedonistic pleasure befitting, as they see it, the wild Sixties generation. Snooty neighbours say “grow up”; they say “what for?”
    Role Models: Mick Jagger, Julie Christie.

    The Classical

    Robert and Henrietta. Live in detached house in village; toy with idea of somewhere smaller but would miss garden, Retired professionals, possibly military/agricultural/ecclesiastical background. Proud adherents to classic English lifestyle, willing members of committees on which they have frequent run-ins with the younger set. Friends tell younger set, “they mean well”.
    Role models: Edward Fox, the Queen.

    The Gran Canariat

    Bernard and Angela. Live in generously-sized terraced home in outer suburbs. Bernard is recently retired after career as toolmaker, Angela keeps on little job at leisure centre. Aggressively respectable, lamenting number of “Jeremy Kyle kids” locally. Love Canary Islands, especially at Christmas,
    Role models: Alex Ferguson, Helen Mirren.

    Grey Guevaras

    Richard and Joan. Live in well-appointed townhouse in the conservation-quarter of cathedral town. Well into retirement after careers in academia and psychotherapy, they remain active and politically aware, leading local campaigns against luxury flat developments and speaking out against ageism. Friends, whom they meet annually at the Hay, festival. commiserate on how conservative Britain is.
    Role models: Tony Benn, Joan Bakewell.

    The Caravanaccinos

    Robert and Janet. Live in immaculately-decorated bungalow; he’s senior sales staff, she doesn’t work since losing a nice little job at the post office. Live for weekends in their caravan (never “the ‘van), when they travel no more than an hour from the house and spend Saturdays drinking Nescafe Instant Cappuccinos and reading the Daily Mail & road map book.
    Role models: Nigel Mansell, Kaye Mellor.

    Matriachtrix & Alf

    Su and Jay. They may be comfortably retired to the suburbs after Jay’s lifetime of work in his own small business, but Su hasn’t let up with her energy and organising skills; she now puts more energy into sorting out the lives of her grown-up children (marriages, jobs, diet etc) than she did when they were young. She treats being respectable almost as a competitive sport while hubby (Alf = “anything for a life of quiet”) takes the path of least resistance.
    Role models: Maureen Lipman, Clive Swift.

    The Rene-greyeds

    Linda and Barry. In their early Sixties, liberated by divorce and children leaving the nest, live like young lovers. Spend more time travelling (on Barry’s Harley) than they do at the bungalow they share. Revel in peers and ex-spouses’ disapproval, and have newspaper cutting about skiing (spending kids inheritance) pinned to kitchen notice board. Plan to open antiques shop on the coast.
    Role models Jack Nicholson, Joan Collins.

    Liberal Actually

    Emily & Giles. Forties, with two kids (might have another), living in large semi in tree-lined street in major city. May have weekend cottage. Giles works in finance, Emily used to management consultant but now looks after kids. Money tighter than ever before, and both disillusioned with traditional, somewhat Sloaney lifestyle; embrace pop culture more than elder siblings, who tease them. Consider moving to country and opening wine business.
    Role models: David & Samantha Cameron (still, just)

    Normal, Actually

    Chris and Alice. Live in capacious semi-detached house on outskirts of major conurbation, would like to move further out. Chris works in finance, Alice looks after children. Both traditionally-minded and conservative with small and large Cs, and cannot abide political correctness or wetness. Think “it’s about time somebody sorted this bloody country out.”
    Role models: Duke of Edinburgh, Camilla Parker-Bowles


    Xav and Jess. Live in flat in prosperous suburb, work in media. Progressive, fashion-conscious couple who combine considerable wealth with interests once associated with the liberal left, particularly green issues. Recently took years out to do voluntary work in Africa. Regarded with mutual suspicion Normal Actuallys.
    Role models: Zac Goldsmith, Samantha Cameron.

    The Aussaukusa

    Robin and Gila. Live in large flat in affluent urban area with much period architecture. Work for banks, Married with two small children. Robin Aussie, Gila South African, both Anglophiles, convinced Britain more civilised than home. Many friends from old colonial countries, ie Australia, SA, UK, USA, hence group name.
    Role models Andrew Strauss, Cath Kidston.

    Hi! Guys

    Ian and Helen. Live in detached house on edge of commuter town. Work in marketing and HR respectively. Watchword is “positive”. “Working hard and playing harder” they project immense, American confidence and joy in living. Can appear to be almost constantly smiling and vigorously shaking hands. Identify closely with their employer. Cynical friends say: “a bit creepy”.
    Role models: Tom Ford, Meryl Streep.

    The artistocrats

    Gavin and Sallie. Live in large Georgian house in very affluent area of a capital city. Early 40s, four children. Gavin works in the arts, Sallie dabbles with painting; friends correctly suspect must have private income; turns out Sallie’s brother is an earl. Dress in vintage and hand-made clothes (children’s clothes often too small), drive 1960s Citroen, summer spent at parents’ in Norfolk/Somerset.
    Role models: Cecil Beaton, Edith Sitwell.

    The Damn Wrights

    Jeremy & Carol. Late 40s. Live in converted barn with children, work in business which requires them to drive vast mileages. Furious at the state of Britain, blaming this chiefly on New Labour but with no time either for “bankers” and the Tory establishment. Quite heavy (wine) drinkers, also keen on Eighties pop music and, most of all, cars. Friends say they’re good fun until Jez starts ranting.
    Role models: Jeremy Clarkson, Carole McGiffen.

    Psycho Yuppies

    Fraser and Ruth. Live in contemporary gated riverside housing complex. In their twenties, employed by mid-sized corporation and equity company respectively, dedicated to work and highly aggressive in pursuit of material reward. High street tastes but fans of what they call the “Eighties greed-is-good era”; may even wear Eighties clothes in tribute.
    Role models: Ben Clarke & Ruth Badger from The Apprentice.


    Simon and Nicky. Live in detached house in rural area. Works in sales for agri-chemical company/as part-time admin role for local hospital. Previously conservative and non-political, found frustrations galvanised by campaign against the hunting bill; have only become angrier. Work in public sector increases irritation at “chucking money away”.
    Role models: Anne Widdecombe, Nigel Farage.

    Matalan’s Dragons

    Ken and Barbara. Live in ex-local authority terrace in mid-size ex-manufacturing town. Ken is supervisor in car components factory, Barbara secretary in higher education college. Enjoy doing up house, gardening and going to Canary Islands. Former traditional labour voters, patriotic, proud of never claiming benefits; feel assailed on all sides, particularly by new immigrants and underclass.
    Susceptible to unexpected nostalgia for Mrs Thatcher.

    The Bitters

    Nigel and Angela. Senior manager at large insurance company and secondary school history teacher, live in period house in pleasant market town. Enthusiastically try to keep up with modern trends but find that they get bored or the technology goes wrong (“Bitter” is what they call “Twitter”, don’t ask). This makes them cross, and they tell stories about it to amused friends in the pub.
    Role Models Ben & Susan Harper.

    The Madderzells

    Mike and Una. Fortysomething, both work in their small business supplying gas canisters, live in semi-detached house in village. Feeling income and quality of life declining, both are disenchanted with politics and modern life in general. Mike in particular seems close to losing control sometimes; almost ended up in court for hitting a traffic warden, and has been known to pick fights with students when drunk.
    Role models: Sara Palin, Howard Beale in Network (for the “Mad as hell” speech).

    The Jack Pack

    Mark & Sophie. Mid-20s. Insurance company underwriter and admin assistant respectively. Live in flat in new-build development with good links (which they value highly) to motorway and retail park. Hedonistic and consumerist, also determined to be positive and project success; however, new worries about job security may show at times. “We can always work at Maccy D’s” they say, only half joking.
    Role models Robbie Williams, Mariah Carey.

    The Britton Empire

    Phil and Meera. Live in period semi in commuter belt. Middle-aged middle managers for same drinks company. Aspirational but proudly grounded; the human equivalents of a Ruth Watson hotel. Wary of seriousness, make a lot of jokes about sex. Everyone they have ever met says “A great laugh”.
    Role models Meera Syal, Eamon Holmes.

    Home Rangers

    Rana and Bina. Live in post-war semi-detached house in mid-size town; quality control manager and PA; independent and industrious, focused on family and friends rather than community. Semi-obsessed with house and keen on DIY; keen consumers, will debate difference between, say, Harveys and DFS sofas for at great length.
    Role models: Mark Ramprakash, Sunita Parekh

    Transit Man & Wife

    Geoff and Una. Live in detached house in mid-income part of Milton Keynes with teenage kids,. Spend more than half working life travelling; sometimes bored and thus very keen to feel plugged into major events. Spend heavily on new hobbies Make friends easily. General lack of role models but admire entrepreneurs, and joke about “Alan Partridge existence”
    Role model: Rob Brydon

    Hospitality Hotties

    Laurie and Nat. Live in a city centre flat, tiny but stuffed with expensive possessions. Both young waiters at Harvey Nichols restaurant, and regard their work place is their life; all their friends work for the company. Consider the service industry as sort of showbiz, with the restaurant “their stage”. Friends joke about their “jazz hands”, but Laurie and Nat think “I’ll show them.” .
    Role model: Ben Fogle, Tamara Beckwith.

    The Poptimists

    Olly and Grace. Living together but unmarried, both on second jobs with large multi-nats and wildly, genuinely enthusiastic about life and work. Particularly love foreign travel; seafood bar at “LHR” makes them feel GOOD. Keep up with fashion, watch their weight/health, and do “brain-training” exercises to improve their Iqs. Friends find it hard to believe their optimism will last; it might.
    Role models: Ralph Little, Alexa Chung.

    The fazed & bemused

    Jason & Ellie. Early 20s, unmarried, both living back with parents after a year in separate flat shares. Graduates, but unable to find professional jobs they are working in security and a sandwich-making factory respectively. Poorly-off and slightly disillusioned, trying to maintain good sense of humour and confidence to look for jobs. Incredible talent for stretching money; know all the best deals re phones, outlet shops, food offers etc.
    Role models: James McAvoy & Anne Marie Duff.


    Rob & Michelle. Live in new housing development in commuter town. Early 30s. Rob works in direct marketing, Michelle in travel company. Both have worked as travel reps. Have made careers out of being “outgoing”; fellow workers regard them as geniuses with persuasive e-mails. Friends say, “can be a bit… earnest”.
    Role models: Jake Humphrey, Fern Cotton.

    The UEPies

    Nathan and Chloe. Mid 20s, living in two-bedroom house on edge of a conurbation and worried that they may not be able to keep paying the mortgage; Nathan has been made redundant by the NHS, and Chloe’s boss has been laying people off. Unused to life without easy credit, are now trying to be positive, but cannot conceal anxiety and bitterness; have had to cancel planned lavish wedding and turn to generous parents for support. Hate the UK; plan to throw it all in and go travelling for two years.
    Role models Alex Epstein and Melissa Cohen.

    The Hornby Set

    Jonathan & Claire. Early 50s, descendents of old 1970-80s radicals who now carry politics through to lifestyle. Work in public sector/run own small food business; live in period three-storeyed 1900s terrace in major city. On first name terms with at least one New Labour MP, but now feeling marginalized. Sense of ebing left behind exacerbated by teenage children’s embrace of consumerist lifestyle J&C rejected. Ethical consumption offers hope.
    Role models George Monbiot and Caroline Lucas.

    Good Lifers

    Will and Sarah. Live in large, detached period house in countryside, and own several acres of land, plus, possibly, livestock. Moved out from city and balance limited self-sufficiency with portfolio careers. Some locals were hostile when they were elected to parish council and came up with radical ideas for improving village life, but older urban friends are jealous.
    Role model: Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, Pat Archer.

    Free Whelans

    Al and Polly. Live in townhouse in inner suburbs, with holiday cottage in UK or southern Europe. Veteran, non-Blairite left-wingers who cut their teeth on Sixties radicalism and remain committed to the cause, working in senior roles public sector and trade union movement. Sometimes make Hornby Set (whom they dislike) feel guilty.
    Role model: Jack Dromey & Harriet Harman.

    Subway Sect

    Ben & Ellie. Recent graduates, renting shared house in outer suburbs. Combine career in creative/media sectors with part-time, low-paid work they hate, most commonly in fast food industry.
    Role model: Dave Grohl, Krissi Murison.

    The funancial sector

    Rav and Jo. Live in large flat in inner suburbs, travel a great deal. Work in finance, but healthy salary and low outgoings – they have fairly simple tastes - fund frequent participation in arts, creative and leisure-based enterprises. Often sit on boards of arts organisations. Friends secretly try to guess how much money they actually have.
    Role models: Diana Jenkins, Ivan Massow.

    The Re-connecters

    Debs and Marie. Live in a bed-sit on edge of city till they find something else. Debs a social work consultant, Marie an urban planner.. Haven’t always been lesbians, both have adult children. Enjoy natural foods and don’t drink alcohol, find the world’s fixation with make-up ‘troubling.’ Both have security savings the other knows nothing about.
    Role models: Victoria Wood, Janet Street Porter.

    The Plaid Culture

    Peter and Malcolm. Live in,a converted Sunday school/church house in rural Derbyshire. Both work from home as linguists. Gay life partners but in no way camp, they sigh at the hedonistic gay generation, who they feel allow themselves to be ‘defined by their sexuality.’ Own dozens of check shirts and expensive kitchen gadgets. Spend entire days fell walking. Enjoy fine Claret. Quakers.
    Role models: Stephen Fry, Ian Mc Ewan.

    Alt middle

    David and Kate. Mid-thirties, live in a inner-suburban 1930s semi decorated in period style. Unmarried, planning family. David deputy head of English in good comprehensive, Kate a barrister. Could outwardly belong to any tribe, but are distinguished by their sceptical and sometimes depressive reaction to the insincerities and forced jollity of modern life.
    Role models: Pete and Sue Brockman, Florence Welch.

    White Vain Man and
    No Sugar Babe

    Jamie & Louise. Early 30s, one child, Jamie works in father’s business, Louise owns beauty salon. Live in modern four-bedroom detached home, stunningly decorated. Seeking to move upmarket as they settle down, this made easier by Louise’s success in selling cosmetic surgery procedures. Both highly body- and fashion conscious. Friends say “they’re like the Beckhams”, J&L make falsely modest denials but like the idea.
    Role models: David & Victoria, of course.

    25/8 Guy & Girl

    Max and Sadie. Live in city centre loft space, but rarely there. Work in sales and marketing respectively. Travel internationally for a third of the year, more familiar with, say, South Africa than their neighbouring county. Work constantly, frequently all night. Immense knowledge of airports. Friends complain of Blackberry use at dinner party table.
    Role models: Barack Obama, Carla Bruni.

    Second Youthers

    Graeme and Christine. Live in two-bed semi-detached house on modern housing development in village. Engineer at window company and social care worker. Began careers in manual work, have studied to progress to professional status; now in 50s, kids grown up, enjoying “second youth”; drink in style bars, bang into their gym – Graeme is a natural bodybuilder.
    Role models: Darren Gough, Denice Welsh.


    Stefan and Tamsin. Live in expensive, rented city centre flat. Management consultant and industrial designer. From Holland and Scotland originally, have lived in various European cities. Liberal politics, fashion-conscious, hedonistic, high-spending consumers. Have high turnover of friends.
    Role models: Mark Zuckerberg, Jade Jagger

    The Grand Designers

    Liam and Stace. Live in large house (spectacularly decorated) in upmarket street in market town. Late 30s. Liam owns some properties, and Stace is a secretary at the local comprehensive; they are well-known around town, though fearful for status now Liam’s business feeling the pinch and teen children are going wayward. Keen on squash and socializing; Liam in love with his Merc.
    Role models: Jenson Button, Nicole Scherziger.

    Britain’s Hot Talent

    Joe and Shemani. Live with respective parents in affluent suburb of large satellite town. A-level students at local college, but describe selves as dancer and singer respectively. See life as pointless without fame; have achieved a degree of it already with local performances, and dress accordingly. Parents encourage sense of entitlement.
    Role models: Diversity, Leona Lewis.

    New Labourer

    Laurence (“loz”) and Naomi. Early 30s, builder and domestic services supplier. (owns cleaning company). Live in new three bedroom house in affluent commuter town. Both live healthy lifestyles and keep up with current trends; Loz likes to moisturize, Naomi really into Paulo Coelho. Subject of intense, secret envy from more traditional middle-class groups who suspect a trade will soon be a better earner than a degree.
    Role models: Craig Phillips, Sheridan Smith.

    Loft Wingers

    Tom & Anna. Late 20s, live in flat in Victorian house, dream of a live-work loft space in town. Both struggling to make livings in creative sector; Anna runs a club night,Tom does a magazine and bits of advertising, but is struggling. Both have avant-garde tastes in entertainment, clothes and furnishings and, seeking to disown bourgeois roots., are downwardly mobile. Socially liberal but, in their own way, as status oriented as any other tribe.
    Role models (this week) Amanda Warner, Jack Barnett.

    New York Dalstons

    Titus & Sascha. Rent slightly scruffy warehouse conversion, dream of living in Brooklyn. have fledgling (possibly stalling) careers in arts/media. Avid consumers of experimental art and fashion and, despite affecting downwardly-mobile accents, are very competitive. Friends say “painfully trendy”, they say “creative”.
    Role models (this week) Yeasayer.

    Urban infitter

    Tim & Samira. Rent in mid-suburbs/middle-sized towns, work in sales/service industries. Fairly conservative, but keen on brands and goods referencing “underground” culture without really being part of it; listen to “landfill indie” but don’t call it that. Friends say “cool”, New York Dalstons say “bridge and tunnel”.
    Role model: The Ting Tings/Scouting for Girls.

    Mr & Mrs Can’t Give It Up

    Ben & Anita. Live in large, fashionably-furnished house in inner suburbs, work in media/retail/service industries, and despite middle-age and children are unable to relinquish youthful hunt for novelty and hedonism. Have an entire room full of LP's. Friends say “Don’t know how they do it”, they say “You only live once”.
    Role models: Brian Eno, Patti Smith.

    Notting Pillbillys

    Alex & Lucy. Live in fashionable flat just outside city centre, and cottage in country. Supported by family money, run small businesses, typically in therapy or food sectors. Slavishly obsessed by new alternative lifestyle trends. “A bit self indulgent and judgemental,” say friends, “which is easy with their money.”
    Role model: Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall/Tamsin Omond

    The Quiet Rioters

    Dinos and Ellie. Both 23, unemployed graduates, doing black market work. Live in inner-city squat, and spend much of spare time supporting political causes; most green campaigns, and increasingly anti-Government ones. Liberal parents tolerate their lifestyle, rather pleased their kids knew people who were on the roof at Millbank, apparently. Both D&E vow they will maintain current lifestyle into middle age.
    Role models are “bourgeois concept” , but approve of Michael Moore and Shami Chakrebarti.

    Jamie Oliver’s Army

    Matt & Steph. Early 30s, live with two children in three-bed house on new-build development in medium-sized town. Matt is a commercial designer (currently fearful of losing his job), Steph a gym instructor. Close to extended families, enjoy socializing with them and close friends. Enjoy “funky” lifestyle that feels distinctive and individual without exposing them to ridicule; great admiration for people who “put something back”.
    Role models: Jamie Oliver Jennifer Aniston.

    The Euppies

    Marco and Jana. Live in flat in outer suburb. Marco has fledgling courier business, Jana primary school teacher. Moved from Hungary four years ago. Ambitious, eager to “assimilate”, aspire to Boden lifestyle. Make point of speaking English to each other in public.
    Role models: Sian Williams, Richard Hammond.


    Keith and Pat. Live in semi-detached house in modern housing development in small town. Keith an accountant, Pat a midwife. Keenly involved in community/social activities, and especially in grown-up children’s lives; endlessly organising trips with extended family in which grandparents are experts on the Wii. Left-leaning, ageless and casual, bit like Gap Chino.
    Role models; Sharon Osborne, Mark Horton.

    Focused Man & Woman

    Phil and Laura. Live in large semi in prosperous outer suburbs. Both work for multinationals, where they have achieved senior positions with an extreme discipline that they also apply to domestic life. Love endurance s;port; it allows them to impose order on things. “What,” they ask, “is the point of life without achievements?”
    Role models: Chris Hoy, Paula Radcliffe.

    The Barbour Qs

    Dan and Kate. Have large house, in new, upmarket housing development, with a mortgage they cannot really afford since Dan’s valeting service took a nosedive. Unable to go out much, they invite friends over for outside parties almost every other week, and have garden full of gas barbecues, benches, kids trampolines etc. Friends suspect they are unhappy beneath the outward frenzy of bonhomie.
    Role models: Kate Moss, Jamie Hince.

    The Galapagossips

    Russ and Kerry. Both quiet and unobtrusive at school and college, they are now married with no kids, handsome detached house and well-paid jobs in engineering. Travel extensively, and talk about it to slightly bored friends a great deal; tell anecdotes about other people they regularly bump into on the global adventure holiday circuit. Wear sports-utility clothing (fleece, trousers with many pockets, Merrell shoes) at all times outside work. Keen Conservative voters.
    Role models: James May, Julia Bradbury.

    The Metropollytans

    Laura and Bradley. Just friends, which is fine - neither seems to have for a proper relationship. Live in immaculately-decorated urban flats, work very hard in both their professional jobs and at their lifestyle - will spend months searching for the right shade of white paint, or mastering a new skill at night class. Love simple, original, classic things such as Agnes B clothes, Dualit toasters, and Mercedes cars. Possessed by perfectionism, both feel perversely badly done-to.
    Role models: Audrey Hepburn, George Clooney.


    Andy and Essie. Used to be in bands, now music teachers, with two children Xavier and Jocelyn. Three-bedroom townhouse is intended to appear bohemian and untidy, which matches public “scatterbrain” personae. In fact house well-organised, holidays/Christmas shopping always done early, work always completed diligently, bed-head hair is cultivated, and sloppy t-shirts are immaculately clean. Friends say “you make me feel so middle-aged”, which makes Fauxhemians feel better.
    Role models (claimed) Keith Richards, Janis Joplin.

    New Young Fogey Club

    Henry and Chloe. Live in Edwardian terraced house in affluent areas of West Country town. Management consultants. Aged 26, act 62, but not nostalgic; see their take on conservatism as the future. Keen on badminton and cycling, active charity volunteers.
    Role models: Louise Bagshawe, Prince William.

    Farrow & Bored

    Tomas and Ayesha. Found equally in towns, and cities, and to a lesser extent villages, typically in medium-sized, tastefully-decorated flats. Mildly bored with solid career in business, they now apply their drive to self-improvement projects, particularly those benefiting body, mind and spirit. Tempted by “more creative” careers.
    Role models: Brian Cox, Stella McCartney.

    The Can Do!s

    Phil & Sue. Late 40s, live with children from previous marriages in four-bedroom new-build detached house at commuter-distance from major city. Run their own HR training company, using jargon heavy people-centred thinking; have great love of new ideas, like talking about new perspectives on life. People on their corporate team-building exercises say “a bit too touchy feely ”, they say “it’s all about results.”
    Role models: Malcolm Gladwell, Carole Caplin.

    Yo! Team

    Tim and Debs. Live within an hour of city centre in large, quirky home,; eg self-designed eco-friendly subterranean pad, or houseboat. Have enjoyed great success with a business venture in retail/leisure sector. Use unconventional management practices, and are fond of business catchphrases. (“There may be a gap in the market, - but is there a market in the gap?”) Friends unable to believe their success.
    Role models: Simon Woodroffe, Oprah.

    Empower generation

    Paul and Oyinda. Live in flat close to the centre of their community, which may be town, village or city, and work most commonly in public or charity sectors. Use considerable social skills to bring people together and instill sense of purpose; prefer small communities to solutions from state politicians. May previously have worked in business.
    Role models: Barack and Michelle Obama.

    Smalltown Hubsters

    John and Jo. Live in terrace in provincial market town, work in local shops. Keen participants in local community life, and love organising anything from local support-our-troops music nights to protests against new supermarkets. Never political in a party sense, are using technology for a new form of activism. Love Facebook; friends secretly wish they wouldn’t invite them to join so many groups.
    Role models: Jon Morter, Joanna Lumley.

    The Carbonauts

    Dean and Gabrielle. Have mid-ranking admin jobs but both dream of being personal trainers, live in three-bed semi in city suburbs. Lives almost entirely dominated by their diets (dairy-free, carb-rich, include much broccoli) and exercise; always wear sportswear, and walk with shoulder back. Very loving towards each other. Friends wonder if they talk about “complex carbs” in bed – and they do.
    Role models: their spinning instructor, in both cases.

    The Double Trekkers

    James and Anne. Took early retirement from well-paid jobs at an opportune time, and as result are well-off, healthy – and not yet 60. Often travel to unusual places; are considering investing in a Winnebago (they scorn all caravanners). James does odd one-off consultancy jobs here and there “just for fun”. Good, healthy relationship with their three kids, who are all at university.
    Role models: James May, Anita Roddick.

    The New Larkins

    Adam and Phillipa. Live in Victorian terrace in provincial city, most commonly in the west country. Work for local authority and struggling small retail chains (wine), having seen their London-based wellbeing-enhancement business collapse last year. Feel bitter that ideas “being squeezed out”; and that “being intelligent is a disadvantage”. No openly admit to hating fashion/celebrity, but watch X factor and shop on High Street for the grumble value.
    Role models: Ian Hislop, Jo Brand.

    Chaveau Riche

    Scott & Tash. Late 30s; having made small fortunes in retail/service/entertainment sectors now live in very large property an hours drive from major city centre. Love hard work, shopping and status buys, but also generous and community-minded. Have an American lust for life and self-betterment, and look to west coast America/Florida, as a spiritual home. Friends say “they done well, good luck to ‘em”, they say “Cheers mate, let’s open another bottle of Dom P.”
    Role models: Dane Bowers, Katie Price.

    Foxtons Force Five

    Jay & Preena. Live in one-bedroom flat in new housing development in outer suburb. Work for estate agents, but despite junior status stretch income and credit so possessions, leisure interests suggest considerable wealth. New haircut every week, pointy shoes, will own Porsche by 2020.
    Role models: Any Apprentice winner, Raef Bjayou, Michelle Dewberry.

    Qatar players

    David and Claire. Live in detached company property in prosperous town in green belt. Live in fear of being relocated to Aberdeen or similar. David works for American multinat involved in primary industries, spends much time in middle east. Claire corporate wife. Own large expensive items in which they seem to have little interest; David happily rootless. Claire ambivalent.
    Role models: Prince Andrew, Holly Valance.


    Steve and Mandi. Live in detached house in commuter belt of large city. Steve owns own building company, Mandi does books. Strong family bonds, though children in teens/early 20s can be wayward. Love holidays (including the airport) and the garden, and have recently got really into their wine. Deeply annoyed by Gordon Brown.
    Role models: Pam & Mick Shipman.

    The Pandora-mantics

    Callum and Jess. Accountant and legal secretary who have stunning “loft-style” flat in city centre. Engaged, and proud of individuality, they like to buy things that stand out; MG car, Belstaff jackets, pink (“yes, pink!!”) Uggs for Jess. Active social life, always together – make some show of their affection for each other. Callum buys Jess a new Pandora charm every month; she thinks her friends are jealous, they think he’s having an affair.
    Role models: Owen Wilson, Sienna Miller.


    Zac and Try-C (not their real names, adaptations). Entrepreneurs. In their 20s, live in large, semi-detached house 20 miles outside major city. Despite having little training, now run a gambling web portal; work very hard but earn handsome rewards; have a new, black Volvo XC90 on the drive and a holiday home in Bulgaria.
    Role models: Faye Ripley, Harry Redknapp.

    Toytown Tycoons

    Al & Kelli. Live in large detached house with large garden on affluent city-edges. Al senior partner in golf-course chain. Kelli has own fledgling line yoga-wear line. Very wealthy, but aside from large house and luxury cars, spend on “fun” rather than to project “classiness”. Garden has permanent bouncy castle; home has pamper-room and signed Beatles artefacts.
    Role models: Chris Evans & Natasha Shishmanian.

    The Emigres

    Paul and N’tali. Mid 30s, currently living in ample rented house in the Home Counties while they sort out accommodation and work in Sydney, where they are about to emigrate. Ran successful children’s play centre for 10 years but now feel limited by “negative” Britain with all its “bullshit”. N’tali thinks she might have one last crack at a music career down under. Paul just can’t wait to get his mates from home down there for a Christmas Barbie.
    Role models: Carrie and David Grant.