Have you been watching Extraordinary Me?

If you haven’t had a chance to see the BBC Three series Extraordinary Me, then I highly recommend you do so!

Documenting the extraordinary lives of a variety of people, I particularly fell in love with the mini series Small Teen Bigger World, telling the story of Jazz Burkitt, a teenager with restricted growth.

Extraordinary Me Small Teen Bigger World - image - inspiremagazineuk.wordpress.com

The four episodes follow her journey into adulthood; leaving home to go to college, which meant no longer being at home to care for her mother, who also has restricted growth; finding her dad, whom she had never met; learning to drive and starting to date.

But why do I love these episodes in particular? Well firstly I appreciated how the documentary focused on her life and ‘normal dramas’, not just her disability.

Secondly, Jazz’s attitude is so refreshing. Not only is she an incredibly mature teenager with worldly views on life and disability, but she is also incredibly inspiring. I quote “difference is brilliant, difference is what makes this world.” She’s not afraid to be herself and is confident in who she is. “I’ve never hated myself or hated the way I look. I hate the way people treat me.” Very wise words.

Catch up on Extraordinary Me: Small Teen Bigger World at BBC iPlayer.

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July 29, 2011. Entertainment.

24 Comments

  1. Jimmy Edwards replied:

    Jazz your an absolute gem and your mum is a character,what a laugh.
    Going to miss watching your adventures,hope all your dreams come true.

    • marie replied:

      Jazz you are an inspiration. I loved watching the show and I am going to miss it, You and your mum made me laugh and cry! You have a beautiful and loving family, I love the fact that you just get on with things and you don’t take no nonsense. You have such a beautiful character,

      All the best to you and your family for the future, This was a fantastic show. I have watched it again on Iplayer, it’s that good!

  2. kerry replied:

    Jazz you make me feel so humble! You have such a wise head on young shoulders, and are so go getting and determined in life. I wish you were my daughter! You are very intelligent, very funny and very beautiful inside and out.

    Thankyou to you and your family for making such a great programme.
    It is the highlight of my week!

    Kerry x

  3. Susan Hackett replied:

    What a great documentary!

    I was inspired by Jazz’s attitude to life. I have known people who are older with no disabilities not as mature or positive about life as her.

    I am sure she will make her mark on the world with her drive and determination. what a great support of such a close and loving family.

    Good luck Jazz !

  4. Charlie replied:

    I have absolutely loved watching Small Teen, Bigger World. Jazz is an amazing person who doesn’t let anything get in the way. She is an inspiration.

    She has had to deal with so much through her years, and where some people will let these things stop them from living, Jazz carries on. She has the support of a wonderful family and I hope that she can continue working towards her dreams.

    Good luck in all you do Jazz! x

  5. Mandy replied:

    This has been a brilliant series and I have laughed and cried through Jazz and Bev’s experiences. Bev- you are so witty! I loved watching you.
    Jazz – you have inspired me! You are so courageous in the way you approach things, especially going to the USA your own. I really enjoyed watching your family, especially your grand-parents and how close you all are. You set such a good example to others.
    I’m really going to miss the series. I’ve been watching every Monday night.
    Good luck with everything you do and lots of best wishes to your family.

  6. roy northcote replied:

    Jazz and Bev thank you for letting us into your world it as been a fantastic programme and an insight to both your lives,it shows you and your mom have a great relationship and you showed us your good times and bad times.It a been a programme not to be missed and I hope that Jazz goes on to fulfill her hopes and dreams and that hopefully in the future she and Bev can get back with her dad it was a shame to see him revert back to taking drugs.I hope later on the BBC go back to see how they both are and to see if their lives have changed much also to see if Jazz passes her driving test I hope she does.

    All the best to you both in the future
    ]

  7. Joanne replied:

    wow Jazz and Bev what a fantastic team you are, Hope all your dreams come true and your Dad gets clean.

    Joanne

  8. Carla Dolfing replied:

    Great documentary! Just loved it.

    Jazz may be on the small side but she is a GREAT person and so is her mum!
    Thanks Jazz for sharing. Sorry about your dad’s relapse, hope all works out in the end for the whole family.
    Good luck and love to all of you.

  9. Helen replied:

    Having been a very tall teenager,I found myself curious about how another teenager who’s height is untypical got on. But what I found was unexpected, like the comments above I thought it was a brilliant documentary series but really not about Jazz’s height – it was about Jazz, her family and the things happening in all their lives – this is what made the series. Jazz and her family are heart warming and wonderful people – thank you for their brave decision to let the cameras in.

  10. Malcolm replied:

    Fantastic programme!! Jazz, you, your mum and your grandparents demonstrated beyond all doubt how strong and loving a family unit can be. My wife and I were in tears at the end of the last episode, with both compassion and laughter. Your mum is a real wit.

    Though you suffered at the hands of bullies in your earlier years, you have pulled through and grown into a truly beautiful person. You deserve everything you strive to achieve.

    Shame about your dad. We hope he recovers from his drug addiction and you are all reunited fairly soon.

    BBC please ensure there is a follow-up programme. Hopefully by then Jazz has passed her driving test.

  11. xavier jose replied:

    really inspirational , being an international student even though studying for master’s i need to admit that this is something which is inspirational , very wise young girl, really touching and gives motivation , And of course wish to see her standing out , and thanking you jazz and your family for giving great insights , learned a loads from you , truely amazing, god bless

  12. Susan replied:

    If anyone in the media has any sense they will grab this wonderful family and give them their own chat show. It’s about time we had some real, and sincere, class acts on the screen. This incredible family say so much about love and understanding.

  13. mungo replied:

    Really great series of programmes, and I looked forward to the new one each week. Feeling sad it’s at an end now!

    As someone who grew up in/around Manchester, and whose family now live in N Wales, I’ve related to everyone way more than I expected at first. The heroin thing is just under the radar in many people’s lives, and it’s touched mine too indirectly.

    Jazz comes across as a real star and a true inspiration in these programmes, and the whole family is obviously camera-savvy to some extent, thanks to grandad and his archives.

    Excellent television, and I feel so grateful that you all had the strength to let the cameras into your lives. I hope we can re-visit ‘dad’ at some point in the future and find he’s also managing to be positive about the future once again.

  14. Sarah replied:

    I just wanted to say how much I have enjoyed your documentary, Jazz. I looked forward to it every week and am sad now that it has finished! I wept buckets at the end of the last one… just because of the inspiration, determination and love expressed in the programme, really. I hope you passed your test, or will very soon, and that the situation with your Dad changes for the better (Addiction is a terrible illness, as you said, and I have some experience of this.) I was so touched by the love and humour throughout your family, and also by the simple fact of watching you being fearful of new things but then doing them anyway… and learning so much through doing it. I suppose I have done the same in my life, but sometimes I really feel I need more courage to take those risks and, win or lose, know that I have tried!

    For you I wish only more wonderful challenges and adventures ahead. God bless you, and your family.

    With Love

    p.s Maybe in five years times you could persuade them to make an update documentary 🙂

  15. grant replied:

    I can only echo what’s already been said. What an amazing family. Love, humour, hopes, dreams, triumphs and disappointments. Bev cracked me up and Jazz, you are special. Good luck and best wishes to you all for the future.

  16. Carla Evemy replied:

    What a journey! I have loved watching every minute of your story. You are the most wonderful family, so supportive of each other and very loving. Thanks for the insight into your lives…..I do hope there will be a follow up! It’s obvious Jazz you will (if you haven’t already!) pass your driving test but I know i’m not the only one who will be wondering how things go with your Dad and what happens after college? All the best x

  17. Jane Dunn replied:

    This has been one of the most inspirational programmes Ive watched in ages….Jazz, you and your Mum Bev are such lovely people, so determined, with such a positive and grown up out-look on life, when you have been through so much.It has been so lovely to watch such a close and loving family. Your Grand-parents are gems, and obviously love you and your Mum very much. It was very sad to see your Dad start taking drugs again, but dont give up hope, I really feel he could get ‘clean’ because he really has got so much to lose. Good luck to all of you, and I hope all your dreams do come true. Thankyou for letting us into your lives on TV….amazing!

  18. Andrew replied:

    Jazz, What a great programme-I looked forward to it. Happy & sad moments-laughter & tears. You & your family are an example to us all-so positive. I hope you passed your driving test. I’m sure you will do well with your life. A follow up in a few years would be good. I heard you on Woman’s Hour-so forthright, knowing what you want, so grown-up for your age. Good luck for the future, but I’m sure you won’t need it.

  19. abbie replied:

    i love jazz i love hur vidoes

    • abbie replied:

      i wish i was jazz i love hur vid hapy :p

      • abbie replied:

        This has been one of the most inspirational programmes Ive watched in ages….Jazz, you and your Mum Bev are such lovely people, so determined, with such a positive and grown up out-look on life, when you have been through so much.It has been so lovely to watch such a close and loving family. Your Grand-parents are gems, and obviously love you and your Mum very much. It was very sad to see your Dad start taking drugs again, but dont give up hope, I really feel he could get ‘clean’ because he really has got so much to lose. Good luck to all of you, and I hope all your dreams do come true. Thankyou for letting us into your lives on TV….amazing!This has been one of the most inspirational programmes Ive watched in ages….Jazz, you and your Mum Bev are such lovely people, so determined, with such a positive and grown up out-look on life, when you have been through so much.It has been so lovely to watch such a close and loving family. Your Grand-parents are gems, and obviously love you and your Mum very much. It was very sad to see your Dad start taking drugs again, but dont give up hope, I really feel he could get ‘clean’ because he really has got so much to lose. Good luck to all of you, and I hope all your dreams do come true. Thankyou for letting us into your lives on TV….amazing!This has been one of the most inspirational programmes Ive watched in ages….Jazz, you and your Mum Bev are such lovely people, so determined, with such a positive and grown up out-look on life, when you have been through so much.It has been so lovely to watch such a close and loving family. Your Grand-parents are gems, and obviously love you and your Mum very much. It was very sad to see your Dad start taking drugs again, but dont give up hope, I really feel he could get ‘clean’ because he really has got so much to lose. Good luck to all of you, and I hope all your dreams do come true. Thankyou for letting us into your lives on TV….amazing!

  20. abbie replied:

    I just wanted to say how much I have enjoyed your documentary, Jazz. I looked forward to it every week and am sad now that it has finished! I wept buckets at the end of the last one… just because of the inspiration, determination and love expressed in the programme, really. I hope you passed your test, or will very soon, and that the situation with your Dad changes for the better (Addiction is a terrible illness, as you said, and I have some experience of this.) I was so touched by the love and humour throughout your family, and also by the simple fact of watching you being fearful of new things but then doing them anyway… and learning so much through doing it. I suppose I have done the same in my life, but sometimes I really feel I need more courage to take those risks and, win or lose, know that I have tried!

    For you I wish only more wonderful challenges and adventures ahead. God bless you, and your family.

    With Lovep.s Maybe in five years times you could persuade them to make an update documentary smile

  21. Aneesah replied:

    Jazz I am going to miss watching your show I absouletly loved it hope you the best in life!And may all your dreams come true!

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