Monday night we saw the final episode of 63 Up and it was probably the hardest of the episodes to try and identify the profile types of the remaining four participants. It was, however, a great example of how our learned skills, our environment and our innate talent all combine to guide us through life.
Paul Kligerman – Trader
Paul was the shy kid in the first episode who lived in a ‘home’ with his mate Symon. He innocently spoke of his fear of getting married because his wife might make him eat ‘greens’. I would pick him as another Trader profile.
There are two very common traits to Traders, the first being their want and need to help others. The second is their lack of confidence and that they are comfortable being behind the scenes, working hard.
Paul moves to Australia as a young boy with his Dad and becomes a bricklayer. In all the successive episodes we see him putting family first and working hard to provide the best he can which I think is a good example of his profile and his childhood environment working together to shape his life. He openly admits in the final episode that he has always lacked confidence and wishes that he had more children. A Trader in a nutshell.
Symon Basterfield - Supporter
I think that Symon is probably a Supporter profile and the only Supporter in the group.
A child to a single mum Symon was raised in the same ‘home’ as Paul and we see them as friends sticking together throughout their lives.
Supporters are all about relationships and that relationship forged in the children’s home in 7 Up spanning the years resulting in Symon and his wife visiting Australia at the invitation of Paul and his wife in 63 Up.
Supporters love to build teams and there is no doubting his desire to be with others. He has six kids and fosters more than 100. He is an active member of his community and you would be hard pressed to find a scene when he is alone.
The Supporter dislikes to be micromanaged comes to the surface in a few episodes when he voices his dislike for others who try and tell him what to do.
John Brisby - Trader
In the early years of the series John, sadly wore the tag of the wealthy toff who even as a 7-year-old appeared to have all the elements of the upper class. I had thought that he may well have been a Star profile based on his younger years but when you dig deep you see all the elements of a Trader.
I went back and watched the first and second series and looked at him through "Trader" glasses and sure enough, he rang true. Even as a 7-year-old he got upset when kids weren’t being fair and on a number of occasions, he spoke of opportunities for all.
Throughout his life, he has donated both time and resources to help others and continues to do so to this day. Traders also like to be in the thick of the action so there is no surprise that he is a successful QC.
Neil Hughes – Creator
My guess would be that Neil is a Creator Profile, the same as his mate from School, Peter Davies. In the first series, 7 Up he was the sweet kid that wanted to be an astronaut just like Peter. We get the sense that he has spent his entire life looking for something, a trait common among many Creators.
In each and every series he was hopeful that things would get better, the classic optimistic pessimist. He speaks of his challenge with mental health issues and when he inherited some money from his Mum, headed off to France and bought a house. Creators will often do things on a whim and it is not surprising that after being homeless for most of his life in England, that when he did have the opportunity to buy a home, he bought it in another country. The Creator moves on quickly and disconnects from the past and Neil had done this over the breadth of the series.
In my own mind, the ninth instalment of the Up series certainly reinforced my belief that we remain the same profile type, showing the same innate talents, throughout our entire lives. Although it may have been hard to pick their profile types, I believe we got pretty close.
I think it was best summed up by nearly all of the participants when questioned by the interviewer as to whether the saying ‘Give me the child until he is seven and I will give you the man’ was true. Nearly all reflected and then agreed that it was, and so do I. We’ll see you again in 2026.