One ordinary week, four extraordinary families.
Filled with hilarity and heartbreak, ITV’s new documentary series, Happy Families, looks behind Britain’s net curtains for an intimate insight into how we as families live, love and laugh. More than the individual story of each family, by capturing life issues that resonate across the generational, social, cultural and geographical fabric of the country, the series sets out to show what it means to be a family in Britain today.
With cameras placed on fixed rigs throughout the home, capturing every moment from breakfast to bedtime, we filmed four families for one week each. From the north of England to the south coast, toddlers to teenagers, child birth to marriage, from the breadline to middle class comfort – we interweave our four families to reveal what makes them the same and sets them apart, and what it means to be a happy family.
Episode One: A Mother’s Tale
‘I don’t think you ever let go as a mum – probably means I’ll stalk them for the rest of their life.’
From the day their children are born to the day they leave home, a mother’s work is never done.
As a child, Mel always dreamed of being a mum – dressing up in grown up shoes and pushing her dolls’ pram down the street. Her children are the centre of her world and she’s determined to give them the childhood she didn’t have. She’s saving up to take them to The World of Beatrix Potter, and has instigated a reward system for good behaviour, good reading and eating all your dinner. Whilst juggling five kids, Mel’s got her dream underway and has started her own online business. But the pressure is on for this Blackburn mum. Husband Kris is out of work and he’s at home looking after the kids while she’s out earning the money. As Mel contends with five young children and five jobs to make ends meet, she tries to balance following her own career and still being the devoted mum she always wanted to be.
Mum and step-mum to eight children, Carole can’t remember not being a mother. In fact she thrives on the stress that motherhood brings. But as one of her eldest prepares to leave home, Carole struggles to let go.
Janine was only 16 when she became a mother and is proud of her three daughters Danni, Becki and Kayleigh. Now she is about to become a young grandmother as eldest daughter Kayleigh prepares to give birth to her first child. But Janine is facing a mother’s worst nightmare. Kayleigh has been told her baby has a serious medical condition. Janine holds back her own fears and worries to protect and support Kayleigh in the last two weeks of her pregnancy.