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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 three: The Dads' Tale
Money lender, chauffeur, bodyguard, embarrassing joke teller… what is a dad for? As family dynamics and the traditional role of the dad change, three fathers ask what it means to be a dad in Britain today.
In Blackburn, 31-year-old Kris has had his life turned upside down. Within the last year Kris has married Mel and taken on her four children, and now they have a baby of their own. Eight months ago the realities of the recession hit the family when Kris lost his job. Now he’s a stay at home dad of five while Mel has become the sole breadwinner, a role reversal that he struggles with and one that brings stress to this lively and determined family.
While in Nottingham, super dad T is provider for not just his own two daughters, but three additional families back home in Pakistan. He also sees himself as a father figure to the whole community. Being responsible for so many people is starting to have an effect on his health. His greatest strength, but biggest flaw, is that he simply cannot say no. Wife Tahmina is determined to save him from himself, but in doing so T finds himself caught between the demands of his wife and mother.
In Kent, Keith rules the roost in a house bursting at the seams. He and his wife Carole have eight children between them, six over the age of eighteen, and all still live at home. Keith is a strong advocate for further education, but only his son Ben has followed in his footsteps to university. Ben, however, is finding it hard to give up the comforts of home and is hanging around the house. Keith, who ‘didn’t so much as phone home during his first term’, has to step in with some fatherly words.