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Births, Deaths and Marriages

Published: Tue 04 Feb 2014

Births, Deaths and Marriages
 
Episode one: Tuesday 4 February at 9pm on ITV
 
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“Registration is a great leveller whether you’re a prince or a pauper; everybody has to use the service.” Alison Cathcart, Superintendent Registrar
 
 is the most famous in the UK, as the backdrop to the key points in the lives of iconic British figures from royalty to politics to show business.  
 
Based, until recently, in Old Marylebone Town Hall, it holds the birth, death and marriage records for a huge array of famous names such as Joan Collins, Brooklyn Beckham, Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher as well as generations of the Royal family. It is the rock and roll wedding venue of choice; Paul McCartney and Liam Gallagher have both been married there (twice) and it is one of the most popular wedding venues in the country. Thousands of marriages are registered there every year.
 
For the series, cameras were granted full access behind the scenes to capture a unique insight into the full spectrum of real life human drama that is the every day work of the team at Marylebone.  
 
Produced by Wall To Wall Media (makers of popular ITV series Long Lost Family), Births, Deaths and Marriages features the office’s dedicated staff, led by head registrar Alison Cathcart, guiding people from all backgrounds through the often intensely emotional process of recording the fundamental events in their lives and revealing how they approach their work and how it shapes their views on human nature and our society.  
 
From offering an insight into the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge registering the birth of Prince George last summer, to a young couple frantically press-ganging random strangers off the street to bear witness to their wedding and the tragedy of young parents registering the death of their baby a fortnight after recording its birth. The series focuses on the incredible range of human stories which play out in the register office.  
 
In the first episode, Registrar Tommy Hanover presides over the wedding of couple Jennifer, 40, and Dave, 45, who have been together for 10 years before deciding to tie the knot at Old Marylebone Town Hall. He says: “I think one of the main reasons that people choose to get married these days is purely love - because they don’t have to. There’s no societal obligation or no legal obligation or financial obligation to get married.  Why else would you do it, it’s purely emotional.”
 
Also, registering births is a huge task for the staff at Westminster Register Office with approximately 7000 babies recorded each year.  Steven and Charlie arrive to register the birth of their son George Cornelius...