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Britain’s largest family The Radfords reveal reality of lockdown in new documentary

Britain’s largest family The Radfords have revealed their food bills have skyrocketed during the Covid-19 pandemic because their 22 children are ‘constantly eating.’

22 Kids and Counting, a 4-part programme on Channel 5 which starts tomorrow, will document the Lancashire-based family’s life during lockdown and the perils of homeschooling.

Parents Sue, 45, and Noel, 50, share 22 children, with their youngest, Heidi, being born in April last year. 

On average, the family consumes 16 pints of milk and four loaves of bread a day, and 24 toilet rolls, three tubes of toothpaste and 80 yoghurts a week, with Sue telling The Mirror: ‘Our food bill has nearly doubled as the children are constantly eating.’ 

Britain’s largest family The Radfords have revealed their food bills have skyrocketed during the Covid-19 pandemic because their 22 children are ‘constantly eating’

22 Kids and Counting, a 4-part programme on Channel 5 which starts tomorrow, will document the Lancashire-based family's life during lockdown and the perils of homeschooling

22 Kids and Counting, a 4-part programme on Channel 5 which starts tomorrow, will document the Lancashire-based family’s life during lockdown and the perils of homeschooling

The couple revealed the last year has been challenging for the family, with children Chloe, 25, Jack, 23, Daniel, 21, Luke, 20, Millie, 19, Katie, 18, James, 17, Ellie, 15, Aimee, 14, Josh, 13, Max, 12, Tillie, 10, Oscar, nine, Casper, eight, Hallie, five, Phoebe, four, Archie, three, Bonnie, two, and 10-month-old Heidie all living under one roof. 

The couple’s eldest two children, Chris, 31, and Sophie, 27, have already moved out of the family home.

Despite that, the family said their food bill has almost doubled to £400 a week during lockdown.

They can often serve up 56 sausages for BBQs, while  a Mexican will set them back 5kg of chicken, 1kg of cheese and four packets of tortilla wraps.

Sue confessed the challenges of homeschooling six children of secondary school age and five at primary school can be difficult

Sue confessed the challenges of homeschooling six children of secondary school age and five at primary school can be difficult

During the third national lockdown, the Radford family are not having to homeschool nine of their 22 children. Pictured: Family around table in March 2020

During the third national lockdown, the Radford family are not having to homeschool nine of their 22 children. Pictured: Family around table in March 2020

Meanwhile Sue confessed the challenges of homeschooling six children of secondary school age and five at primary school can be difficult. 

WHO ARE THE RADFORD FAMILY? 

Dubbed Britain’s largest family, the Radford family is made up of Sue and Noel Radford and their 22 children.

Sue and Noel’s most recent child is Heidi, who was born in April this year, with the others being Chris, 31, Sophie, 26, Chloe, 24, Jack, 22, Daniel, 21, Luke, 19, Millie, 18, Katie, 17, James, 16, Ellie, 14, Aimee, 13, Josh, 12, Max, 11, Tillie, nine, Oscar, eight, Casper, seven, Hallie, four, Phoebe, three, Archie 2 and Bonnie, 1.

The couple met for the first time when Sue was seven, before going on to have their first child when Sue was 14 and Noel was 19.

They got married in 1993 when Sue turned 18, and went on to have nine children before Noel had a vasectomy – which he later had reversed.

Sadly Alfie, the couple’s 17th child, was stillborn on July 6th 2014.

Oldest siblings Chris, 31, and Sophie, 26, have moved out of the family home to start their own families.

Meanwhile, daughter Millie, 19, has now added to the brood with her daughter Ophelia, three months.

Sue joked: ‘We’ve got Heidie, who is 10 months, and quite a few toddlers so I am going in so many different directions when the kids are asking, ‘What’s this, Mum?’ 

“Trying to look after them has been hard.’

She added that the family have had to be extra careful after two ‘haircutting incidents’ saw younger children cutting each other’s hair. 

But the mother-of-22 confessed she doesn’t like to ‘constantly shout’ and ‘lets a lot go over our heads.’

Despite the challenges, Sue added the family have become a lot closer since lockdown and said welcoming Heidie last April was extra special. 

While the new show will document their time in lockdown and the chaos of homeschooling, Sue also regularly shares updates on family life via their YouTube channel and Instagram.

Earlier this month Sue admitted that the usual chaos in her home ‘couldn’t get any worse’ as she attempted to teach her youngest children during the pandemic. 

She said she struggles to make sure all her children are on track with their schoolwork while keeping the household going. 

In a recent Youtube vlog, Sue provided an insight into the family’s current morning routine as she battled to ‘prise’ all her children out of bed and get them fed before a day of virtual learning on Zoom.  

In the video, as Sue attempted to prepare breakfast for every child and sort out technical difficulties for one of her children, another asked her questions about their work while another began to cry.

James, 16, Ellie, 14, Aimee, 13, Josh, 12, Max, 11, Tillie, nine, Oscar, eight, Casper, seven and Hallie, four, are all distance learning from the Radford family home.  

The family, who starred in Channel 4’s 15 Kids and Counting back in 2012, regularly shared vlogs of their day to day experiences. 

This is not the first homeschooling vlog their have shared, last month posting clips of the family sat around the kitchen table doing Maths and English homework.   

The Radford children, pictured two years ago. Left to right, top row: Luke, Chloe, Mille, holding Hallie, Katie and Sophie. Left to right, middle row: Daniel, Ellie, father Noel Radford holding Phoebe, mother Sue holding Archie, Josh, and Jack. Left to right, bottom row: Aimee, Tilly, Max, Casper, Oscar, and James

The Radford children, pictured two years ago. Left to right, top row: Luke, Chloe, Mille, holding Hallie, Katie and Sophie. Left to right, middle row: Daniel, Ellie, father Noel Radford holding Phoebe, mother Sue holding Archie, Josh, and Jack. Left to right, bottom row: Aimee, Tilly, Max, Casper, Oscar, and James

Fans were quick to comment on the documentary announcement post expressing their excitement for the new show. 

One wrote: ‘Yay starts on my birthday & finally something good to look forward to watching xx’

Another said: ‘So excited, love your vlogs so can’t wait to tune into this!’

A third wrote: ‘I can’t wait as there’s so much rubbish on the telly at the moment. Xxxxx’  

22 Kids and Counting will air from Monday February 22 at 9pm on Channel 5. 

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