Inside the epic Christmas of Britain’s biggest family, the Radfords
Think you have a lot to do before Christmas Day? Have a thought for the parents of Britain’s largest family, who face a huge pile of gifts and £ 7,000 in expenses.
22-year-old mother Sue Radford, 46, and husband Noel, 50, insist they are finally done having children, but that doesn’t mean the family has stopped growing .
“We have the grandchildren now” Noel tells the Mail. “Sophie has three, Millie has one, Chris has three but he also has four stepchildren, which we count as our own, so that’s 11 grandchildren so far, although only one lives with it. us full time. “
On Sunday night, a Christmas special of their 22 Kids and Counting show on Channel 5 airs on Channel 5.
Speaking ahead of the show, Sue said she was annoyed at herself for not having started preparations sooner – even though she has been preparing since September.
The super mom, who can put on a diaper in two seconds, can also wrap a stack of gifts in minutes.
Sue buys “50 to 70” rolls of wrapping paper and loves to give it all away for Christmas.
This is especially true in 2021, “because last year we couldn’t really do it right”. In total, they plan to spend between £ 5,000 and £ 7,000.
The family, who live in a former 10-bed retirement home in Morecambe, Lancs, expect 27 for Christmas dinner and extras on Boxing Day, when Sue’s mother and Santa will join them.
Noel, who runs his own bakery, will cook – while Sue picks up their gigantic grocery store.
It includes 10kg of potatoes, 4kg of carrots, 60 Yorkshire puddings, 120 pigs in blankets and 2.5kg of Brussels sprouts – costing £ 400 before adding the meat.
The family will munch on a turkey, roast beef, and whole gammon on December 25 – cooked in their two ovens.
But food is far from the biggest expense, with Noel and Sue spending between £ 100 and £ 200 on each child’s gifts – buying a whopping 300 gifts in total.
Children write lists, but with so many of them their dream items are not guaranteed. This year, Sue has spent hours researching a PS5 and a Barbie dollhouse in particular.
She explains: “We had to ditch the PS5 and we finally got the dollhouse, but the cost was disgusting. It’s supposed to be £ 240, but one site was offering it for over £ 700.”
On Christmas Eve, kids normally open a box with a set of matching pajamas. Meanwhile, there are four Christmas trees with personalized baubles and 25 stockings.
So how can they pay for it all? The Radfords have never had any government support (other than family allowances).
Business is going well at the Noel pie store, which has just expanded into new premises, but that’s not all.
A good chunk of their income comes from working on television and now from Sue’s influence on Instagram and YouTube.
Social networks work “means kids can have treats and vacations”.
Sue says: “It takes a lot of work to keep this team going, but it won’t last. “
Noel insists the bakery will always be the priority, “because you can’t pass a YouTube channel on to kids, can you?”
Last month the family flew to Lapland with 13 of their children, and they admit the TV company helped foot the bill.
“It was lovely when we were there, but getting there was a nightmare,” Sue says. “We discovered that four of the children’s passports had expired, and Heidie never had any at all.”
Then, of course, there is all the extra paperwork for Covid-19.
Noel and Sue are the parents of Chris, 32, and Sophie, 28, Chloe, 26, Jack, 24, Daniel, 22, Luke, 21, Millie, 20, Katie, 19, James, 18, Ellie, 16, Aimee, 15, Josh, 14, Max, 13, Tillie, 11, Oscar ten, Casper, nine, Hallie, six, Phoebe, five, Archie, four , Bonnie, three, and Heidie, 20 months.
Their son Alfie (baby # 17) was sadly stillborn in 2014. Millie’s daughter Ophélie also lives with the family.
Sue has recently shown off her Christmas days over the years.
22 Kids And Counting At Christmas airs Sunday, December 19 at 9 p.m. on Channel 5.