David Tennant narrates the first episode of a new ten-part weekly series, Inside Birmingham Children's Hospital, from 9pm on Channel 4 tonight.
The heart-warming documentary is produced by Dragonfly, the team behind the award winning One Born Every Minute, and is set in one of the largest and most advanced paediatric units in the world. With an unprecedented scale of access, the show follows children and their families on their journeys through 34 specialist departments and further afield into their homes across Britain. The series also features and hears from more than 50 members of staff ranging from leading surgeons and Emergency consultants to specialised nurses, technicians and clinical child psychologists as they care not just for their patients, but the emotional wellbeing of the whole families they have in tow.
Set in the heart of Britain’s second city, the series combines single camera documentary filmmaking with a multi-camera rig set up throughout the hospital to give a 360 degree perspective on the whole hospital, its staff and of course, those that pass through its doors daily, all set against conversations round the dinner table at home and the fraught, funny and all too recognisable family car journeys to and from the hospital. Over the next ten weeks, we’ll follow a number of stories; from life-threatening illnesses and deeply personal psychological challenges to time-honoured childhood bumps and scrapes.
Inside Birmingham Children's Hospital
Thursday 9th June, 9pm
With unprecedented access, this heart-warming new documentary series explores modern-day parenting through some of the 270,000 patient visits to Birmingham Children's Hospital each year. Narrated by David Tennant, the series intimately follows children and their families on their journeys through 34 specialist departments and further afield. From emergencies in A&E to discussions in families' cars and around the dinner table, the series discovers what it really means to be a parent, through testing and also life-affirming moments. This first episode meets three fathers with stiff upper lips, but whose bottom ones begin to wobble. A football coach's son goes into minor surgery; another dad finds his feet in difficult circumstances; and a third father battles an instinctive fear about his son going under the knife. The programme explores the strength of these men alongside their greatest vulnerabilities. Fourteen-year-old Charlie was born with liver failure and urgently needs a transplant. His dad Chris offers to be a living donor, which means mum Rachel must watch both men in her life go through high-risk surgery simultaneously. For a family who admit to not normally showing much emotion, it's a day that will lay their courage and frailties bare. Twelve-year-old Josh is a regular at the hospital as he has sickle cell anaemia. His mum died a year ago, and his dad Michael is bringing him up alone. They're best friends, and are fond of play-fighting in waiting rooms. But there's a conversation that they aren't having and it's affecting Josh's health. And 10-year-old Liam is the star of his dad Robert's under 11-football team. But a reckless tackle lands them in the Emergency Department with Liam needing serious stitches. Robert believes in never showing your kids that you're scared, but can he hold it together as Liam goes under general anaesthetic?