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1 item from 2011

How C4's One Born Every Minute made childbirth a reality TV hit

21 March 2011 11:59 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Amid the screams, Channel 4's Bafta-winning series One Born Every Minute gives an educated and balanced view of childbirth

One Born Every Minute begins with a long howl, which usually sets the tone for the rest of the episode. There is blood, bodily fluids, and a lot of screaming – so how to explain its popularity? Filmed on the maternity ward of Southampton's Princess Anne hospital, the show (its second series ends next week) has regularly drawn more than 3 million viewers, attracts masses of comments on its Facebook page, and last year won a Bafta for best factual series.

After the artifice of most reality television, it feels thrillingly natural: there is no voiceover, and the sensationally precarious births are balanced by the tedium of mothers waiting for their waters to break. For the stars – the parents and the staff – the aim is always to deliver each baby safely, not to be on television. »

- Emine Saner

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