Random thoughts of a Maidenhead man

Guilty Pleasures: One Born Every Minute

Posted in Guilty Pleasures on Monday 4 April 2011

As a 40-ish year old male Channel 4's One Born Every Minute, a documentary based in a Southampton labour ward, is perhaps an odd choice of evening viewing. But, secretly, I really enjoy it.

Here's why.

  • It is beautifully edited. Countless hours of fixed camera footage must be a complete balls-ache to sift through. But the production team weave the storylines out slowly over the hour, letting us learn about the participants in our own good time.
  • The lack of a narrator (except the few seconds at the beginning to introduce the programme). The format doesn't need one. A narrator would get in the way of our personal relationship with the participants - an unnecessary distraction.
  • The film-maker's assumption that us viewers are clever enough not to need a re-cap of the events of the last part at the beginning of the next.
  • The #oneborneveryminute tweets on twitter whilst the shows are being transmitted, sometimes hilarious!
  • The fascination that anyone would agree to being filmed at one of the most emotional, intimate and personal moments of their lives. I'm not sure I could have been persuaded. And conversely, the voyeuristic feeling whilst watching these people.
  • The looks my wife and I give each other occasionally when something happens that is familiar - "yeah, we know that feeling" and the memories that come back of the births of our daughter and son in 2000 and 2002.
  • Hearing life-stories that make me remember that I am a very lucky boy indeed.
  • Seeing the miracle of childbirth itself.
  • The uncertainty of a complication-free delivery...
  • ...and the relief when everything's OK.
  • The devoted staff and in particular long-serving Kay, who is super-compassionate and amazingly calm - and you can't ask for much more than that of a labour ward sister.

Go on, give it a try. You know you want to.


Creative Commons License photo credit: gabi_menashe

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