Sky is to debut an ambitious family documentary project – nearly four years after kicking off filming.
Sky Atlantic is to air This Is Our Family, a four-part series telling the stories of four families across the UK, in January 2020. The Comcast-owned broadcaster originally commissioned the series in early 2016 from producer Little Gem and has been filming ever since.
Directors Clare Richards (Acid Attack: My Story) Will Yapp (The Real Full Monty) Marcus Plowright (The Murder of Jill Dando) and Ellena Wood (Louis Theroux: Talking to Anorexia) have been filming the stories since 2016.
Richards’ film tells the story of the Borg family in Newport. Tony, father of eight and one of the UK’s top boxing coaches, is set to marry for the first time at 50. For his bride to be, Emma, excitement is tempered as she struggles to come to terms with the death of daughter 19-year-old Xana.
Yapp has been following the Hoyles family in Hull. Mary-Jane met David as a pub singer 20 years ago but their whirlwind romance was set to face huge challenges when their first baby Annie May was born with an undiagnosed life-threatening condition. Aware the statistics are stacked against them when it comes to a relationship like theirs that involves a disabled child, it asks whether David and Mary’s bond can withstand the stresses of caring for a child who can stop breathing at any moment?
At the center of Plowright’s film is Vinnie Nailor from Milton Keynes. Thirty-one at the start of filming, Vinnie has spent the majority of his adult life in prison on charges including drug dealing. Father to six Vinnie wants to be a proper dad particularly to his oldest son Rylan, now a teenager and around the same age Vinnie was when he first broke the law. Vinnie’s aim is to go straight to become the father figure his own childhood lacked, but can he cope with settling down, and taking a week to earn less than he used to make in a day?
Wood’s film, co-directed with Holly Moy (Hospital), follows three generations of strong, self-reliant women living under one roof in Margate. Maree lives with her three daughters, Ellie, Lily and Dolce in her mum’s house. 86 year-old Irene has dementia and her condition seems to be getting worse. This is a family who has never asked for help, but how long can they cope alone with Irene?
Executive Producers are Ben Gale and Helen Littleboy for Little Gem, with Natasha Bondy as Creative Director. Marvyn Benoit is Executive Producer for Sky.