One Born Every Minute, Channel 4 - TV review

One may be born every minute, but it's still incredibly special to witness

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The Independent Culture

Moments of peace and quiet are a rarity at Liverpool Women's Hospital, where the fixed-rig cameras of maternity documentary One Born Every Minute have relocated for a new series.

Shift leader Delia got things off to a David Brent-ish start with her emphasis on the importance of humour in the workplace: "Oh, for goodness' sake, listen to that woman screaming! I thought it was one of the midwives who'd opened her payslip!" Boom boom. But she showed a serious side too, offering much needed comfort to young parents Jennifer and Darran. Their unborn daughter had a known heart defect, but they would have to wait for a post-delivery examination to find out her chances of survival. "Everybody's tense until they here that baby's cry," said one midwife.

In another delivery room along the corridor the mood was somewhat lighter. Here, 48-year-old Gary was having himself what we now call "a Robbie Williams moment", cracking jokes and dancing around, while his wife's contractions intensified. As if that wasn't irritating enough, he also had some new-dad-style words of support: "I've seen you look rougher." Charming.

Over seven series of One Born, in Bristol, Leeds and Southampton, the various mum moans, dad jokes and midwife-coping techniques have all become familiar, but there's one maternity ward cliché that never loses its emotional impact, however many times we see it: a tiny new human emerging into the world and taking that very first breath. One may be born every minute, but it's still incredibly special to witness.