Family shocked at TV portrayal

The Allan family.
The Allan family.
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A FAMILY have been left red-faced after appearing on Channel 4 documentary 16 Kids and Counting.

Amanda and Tony Allan, and their clan of 11 children were the focus of the programme, which highlights the lives of big families.

But the East End couple said they were shocked, and felt their brood had been portrayed as drinkers and money wasters after filming with production company Lion Television for eight months.

“They recorded us on holiday in August, and down at Seaburn beach,” said former auxiliary nurse Amanda, 42.

“The crew would come up for days and film us doing the school runs, and me cooking meals.

“Then when it was edited, all it showed was us at the local pub – which we wouldn’t call our local – having takeaways and buying socks.

“They said that the Welcome Tavern is our favourite venue, but we haven’t even been going in that long because we only moved here a few months ago.

“I’ve never said it was my favourite venue, and we don’t even go out very much.”

The family moved to the East End from Tunstall in July.

Amanda, who has six children from her first marriage, and five to second husband of seven years, Tony, said last Tuesday’s documentary was a bad portrayal of the city, and focused on moments of filming that didn’t reflect their real lives.

“I thought it would show how well we cope with a big family and how well behaved our children are,” said Amanda, who’s eldest son, 26, did not want to appear in the programme, or be named.

“My friends have said seeing us on holidays and how we manage would have been more interesting.

“I feel like they heard Tony ask me about having another baby, and hooked the whole programme on that.

“They focused on me making that decision – I have now decided I will try for another – and my 16-year-old daughter Katie saying she didn’t want me to.

“My 18-year-old, Laura, who was on the show with her fiancé Daniel Selvey, jumped in to say that my kids would like me to have another, but they cut that out, and she was really annoyed.

“They said it would be a heart-warming documentary about every-day life, I don’t think it was that at all.

“We haven’t said anything to Channel 4, but me and Tony have said to each other that we don’t think we would be in it again.”

A Channel 4 spokesperson said: “The documentary is a fair and accurate portrayal of what programme makers experienced during filming with the family.

“The family saw the film prior to transmission and said they were happy with it.”