Life of Britain’s biggest family the Radfords – from £400 weekly food shop to building brand new home

TV audiences first met Britain’s biggest family the Radfords in 2012, when they shared their life bringing up 15 children. Now 10 years on mum Sue, 47, and dad Noel, 51, have expanded their brood to 22 kids and seven grandchildren.

They’ve earned a lucrative career with their Channel 5 show 22 Kids & Counting. The Mirror takes a look at their life, from several holidays a year to spending £7,000 on Christmas presents and renovating their huge 10-bedroom former care home.

The couple were both adopted as babies and met as children. Sue fell pregnant aged 14 with their first child Christopher, now 32.

READ MORE: Gemma Atkinson shares brutally honest things she wish she knew when she became a first-time mum

At the time their debut show aired in 2012, they had Chris, Sophie, 27, Chloe, 26, Jack, 24, Daniel, 22, Luke, 21, Millie, 20, Katie, 19, James, 18, Ellie, 16, Aimee, 15, Josh, 14, Max, 12, Tillie, 11, Oscar, 10.

As the success of the series began to snowball, Sue and Noel went on to have Casper, nine, Hallie, six, Phoebe, five, Archie, four, Bonnie, three, and Heidie, one. They had a heartbreak in July 2014 when their son, Alfie, their 17th child was stillborn.

Radford’s Pie Company

The couple rose to fame with their series 15 Kids and Counting, as they showed how they managed to bring up their family while running Radford’s Pie Company, a bakery in Lancashire, which they bought back in 1999.

The couple revealed on the show how they did not claim any benefits- other than child benefits- with Sue often returning to the bakery mere days after giving birth to help Noel out.

And it’s a family affair as the supermum oversees all the orders coming in and going out and acts as “chief taste tester”, while daughter Chloe, who has worked in the bakery for five years, comes up with new recipes and Daniel packages the pies .


Viewers fascination into the family was such that Channel 5 commissioned more series, with the latest 22 Kids & Counting airing in December.

And as their following grew, the couple found themselves able to make advertising deals on social media and they even launched their own YouTube channel.

“We’re definitely not secret millionaires,” Sue said when asked if the family were rich.

“To me rich would be having the big mansion, the flash cars and quite a few hundred thousand in the bank, to me that would be rich but we are not that.”

But the family have been trolled over their spending and “flaunting their wealth”.

Sue hit back at one cruel message: “We’ve worked extremely hard to get to where we are now.

“I think people forget that we don’t just have our bakery, we also work very hard on our media company and filming for our new program just like lots of other ‘influencers’.

“I hate that word but most YouTubers don’t also run a very successful business.”


The Radford family spend £7,000 on Christmas presents

In last year’s TV Christmas special the couple headed to Lapland in Finland with 13 of their kids.

Not only did Noel and Sue reveal that they spend between £5,000 and £,7000 on Christmas presents each year for their children, they also have to prepare an epic feast too.

Noel is in charge of cooking on Christmas Day and admitted: “I quite enjoy cooking Christmas dinner for so many people.”

Unsurprisingly, the food shop consists of many items including a 9kg turkey, a 4kg beef joint and an entire roast goose.


Sue and Noel Radford, arrive at Alton Towers Resort with 15 of their children
Sue and Noel Radford, arrive at Alton Towers Resort with 15 of their children

While the Radfords certainly have a busy schedule, they also enjoyed numerous holidays over the past year.

Having most recently traveled to Florida, they headed on a mini break to Alton Towers in December, having already made trips to the theme park in October and August.

They also went to Finland in December to take the kids to visit Santa in Lapland, and Noel surprised Sue with a romantic spa break for their anniversary last September.

In August, the family took to trip to Scotland, and enjoyed a caravan holiday in July.

In May, Sue and Noel whisked the kids away for a road trip to a mystery location, as well as a holiday to Center Parks.

The food shop

The Radfords leave viewers gobsmacked with Xmas shop featuring 9kg turkey and 110 pigs in blankets
The Radfords leave viewers gobsmacked with Xmas shop featuring 9kg turkey and 110 pigs in blankets

Last year, Sue revealed how she buys up to 20 pints of milk, 100 washing tablets, five boxes of cereal and 48 bags of crisps to feed her large brood, with the food bill totting up to an eye-watering £400 a week.

“Today I thought it would be interesting to do a grocery haul vlog for you guys,” she said in a YouTube video.

“I know lots of people are interested to see how much food we go through as we still have 18 of our kids living at home so as you can imagine we go through a lot of food.”

If she is cooking sausages for a meal, she has to put a whopping 56 under the grill, while fajitas means 5kg of chicken.

10-bedroom home and plans to build dream house

The Radford family show off garden transformation
The Radford family show off garden transformation

Aside from their bakery business, the couple announced last month they are now looking for a plot for a new house.

It comes after documenting the work carried out to do up their present home which has run into thousands of pounds.

Sue and Noel told how they wanted a change from their current 10-bed house where they have shown the redecoration over the past year on their television documentary.

Work done on the home includes new washing machines, a £6,500 fridge freezer, a garden makeover and a renovation to the top-floor.

In the Q and A, Noel said: “We are trying our best to find a plot so we can build our own house.

“We have found four so far, three of them are sold and the other one, we find out on Monday (February 7) if that one is sold. So, fingers crossed.”


Not only do Sue and Noel have 22 children to contend with, they have seven grandchildren.

Eldest son Chris, who moved out of the family home but lives nearby in Morecambe, has three children with his wife Nicole.

They are four-year-old Maisie, two-year-old Jacob and baby Nicholas, who is the newest addition to the entire Radford clan having been born in September last year.

Making the announcement on Instagram, grandma Sue said: “I have been itching to share this news all day, welcome to the family beautiful boy!”

While eldest daughter Sophie and her husband Joe are parents to Daisy, nine, Ayprill, seven and Leo, five.

Daughter Millie, 20, who still lives in the family home, has also given birth to a baby girl named Ophelia.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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