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The Grandparent Diaries

Episode 2: The Littles

Duration: 1 hour

First broadcast: on BBC FourLatest broadcast: on BBC Four

Molly Little is a typical 15-year-old - pushing boundaries, battles at home as she rallies for later curfews, shorter hem lines and more phone credit. But her living situation is not, as she and her 10- year-old brother Mitch are brought up by their grandparents in Kent.

Val and Ron have been looking after these two of their seven grandchildren for eight years after their mother Tammy died unexpectedly in 2001 and their father left the family. They are among the 200,000 grandparents in this country bringing up their grandchildren, numbers which are rising.

Tammy was murdered at her home in Cornwall by her estranged partner - the children's father, a paranoid schizophrenic. The children were in the house at the time and Molly was the person who pressed the panic button which brought the police to the house.

Mitch has grown up with his grandparents as surrogate parents, but for Molly, who already had a very close bond with and strong memories of her mother, it has been harder to adjust.

The desire to keep absolute normality for the children has been paramount since Tammy died. Living with the generation gap is not easy, as well their own private struggles to deal with the loss of a mother and a daughter. But clinging to the normal routine of every day life has helped get them through.

Through family archive, actuality, interview and the children's video diary, the film builds up an intimate picture of the family, past and present. It explores how far the love of these two doting (and grieving) grandparents has gone to repair a family coping with a tragic loss. Through the laughter, routines and arguments of daily life, we observe to what degree grandparental love can and cannot fill the breach of a lost member of the middle generation. Show less


Jo Abel
Executive Producer:
Edmund Coulthard
Executive Producer:
Grant McKee

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