UKTV has commissioned The Real Midwives of Essex (8×60’) from Firecracker Films, a new “docu-reality” series that will focus on the working and social lives of Basildon University Hospital’s midwives. 

The UKTV Original series will “really shine a light on what it takes to be a hardworking, midwife in today’s modern age.”

The series will “blend documentary and reality techniques to bring a fresh approach to the genre, while also using social media to help frame the narratives.” 

The cast will be made up of a mixture of student midwives, their teachers, and newly qualified midwives, following their early-starts and 12-hour shifts, through to their home lives and evenings out together. Midwives are able to qualify after just three years, making them some of the youngest medical professionals in Britain.  

The Real Midwives of Essex has been commissioned by Helen Nightingale, head of factual and factual entertainment and ordered by Adam Collings, channel director for W and Hilary Rosen, director of commissioning. Produced by Firecracker Films, with Jes Wilkins and Sam Emmery serving as Executive Producers, Coco MacLehose as Series Producer and Julie Scott as Head of Production. The series will be distributed by Passion Distribution. 

Helen Nightingale said, “Following our successful collaboration with Firecracker on Emma Willis: Delivering Babies, we are extremely excited about this opportunity to shed light on even more of Britain’s most unsung heroes. The Real Midwives of Essex will also take the audience behind the scenes to see what these young midwives get up to beyond their professional roles.” 

Adam Collings said, “It’s such a pleasure to have The Real Midwives of Essex coming to W, this show brings the perfect blend of these midwives’ front line heroics and the reality of their everyday lives. I know W viewers are going to love seeing both sides of these amazing midwives’ lives!” 

Sam Emmery, Executive Producer from Firecracker Films added: “We are delighted to be working with the team at UKTV on this exciting new series. We are also incredibly grateful to Basildon University Hospital for granting us privileged access to their maternity ward and are looking forward to introducing viewers to an amazing group of midwives.” 

Nicki Abbott, Managing Director of Women’s and Children’s Services at Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are excited to be working with UKTV and Firecracker Films to celebrate our student midwives and help people to see what an important and rewarding career midwifery is. 

The Real Midwives of Essex will air on W and UKTV Play later this year.  

UKTV recently announced its intention to launch ‘U’ – a new Masterbrand that will unite its family of free-to-air channels and its free streaming service. Launching in Summer 2024, the move will see its current streaming service UKTV Play transition to U and UKTV’s family of free-to-air channels will become U&DAVE, U&DRAMA, U&YESTERDAY and U&W.  

Jon Creamer

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