22 Kids and Counting’s Noel Radford defends getting wife pregnant at 13: ‘Weren’t any repercussions'

22 Kids and Counting’s Noel Radford defends getting wife pregnant at 13: ‘Weren’t any repercussions'

Sue Radford explains how they go camping as a family

Lauren Williams

By Lauren Williams

Published: 01/03/2024

- 13:32

Updated: 01/03/2024

- 14:19

Noel and Sue Radford are known as the parents of Britain’s biggest family after welcoming 22 children

Noel Radford has spoken out and defended getting his wife Sue Radford pregnant at the age of 13 when he was 17 – responding to recent backlash by noting “we were both kids in the eyes of the law”.

The Radfords have made a name for themselves as Britain’s biggest family and have given an insight into their hectic lives through their Channel 5 documentary series.

With the success of the show, the couple who have been married for 34 years, recently co-wrote and released their new book – The Radfords: Making Like Count.

In the autobiography, the father-of-22 noted that he “isn’t bothered” by the comments which have been made regarding the age of his wife when she first fell pregnant with their son Christopher.

The couple raised eyebrows when it came to light on their show that the 48-year-old had just turned 14 when their son was born.

They received many negatives comments which claimed he should have been arrested at the time due to his then-girlfriend being under the age of consent.

The Radfords

Noel has spoken out on the backlash he received after getting Sue pregnant at 13`


Writing in the book, he explained: “What happened back then has obviously been brought up again in recent years after we became known by going on television.

“People have inevitably talked about the situation and it has been written about in the newspapers and discussed on social media.

“There has been a lot of focus on it and, in a way, it was probably worse for us than when it actually happened. So many people have given their opinions.”

He continued to defend himself: “But we were both kids, it was not as if I was 10 or 15 years older than Sue.

The Radfords

The Radfords have made a name for themselves with their Channel 5 series


“For a lot of people, though, things are just black and white and you are tarnished with the same brush as other people in totally different situations.

“We were young and we were daft, but we wanted to continue as a couple.”

He added that he wasn’t “in any bother with any authorities” because back in them days it was “down to your mums and dads".

“There was no knock on the door saying I was in big trouble. I think someone, somewhere may have had to report it, the doctor maybe, but there weren’t any repercussions.”

Noel and Sue Radford

Noel Radfords has defended getting Sue pregnant at 13


The Channel 5 star also noted that whilst some of the comments from viewers were “brutal” he was still a kid in the eyes of the law and that it “doesn’t bother me”.

His wife however admitted that the negative comments have had an effect on the children, particularly their eldest son.

She added: “When people talk today about me and Noel and what happened all those years ago, it now affects Chris as well – it’s not just about us anymore.

“We were being dragged back to it, but for Chris, it was the first time he had to face people talking about it.”

The husband and wife duo are parents to Chris, 34, Sophie, 30, Chloe, 28, Jack, 26, Daniel, 24, Luke, 23, Millie, 22, Katie, 21, James, 20, Ellie, 18, Aimee, 17, Josh, 16, Max, 15, Tillie, 13, Oscar, 12, Casper, 11, Hallie, eight, Phoebe, seven, Archie, six, Bonnie, five, and Heidie, three.

Their 17th child, Alfie, was stillborn in 2014.

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