The Radfords reflect on awful time which almost led to divorce
TV stars Sue and Noel Radford have admitted that a long-kept family secret almost pushed them to the brink of divorce.
The on-screen husband-and-wife duo – famed for having the UK's largest family, with 22 children in total – celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary in recent weeks, but have since revealed their marriage has been far from plain-sailing.
In the latest instalment of their widely-discussed TV series 22 Kids & Counting, the pair – who recently splashed £2,000 on Disney make-overs for their daughters – reflected on three decades together, revealing that several highs and lows left them considering calling it quits.
The pair were filmed visiting numerous different locations that have special meanings in their relationship – including the site of their first joint business, a bakery, where Noel had trained as a baker.
He had invested in the property – which was located in a small parade near Morecambe – with the intent of transforming it into a bakery and sandwich shop, and Sue had pitched in to help.
The family business fan smoothly for two years until in 2001, the couple made the decision to pick up shop and invest in a prime high-street location instead, something Noel claims is "the worst thing I ever did" as it almost caused him and Sue to call time on their marriage.
The duo – who recently flew their colossal family out to New York for a luxury designer shopping holiday – had crafted a pie business that had started taking off, which inspired them to invest in expanding by taking out a loan for the new location, which has since been transformed into a mobile phone shop.
Claiming he "hated the place" upon reflection, after traffic to the business quickly dried up, Noel explained: "To start with it did well and then foot and mouth hit the country and I think Cumbria was one of the worst affected areas and it just killed the tourism."
Sue agreed: "You would go to bed thinking about the debt, wake up thinking about the debt, wake up in the night thinking about the debt.
"If anything would have caused us to get a divorce, it was this shop. Looking back now, it was a time where I genuinely thought our marriage would not pull through. We’d get divorced and that would be it. It was absolutely awful."
On going back to the haunting property, Noel admitted he found the return difficult and emotionally draining, whilst Sue claimed that, though the business didn't work out, it failing made the couple stronger in their marriage.
IT appears as though the family have gotten over their financial fears, with the parents having splashed £5,000 on presenters last Christmas.
In order to accommodate so many mouths to feed, the family’s Christmas Dinner sets the couple back several hundred pounds a year, as they splash out on a traditional feast with all the trimmings.
The couple were said to have splashed out around £250 on each child's presents, which they open before settling down for the highly-anticipated dinner, which comes in at around £300 for the one meal.
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