Viewers slam 22 Kids and Counting as 'contrived'

Viewers slam 22 Kids and Counting as ‘contrived’ after Noel Radford, 52, ‘retires’ from his bakery

  • Father-of-22 Noel Radford toyed with idea of retiring on 22 Kids and Counting
  • Eventually decided to go back to work, in episode branded ‘contrived’ by viewers
  • Read more: Viewers slam parents of the UK’s biggest family The Radfords

22 Kids and Counting viewers were left unimpressed after Noel Radford toyed with the idea of retiring from his bakery in an episode of the hit series dubbed ‘contrived’ by audiences. 

At the start of the Channel 5 show last night, the father-of-22 admitted that he spends too much time at the Radford Pie Company in Morecambe, which he’s owned since 1999.

Craving more family time, the dad of Britain’s biggest brood, 52, announced that he was ready to retire in order to help his wife Sue around the home, and enjoy more of his children’s company. 

He even had his daughter Chloe, 27, and son Luke, 22, compete to see who was the best placed to take over the family’s business. However, after finding retirement boring, the dad-of-22 eventually had to beg his children back for his job. 

Viewers did not enjoy the episode, with some saying it felt like the intrigue was forced, and that Noel had never had the intention to retire at all. 

Father-of-22 Noel Radford claimed last night on Channel 5 that he wanted to step back from his Morecambe bakery 

Noel, who has been a baker since leaving school, admitted at the start of the show that he was beginning to dream of retirement. 

‘I’ve been dreaming about walking away so much recently,’ he said in the programme. ‘I just don’t know how things will go.’ 

‘You need to let things go a bit before you can even think about retiring,’ Sue told her husband.

As the couple discussed their family life and relationship, Noel admitted that he felt he was ‘missing out on family time,’ and leaving Sue dealing with the brunt of childcare and housework.   

‘I could maybe take a step back or even retire,’ Noel told Sue. 

‘It would be difficult, it’s my baby,’ he said of the business, before adding: ‘something has got to give.’

The dad decided to choose between his two heirs apparent: Chloe and Luke, who have both trained with him at the pie shop.  

‘I just want one person running the business, I just think it’s better,’ he told the pair during a visit to the bakery’s warehouse. 

The father of Britain’s biggest family said the long hours he put in at the bakery made him feel like he was missing on family time 

After ‘retiring’ Noel, who was no help with housework for Sue, found himself bored with his free time 

On the show, Chloe and Luke set out to compete with one another, wowing Noel with their plans for the shop, with Luke offering a free pie offer to introduce new customers to the Radford Pie Company.  

Eventually, after a few days of reflection, Noel agreed to leave the running of the bakery to both Chloe and her brother. 

The 27-year-old would look after the bake house, while Luke would look after the pie shop. 

‘You’re both Radfords, as it’s our name on the door. You’re going to look after it just the same a us,’ he told his children as he gave them the keys to the shop. 

‘I’m now blocking your numbers, please don’t call me,’ Noel joked.   

‘My dad’s decision is fair, the right decision, it’s not too much on either of us. I got the bakery, so I got the big dog,’ a beaming Chloe said. 

‘Now I got the keys to the till, look out Dad,’ Luke joked. 

The episode marked the ‘end of an era’ for Noel, who was filmed prepping his last batch of pies.  

‘I’m a bit emotional, but at the same time, I’m happy,’ the father-of-22 said. 

‘No more getting up early. Hang up my gloves, time to move on, it’ll make life a bit more simple, I think,’ he said. 

Viewers gave the episode a mixed reaction and said the intrigue of Noel retiring felt ‘contrived’  

‘Last day at the bakery, am happy and sad at the same time, but yeah, I’m done. Goodbye bakery,’ Noel said, before turning the lights of the warehouse off. 

However, Noel found out that retirement wasn’t all what it was cracked up to be. 

He struggled to help Sue around the house, shrinking the children’s clothes in the wash, and failing to meet Sue’s high cleaning standards.  

‘I’ve no idea what I’m doing here,’ he admitted. 

After struggling with housework, the newly-retired dad decided to try his hand at clay pigeon shooting, something he’s always wanted to try. 

But once his first practice complete, Noel realised he missed his family, and found his new freedom boring. 

‘I’m not past my best-by date yet, I think I’m going back,’ he told Sue. 

The mother-of-22 warned him: ‘There actually one problem there, actually, two.

‘You can’t go back to being a control freak. You’re going to have to ask Luke and Chloe if you can have your job back,’ she said with a chuckle. 

The episode ended with Noel popping into the bakery to announce to Chloe and Luke he wanted to gte his job back. 

‘Dad’s back,’ he said.

As he explained to Chloe and Luke that he wants to get his job back, Chloe could be heard saying: ‘You’re only an employee now.’

The episode received mixed reactions, with some saying that the intrigue felt ‘contrived.’  

‘What a load of nonsense. We all know he’s not retired,’ one viewers said. 

‘This week Noel’s pretending he’s going to retire,’ one commented. 

‘These forced storylines are ruining the show. As if he’s going to hand his whole business over to his daughter whilst she’s on maternity leave or son who can’t make a pie without burning it,’ one said. 

‘After all this faux drama. Noel is going to decide not to retire after all. I bet ya,’ another wrote.  

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