Spare a thought for Graham Walton.
This is a man who’s had to put up with being the last in the queue for the bathroom for much of his life and he won’t have won an argument for the last 30 years, that’s for sure – but he wouldn’t swap his six daughters for anything.
You see, he and Janet are parents to the world’s only surviving all-female sextuplets – and the family are celebrating the girls’ 30th birthday with a special family trip to New York, their first holiday together in nearly 10 years.
Graham explains: “I wouldn’t change a single thing, I wouldn’t change a second. The experience I’ve had in the last 30 years, you know, living with the six girls and bringing them up. Loved it, I honestly loved it. I would do it again in the blink of an eye, I would do it again, honest.”
If these women look familiar to you that’s because ITV has followed Hannah, Luci, Jennie, Ruth, Kate and Sarah throughout their lives, and this latest instalment documents yet another milestone they’re reaching together.
The programme follows the Walton sextuplets, from Wallasey, as they all get six heart tattoos as a permanent reminder of their special bond. They reminisce about how far they’ve come.
Janet was once told it was unlikely she’d be able to have children, but after fertility treatment, she and Graham were over the moon to hear they were expecting six babies.
Janet says: “It was shock. Thrilled, you know. No one had had sextuplets before in this country. So we really didn’t know what the future held.”
But the future was to hold happy and healthy childhoods – which has been a relief, given that Janet and Graham were told that the chances of all six girls surviving was remote, and the chance of them reaching adulthood without experiencing serious health problems was extremely slim.
However, the women are happier – and closer – than ever, with Hannah, Ruth and Luci still living at home, while Sarah and Kate live a few minutes away from the family home; Jennie is the only sister to have moved away from home. She owns a confectionary business and lives in Leeds with her partner Matt.
En route to New York, at the airport the family are surprised by an old friend, as Michael Aspel wishes the girls happy birthday.
And once they touch down in the Big Apple, they meet another group of sextuplets for the first time, the Carpios who are five years old.
Talk inevitably turns to having children of their own, as Kate says: “We all want to settle down and get married and have children. I mean I’d love to give my mum and dad grandchildren one day.”
But for Hannah, one or two children would be enough. She explains: “I don’t think I want quite as big a family, I don’t want six children, I don’t think I’d be able to cope.”
Cameras follow the sisters as they exchange presents and reminisce about the last three decades.
THE WALTON SEXTUPLETS AT 30, ITV1, THURSDAY 9pm