We’ve got 12 children and haven’t ruled out a thirteenth, say Scottish TV-star family

MEET the Hanns – they are much like any other Scottish family, but with one notable difference. Roy and Emma Hann already have 12 children and haven’t ruled out having more.

With a weekly shopping bill that includes ten toilet rolls, 34 pints of milk and 21 loaves of bread and an industrial-sized washing machine churning ten loads a day, life for one of Scotland’s largest families isn’t cheap. But Mrs Hann insisted she relished the challenge of organising a household larger than many small companies.

“I devote every second of my time to the kids, but the rewards are amazing,” said Mrs Hann. “People may think we’re mad but I wouldn’t change my life for anything.”

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The couple and their 12 children, ranging in age from nine-month-old Posy to 20-year-old Rachel, are one of several families featured in a new television show on Channel 4, 15 Kids And Counting, which begins Tuesday.

The Hanns, who have been married for 21 years and are practising Mormons, allowed a film crew access to their six-bedroom semi-detached house in Dundee where the kitchen has been specially extended to allow the entire family to sit down and eat together.

Mrs Hann said she and her husband were used to having lots of people around. “I’m one of eight siblings and Roy’s one of nine,” she said. “Big families are the norm for us.”

Keeping tabs on so many children takes work. The older children have their own after-school activities while the younger ones vie for their mother’s attention. “It isn’t easy,” she said. “When one child’s demanding I plait her hair, the baby’s crying and the boys are fighting, I can feel overwhelmed.”

Mr Hann, 41, is a nurse at Dundee’s Ninewells Hospital while his wife is a full-time mother, who relies on her older children to lend a hand when they can.

Providing for their many children on a single wage topped up with child benefits is major challenge, she said.

She explained: “From nappies to coats to dentist’s bills, the costs are endless. On top of the mortgage, our electricity and gas bill is £200 a month.

“The weekly food shop is around £250 and includes ten toilet rolls, 34 pints of milk and 21 loaves of bread. After we’ve given the kids pocket money for doing chores, it leaves us with very little.

“We sacrifice family holidays and new clothes. We’re lucky we’ve got ten girls as the kids wear hand-me-downs.”

Production company Lion Television approached the family to take part in their new show. The three-part series will focus on the day-to-day life of several larger than average families. The Hanns will be the stars of the third episode, to be screened on 31 January.

The family were filmed over several weeks. Mrs Hann described the experience as “fabulous” but admitted feeling nervous on occasion. She said: “At times it was hard and stressful trying to get the kids to do what they needed to do and behave.

“But some things were really fun, overall it has been an amazing experience and the camera crew were just wonderful.”

The documentary will highlight how simple everyday tasks such as making meals become major tasks for a big family.

Although the house in which the Hanns live looks like others on the street, it has been extended and is now a three-floor home.

The Hanns use huge cooking pots that look like those found in school kitchens and their cupboards are filled with catering-size packs of dried food and ten kilo bags of rice.

When the weekly shop is delivered by the local supermarket, the whole family is summoned to help put the shopping away.

The family even has a specially built kitchen table big enough for everybody to sit around. She said she hoped the series would show large families in a positive light.

“We are quite private people and I quite like it that way,” she said. “To be honest we just get on with our own lives, so it was quite strange to have so much interest in us.

“Some people love to have children around them and that is the way we are here.”

Even with 12 children the couple have not ruled out having more. Mrs Hann said: “There are no plans to have any more yet…but never say never.”