A team of midwives will deliver Channel 4’s alternative to the Queen’s Christmas Day broadcast this year.
The women from the Princess Anne Hospital in Southampton, who featured in the channel’s documentary series One Born Every Minute, are following in the footsteps of Ali G, Jamie Oliver and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran to deliver the broadcast.
The alternative message, which will be shown at 3pm on Christmas Day, is part of a series called One Born At Christmas, which runs over the holiday period.
Midwife Kay Duggan said: “It’s lovely to work here at Christmas because you meet all sorts of different people, different religions and cultures – all celebrating Christmas in their own way.”
Head of midwifery Maria Dore said she wants people to think about families who have lost loved ones, and said a birth is “a way of celebrating again”.
Channel 4 has been delivering its own Christmas message since 1993. Last year, acid attack survivor Katie Piper urged viewers to “appreciate the beautiful things and the beautiful people that you have in your life now”.
But other choices have been more controversial, including President Ahmadinejad, who delivered his 2008 broadcast to a wave of criticism.
English writer, actor and gay icon Quentin Crisp became the first person to present Channel 4’s alternative Christmas Day broadcast in 1993, while American civil rights activist and Baptist minister the Rev Jesse Jackson succeeded him the following year.
Marge Simpson became the only cartoon character to deliver the channel’s alternative message when she got the nod in 2004, while Rory Bremner and Sharon Osbourne are among those who have also had the honour.