The New Father A Century of Fatherhood


The New Father

The modern father has a more intimate relationship with his children, but the sexual revolution, feminism and modern divorce laws have made him more insecure.


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Transcript


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This is the image of the new father,

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used by the advertising industry in the '90s

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to sell the modern family lifestyle.

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It reflects a major shift in men's attitude towards

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their children in the last 50 years, and a sea change in the kind of dad

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they aspire to be.

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The physical and emotional intimacy

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between father and child has never been more intense.

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Suddenly you're in there right in the middle with

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someone that you just love to bits.

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We just had a huge amount of fun together - this little, this little

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person who was just evolving before my eyes.

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And I was with her sort of all day long, every day.

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Never had expectations

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of the good father been so high, but at the same time, never had dads

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felt so vulnerable, so powerless and so excluded from family life.

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As divorce spiralled, the legal system marginalised fathers,

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making it difficult for them to stay close to their children.

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They became lost in a labyrinth of bureaucracy and court orders.

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Some took to the streets, bewildered by changes that seemed to be

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making them redundant.

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What sort of person

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is going to say, "Actually you know what, we don't need fathers"?

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What sort of person is going to say,

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"Well, we're going to put you through eight years,

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"or ten years of going through the family justice system"?

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Two parents are better than one, surely to God that's what we

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believe in as a country, surely that's what's best for children.

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But when families split up, it was still the mother rather than

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the father who was assumed to be the natural and best parent.

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Fatherhood is not really looked upon

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with the same sort of strength as motherhood.

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This weird concept that somehow mothers are closer to their children,

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it's something that I think has become a self-fulfilling prophecy,

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where we've said it so often that we not only believe it, we now enact it

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and we now have a society where it's the norm.

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In almost every home in Britain, the relationship between the modern

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father and his children was being redefined.

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50 years of sexual liberation and feminism had changed the rules.

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The hands-on modern dad was very different to the traditional

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father figure of the past. He was more intimate, yet more insecure.

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This is the story of the difficult birth of the new father.

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This is how it used to be.

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-Keep your eyes shut.

-I am darling, tight shut.

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In the '50s dream of married life, the husband had a clear role

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-as provider and protector in his new home.

-Now open them.

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-Oh, is this ours?

-Like it?

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Oh, put me down, I want to look.

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But this dream of suburban family life

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had far less appeal to the young generation of the '60s.

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Oh, darling, it's heavenly.

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I can't believe it's all true.

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Some who'd grown up in solidly middle class homes

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saw suburbia as a trap and wanted to break free from all convention

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to discover who they really were.

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One of them was public school boy Rashid.

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I always felt very clearly the ridiculousness

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of the moral code by which we lived. It was stultifying, it was rigid.

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I perceived myself at the age of 20 as a stuffed shirt.

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I didn't...

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I couldn't say or think anything that hadn't been put into me by

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school, my parents, my family, you know that I...

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I felt myself as an automaton in some way.

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The young men who would become the next generation of fathers

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were embracing the values of the '60s sexual revolution,

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with its explosion of hedonistic music and fashion.

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First to go were the taboos on sex before marriage, once regarded

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as essential in encouraging couples to marry and stay together for life.

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I ended up jumping into bed with the first woman who would have me,

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really, who was herself

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a product of that same society.

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So already you know it's a totally unsustainable relationship.

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To begin with, the sexual freedom was liberating.

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It was made possible by the invention and widespread use

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of the contraceptive pill.

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But there were still many unplanned pregnancies.

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Young rebels like Rashid soon became young husbands and fathers.

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For a while, actually, it was wonderful, maximum sexual temptation

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with maximum opportunity to

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express it.

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Very soon she got pregnant and I was very excited cos I've always

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loved kids, I've always, always been able to relate easily to kids.

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The swinging sixties is a decade that's become legendary

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for its sexual daring and extra-marital affairs.

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Of course there was nothing new

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about adultery, but the permissive atmosphere encouraged young people

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to take a more open and honest attitude to sexual adventures.

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When the secret came out, however, the feelings of anger, jealousy and

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rejection that were unleashed could destroy any relationship.

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Would you come inside now, please.

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What was once a lifetime commitment was ending in divorce

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and the trickle of divorce cases became a flood after the 1969

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Divorce Reform Act made it much easier for a couple to split up.

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And marriage according to the law of

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this country is the union of one man with one woman.

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But the new divorce laws

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also helped turn the marriage break-up into a battleground.

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One glamorous '60s marriage which ended in a bitter divorce battle

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was that of playwright Terence Frisby.

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She went to see a divorce lawyer.

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I said, "Don't go, we don't want a lawyer, let's just try and sort

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"this out between us. You've been unfaithful, I've been unfaithful.

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"What's it matter, the lives we've been living,

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"what big surprise is that?"

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And she sort of concurred with that, but, this man, I'm pretty sure now in

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retrospect he fancied her and he was determined to get her into

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bed if he could, and he made sure that no reconciliation occurred.

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Terence was one of the '60s fathers who discovered how the

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new divorce laws put men in a vulnerable position when it came

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to access to their children.

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He had to fight hard to see his young son, Dominic.

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I turned up at my mother-in-law's house and knocked on the door

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to see Dominic.

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And no-one was at home.

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And I just stood on the doorstep on this summer's afternoon,

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I thought I was going to see my son for the first time for months

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and, then afterwards an apology was made, "Oh, she wasn't well, sorry."

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Well, if she wasn't well, where was she?

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She wasn't at home,

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and so even then every little trick and nuance was used

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to try and twist the knife and I can remember well, I can remember

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the pain of it, of course I can, but I remember the rage I felt about it.

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I thought it was disgusting that the courts

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should even let it happen and my own lawyers just shrugged and said,

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"Oh, well, that's what the courts do."

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Meanwhile, the big influx of fathers

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who came to Britain as economic migrants from New Commonwealth

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countries like India and Pakistan, also felt the pain of separation

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from their children but for very different reasons.

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Laeeq Khan arrived in Bradford from Pakistan in 1967.

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His aim was to work hard

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to help create a new and better life for the family he'd left behind.

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It was a very big decision, I didn't want to do that,

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because that would mean leaving Farhat and two boys.

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But I had to take it because I was so ashamed of my earnings

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in Pakistan, not to be able to afford what they want and, in future,

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what they will expect from me.

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Laeeq was a proud breadwinner whose mission, like many other

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post-war immigrants, was to provide for his wife and children.

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By saving hard, he hoped one day to be able to afford to bring them over

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to Britain so they could all live together again.

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Though this meant he had to live

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apart from his wife, Farhat, and his children for years,

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there was no question about his loyalty and devotion.

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There was no way that I could send them a lot of money which

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I didn't have, so the only

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thing which I thought I should do is to keep writing to Farhat,

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and, so that she at least have link with me every day,

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or almost every day.

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So I wrote...

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Before I used to go to sleep, I always had a letter

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beside me,

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in the envelope.

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Stamped, so that when I get up in the morning, on my way

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I'd post that letter to Farhat.

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But a very different dream was capturing the imagination

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of the sex, drugs and rock'n'roll generation in Britain.

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This was the hippy ideal

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of escaping the rat race and living a more simple life on the land.

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Amongst the men inspired by this dream was Rashid.

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He split up with his first wife

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and, in 1970, moved to Wales with his new family.

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I've always felt myself as a country person and so we just

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decided, Nicky and I, to go and leave London, buy a little farm.

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Suddenly we were in this totally new life, we had to learn everything

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and it was wonderful being

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close to nature, growing our own food, shepherding our own sheep,

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taking care of them, lambing time, and in amongst that,

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having our own second son. Joseph was born upstairs

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in the bedroom with this

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wonderful view that overlooked the mountains of Wales,

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the Brecon Beacons, the Black Mountains,

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all the way up to Shropshire.

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Beautiful, beautiful place we lived in, we were in paradise.

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Paradise for Terence Frisby

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was simply being able to see his son, Dominic.

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His legal battle with his ex-wife to get access to him continued.

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This made the time they were able to spend together

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all the more precious.

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One of the best things that happened when he was a kid was swimming.

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I took him swimming twice a week.

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That was when I got to see him, twice a week when he was five or something.

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And then I taught him to swim at a very young age and he really,

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he embraced the water as only kids can.

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But these joyful moments were always cut short by painful handovers

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that, for Terence, still evoke images of the Cold War.

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Coming and picking him up was ghastly and taking him back was worse.

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And I used to call it the Berlin Wall handover.

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You remember in those days, in the Cold War, the spies and things

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that were handed over at Checkpoint Charlie or somewhere in Berlin?

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Anyway, I always called it the Berlin Wall handover and I used to turn up.

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Sometimes Dominic would be running up and down outside the house,

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when he was a bit older, with his swimming togs under his arm,

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waiting and so on. And coming round the corner...

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And you see it gets me even now, seeing him there was quite a sight.

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The fathers who'd left their families

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in New Commonwealth countries to make a new home for them in Britain,

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knew the agony of being apart from their loved ones all too well.

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In 1974,

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after seven years of separation, Laeeq Khan's wife and three children

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set out from their home town in Pakistan to join him in Bradford.

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Their extraordinary journey and reunion were filmed by Panorama.

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Waiting for them to arrive at Heathrow Airport was Laeeq.

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The prohibitive cost of long distance air travel had meant that

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he had not been able to afford to visit his wife and children.

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Now they were about to be reunited forever.

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I went to Heathrow airport.

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And she...

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Here she comes with the children

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and they're very, very nice children,

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very, very nice.

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They came running...

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..and...

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cling to me.

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And...

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they were very excited.

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And I was very excited when I saw Farhat and the children.

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I had to hold my emotions.

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I wanted to kiss her, but I couldn't.

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But she, she knew that I loved her

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and the boys came round to me and I hugged them.

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Laeeq's Muslim cultural background forbade any public display of

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the deep emotions he felt.

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He couldn't wait to take his family back to Bradford to

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the new home he'd bought for them.

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Then I brought them home.

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I was very proud...

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to bring them in my house.

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They waited seven years

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..and I was very proud to be Dad then.

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Laeeq trained to be a television engineer so he could earn good money

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and provide for the needs of his family in a way that had

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been impossible in Pakistan.

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He embodied the best values of the traditional father.

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The boys were waiting eagerly for me to come home,

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and when I opened the door they were behind the door.

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THEY SHOUT EXCITEDLY

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You know, and they, they all round me,

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and they loved me, you know, as if there is nothing...

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..nobody is more important in their life...

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..then their dad.

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However, some British families were giving up on traditional notions

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of dad altogether.

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In an extraordinary piece of reverse migration,

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they rejected the materialistic world of the west

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and travelled east looking for spiritual and sexual enlightenment.

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In 1977, Rashid and his family gave up their small farm to start afresh

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in an ashram in Poona.

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They joined the Orange People becoming disciples of the Indian

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mystic Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh who christened them all with new names.

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This is where Rashid, formerly called Patrick, got his new name.

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For me, a lot

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of that time in Poona

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was to do with letting go of a lot of our conditionings to do with mine.

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So we didn't have any possessions, we didn't want any possessions,

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we didn't need it. OK, I've got a record player.

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Bhagwan's followers tried

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to free their minds from all ideas of western convention.

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Open and loving relationships

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were regarded as the key to enlightenment.

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But they soon found it wasn't that easy.

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In a sense I was sort of letting go of my wife, my son,

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and, by that reverse logic I was in a way expecting that...

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..I could be with my girlfriend, with a girlfriend,

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with my son there, and it wasn't

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a big issue for him that she wasn't my mummy.

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In fact, it didn't work like that.

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But I didn't really recognise clearly

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how deep the old thing is, you know.

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that this is my wife and my son and my mother.

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How deep these are or even,

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that they are hardwired into us and that we'll always have that.

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The emotional importance of family ties proved stronger

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than Rashid had imagined.

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Although he remained a loyal disciple of Bhagwan,

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his wife soon left him and returned to England with the children.

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At some level, I always felt that the relationship

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with Nicky was ongoing, that we were still together although

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we had to go different ways to do it.

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And, yeah, I lived celibately for...

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..really until I got a dear John letter from her

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saying, actually, she's now with Johnny and...

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..it's all, it's all over between us.

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And for me that was painful, it was very painful.

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But yet living in that commune, which is incredibly emotionally supportive,

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I was sort of OK.

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I went through my stuff.

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Rashid's personal quest would result in a painful

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separation from his children that would last for many years.

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However for Terence Frisby, the separation from his son Dominic was

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so devastating, in 1974 he helped set up the group Families Need

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Fathers, which campaigned for equal parenting rights in divorce cases.

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He and Dominic, seen here playing in the back garden, were featured

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in this BBC Open Door programme.

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Families Need Fathers is concerned with equal parenting.

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Every year an increasing number of marriages collapse.

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The chances of you being in a divorce as either parent

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or child is now nearly 2 to 1 on.

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It's a sobering thought, isn't it?

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Suddenly we had an epidemic of men deprived of their children

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because of divorce and I don't think that has ever happened before.

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Divorce before the '60s was very much a middle

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and upper middle class affair, wasn't it?

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And chaps were much more buttoned up then, and the boys might have

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gone to public schools anyway.

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But suddenly, there was a whole generation of men

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who were being deprived of their children, and for the first time

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we heard this murmur coming up from underneath somewhere, that,

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it's not fair, which it wasn't.

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Sorry to say something so banal, but there you are.

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And, I think Families Need Fathers gave a voice to that, very much so,

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and I heard so many stories in their walk-in talk-ins of ghastlinesses.

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It was very good that people could come and hear it was happening

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to other people because, as always in these things,

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it's like Alcoholics Anonymous and all of that, isn't it?

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it's jolly good to find that you're

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not alone in the world in this thing and you're, you're not some madman.

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In the 1970s and '80s, the influence of feminism put further pressure on

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the traditional family based on marriage for life

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in which the mother stayed at home and the father went out to work.

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It was hugely influential in persuading the younger generation

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that housework was demeaning

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and there should be a more equal relationship between men and women.

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Women now wanted a career as well as a family, just like their husbands.

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The ideals of feminism were embraced by many men too, who

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believed that becoming more involved in bringing up their children would

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also enrich their lives.

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Nevertheless, the new responsibilities that

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they knew they would have to take on made some young men more uncertain

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about becoming a father.

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Charlie Rice became a dad in 1975, when he was 24.

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Julia kept on saying, she wanted to become a mum, she wanted to,

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and I just all the time thought, oh, no, I'm too young

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for this, I'm still a kid myself.

0:21:370:21:38

Anyway, she came home one day, said I've been to the doctor,

0:21:380:21:41

the doctor said I'm pregnant. My first thought was where can I run to?

0:21:410:21:45

It was, I really thought, no way can I do this, I am not old

0:21:450:21:49

enough to look after myself properly, let alone look after another child.

0:21:490:21:52

Can I have one more push for the rest of the baby.

0:21:520:21:55

The new fathers of the seventies were encouraged to be present

0:21:550:21:59

at the birth of their baby as a way of bonding them together

0:21:590:22:02

from the very beginning. For Charlie it was a life changing moment.

0:22:020:22:07

The making of me really,

0:22:070:22:10

was to see the birth of my daughter, it really was. It changed me

0:22:100:22:13

and I know people talk about bonding and all this kind of stuff.

0:22:130:22:17

I suddenly grew up, I did.

0:22:170:22:19

To see this vulnerable little being coming out, her little head and then

0:22:190:22:25

slowly and slowly and then her body just slithered out.

0:22:250:22:28

It changed me completely.

0:22:300:22:32

There was this being who was just so needy of me, she did, she needed me,

0:22:320:22:38

and I knew that I was there to give and provide and nurture

0:22:380:22:43

for this baby.

0:22:430:22:45

Charlie took to being a new father with great passion.

0:22:450:22:48

It was more difficult than he ever imagined, but worth it.

0:22:480:22:52

I was busy, sterilising bottles, washing nappies, feeding, because

0:22:520:22:58

Bronnie went onto the bottle when she was three months old

0:22:580:23:02

because her mum went off to a women's conference up in Manchester for

0:23:020:23:06

International Women's Day and so I had her for the weekend, completely,

0:23:060:23:13

you know, dependent upon me.

0:23:130:23:16

With more women resisting the role of full-time housewives,

0:23:160:23:19

'70s and '80s fathers became more involved in housework

0:23:190:23:23

and childcare than ever before.

0:23:230:23:25

Dads from all social classes began

0:23:250:23:28

to play a more important role in looking after their children.

0:23:280:23:31

The life partner that women were

0:23:360:23:38

looking for was no longer necessarily the man with

0:23:380:23:40

good career prospects that their father would want them to marry.

0:23:400:23:44

The old stereotypes were breaking down.

0:23:440:23:47

Linda Shanson chose Balou, a blind Indian sitar player

0:23:470:23:52

and street musician she met in 1982.

0:23:520:23:55

When I was in Paris I fell madly in love

0:23:550:24:00

with Balou,

0:24:000:24:02

and I'd only known him a month and I was completely besotted with him,

0:24:020:24:07

and I thought that my father would be equally besotted with him

0:24:070:24:11

and the idea that we were going to get married.

0:24:110:24:13

And so, I brought Balou to London

0:24:130:24:17

to meet him and the list of attributes that my father

0:24:170:24:21

would have wanted for his daughter, I sort of crossed them all out. So, A,

0:24:210:24:28

my would-be husband wasn't Jewish.

0:24:280:24:32

B, my would-be husband wasn't white, C, my would-be husband wasn't rich

0:24:320:24:40

and D, my would-be husband was completely blind.

0:24:400:24:44

And to me this was something to celebrate, but my poor father

0:24:440:24:50

was in a state of shock really.

0:24:500:24:51

By the eighties, some of the stereotypical ideas of masculinity

0:24:530:24:57

were fast becoming the stuff of parody.

0:24:570:25:00

But some of the old ideas

0:25:000:25:02

of what it meant to be a real man remained deeply embedded.

0:25:020:25:06

One of them was virility and to be able to father your own children.

0:25:060:25:11

So to discover you were infertile could still undermine any man.

0:25:110:25:16

Walter and Olivia Merricks desperately wanted a baby.

0:25:160:25:20

After all tests on Olivia and then tests on me,

0:25:200:25:25

it was discovered that I'm infertile.

0:25:250:25:29

Of course, being told that something that you expected to be able to do,

0:25:290:25:34

as a man, and that you

0:25:340:25:37

now just can't do,

0:25:370:25:40

is, there's a heavy sense of something that you're gonna

0:25:400:25:48

have to grieve about.

0:25:480:25:50

It's like a bereavement, something really that's part of you has died

0:25:510:25:59

and, I guess I felt like that.

0:25:590:26:03

However, the grief turned to joy when his son was born.

0:26:030:26:08

He was the first of two children

0:26:080:26:10

Walter and his wife had using donor insemination.

0:26:100:26:14

Though Walter wasn't the birth father, the love he felt for his

0:26:140:26:18

children couldn't have been greater.

0:26:180:26:20

The first thing that happens, you know,

0:26:210:26:24

people come round, look at the baby,

0:26:240:26:26

"Doesn't he look like you?"

0:26:270:26:29

And that's what people say when they look at babies.

0:26:310:26:35

Actually people we'd told still went on about this sort of thing.

0:26:390:26:45

They knew perfectly well it could not

0:26:450:26:47

look like me, and I sort of had to joke about it.

0:26:470:26:49

I loved being a dad, I loved it,

0:26:510:26:54

you don't have time to mope or think about any of these other things.

0:26:540:26:57

You're taken over by the, by just

0:26:570:27:01

the natural human love for a baby.

0:27:010:27:06

And I was good with babies, I still am good with babies.

0:27:080:27:12

Yet in '80s Britain there were still men who embraced

0:27:130:27:16

the centuries old values of fatherhood,

0:27:160:27:18

none more so than the coal miner.

0:27:180:27:21

He was the male breadwinner who for generations had risked his life

0:27:210:27:24

to feed and clothe his family.

0:27:240:27:26

It was a heroic role still taken seriously by the miners here

0:27:260:27:30

in Mardy Deep Pit in South Wales.

0:27:300:27:32

But even here the men also aspired to be a new kind of hands-on father.

0:27:320:27:39

Brynn Davies was dedicated to looking after his four children,

0:27:390:27:42

two of his own and two from his wife's first marriage.

0:27:420:27:46

And I've seen the two of the boys here getting born and labour,

0:27:460:27:51

she had a bit of a bad time on one of them and, when you hear her

0:27:510:27:56

and you see her like that it's emotional,

0:27:560:27:59

to see the baby come out then.

0:27:590:28:01

And, what they all say is it,

0:28:010:28:03

all babies are beautiful. God, I didn't think that at all!

0:28:030:28:08

God, they was ugly,

0:28:080:28:10

with all the muck and stuff like

0:28:100:28:12

that around them, but yeah they was, to put the baby in your arms then is,

0:28:120:28:17

God, it's life.

0:28:170:28:19

You think you can fly, I think.

0:28:190:28:21

is you feel so light on your feet and so, God, so proud.

0:28:210:28:25

When they was a couple of months older, it was a bit difficult to

0:28:250:28:28

get into first as they're so small you're afraid you're gonna drop them.

0:28:280:28:32

But yeah, I fed them

0:28:320:28:36

and took them to bed, got up in the mornings to them when they cried,

0:28:360:28:39

done my little bit with that.

0:28:390:28:41

Getting up then, you're getting up six o'clock, 5.30 for work,

0:28:470:28:50

God, you're head is in the shed.

0:28:500:28:53

But yeah, that's something that you've gotta do for them.

0:28:530:28:56

But the traditional working class family was changing fast,

0:28:590:29:04

a change closely tied to the decline of the manufacturing industries that

0:29:040:29:07

had supported the male breadwinner.

0:29:070:29:10

In place of the old nuclear family came the rise

0:29:110:29:15

of the single parent family.

0:29:150:29:17

There were over a million of them, some headed by lone fathers.

0:29:170:29:21

This new reality was often ignored or frowned upon.

0:29:210:29:24

When Charlie Rice's wife, Julia, died, he became a single parent

0:29:270:29:31

bringing up his daughter, Bronnie, and his adopted daughter, Ellie.

0:29:310:29:36

Bronnie had an accident. She had to have some surgery on her ankle.

0:29:360:29:41

This was immediately after Julia had died.

0:29:410:29:44

There was I with the consultant in a little hospital room,

0:29:440:29:49

so there was him, my daughter and me.

0:29:490:29:52

And he was doing some plastic surgery on her ankle.

0:29:520:29:55

She had short hair, but she had earrings in either side,

0:29:550:29:59

she was wearing a track suit cos that was much

0:29:590:30:01

more practical given the fact that she had a big bandage on her ankle.

0:30:010:30:05

He said to her, you can go home and tell

0:30:050:30:07

your mum what a brave boy you are.

0:30:070:30:11

How could he, how could he?

0:30:110:30:13

How could that person do that, act so ignorantly to that poor child,

0:30:130:30:21

who'd just been brave?

0:30:210:30:22

He didn't know whether she was a boy or a girl, and I did not exist.

0:30:220:30:29

How could he do it and her mother had just died?

0:30:290:30:33

I said to him very calmly, just what I said to you.

0:30:330:30:37

Her mum died three weeks ago.

0:30:370:30:39

I said in future you only deal with the adult and the

0:30:390:30:43

child that you have in front of you.

0:30:430:30:46

The new families displayed a refreshing openness and honesty.

0:30:460:30:50

There were to be no family secrets, however painful,

0:30:500:30:53

for Walter Merricks.

0:30:530:30:54

Gradually, when they were really quite young, we told them,

0:30:560:30:59

how they were conceived.

0:30:590:31:01

It's really only when they get to about seven or eight that

0:31:010:31:05

they begin to, they can begin to put

0:31:050:31:10

this information in some kind of context and begin to say,

0:31:100:31:14

ah, so does that mean that...? Oh, I see yes, yeah, yeah.

0:31:140:31:19

But by that time the knowledge has been part of their life

0:31:210:31:26

and part of what they, what they know

0:31:260:31:29

and, if you ask my kids now,

0:31:290:31:32

when they were first told, they just can't remember.

0:31:320:31:37

It has just been always part of their life, there was never a moment when

0:31:370:31:41

we sat down with them as it were and there was some kind of bolt from the

0:31:410:31:46

blue to say, we've got something, some awful news to tell you.

0:31:460:31:50

The rise of the gay liberation movement from the seventies onwards

0:31:530:31:56

continued to question conventional ideas about men and women,

0:31:560:32:00

just as the feminist movement had done before it.

0:32:000:32:03

The idea of a gay man being a father still aroused much suspicion

0:32:030:32:07

and hostility, made even greater by the new homophobia that arose from

0:32:070:32:11

the AIDS crisis in the eighties.

0:32:110:32:14

One of those who became aware of the true nature of his sexuality at this

0:32:140:32:18

time was single parent Charlie Rice.

0:32:180:32:21

He came out, but was careful to only reveal his gay identity

0:32:210:32:26

to his close friends and family.

0:32:260:32:29

One of the fears I've had about being a gay dad was that people would take

0:32:290:32:33

my children from me, because I was gay, purely for that reason.

0:32:330:32:39

And so I always made it a big thing that I was not going to

0:32:390:32:43

be out there that much.

0:32:430:32:45

They knew that I was gay

0:32:450:32:48

and their friends would know I was gay if they wanted them to know.

0:32:480:32:51

They used it as a cache when

0:32:510:32:53

they were at secondary school. They did, they loved it.

0:32:530:32:56

But I was never overly demonstrative sexually in front of them, because

0:32:560:33:02

it wasn't quite right it didn't seem.

0:33:020:33:04

But one night I was with this other chap and I was having a snog

0:33:040:33:08

on the front doorstep and Ellie came home with her boyfriend and I

0:33:080:33:13

just fell through the door laughing in the end because it's not something

0:33:130:33:17

I wanted to happen at all, at all.

0:33:170:33:19

Under the Thatcher government of the '80s,

0:33:200:33:23

the industrial landscape of Britain

0:33:230:33:25

was transformed out of all recognition.

0:33:250:33:27

Traditional industries like coal,

0:33:270:33:29

steel and shipbuilding were decimated

0:33:290:33:32

and whole working class communities vanished in just a few years.

0:33:320:33:36

The proud working class father now faced mass unemployment.

0:33:360:33:42

The most symbolic defeat of all was that of the miners.

0:33:420:33:45

In 1985, the men of Mardy Pit in the Rhondda returned to work after

0:33:450:33:50

holding out for 12 months on strike.

0:33:500:33:53

One of them was Brynn Davies.

0:33:530:33:56

I think going back a lot of people said they was proud to walk

0:33:560:33:59

back to work.

0:33:590:34:01

I didn't think I was proud to walk back to work because

0:34:010:34:04

we was defeated without a doubt.

0:34:040:34:06

A lot of people said, no we wasn't defeated. We was.

0:34:060:34:10

We'd lost the strike and we knew,

0:34:100:34:12

it wouldn't be so long the pits would go, the unions would be smashed,

0:34:120:34:17

and which it was.

0:34:170:34:19

Five years after the end of the miner's strike it was announced

0:34:190:34:23

that Mardy Deep Pit was to close.

0:34:230:34:26

For Brynn, filmed here in 1990, the future looked very uncertain.

0:34:260:34:31

-Is it beginning to sink in now?

-Yeah, especially you can't get a job,

0:34:310:34:35

I don't think I've got the stick in the house all day or walk the streets

0:34:350:34:38

or something like that. I think I'll have to get work somewhere.

0:34:380:34:42

Can you imagine your wife being the breadwinner?

0:34:420:34:45

No, I don't think I'd like that, no.

0:34:450:34:47

For Brynn and miners at Mardy, there were jobs to be had but

0:34:510:34:56

they were low paid and short term,

0:34:560:34:58

not the kind of thing to support a family on.

0:34:580:35:00

I always remember coming up the last day in the pit,

0:35:020:35:04

a lot of the boys were just talking,

0:35:040:35:06

what are we gonna do and what d'you think we're gonna do?

0:35:060:35:09

I got to,

0:35:150:35:17

into the baths then, getting ready to strip off

0:35:170:35:21

and, I think I just can remember just putting my head

0:35:220:35:25

in my hands and thinking,

0:35:250:35:27

what's now, what's next?

0:35:290:35:31

You're thinking, you've got nothing,

0:35:310:35:35

and I think it just drains you,

0:35:350:35:38

to think that you're not gonna get up tomorrow and work and,

0:35:380:35:43

what you're gonna do is...

0:35:430:35:46

Like, I'm the man who's supposed to be bringing the money in

0:35:460:35:49

and that's what I should be doing.

0:35:490:35:51

In the Welsh valleys and in mining communities all over Britain,

0:36:030:36:08

a centuries old way of life that revolved around the male breadwinner

0:36:080:36:11

was facing extinction.

0:36:110:36:13

It was the end of an era.

0:36:130:36:15

Brynn and his wife became joint managers of a local bar.

0:36:200:36:23

The work meant he was still helping to provide for his children

0:36:230:36:27

but in a different way.

0:36:270:36:29

The first couple of weeks broke my heart.

0:36:290:36:33

It's something I've never done before

0:36:330:36:36

and thinking have I done the right thing, have I done the wrong thing?

0:36:360:36:41

And it took me I think really about three months really to get into it.

0:36:410:36:45

I was used to drinking the beer, not serving it, and, to see some of my

0:36:450:36:49

friends on that side and I'd be pulling pints for those and...

0:36:490:36:53

..it was a different ball game, yeah.

0:36:540:36:57

But despite all the social changes, traditional family ties could still

0:36:580:37:03

exert huge emotional power.

0:37:030:37:05

Linda Shanson overcame her father's objections to marry Balou,

0:37:050:37:09

and like many mixed marriages, it turned out very well.

0:37:090:37:13

They have two grown up children and both Linda and Balou became

0:37:130:37:17

successful musicians in their own right.

0:37:170:37:20

As she grew older, Linda wanted to re-build

0:37:210:37:24

the relationship with her father and one of her most precious memories

0:37:240:37:28

is singing to him on his death bed.

0:37:280:37:31

I chose a song that my mother used to sing and I sang it because

0:37:310:37:36

if I sing it in a certain style I sound like my mother.

0:37:360:37:41

And I sang this song and I hadn't sung it for years and

0:37:410:37:46

I sang it to him and suddenly his face lit up and he lifted himself off

0:37:460:37:52

the bed as though with a look of recognition in his face, as though,

0:37:520:37:56

my mother was there.

0:37:560:38:00

# Down Yehuda Street in Tel Aviv

0:38:000:38:06

# In a wonderful morning in May

0:38:060:38:11

# It is heaven on Earth you'll agree

0:38:110:38:16

# Only a Yiddishe maidlach to see

0:38:160:38:22

# Da, da, dada, da, da dada

0:38:220:38:27

# Da da dada, da da dada... #

0:38:270:38:30

I think of him with me all the time actually, and whenever I perform,

0:38:300:38:35

because he always had very strong opinions, you know.

0:38:350:38:38

You must have a clear beginning and a clear middle and a clear end to your

0:38:380:38:42

performance, and he always had his ideas of how to do things.

0:38:420:38:48

And now when I sing, in public, on the stage, I think that he's

0:38:480:38:55

there and I have to give it my all for him or he'll be criticising me.

0:38:550:39:01

The relationships formed between the new generation of fathers

0:39:030:39:06

and their children as they grew older were much more open and equal.

0:39:060:39:10

Some fathers and daughters

0:39:100:39:11

were becoming like best friends, sharing their social life together.

0:39:110:39:15

In the 1990s, gay father Charlie Rice enjoyed

0:39:150:39:18

introducing his grown-up daughters to a new world he was discovering.

0:39:180:39:24

After they'd sort of both left home I suppose I had my second adolescence,

0:39:240:39:29

really. I did go a bit wild and I used to go to Ibiza a lot.

0:39:290:39:33

And anyway I'd book this holiday to Ibiza and Bronnie'd just come

0:39:330:39:37

back from the States having gone over there to see if she was going to live

0:39:370:39:40

there. and things didn't quite work out so she was feeling a bit blue.

0:39:400:39:43

So I took her with me to Ibiza, bit the wrong thing to do actually,

0:39:430:39:47

cos she cornered into my bit of world again and, she just loved it.

0:39:470:39:51

I took her clubbing and so on. It was a changing point for her.

0:39:510:39:56

I led her into what was safe to say a youthful culture because I was living

0:39:560:40:01

my life again, because it is a huge responsibility having children,

0:40:010:40:05

whether you're single or whether two parent family or whatever.

0:40:050:40:09

And I think I didn't really have a proper adolescence when I was in

0:40:090:40:12

my teens. And then maybe being a dad but slightly younger I had

0:40:120:40:16

my adolescence when I was older and I had a great time and they joined in

0:40:160:40:20

and we still, and we always have partied together, we always have.

0:40:200:40:23

By the 1990s, the new father had become an everyday phenomenon.

0:40:260:40:30

No longer the macho man of the past, he was more home based, he spent

0:40:300:40:34

quality time with his children, and he began to appear as an

0:40:340:40:38

affectionate comic character in adverts like this one.

0:40:380:40:42

Dan Gardiner was emblematic of this ideal of the new father.

0:40:460:40:51

He was happy to put his career

0:40:510:40:52

as a structural engineer on hold to become the full-time carer of

0:40:520:40:55

his young children whilst his wife pursued her career as a barrister.

0:40:550:41:00

For Dan it was important to forge a deep and lasting

0:41:040:41:06

bond with his children.

0:41:060:41:08

I decided this is a good opportunity for me to spend time with the kids

0:41:100:41:15

while Carrie established herself professionally in

0:41:150:41:19

a set of chambers in Bristol. And it seemed like really good timing

0:41:190:41:23

for both of those, I could shoulder

0:41:230:41:25

the lion's share of looking after the household and looking after the

0:41:250:41:30

kids and looking after an ill child while she established herself.

0:41:300:41:34

Dan's son suffered from a rare form of immune deficiency.

0:41:340:41:39

At least once he came quite close to death,

0:41:410:41:45

you know, he sort of flat lined.

0:41:450:41:47

We were told by the, by the...

0:41:470:41:49

doctors that he'd had sort of temporary organ failure.

0:41:490:41:54

I'm not quite sure how that works but, he'd been very, very ill.

0:41:540:41:59

And I think it made him very insecure.

0:41:590:42:02

He would struggle to get to sleep, he really would struggle to get to

0:42:020:42:06

sleep and he would wake up in the middle of the night a lot sort of

0:42:060:42:10

with, congested and coughing and whatever and I would go and,

0:42:100:42:13

go and lie in his bed with him. And the way he would

0:42:130:42:16

get to sleep would be,

0:42:160:42:18

me lying on my back and him lying on my chest, we'd be chest to chest.

0:42:180:42:24

And that would reassure him and he would go off to sleep.

0:42:240:42:28

But if I tried to move even an inch,

0:42:280:42:31

or just slightly, slowly try to offload him so that I could go

0:42:310:42:34

and get my own sleep he would wake up and he would panic and he would,

0:42:340:42:38

he would get very upset and I think he ruined my sleep, basically.

0:42:380:42:43

My sleep pattern's never, never recovered after that.

0:42:430:42:46

Hands up.

0:42:460:42:48

The new father of the '90s was proving that

0:42:480:42:51

he could be very successful as the principal carer of young children

0:42:510:42:56

but traditional attitudes that mothers were always best meant

0:42:560:42:59

there was an institutional bias against fathers taking on this role.

0:42:590:43:02

In 1995,

0:43:020:43:04

Paul Lawrence became the proud father of his first child, Kareem.

0:43:040:43:08

He was a devoted dad but after he and his

0:43:080:43:11

partner split up Paul found himself powerless to get the kind of contact

0:43:110:43:15

time with his son that he wanted.

0:43:150:43:18

What was peculiar for me was that the entire system

0:43:180:43:23

didn't seem to support the concept and perhaps even myself that a man

0:43:230:43:29

could just parent his child.

0:43:290:43:30

So I did what I thought was the right thing, just you know

0:43:300:43:33

did everything to make sure that she could, you know, look after my son.

0:43:330:43:38

Eventually after a few battles, we had to go to court for access.

0:43:380:43:44

When I went to court, I looked at the

0:43:440:43:45

judge and I realised that I couldn't win, cos I actually applied for full

0:43:450:43:50

custody of my son, I realised I couldn't win because for her,

0:43:500:43:54

first of all, it was a stretch for her to imagine that a man

0:43:540:43:59

would want custody of his child.

0:43:590:44:01

That was the first stretch and, without being racist in the least,

0:44:010:44:04

I suspect a 6 foot 3 black man with a beard just didn't fill her picture

0:44:040:44:09

of what a father looked like

0:44:090:44:11

and our society is more comfortable thinking of children with women.

0:44:110:44:17

After a protracted legal battle, Paul was granted an access order

0:44:170:44:21

that allowed him to see his son every other weekend.

0:44:210:44:24

But the order was sometimes broken by Paul's ex-partner

0:44:240:44:28

and he soon discovered there was little he could do about it.

0:44:280:44:31

You feel angry.

0:44:330:44:34

I felt angry because I was thinking to myself,

0:44:340:44:37

well, hold on a second, I've fulfilled my requirements.

0:44:370:44:40

You know, we had gone to court, the court said that I should have my son.

0:44:400:44:45

All you have to do is bring him to the door at 7 o'clock on a Friday,

0:44:450:44:50

and you choose not to do that.

0:44:500:44:52

You choose not to do that because you know there's nothing I can do.

0:44:520:44:56

Monday morning I will write to a solicitor, ring a solicitor, but

0:44:560:45:00

in reality there's nothing I can do.

0:45:000:45:02

Dan Gardiner's life was also turned upside down

0:45:050:45:08

after his wife had an affair.

0:45:080:45:11

The divorce that followed was part of a new trend

0:45:110:45:14

in which women initiated more marriage break-ups than men.

0:45:140:45:17

Even though Dan was the children's main carer, suddenly his position

0:45:170:45:21

in the family seemed under threat.

0:45:210:45:23

In spite of having done the kind of egalitarian sort of equal

0:45:250:45:29

roles within the partnership and, and family thing, when everything

0:45:290:45:33

was in such turmoil emotionally with me I, I kind of reverted to type.

0:45:330:45:37

I kind of not reverted to type, I reverted to the traditional role,

0:45:370:45:43

the man's traditional role, that somehow the mother

0:45:430:45:47

has a right to the family home in a way that the man doesn't.

0:45:470:45:53

Although he moved out of the family home,

0:45:580:46:01

the risk of losing his children soon focused Dan's mind.

0:46:010:46:05

It was non-negotiable for me that,

0:46:070:46:10

that we should have equal sharing in the lives of our kids.

0:46:100:46:14

Carrie's initial assumption was that she would of course get the kids,

0:46:140:46:21

which I resisted right from the outset.

0:46:210:46:23

I was, I was possibly a bit cruel, actually.

0:46:230:46:27

When she suggested that, my instant reaction was,

0:46:270:46:30

well actually I've been looking after the kids, I think any court

0:46:300:46:33

would let me have the kids.

0:46:330:46:35

And I think that spooked her.

0:46:350:46:36

So that brought her round

0:46:360:46:38

very quickly to the idea of having 50/50 care arrangement.

0:46:380:46:43

A new generation of fathers

0:46:450:46:47

whose marriages split up were now demanding shared parenting rights.

0:46:470:46:52

This was rarely achieved because the courts preferred

0:46:520:46:55

the children to live with one of the parents, usually the mother.

0:46:550:47:00

The change from hands-on father with a day-to-day caring role,

0:47:000:47:03

to weekend dad, was hugely painful.

0:47:030:47:07

Matt O'Connor was a loving dad with two young sons.

0:47:100:47:14

When his marriage broke up he saw how the legal system turned partners

0:47:140:47:18

against each other, aggravating every grievance and denying him

0:47:180:47:22

his role as a loving father.

0:47:220:47:26

I went from seeing my children every day,

0:47:260:47:29

to seeing them in a contact centre, for what a judge described

0:47:290:47:34

as a cooling off period.

0:47:340:47:36

Which was profoundly distressing, not just for me, I think for the kids,

0:47:360:47:41

because you're at home one minute and you're sitting in front of

0:47:410:47:45

the TV and you're, you're watching bloody Jar Jar Binks and Star Wars.

0:47:450:47:49

And the next minute you're in this cold,

0:47:490:47:53

inhospitable landscape of Formica chairs that are broken and toys that

0:47:530:47:58

are broken, being watched by sort of three people sitting at a table.

0:47:580:48:03

And a welfare officer came up to me when I was with the kids, who

0:48:030:48:07

I hadn't seen for a period of time, and he started asking me questions in

0:48:070:48:11

front of the children. I was like, I've not seen my children.

0:48:110:48:14

Yeah.

0:48:160:48:17

So you struggle,

0:48:290:48:32

to get by.

0:48:320:48:34

Matt abandoned the court system and came to a friendly arrangement

0:48:360:48:39

with his ex-wife so he could have regular access to his children.

0:48:390:48:43

Then in 2001, Matt formed Fathers 4 Justice

0:48:450:48:49

to bring the plight of fathers like himself into the public eye.

0:48:490:48:52

They soon made the headlines

0:48:520:48:54

with dramatic protests in which divorced dads

0:48:540:48:57

dressed up as comic book superheroes and scaled famous public buildings.

0:48:570:49:02

Guys, put your super suits on, right,

0:49:050:49:08

down a fancy dress shop, get a ladder, go, and that was it.

0:49:080:49:13

It's when people say why do you do these things, why do you subsequently

0:49:130:49:17

go off and start a campaign? I went off and started a campaign because

0:49:170:49:22

the law wasn't being enforced, the court orders weren't being enforced,

0:49:220:49:25

the law is farcical and grotesque and abusive to all the participants who

0:49:250:49:30

go into the system, including the mums, but most of all children.

0:49:300:49:35

Divorced fathers clung to the smallest rituals that

0:49:350:49:38

bonded them with their children.

0:49:380:49:39

For Paul Lawrence it was the weekend visit to the barber's shop,

0:49:390:49:43

where his son's haircut took on added emotional significance.

0:49:430:49:48

As my son grew up,

0:49:510:49:53

you know, one of the things certainly every dad likes to have

0:49:530:49:56

is the little Saturday, certainly if you're a black guy,

0:49:560:49:59

go down the barber shop, everybody's talking stories,

0:49:590:50:02

not really telling the truth, but it's a father son thing.

0:50:020:50:05

And one Saturday he said, no, don't want my hair cut.

0:50:050:50:09

I had an inkling as to why because I knew that she had gotten together,

0:50:090:50:14

that's my ex-wife, gotten together with a gentleman

0:50:140:50:17

who wore his hair in plaits.

0:50:170:50:18

And, so I had an inkling that that's why, but I didn't want

0:50:180:50:22

to play that game, I didn't want to play the blame game,

0:50:220:50:25

so I said, OK, I can't stop you.

0:50:250:50:27

So he had his hair in plaits for a number of years.

0:50:270:50:32

That was a major defeat, it was a major defeat to see my son

0:50:320:50:37

reflecting somebody else.

0:50:370:50:40

You know, let's take ego out of this, let's take me not liking

0:50:400:50:43

the guy out of this, let's just stick with the basics which is,

0:50:430:50:47

there was my son, my child,

0:50:470:50:48

reflecting the look of somebody else, someone who had just come

0:50:480:50:52

into his life, but obviously was having such an enormous impact

0:50:520:50:56

and that hurt, that hurt because that's not what I wanted,

0:50:560:51:00

you know, what every dad wants is for his son to look like him.

0:51:000:51:03

But Paul didn't give up.

0:51:030:51:05

He joined the 100 Black Men of London.

0:51:050:51:08

Their special mission was to help young Afro-Caribbean boys.

0:51:080:51:12

Through this work, he eventually won back

0:51:120:51:15

the respect from his son that he wanted.

0:51:150:51:18

I got involved with a group called the 100 Black Men at the time,

0:51:180:51:22

whose main mandate was looking after young black kids in the community

0:51:220:51:26

specifically with an eye towards

0:51:260:51:28

the boys and that I think was a great experience for me, because aside from

0:51:280:51:33

just the normal stuff that you get when you say, you know, the man who

0:51:330:51:37

you get when you become a dad, they provided me with more insight

0:51:370:51:40

into stuff like mentoring, into working with young people.

0:51:400:51:44

And I've got to admit I took a lot of that

0:51:440:51:46

on board with working with my son.

0:51:460:51:48

Then came the day when Kareem had his plaits cut off.

0:51:480:51:52

It was great for me because now I saw my son reflecting,

0:51:520:51:56

yes, selfishly, values which I felt were very, very important.

0:51:560:52:01

And now, knowing that you know

0:52:010:52:03

something like I'm back the main man, you know, and that's what it's about,

0:52:030:52:07

I make no apologies for wanting to be the main man in my son's life.

0:52:070:52:11

CHILD WHINES

0:52:110:52:14

No, not till after your dinner, I've told you "no".

0:52:140:52:17

With the divorce rate at an all-time high,

0:52:170:52:20

family break ups were hugely disruptive to children's lives.

0:52:200:52:24

This was further complicated

0:52:240:52:25

when the parents went on to form new relationships and marriages.

0:52:250:52:29

The 1990s heralded a new era of step-parenting.

0:52:320:52:37

By then, one in eight of all children

0:52:370:52:40

were growing up in a step-family.

0:52:400:52:43

There was no more difficult situation for a step-dad

0:52:430:52:47

than to be regarded by the children as Mum's toy boy.

0:52:470:52:51

When Edison Johnson got married, he was seven years younger

0:52:510:52:55

than his wife, Beverley, and he faced the difficult prospect

0:52:550:52:58

of becoming step-dad to her three children.

0:52:580:53:00

There were times when I decided not to come home,

0:53:020:53:05

and to take a second journey round the block.

0:53:050:53:11

Or I just sat in the car when I got home, sometimes before,

0:53:110:53:16

took a, kind of, deep breath and come in the house, you know?

0:53:160:53:19

I found it pretty delicate and so I did spare a thought

0:53:190:53:24

for what might be going through their minds, all the time.

0:53:240:53:28

And I always thought that way, "I wonder if they're OK with that,

0:53:280:53:31

"is that OK?" and I might ask my wife sometimes.

0:53:310:53:34

But I didn't find her very useful on that level.

0:53:340:53:36

I thought, "Right, I'm going to just make a decision."

0:53:360:53:40

And nine times out of 10, if I just settled myself down,

0:53:400:53:45

it wasn't as bad as what I thought it would be.

0:53:450:53:48

Or, all the things I was thinking it might be, it wasn't.

0:53:480:53:52

Edison gradually won the affection and respect

0:53:530:53:56

of his wife's three children,

0:53:560:53:58

but when he and Beverly decided they wanted their own child,

0:53:580:54:01

he wasn't sure how he would cope with becoming a father himself.

0:54:010:54:04

I looked at the baby and it didn't look as bad as I thought,

0:54:080:54:11

cos I think babies don't actually look nice when they're first born.

0:54:110:54:14

But, as anything, I think they're... I think it's...

0:54:140:54:18

Your baby looks nice to you when it's born.

0:54:180:54:21

So it was beautiful, he's beautiful,

0:54:210:54:24

he's absolutely gorgeous,

0:54:240:54:27

absolutely gorgeous.

0:54:270:54:29

I held him in my arms, and he was pretty chilled and relaxed, really,

0:54:340:54:38

he wasn't fussed, or anything like that.

0:54:380:54:41

And then, it was busy, you know, changing diapers,

0:54:410:54:46

what's the big deal?

0:54:460:54:48

Feeding babies, what's the big deal?

0:54:480:54:51

I literally took... I was looking after that baby...

0:54:510:54:54

When she fell asleep I took the baby off the breast,

0:54:540:54:56

looked after the baby for myself and then put the baby to bed,

0:54:560:55:00

made sure the baby was washed, cleaned

0:55:000:55:02

and done all of that stuff easily.

0:55:020:55:05

So by the time he's got his own character,

0:55:050:55:08

and he's literally staring at me as I walk across that room,

0:55:080:55:12

that's when I think to myself, "Nah, is he looking at me?"

0:55:120:55:16

Are you with me? That's when it starts to look good, you know?

0:55:160:55:19

Matt O'Connor re-married,

0:55:210:55:23

had a new son and became step-dad to his second wife's daughter.

0:55:230:55:26

It was a very modern and happy family.

0:55:260:55:29

But his commitment to Fathers4Justice

0:55:290:55:32

remained as strong as ever.

0:55:320:55:33

What sort of person is going to say,

0:55:350:55:38

"Actually, you know what? We don't need fathers."

0:55:380:55:42

What sort of person is going to say,

0:55:420:55:44

"Well, we know we're going to put you through eight years or 10 years

0:55:440:55:48

"of going through the family justice system,

0:55:480:55:51

"bankrupt the family - emotionally and economically,

0:55:510:55:54

"with no resolution."

0:55:540:55:56

It's a fundamentally abusive system.

0:55:560:55:58

What we're saying is, "Right, you can't necessarily go back

0:55:580:56:01

"to the traditional nuclear family, but the most important thing is -

0:56:010:56:05

"the maths is simple, two parents are better than one."

0:56:050:56:09

And that's what I believe in.

0:56:090:56:11

After separation or, yeah, hopefully, if you're together,

0:56:110:56:14

that's even better. But if it has to be after separation,

0:56:140:56:19

retain the love and care of both parents

0:56:190:56:22

and never ever hate your ex more than you love your children.

0:56:220:56:26

Fathers have come a long way in the last hundred years.

0:56:280:56:31

Most modern dads want to enjoy

0:56:310:56:33

an intimate relationship with their children from the beginning.

0:56:330:56:36

And breaking the bond with their children

0:56:360:56:39

is something they are less inclined to accept than before.

0:56:390:56:42

Fathers in history have often been stereotyped as remote,

0:56:440:56:47

distant and uncaring figures.

0:56:470:56:49

But across a hundred years of change,

0:56:490:56:51

encompassing a social and sexual revolution,

0:56:510:56:54

they've enjoyed much closer and more important relationships

0:56:540:56:57

with their children than has previously been thought.

0:56:570:57:00

Those who did, have enriched their own lives. On the way,

0:57:020:57:07

changing attitudes and making new lives possible for their children.

0:57:070:57:11

Laeeq and Farhat Khan are now proud grandparents

0:57:130:57:17

and are happy with the new life they made in Britain.

0:57:170:57:21

Our birthdays come, we look forward to them, and any excuse to celebrate,

0:57:210:57:27

any excuse to kiss. I mean, I still kiss them.

0:57:270:57:30

I still kiss them in front of their wives.

0:57:300:57:33

I don't... It doesn't deter me.

0:57:350:57:38

It's my son and those are my grandchildren.

0:57:380:57:42

So that's my life,

0:57:440:57:47

that's my happiness.

0:57:470:57:49

Rashid re-established close contact with his children

0:57:490:57:53

when he returned to Britain, and now has a large extended family.

0:57:530:57:58

They've given me unconditional love.

0:57:580:58:03

They've given me unconditional love.

0:58:050:58:07

It's beautiful.

0:58:150:58:17

Dan Gardiner and his ex-wife are now on friendly terms,

0:58:190:58:22

and together, they've created new and lasting relationships

0:58:220:58:25

with their children.

0:58:250:58:27

I've always wanted to be really good friends with my kids, you know?

0:58:270:58:30

I'm not sure I had that with my dad, but I had it a bit with my dad,

0:58:300:58:34

but when it came to me having my kids it was...

0:58:340:58:37

They were so funny and they were such nice people

0:58:370:58:40

that I just wanted to be their friends as well as being their dad.

0:58:400:58:44

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:58:520:58:55

E-mail [email protected]

0:58:550:58:58

Three-part series which tells the story of the revolution in modern fatherhood in Britain during the last hundred years. Using intimate testimony, rare archive and the latest historical research it reveals the very important, and often misunderstood, role played by fathers.

The final episode reveals how the experience of being a father was transformed between the 1960s and the present day and looks at the lives of a fascinating cross-section of fathers from all walks of life over the past fifty years.

The modern hands-on father has a more intimate relationship with his children than the past, but the sexual revolution and feminism has also made fathers more insecure than ever before. Modern divorce laws have excluded fathers from family life and from the access they want to their children. The anguish felt by many dads was expressed in the Fathers 4 Justice protest movement.


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