Ten Brits embark on one of the toughest weeks of their lives with the secret advice of strangers from around the world. Here, a husband-to-be and a new dad get help.
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Imagine if, during one of the toughest weeks of your life...
It's a daunting thought.
A lot of the responsibility's going to fall on my shoulders.
..you could have the support of wise strangers from around the world?
Hi, Dan. Can you hear me?
We know a little bit about it.
Maybe there's some things we can help you with.
Their guiding words beamed live into your ear...
You must walk tall, show the patients that I'm here to heal you.
..day and night via a hidden earpiece...
Good morning, you little sleep away person.
This is so strange. LAUGHS
..while family and friends remain totally
unaware of these unseen guardian angels in your head.
Hello, my sweetheart. Hi. I have to be discreet.
In this series, people with life
experience from all over the world will watch live...
You all right? Aii!
..and listen in to help desperate Brits...
That's it, that's it, that's it. ..in need.
Brett, if you put the little
fellow on your shoulder there, and burped him, would it help?
Put him on your shoulder and burp him. Sometimes that's a bit easier.
Don't forget to tell her that you love her so much.
I love you. I love you too.
Keep it up!
Can the worldly wisdom of new-found friends...
You can't change what happened to you, but remember this,
today is the first day of the rest of your life.
..each with their own unique perspective on life,
offer us help at a time when we need it most?
Go, go, go, go. Come on girl!
To have people to even, like,
care and push me that much was, like, amazing.
Come on, Lauren. Let me hear you say, "Thank you, Dad."
I'm glad you're watching. I'm glad you're here.
The sages offering guidance from the
far corners of the Earth this week...
..are, in Ireland, Sister Una.
I bet you none of you know that the Holy Father wore red shoes.
I couldn't believe that the Pope had red shoes.
In New York, streetwise retired cops Mark and Joe.
I'm not dancing to Dancing Queen. Just so you know.
In Norway, Lilian, a health and lifestyle guru
and former Playboy model.
I would never eat a hamburger if they paid me 1 million.
And in South Africa, traditional healer Elisa and best friend Gwen.
We want you to have faith. We want you to be positive, right?
They'll be offering up their
collective pearls of wisdom to help two people in need.
Brett, who's worried he won't be able to cope with newborn twins
and a wife recovering from major surgery.
It's kind of worrying that with all the things that's gone on,
it's now completely on us.
Is there anything you want to ask me?
Do you want to move in? Wouldn't I love it!
But first, our sages begin by
learning about the struggles of 35-year-old Dan.
St James's, which is where we'll be on Saturday.
In just a few days, he's set to marry the love of his life, Suzy,
in a small village on the Norfolk coast.
It's so quiet and clean.
That's like God's country right there.
So I'm here, dripping with sweat, terrified.
Suzy will come up here.
I'll probably start crying, if I'm honest.
Bit emosh. And then, yeah...
Then it all goes off.
We're going to need to pick up the rings
and you need to pick the suits up as well.
But this will be no ordinary wedding.
You definitely need to write me a list, because let's be honest,
I will forget.
Dan will need all the help he can get
to simply make it through his big day.
Nine months ago, he suffered a sudden double stroke,
changing their lives forever.
I sneezed on my way to work, lost my eyesight.
Got told I'd dissected an artery in my neck and I'd had a stroke.
What a shock.
I can't describe how I felt when it happened, to be honest.
It felt like a dream. It felt like,
"How the hell can this be happening to us?"
I was put on the ward for the rest of the week, and then
Saturday morning unfortunately I had a second massive stroke.
Lost my entire left side,
lost the right side of my face, which slipped.
My speech was affected. I went blind again.
Yeah, we've had a bad few months ever since, really.
Since leaving hospital,
Dan's had Suzy by his side, caring for him night and day.
He's regained his sight and speech, but other symptoms,
such as chronic tiredness, still dominate his life.
It's probably pretty difficult to feel whole,
especially when you're relying on...
If you're the alpha male in your home and now here...
..your fiance is doing everything.
When the fatigue hits you, it's almost like you become drunk.
You can't make simple decisions and it becomes physically very painful.
My eyesight will become quite tunnelled,
and all of a sudden you can hear everyone's conversation
and it's very loud and it's very overwhelming.
And you just can't think.
You've lost that ability to cope.
We need to give him support.
We need to help him to manage the stress level.
Despite his fragile health,
Dan is desperate to support Suzy in the build-up to the wedding.
But more than anything,
he's set his heart on delivering the perfect groom's speech
in front of all their family and friends.
Worst case scenario is that my best man's having to prompt me,
Suzy's having to hold me up
and that it's just completely apparent that I've been unwell.
I would be really disappointed with that.
I'd be pretty damn mortified.
It's so important that we help him
with the speech cos that's the only moment that's really going to be...
..from the heart. Correct. The spotlight will be right on him.
If I don't manage my stroke and the fatigue and the physical and mental
symptoms and push myself too hard, my wedding day will be a disaster.
Get in there, you wee beggar.
Over the next week, the sages will be doing everything they can
to make sure Dan gets the big day he deserves.
Fiance Suzy knows they are taking part in a documentary,
but doesn't know that Dan will be receiving wisdom
from around the world via an earpiece.
I am knackered today.
I am really feeling it.
I am really struggling already.
It's fair to say today's effort was a disappointment.
Don't laugh. I put my heart and soul into them.
Over in Norway, health and lifestyle guru Lilian
has a thing or two to say about Dan's choice of cuisine.
This is a disgusting diet.
This type of food is going to clog
up his arteries further so he might have another stroke, even.
And it's going to take down his energy level and his vitality.
I would never eat a hamburger if they paid me 1 million.
As Dan tucks into a second cheeseburger,
Lilian is enjoying an organic smoothie,
and has a few thoughts on how to boost the groom's low energy levels.
Hello? Dan, can you hear me?
So I just thought I'd write them all out and we'll faff about with it
later. Otherwise I'm not going to get this done.
This is Lilian from Norway. I'm your Norwegian sage.
I was wondering if you could go to a room by yourself
so we could chat a little bit?
Where has my work phone gone? I've just got to call the office.
Hi, Dan. Hello.
I just kind of overheard you said that you're not feeling so well?
No. A big part of stroke recovery is fatigue.
Just really been battling to sort of get through the day.
I want to help you with that aspect of your life.
I am what you call a nutritionist and I am a diet consultant.
OK. I do have a question, actually.
Yeah? I tend to lean towards sugars to give me a little boost
and I know that's probably not a good thing to do.
Yeah. It's not just the white sugar, by the way, Dan,
it's the white flour products.
OK. Yeah, like white flour, actually,
when it goes into your system turns into sugar in your body.
Did you know that? No, I didn't know that, no.
So if you could go to a health food store and get yourself
some organic dates and maybe some dried figs?
Right. That has natural sugars but
doesn't spike your blood sugar the way regular white sugar does.
But it gives you energy. OK. I'm going to give that a go.
And alcohol by the way?
Did you have a plan to drink a lot of alcohol at your wedding?
I have a huge plan to drink a lot of alcohol at my wedding, yeah.
Yeah, you definitely have an excuse Dan, but don't overdo it.
I hate dried fruit. I hate raisins.
I hate all that guff. But I'll see what happens.
Do you want a drink of anything, darling? Maybe just a squash.
With Lilian's warning ringing in his ears,
Dan decides to opt for straight water
over his go-to sugary squash drink...
Just going to drink the water! Way to go, Dan!
..before heading upstairs to start
work on that all-important wedding speech.
I'm knackered. This is going to take me a while.
Another side-effect of Dan's stroke is feeling panicked in crowds,
so speaking to 120 wedding guests at
the end of the week will be a tall order.
Luckily for Dan, over in New York, with three marriages between them,
retired cops Mark and Joe have more
than a little experience in this department.
What happened at your wedding? With your speech?
I was nervous as anything. It was like a blur. I was babbling.
Did you ever cry at your wedding? No. You've been crying ever since?
Hey, Dan. It's Joe. How you doing?
How you doing, John? I'm good, thank you.
It looks like we come from a little
bit of a busier place then you come from.
Yes, I like the countryside. I like it quiet.
So you're working on a speech? I'm trying my best.
What are you going to write about?
Do you know what, it's a funny thing.
I don't want the stroke to have to feature
and I don't really want to talk about it,
but it has defined who we are.
We're a better and more loving couple because of what happened.
You know, it sounds like you took your darkest time
and made it into your finest hour.
Yeah. You have to tip your hat to this and acknowledge the event that
happened, because obviously you guys have gotten closer.
I guess I just want to prove to
everyone that I've beaten it and I'm still me.
Even though it tried to kill me, essentially, I've beaten it.
I keep saying to Suzy, the best is yet to come.
That sounds like a speech right there.
You've got your speech right there. Right there. It's sincere.
That's a good footnote that one, wasn't it? I better write that down.
Yeah, let's write this down. Write from the heart.
That's what she wants to hear though, I would imagine.
"I'm going to be here for you, as you were for me,"
and it sounds like you recognise her needs.
Sorry. It's all right.
Hold back. Yeah.
Is she getting this? Mm.
Jolly good. Do you want me to go somewhere else?
No, I'm done now. I'm done. All right.
She's pretty, isn't she? Yeah, she's adorable.
I can't wait to hear this speech.
I mean, you're a very dynamic person
and we're more than happy to put our two cents in.
Thank you. I appreciate that.
I'll give it my best for you two guys. Excellent.
It's an important step.
He's got to impress on Suzy how important she is in his life.
Later that afternoon,
Dan insists on helping Suzy set things up for the wedding reception,
to be held in the village hall.
Three tables on the top table and
then two tables together, but four lots.
How're we doing?
We have got to arrange all the tables, put the tablecloths on,
and then dress the tables.
How are the stress levels?
I've never been to a white wedding.
I've just heard a lot about because I'm a curious kind of person,
always want to know about this and that.
They don't normally get married in their houses.
They also go to a certain venue. Maybe the hall? Yes.
Then they have to book certain seats for certain people.
You know, black culture, it's the more the merrier. It is.
And the wedding will take the whole day and the whole night.
And when we cook, there will be two cows that will be slaughtered.
Shut that door. If we can't open
this door, we have a serious problem, don't we?
Anyone know a locksmith?
We've left the table plan at home. That's good. Yeah, helpfully.
Do you want me to go and get it? Do you want the paper one?
Yeah. Or the other one? The paper one that's on the fridge. Right.
Dan desperately wants to be involved,
but he's not really up to it.
How are you feeling? Physically, not great.
He's getting stressed and I think the stress is
because he's feeling tired.
The stroke, he'd be coping fine and
he's not coping as well as he would normally cope.
Yeah, he is. I think he's struggling.
I'm really tired. I've just had to go and get some decorations from the
top of the stairs and, honestly, I was so shattered by the end of that.
Hello, Dan. Hiya, Lilian. How are you doing?
Wholemeal bread. I took your advice.
You did? Wow.
Well done. Very handsome, Dan.
Thank you. I don't feel handsome.
I feel extremely stressed.
Are you in a quiet place all by yourself now,
so I can share with you a little bit of breathing exercise technique?
Yeah, OK. That'll take down the
stress and will make you relax better.
Hold on. Let me lose my toast.
Right, I'm ready. You can close your eyes.
Right. Try and breathe a little slower.
Try to focus on your stomach, you know, below your chest,
your stomach area.
You crack on, Lilian. I'm enjoying this.
If Suzy comes home and catches me laying on this,
I'm for the high jump.
Dan's absence hasn't gone unnoticed.
He's been quite a while.
But I think because of the stroke he just takes much longer now.
Take a deep breath and you relax.
As you breathe out,
focus on your pelvic area.
And as you let go and breathe out,
you let go of all the tension in your pelvic area.
So if you keep on doing this, Dan,
like you take a little time for yourself,
ten minutes a day or whatever,
you will learn to relax your mind with your body.
I'm so glad, now you have some physical stuff,
some mental stuff to work with and you have dieting down.
Yeah. So you are going to become
this phenomenal individual when you're getting married, Dan.
I hope so. Fingers crossed.
Feeling calmer after a spot of meditation,
a rejuvenated Dan finally turns up with the all-important table plan.
Hello. Nice to see you.
Maybe could you just leave stuff out in the hallway, please?
Thank you very much.
Nice to see me? I've only been, like, 15 minutes. Sorry.
Extremely bizarre, the little voice talking in my ear.
I've not had the best of days today, physically.
I woke up this morning and within 45 minutes
I was getting pretty overwhelmed and tired.
It's strange, like, a little bit of advice from a stranger
is enough to completely change your mood. It's bonkers.
Bonkers idea. But so far today it's been really rewarding.
It kind of gives me a lot of hope for tomorrow, really.
If you want to put the trousers and
the shirts on and bring, like, the waistcoats and the jackets down...
The following day, Dan's ushers
arrive at the house for a suit fitting.
I don't know who's going to count for me to open my eyes.
Uh! The old man is changing.
But almost immediately,
Dan's chronic tiredness takes hold and he's struggling.
I might have to rethink the old kneeling down bit.
I think Dan might feel a bit stressed.
Right, I need to get out of this suit.
When his fatigue hits like this,
Dan's only hope for recovery is complete rest until it passes.
Oh, God, he is sleeping. Yes, this man is so exhausted.
Do you think he's going to cope? I'm a bit worried about that.
But with the full church rehearsal taking place that afternoon,
Dan pushes himself to be there.
And I'm going to go to the front of the church and then I will ask
everybody to stand for the entrance of the bride.
Over in Ireland, Sister Una tunes in to see how Dan's coping.
I wonder how he's feeling?
You know, there's a lot happening for him there.
Who gives this woman to be married to this man?
So I think if everybody wants to go back to their respective places.
Hello, Dan. I'm Sister Una and I've been watching.
I'd love to have a word with you.
With the others out the door,
Dan grabs a discrete moment with his new guardian angel.
Hello, Dan. I'm just wondering how you are at this point?
Are you exhausted? Well, Sister, I am very, very tired.
But at the same time, I'm really, really excited.
I can't wait for Saturday now.
It's obvious to me that you love each other.
This wedding is saying goodbye to some bad times and...
..putting some clear water in front of us.
Right on. Go for it.
Yeah. You're going to be a stunning couple, you know, that day.
Yeah, I hope I don't let her down on the day.
I hope I give her a good day because she really deserves it.
Would you like me to give you a blessing?
That would be very nice. Thank you very much.
May the God of creation recreate you and your beautiful bride-to-be
in a new way. May God love you,
bless you and continue on your journey of deep faith and joy,
and above all, joy in one another. Thank you.
Take care, for now. Thank you, Sister.
Hopefully we'll touch base again. I hope so.
I'll have a pint of Guinness for you later on.
There's nothing like a pint of Guinness.
You're damn right there. God bless for now. Goodnight. Goodnight.
Where do you find these people? They're incredible.
In two days, their advice and their
support has become so important to me.
Especially on a run-up to a wedding.
It's so stressful and you're trying to be the best you can be.
But I'm lucky cos I have someone who has a little pep talk with me,
every now and again and gives me a boost, and gets me going again.
I feel like I've got a little army
of guardian angels who are doing their best for me.
They have really become very, very important to me when I talk to them.
With a day to go before the wedding,
Dan seems to be following his Norwegian sage's healthy advice.
Look how sporty he looks.
Now he's walking around in that kitchen with a lot of energy.
Dan! He's eating an apple, yes!
Dan, it's Lilian.
Can you hear me? Hiya, Lilian. How're you doing?
Did you go to the health food store? I did. You did?
I've got loads of fruit.
Dan! Kiwis... Kiwis!
Apples, whatever these are. They're really nice.
These are the dates, actually. Oh, they are dates?
Oh, I love those. And I'm drinking lots of water.
OK, good! And I hope that you will consider cutting down on meat,
so you can be light and energetic
and as happy as possible on your wedding day.
If you tell me it's worth trying, I'll give it a go.
Good! I'm glad I have your trust, Dan.
Lilian's sorting out Dan's diet,
but with a big speech still hanging over him,
it's over to ex-cops Mark and Joe.
Man, he's banging away on those keys. He's typing away.
Hey, Dan? It's good to hear from you two. I call you guys my wise guys.
There you go! There you go.
How's your speech coming?
I know on the day, I'm going to be very emotional.
What's your advice on just managing that?
I want to hold my nerve until I've done it.
Generally, I suggest drinking heavily.
I prefer you do that after you get through the speech.
But you have to be emotional about it.
My advice would be continue doing what you're doing.
You've made that decision to move forward,
to put one step in front of the next, and keep coming forward.
This is the same type of challenge.
Rely on your past ability to get to this point,
and have a little confidence in that in itself.
And I think you're going to be great
cos you're an inspiration.
People are going to hear and see and feel what you're saying up there,
and they're going to say, "Wow. Look at this."
Yeah. "Look at this." Thank you. Fantastic.
The reality is nothing really works out exactly the way it's planned.
Right. He's going to be emotional,
and he needs to address that mentally,
emotionally, before he goes into battle.
The wedding decorations are urgently needed at the village hall,
so Dan fights his fatigue and
ignores the pleas of the sages to slow down.
Look at what he's doing. No! Dan, no!
You can't do that! You're not well.
Look at this!
Go lie down. Yeah. Get some rest. And stop picking up those boxes.
The exertions of wedding prep are taking their toll.
I feel so sorry for him, you know.
All he wants to do is help Suzy for this wedding,
and he's just like over-exerting himself.
I'm, like, really worried that he
could have another stroke or something.
Cheers, everybody! Not wanting to let his ushers down, that evening,
Dan drags himself to the pub.
I feel really, really tired.
Mentally, I'm done.
When I get really tired, the nerve
endings decide they don't want to play ball
and they just start shooting pain everywhere.
I want to be pin sharp tomorrow.
And I'm really worried about messing it up and looking silly.
The speeches for me are the target point
where I'll relax and I'll just, "I've done it. We've done it."
That will be the point where we have triumphed, I guess,
over something that's been horrible for both of us.
Until that point, I'm going to be stressed, definitely.
SPEAKS OWN LANGUAGE
The wedding day has finally arrived.
And across the globe, Dan's secret VIP guests will have ringside seats.
He's got his lucky red pants. Look at that! Beautiful!
He just took out a new trouser and a suit!
Hands up who's a little bit excited.
the whole family have turned out in their finest for the big occasion.
Babies, this is a church, you know?
He looks healthy. He looks like he has energy.
Hello. Good morning, Dan. You're looking awesome today!
Thank you. I'm buzzing, I've got to say.
You're buzzing. Sorry, I'm talking to myself. I'm a nut-case.
Did you know, I just want to wish you lots of luck today.
And try to pace yourself a little bit.
Thank you, Lilian.
Everybody's dressed to the nines.
I feel like I'm underdressed.
Crowds of people are arriving, which can be a stress trigger for Dan,
so the sages are making every effort to keep him relaxed.
Hi, Dan. We're here with you.
Your special day has finally arrived.
Thank you. I'm glad you're watching. I'm glad you're here.
Good luck! Hold on. Thank you for your support.
That's been amazing. It's been magical having you guys in my ear.
Hi, Emily. How are you doing? Good. How are you?
Here we go.
MUSIC: The Wedding March
Oh, this dress is beyond gorgeous.
She looks so happy. And Dan looks so happy.
First, I'm required to ask anyone present
who knows a reason why these persons may not lawfully marry
to declare it now.
I, Daniel, take you, Suzanne, to be my wife.
For better, for worse.
For better, for worse.
In sickness and in health.
In sickness and in health.
I'm getting a little teary eyed. I got a little emotional there.
Imagine that. Want to hold hands? No.
I therefore proclaim that they are husband and wife.
Now, Dan, you may kiss your bride.
Come on, give her a good smooch, for God's sakes. Yeah.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
We did it.
I'm so happy for them.
Dan's following Lilian's advice and keeping alcohol to a minimum,
as he still has to face his biggest challenge of the night -
Beautiful reception. Look at all those people. Wow!
I think Danny's starting to look a little tired, man.
Yeah. It might just be anxiousness, because he knows the moment's here,
but this is his only one chance to do what he's got to do.
He'll do it. He'll be fine.
Right, I'm going to nip for the loo.
Hey, Dan, it's Mark and Joe.
Hi, guys. Hey. Congratulations.
Congratulations. How does it feel? It feels amazing, actually.
It feels really good. Hey, I just
want to give you a little advice before you go and do your speech.
I just want to tell you, you get one shot at this.
Not to make you nervous. You trained for it.
You studied it, you wrote it, you know it, you felt it,
you're ready for it. Do not psych yourself out.
You're going to do great. You just speak from the heart.
We're there with you in spirit.
Try and make myself look a bit more intelligent.
Knock 'em dead, Danny. Knock 'em dead.
Phew. So now it's all about me. Well, actually, that's a lie.
It's all about this beautiful lady here,
who I now have the honour of calling my wife. Mrs Needham.
It's no secret that myself and Suzy met on a dating website.
I'm not too proud to tell you also, she messaged me first.
When I got a message from her, it blew my mismatched socks off.
I thought the girl was probably messing with me,
or extremely desperate for a free steak and chips.
But I decided to respond for the hell of it. I'm bloody glad I did.
He's handled this well so far. Mm-hmm.
I was met with one hell of a sight,
a brunette in a summer dress and killer heels.
"Hot diggety dog," I thought. THEY LAUGH
He's knocking this out of the park. He really is.
I resigned myself to the fact I stood no chance whatsoever,
but would have a date under my belt to tell the lads.
Worst case, I'd tell them I'd seen her boobs. They'd never know.
THEY LAUGH He didn't.
Yeah, he did. THEY WHOOP
I found her company enchanting. I couldn't get enough of her.
Funny, intelligent, and so, so beautiful.
We were happy. I mean, really happy. Then things got funky.
I had a brainstem stroke,
as you all know.
Wow, he's getting choked up. Yeah.
He's doing good.
Without this girl, I would be dead.
I wouldn't have got up. I wouldn't have had the courage.
But that bastard stroke has made us what we are,
unbreakable as a couple, undaunted by pain,
with a strength you can only really find in someone
who loves you without hesitation or question.
When I came round, I asked her one question -
"If you're going to run, now's the time to do it."
Without hesitation, she said, "I'm not going anywhere."
I never lost a night's sleep after that.
I knew we could beat it, then and there.
Thank you all for being here today to support Suzy and myself.
Not just for today, but for the
support you've given us both over the last ten months.
I've been very lucky.
I have had huge support from all over the world.
Strangers have given me their time and compassion.
New York wise guy cops, South African healers,
so many have let me lean on them a little without asking for return.
Did he say what I thought he said? Yes.
But Suzy has done this on her own and never once wavered.
That is my girl. She's stronger than steel inside, but the most beautiful
living soul I've ever seen on the outside.
Please, ladies and gentlemen, would you raise your glasses to my wife,
MANY: Suzanne. To Suzanne.
To Suzy. To Suzy. Thank you, everybody.
Tremendous speech. Well done, well done, Dan.
Dan, real proud of you.
I was nervous and just having a quick pep talk with the wise
guys was really nice, so I kind of went in there full of beans.
I think I have succeeded and there's
been a few times when I thought I was going to...
..going to lose it a bit and not be of use, but every now and again,
having someone whisper in your ear, "Don't worry, you're doing
"the right thing. You're an inspiration,"
just gave me a huge boost. It's been brilliant.
Another job well done. Here you go, buddy. He did good, man.
Next around the world,
the sages are getting ready to help another Brit
in need of their wisdom and guidance.
And adding to the advice in Italy are chefs Chiara and mama Agata.
37-year-old Brett is a nervous first-time dad,
leaving hospital with twin boys
and a wife recovering from major surgery.
This is Gus and this is Jude.
Aww. Aren't they adorable?
Look how small!
It's been a gruelling pregnancy.
Jess was in and out of hospital for months
and the twins were born five weeks prematurely.
They really didn't get to enjoy a lot of the pregnancy,
like some couples get to, leading up to it, painting the room
and picking names.
Hey, gorgeous boy.
They're all leaving hospital today and Brett's worried
he's going to be out of his depth.
You know, Jess is recovering from what is essentially major surgery,
so a lot of the responsibility, I think,
in the early days, is going to fall onto my shoulders.
I haven't had a chance, really,
to go to any parent groups or anything
because we've been in and out of hospital, so I'm a little bit
worried about that feeling of being useless.
The sages will be on hand
to assist Brett for this first tricky week as he looks
after both the newborns and his worn-out wife.
I think it's going to be great to have the sages' advice.
Any kind of help is going to be massively beneficial
to me and the boys, I think.
As Brett's earpiece goes live, the new parents arrive home,
exhausted from lack of sleep.
Are you sure this is Jude?
This is Jude. Yeah. Who are we supposed to feed?
Jude. It's fine.
I've had about seven cups of coffee this morning. It's all good.
Jess knows they're taking part in a documentary,
but doesn't know about the voices in her husband's ear.
Over in Ireland, Sister Una and her neighbour, Danny,
who has two kids of his own, want to offer support.
Danny, I'm a general nurse and a midwife.
Right. I loved delivering babies, and I delivered many.
Good morning, Brett.
This is Sister Una Boland from Ireland.
If you could take yourself off to have a little chat...
And you'll be a great help here
because I could imagine how nervous Brett would be.
I was the same.
Lovely to meet you. In the past,
I was a midwife and a nurse, and I would have delivered twins.
How was the sleeping pattern? Do you take it all on, or what's going on?
During the day, it's fine. There's a period, I guess,
from sort of 10pm to 5am,
where they're just not playing by the rules.
What happened last night?
I can't even remember. It was an absolute daze,
but I think it was Gus just really struggled.
I thought, "I'll go and get him now so he doesn't kick off and wake Jess
"up," cos I just wanted her to try and sleep as much as she could
last night. You're very kind and understanding, and you're right.
What do you find the most stressful,
if we could use that word?
The most... You can definitely use that word.
Do you know what, it's not knowing what's wrong. It's the thing of,
like, you check the nappy and you think, "Surely it's not food..."
Yes. As soon as that scream happens,
it's like a switch and I'm up and I'm awake.
I always feel for men
because I think we can neglect them
and they're going through a lot. Yeah, yeah.
Is there anything you want to ask me? Do you want to move in?
Wouldn't I love it!
Why don't you go down, Brett, and see the boys?
I'd love to give them a blessing.
OK. In the spirit of trying new things, Brett gives it a go.
Oh, that's lovely. May the God of creation...
May the God of creation...
Bless these beautiful twins.
Bless these beautiful twins.
I make this prayer through Christ Our Lord.
Amen. Enjoy every minute of life, Brett.
It passes fast. Don't waste it.
All right? Mm. Good. You all right?
Yeah, I'm right. Become religious all of a sudden?
Something you want to say? That's what I'm going to suggest.
I'm a staunch atheist.
I've been rumbled straightaway.
Brett may have narrowly escaped being found out by his wife.
But now, over in Italy, culinary queens Chiara and mama Agata
are ready to serve up some of their wisdom.
During the day,
they need to cut a moment to think about what they have to eat.
Healthy. Because what she eats is what their kids eat.
The mamas believe good food will make all the difference
to Jess's recovery and the health of the twins.
If she's breast-feeding, extra virgin olive oil, tomatoes,
good quality ingredients will help her.
Also good would be fennel tea, cos the fennel tea...
Hello! Brett, can you hear me?
I'm here with my mother, Mama Agata.
We do believe that an important part of the family is the cooking.
What do you normally eat at lunch or dinner?
It's not been very good, to be honest.
No. Then let's have a nice, quick spaghetti.
Put on the skillet and some extra virgin olive oil and garlic in it.
See? Easy. Smells amazing, yeah.
Ahh, that is good.
I'm going to leave this door open because it does add a lot of heat in
that room. Oh, right, OK. Was there a reason why you shut it?
No, no, no, I was just... I was just, erm...
She's nosy. She doesn't understand what he's doing.
Get out of my kitchen, you.
I'll make you a nice lunch. Smells good.
Right, water is boiling.
I'll stick the kettle on.
I always tell the boys to cook because when the babies arrive,
they can do what you are doing. They can help.
Yeah, don't taste too much of it. Jess will not get much!
Is that all right? Lovely. Thank you, darling.
I loved talking with the Italian chefs
because that was the best pasta I've ever made, bar none.
It was just good general advice on nutrition and it's never really
occurred to me how we can use food
almost like a vehicle for showing each other love and, you know,
understanding and support, and all these things,
so, yeah, really enjoyed that.
He did really a good job.
Later that evening, sleep deprivation seems to be
taking its toll, so Brett decides to step up.
It's like looking after two mini versions of me, isn't it?!
It's all I want to be, I just want to be fed
and the occasional rub.
I don't care if they kick off, let me deal with it, all right?
You get some sleep. You must get some sleep.
It's going to be a long night ahead for novice Brett.
Come on, buddy.
If you can sleep for eight hours, that would be great.
Night-time is one of the worst times and it's something that's thrown me
way out of my comfort zone.
One wakes up before the other, or both wake up at the same time.
That's almost just as bad, because then one's screaming
and you're trying to run around and do two things at once.
And then you think, are you going to be up to the job?
Am I going to be a good parent, a good dad?
Am I going to be a good husband?
All these things kind of go through your head.
How have we managed that?
You've sicked up all over your face there, mate.
Next morning, Sister Una is up bright and early.
I mean, there should be other people doing this,
but, like, I'm a very humble sister and I always do the right thing.
A tired Brett and Jess have a friend over.
The news is that the twins aren't sleeping well and Sister Una has
a sneaky suspicion why.
Hi, Brett. Look at the camera if you can hear me.
Good. I was wondering, Brett,
if you put the little fellow on your shoulder there and burped,
would it help him to feed a little bit better?
It's just the nurse and midwife in me is saying that.
You might want to put him on your shoulder and burp him sometimes.
That's a bit easier.
Oh, that's lovely.
You just feel free to be sick all down me, that's fine.
Oh, there we go. I don't know which end that came from!
Hear that? Like a man, isn't it?! Burping is very important,
because it releases the wind
and you put them down, they're more comfortable.
I don't know which end. I'm at the business end, this end.
I'll soon smell it. It's not...
There's no way you can go again
after what he did at five o'clock this morning.
There's no way. Oh, my! He must have lost half his body weight.
50 years ago, no way would a man be changing nappies
and burping a child or feeding a child, no way.
So that has changed - and for the better.
Over in the city that also never sleeps,
ex-New York cops Mark and Joe, with five kids between them,
are keen to chip in with some advice for Brett.
At their security firm's HQ, there are loads of other fathers
who recall only too well how Brett must be feeling.
Remember those days when your baby was that small?
They tune in to find that Brett has surprised Jess, her mum and sister,
by rustling up an Italian-style lunch.
I haven't heard that noise in a while.
Oh, this poor couple.
I'm starting to lactate just hearing them cry!
I'm starting to cry.
I mean, we're both parents, it shouldn't be a big deal.
We should be able to give them some pointers.
Yeah, in another 25 to 30 years,
those kids will stop being difficult!
Hey, Brett, I know you can hear us.
Just saying hello.
When you get a moment, and I know you don't have many free moments,
maybe we can chat for a minute.
Where's my phone? I'm expecting a call.
He's going upstairs. My wife is against the binky.
I kept one in my pocket.
As soon as she walked out of the room...right in the mouth.
That was... My son was like that. It was the only way. The only way?
We're having a laugh over here because we just know
what's going on over there.
It's a lot going on. Yeah.
How's the missus feeling?
She puts on a brave face. She's tired. Can I suggest something?
Yeah, go for it, yeah. Try to get her out of the house when you can.
She needs to get out of there whether she realises it or not,
I think. Yeah, she should get out, maybe get her hair done,
maybe meet some friends.
Whatever you have to do to get her to relax and rest,
because if she doesn't rest, nothing good comes out of that.
It's very important. I'll see if I can do something.
Why don't you raise that subject with her now?
Maybe go downstairs and just start the ball rolling,
"Hey, why don't you take a break tomorrow and I'll take the kids?"
Why don't you see what she says?
What's everyone doing tomorrow?
You two should go out to Costa or something tomorrow.
I'll stay here with the kids. I don't mind.
Got right to the point. Get some fresh air.
I thought you meant taking the children with us.
No, I'm just thinking you'll get some fresh air,
even if it's just a flipping walk or something.
Good job, good job, Brett.
Yeah, you guys go out tomorrow, it'll be good.
Make sure you take care of this tomorrow,
set a time, get her outside, you take the kids.
We got a purse snatching in the town square.
Three minutes ago.
BLEEP, BLEEP, BLEEP. Are you sure? Yeah.
You know what, I saw a guy with a backpack, I'm telling you.
I knew the guy was lurking on the way in, cos I did the whole tour.
I had a feeling, too.
Hey, Brett, eat.
Eat. Jess, would you like some more bread? Please.
In South Africa, it's dinner time.
Here we go.
Are you finishing up, girl?
Yes. Are you ready to speak to Brett?
Always. Brett has settled the twins during the day
by following Sister Una's advice,
but it's now over to sages Elisa and Gwen,
with seven kids between them,
for some soothing suggestions for the night shift.
Thank God I don't have twins.
Yeah, but the more they grow, you love the experience.
Hello, Brett. My name is Gwen. I'm in South Africa.
Hello. I also have twins. They are now ten years.
In South Africa, when we have babies, sometimes if they are facing
difficulty in sleeping,
when you're singing your lullaby, you can take three of your fingers,
put them on their forehead,
then they will feel that warmth
and they will relax, then they will sleep.
Right, OK. So just three fingers, three fingers on the forehead.
Yes, exactly that way,
you just move the fingers slowly and calmly
as you're singing for them.
OK. Why don't we sing together this song?
OK. OK, say...
¦ Thula thul, thula bana
¦ Thula thul, thula bana
¦ Thula thula
¦ Thula thula
¦ Thula thula dana, thula thula... ¦
You repeat it again and again.
¦ Thula thula... Thula thula... ¦
Yes, and then it follows...
¦ Thula thula. ¦
Great! Yeah! 100%!
Thank you. Please keep on trying the song with the twins.
We'll check with you later
and see if you're getting up on it, all right.
I will practise. OK, bye for now.
I know, I know, I know, I'm here.
Did you hear Brett singing? Yeah!
Did you hear that voice?
I'm telling you, as a woman, I would like to come close to him
so he can put you under his arm.
No, no, no. And sing for you every day.
Brett is for Jess. As he is singing, you go closer, you touch him...
Women shouldn't come closer. Brett is for Jess and that's all!
God forgive me. No interruptions.
I've got this trick.
Jessie? Mm? ..where you put three fingers on the forehead.
What? Yeah. What do you mean, three fingers on the forehead?
Just like that.
It works, see.
I'm not convinced.
Brett will need every trick in the book, as things aren't getting any
easier. Let's just sit with Daddy for a minute and calm down.
Over 8,000 miles away in South Africa,
healer Elisa has volunteered to stay up through the wee small hours.
How are you doing?
What is "I'm not fine" in Zulu? You say "Angipilanga."
You remember, these people are growing everyday.
Yeah, you're right.
Today, he will be quiet. Tomorrow, he won't be quiet,
so you must get used to that.
Yeah, you're right. It sounds like it's raining pretty hard there.
Do you want us to sing the lullaby?
Yeah, come on, let's see if we can't get him to sleep.
¦ Thula, thula
¦ Thula, thula
¦ Thula, thula Thula, thula
¦ Thula, thula
¦ Thula, thula
¦ Thula, bana Thula, thula
¦ Thula, thula, bana
¦ Thula, thula... ¦
THUNDER CRACKS, SHE SINGS
As the sun comes up across Hertfordshire,
Brett's managed to feed the babies solo during the night
and enjoy four uninterrupted hours of sleep
for the first time since they were born.
Get you a straw.
Brett's also followed the advice of his American sages
and persuaded Jess to go for a walk into town.
I was talking to the guys from New York yesterday
and they mentioned that,
you know, it was good for Jess to get out and do something
for herself, with me at home looking after the boys.
I'll see you later.
OK. See you. Don't worry. Take your time, all right?
See you in a bit, all right?
Sh, sh, sh.
But it's not long before an anxious Jess is checking up on him.
Hello, sweetheart. Everything all right? Yeah. Everything OK, though?
Everything's fine. I mean, you know,
the...boil-on-aise is cooking nicely and the boys...
How am I supposed to pronounce it, then? Bolognese!
As the morning wears on, Brett's relying on all the sages' tips
he's learned so far.
I followed the advice from Gwen and Elisa about three fingers on the
forehead. I am convinced it works.
Brett's also bowled over by Sister Una's burping trick.
Una's tip has worked really well.
That's actually become my, like, go-to tactic now.
So everything seems to be going pretty well.
So, you see the father is trying to calm down the twin.
The other twin is so calm, like your brother and your sister.
¦ Thula, thula bana
¦ Thula, thula
¦ Thula, thula bana
¦ Thula, thula. ¦
You look tired. How are you doing? I'm all right.
I'm not too bad. I'm so proud of you.
You sang it even better than I can. Wow. Well done, eh?
Oh, I don't know about that.
Yay, the mother is back.
JESS: Are you OK? Loving life.
I got you some grandad slippers.
Are they big enough?
Course they are.
If you put them on the right foot! Whoops!
Brett is extraordinary in the sense that he took on the challenge.
He's more than a true modern dad. He's a super modern dad.
He really is.
Due to the tense pregnancy,
Brett and Jess never dared to have a baby shower.
Now that everything seems to be on track,
it's time to throw the party they always wanted.
We've got a lot of family and friends coming.
We do want it to be a special occasion
and we want it to be a good welcome to the world for the boys.
I'm going to just put myself out there and show the family that,
you know, I can handle these two on my own if need be,
and that we're confident and ready to go forward
for the rest of their lives, I guess.
Around the world, the sages are eager to offer up
their own traditions.
In Italy, it's beautiful when in a house there's a new baby born.
In front of the door we put a blue ribbon for boys and pink for girls.
She might cotton on that that's a little bit out of character for me.
What are you in England doing on the celebration?
Do you slaughter anything?
Probably just bring some presents.
A mother and father should slaughter the chicken.
We ask the ancestors to bless the child.
I'll cook a slaughtered chicken.
I could do that. How about that?
Oh, you'll cook the chicken. I'll cook it. Yes.
It's the morning of the baby shower,
and whilst Brett has embraced SOME cultural suggestions...
They are doing like we do in Italy - organise beautiful party.
..he's left one in particular to Gwen and Elisa.
I know you are worried it's not enough.
Hello. All right?
Can you grab some balloons? Where's yours?
Brett's been really good at kind of making sure we both look after
each other as well as the babies. He's got stuck in.
He's just got on with it, really.
He's made it all look quite easy, to be honest.
I'm a bit peed off.
They seem to be more relaxed in themselves now,
the way they're chatting away.
Because the twins have settled and they're going to live
happy ever after, be blessed with healthy twins. Yeah.
ELISA: You did great with the chicken! Yeah, great stuff.
Yeah, yeah, man.
I've learnt a huge amount from the sages.
All the practical stuff, it goes without saying,
but the fact you've got these people kind of helping you from such
you know, giving so much of their love and attention.
It really has just made me a better father.
So I'll be forever indebted to the sages, there's no doubt about it.
Good job, great job. You know what, this makes you
a real family guy now. Yeah. Not just a husband.
You know they really deserve it,
after such a difficult pregnancy.
Look, finally, they can enjoy it.
It's been really, really tough on myself and Jess,
but we're glad to welcome these two boys into a wonderful family and
everything you've done for us
doesn't go unnoticed or unappreciated.
To everyone that's helped us along the way.
Absolutely. Whether we know it or not, I suppose.
To Brett. Ciao, Brett. And Jess.
I'm ready now to take on the mantle of being Super-Dad,
the baby whisperer, if you like.
Coming up next time...
I'm just really scared of having every single pair of eyes
s-s-staring at you.
Wow, that's pretty tough.
We used to be really happy. I feel quite depressed over it.
It's like divorced in the house.
In a warm and entertaining new five-part series, ten Brits, about to embark on one of the toughest weeks of their lives, welcome the support and advice of wise strangers from around the world through a secret in-ear device for one week. Whilst the sages' words are beamed live right into their ear day and night, family, friends and colleagues remain totally unaware of these unseen secret helpers. As the Brits face challenges and dilemmas, the sages tell them exactly what they think in real time, offering tips, advice and home-grown perspectives on life, love and everything in between. Via the wonders of modern technology, an Irish nun, a traditional healer and her friend from South Africa, a couple of retired cops from New York, two Italian mamas and a Norwegian health guru watch the person live going about their week and hand-hold them towards their significant event, whether it is a wedding, the first week of fatherhood or a new business launch. In the first episode, it's Dan and Brett's turn to prove themselves with the help of the secret friends. Dan, 32, used to be a gregarious, motorbike riding salesman with the world at his feet. After suffering two massive strokes, he was left blind and unable to walk, and his girlfriend Suzy has spent the last year helping him to regain his sight, speech and mobility. Although he may look like someone who has fully recovered, when he pushes himself too hard he gets migraines, cannot walk and gets aches and pains down the left side of his body. He also gets anxious when faced with large crowds of people. With a week to go to their wedding, Dan is desperate to support Suzy, but he is worried that if he pushes himself too hard he won't make it to the altar. Dan needs all the help he can get from the sages in the lead-up to the most important day of his life. Will Suzy discover she has unusual guests at her big day? Brett is a first-time parent. He and his wife Jess have just brought their identical twins home from the hospital. They are exhausted from a scary pregnancy fraught with medical complications. It is not long before he is secretly getting instructions from the secret helpers and is impressing his wife with burping techniques, home-cooked meals and South African lullabies. Brett wants to learn to be a dad who fully supports his wife and will help settle the twins before he returns to work. The sages are Gwen and Elisa from South Africa, italian mamas Chiara and Agata, Mark and Joe the New York cops, Sister Una from Ireland and health guru Lillian from Norway.