As the proud parents of Britain’s biggest family, Noel and Sue Radford have spent a fortune bringing up their 22 children over the past 34 years.
The couple, who live in Morecambe, Lancashire, once had to tackle their weekly shop with military precision in order to stick to a strict £250 budget.
But over the past few years, fans have noticed the Radford family – who live in a 10-bed former foster home – are enjoying a considerably more lavish lifestyle.
Where Sue once told the Daily Mail that their yearly trip to Lanzarote was their only ‘real luxury’ , the mother-of-11 reportedly squeezed in 11 holidays in 2022 – which included three trips to the US, a sunny break in France before then celebrating her 30th wedding anniversary with Noel in the Maldives.
One of the recent family trips included a visit to Disneyland Florida, where Sue splashed out £1,000 on a princess experience six of her daughters.
Noel, 52, and Sue, 47, have welcomed 22 children together over the past 34 years. The couple pictured with 19 of their children in their Morecambe home following the birth of their daughter Heidie in April 2020
Alongside this, Noel and Sue recently had a hot tub – reportedly worth £27k – installed in their garden last summer before then proceeding to spend a further £7,000 on their Christmas presents last year.
As well as buying a swanky new motorhome last summer, the mother-of-22 is also the proud owner of a pair of £575 Gucci designer trainers.
So how are the Radfords able to afford their luxurious new way of life? Here FEMAIL delves into the family’s finances – from their flourishing pie business to their substantially paid social media posts.
PAID INSTAGRAM POSTS
In 2021, Sue said during an online rant that she ‘hates’ the term ‘influencer’ – but there’s no denying that the family’s social media platforms have become an integral part of their income.
Thanks to their multiple TV appearances, Noel and Sue now boast 505,000 Instagram followers and a further 200,000 on TikTok.
Alongside their Channel 5 TV series, the family also document their daily lives in vlogs, which are shared with their 358,000 YouTube subscribers.
In the past two years, the Radfords have worked with brands such as George at Asda, The Next Step, Emma mattresses, Frubes, StudioCanal and EE on sponsored posts.
Left: Sue Radford promoting Emma mattresses in a paid post in November 2021. Right: Sue Radford promoting Hasbro toys in December 2021
Left: Sue Radford posted an adverty for George at Asda in August 2022. Right: The Radford family film an advert for EE in February 2022
In July 2022, the Radford family appear to have been paid to visit to the set of the Railway Children Return movie in Yorkshire
Speaking to FEMAIL, Jamie Ray – co-founder of influencer talent agency Buttermilk – estimated that the family can charge up to £15,000 for a single post on their feed.
The industry expert said this impressive fee is based on Noel and Sue’s ‘combined status as TV and social media influencers’.
Breaking down how influencer agencies determine their fees, Jamie says they take into account the talent’s followers, engagement rate, audience demographic as well as the type and quality of content.
For instance, Sue promoted an 18-kilo washing machine by the British appliance brand Cater-Kwik – which is based roughly an hour away from the Radford home – on the family’s Instagram page in June 2021.
In April 2021, Sue raved about an 18-kilo washing machine by the British appliance brand Cater-Kwik as part of a sponsored post. Jamie Ray – co-founder of influencer talent agency Buttermilk – estimates they would have been paid up to £15,000 for their Instagram adverts
The UK company then shared photos of Sue’s children in front of the washing machine and extra comments from the mother-of-22 about the ‘life-changing’ appliance
Filming a video next to her new £1,200 machine, the mother-of-22 said it had ‘changed her life’ and ‘saved her so much time’ because of the sheer amount of dirty clothes it can fit in the drum.
She then ended the clip by telling her followers that the brand was giving them the chance to buy one of the machines for £80-a-month interest-free.
Following the Advertising Standards Authority guidelines, Sue clearly labelled the post as an ‘#ad’ at the beginning of the caption.
In turn, the company then used a photo of two of Sue’s daughters posing next to the machine and said it had been ‘tested by the best’.
In December 2021, the family posted an advert for McDonald’s on their Instagram – which could have earned them up to £15,000
In February 2022, the couple’s children modelled The Next Step clothing range as part of a collaboration with George at Asda
RADFORD FAMILY CHILDREN:
Noel and Sue pictured with 18 of their children at Heidie’s christening
Noel and Sue welcomed their first child together in 1989. The most recent addition to their super-sized brood was Heidie, born in April 2020.
Between them, the couple are parents to Chris, 33, Sophie, 29, Chloe, 27, Jack, 25, Daniel, 24, Luke, 22, Millie, 22, Katie, 20, James, 19, Ellie, 17, Aimee, 16, Josh, 15, Max, 14, Tillie, 12, Oscar, 11, Casper, 10, Hallie, seven, Phoebe, six, Archie, five, Bonnie, four and Heidie, two.
The parents tragically lost their 17th child Alfie in July 2014.
Providing some extra gushing comments about the product, Sue was quoted in the caption as saying: ‘Got my delivery of my new 18kg washing machine from Cater Kwik ! I absolutely love it, I used to do around 8 loads of washing a day which took me over 7 hours to get through!
‘With this machine I’m doing 2/3 loads a day saving me over 4 hours. It has made such a huge difference to my life and you can even add a garment during a wash and has a really cool added extra of adding steam to really soiled clothes which is perfect for the newborn clothes.’
According to Jamie, Sue is likely to be able to charge more for this type of content as it is a local business that is trying to reach other parents in the area.
Since the start of 2020, the Radfords have posted a total of 18 sponsored posts on their Instagram feed.
If they earned as much as £15,000 for each as Jamie suggests, this would have brought in over a quarter of a million pounds for the family in the past three years.
Total estimated earnings from sponsored posts: £270,000
Since they started their YouTube channel in 2018, Noel and Sue have uploaded over 419 videos, according to social media analytics website Social Blade.
However, they are currently only 270 videos on their channel – where they have presumably made some private.
Although their brand deals on this platform are less frequent than their Instagram partnerships, the family have had their videos sponsored by brands such as The Food Warehouse, TalkTalk and Zanussi over the past five years.
In December 2021, the couple uploaded two sponsored videos on their channel in a row.
To promote Tefal’s new cooking range, Noel filmed a tutorial for his creamy garlic chicken.
Noel, 52, and Sue, 47, have been married for over 30 years and welcomed their first child together in 1989
Since 2018, the couple have uploaded over 270 videos on their YouTube channel – which industry expert Jamie Ray says will have made them over £790k in sponsorships and ad revenue
Days later, Sue then filmed herself plugging Emma mattresses – complete with a 47 per cent discount code for viewers.
Given the couple’s rising stardom and increasing fanbase in the US, Jamie claims that Noel and Sue easily earn thousands from each sponsored video.
They explained: ‘With 350,000 subscribers, the Radford family could collect in excess of £10,000 for a dedicated YouTube video.’
In the past four years, the Radfords have posted 15 sponsored videos on their channel – which Jamie estimates could have earned them at least £150,000.
However, some of these videos (such as StudioCanal’s sponsorship) were in conjunction with Instagram posts too – meaning they were part of a wider brand deal which could have been even more lucrative.
Noel and Sue Radford pictured on their 30th anniversary in the Maldives in October 2022. After posting this photo on Instagram, followers questioned how the parents-of-22 were able to afford the lavish getaway
Just weeks before her Maldives trip, Sue jetted out to New York with her daughters in September 2022
What’s more, the family’s YouTube channel also earns them passive income through ad revnue too. Pictured: Noel with his youngest 11 children in the family’s Morecambe home
What’s more, the expert noted how the couple will also be earning passive income from ad revenue too.
According to Jamie, YouTube creators receive £15 for every 1,000 viewers who watch an advert.
According to Social Blade, the channel has received over 70.4m views in the past five years – meaning they could have made £1,050,000 in ad revenue.
Total estimated YouTube earnings from sponsored videos and ad revenue: £1.15m
Alongside their growing social media presence, the Radford family are also the stars of their own reality TV show 22 Kids and Counting – which has run for three series.
Noel and Sue Radford pictured outside their Morecambe home before taking nine of their children to school
Sue with the family’s campervan, which she and Noel bought in a previous episode of the hit series. The motorhome is estimated to be worth £30,000
The show follows the family in their everyday lives – from their youngest daughter Heidie’s christening to a recent holiday to France.
Despite the fact the family have now filmed 30 episodes, brand expert Andy Barr – CEO of digital marketing and branding agency 10Yetis – believes Noel and Sue will have been paid less than £10,000 for each show.
He explained: ‘The typical fee per episode is going to be in the thousands rather than the tens or hundreds of thousands that people often think is the case with TV shows of this nature.
‘If they continue to get commissioned for a fourth or fifth season, then they are going to be able to command a higher fee.’
For the first season, Andy estimates the family will have gotten £1,000 per-episode – meaning they may have gotten £10,000 by the time they were finished filming.
Off the back of this success, the expert said this could have negotiated their way up to £3,000 per episode in season two.
He currently estimates that the Radfords make £5,000-an-episode. Although it might not be the payday most people would expect, Andy says Noel and Sue will be more interested in the exposure.
He added: ‘If the production company behind it sell the show to a bigger TV network or one of the large streaming platforms, then the fee will go up even more. Quite often in situations like this, the subjects of the documentary get higher payments based on licensing deals, so if the show sells overseas for example, they will receive more.
‘To be honest, the fee that they are getting paid for the show will be dwarfed by the endorsement opportunities that they can command because of their high follower number social media accounts. They have half a million followers on Instagram and nearly 400k of subscribers on YouTube alone.’
Describing how the family ‘taps into viewers’ curiosity, brand expert Nick Ede said: ‘They are relatable to fans, which is why Channel 5 clearly loves them.
‘Viewers love to see how the parents cope with such a big brood, running a business and day to day life – including Noel and Sue’s relationship.’
Total estimated earning from TV series: £90,000
RADFORD’S PIE SHOP
Despite toying with the idea of retiring in a recent episode of 22 Kids and Counting, Noel’s pie shop seems to a steady source of income for the family.
Left: Noel Radford pictured at work in his pie factory. Right: Noel’s daughter Chloe Radford pictured preparing pies
When the second season of the show hit screens in February 2021, Noel claimed he was inundated with orders and had to temporarily shut their website.
In a statement posted on their Facebook page, the father-of-22 wrote: ‘Sorry that we can’t reply to every email that we receive each day as we are busy making pies.
‘If you have placed a order we are working on them as fast as we can but they are taking a little over two weeks.
‘This week alone we have sent out over 500 orders of pies and still more to go. We hope you can bare with us but trust me we are working day and night to get things done.
‘Apologies that they are taking longer than expected.’
Noel and his team moving into a larger premises to keep up with demand in June 2021. Pictured: the father-of-22 outside the new space after collecting the keys
In March 2021, Noel’s company had to stop taking orders as they were struggling to keep up with demand. In one week, he claims they sent out 500 pies
As well as selling their pies at local farmer’s markets, Noel also has his own shopfront in Heysham.
According to their website, the company is also branching out into creating a range of puddings alongside their pies – which cost £17.50 for a family size or £3.75 individually.
In the most recent episode of their show, Noel revealed that he has made over 2.5m since 1999 – which means their total sales would be around the £9,375,000 mark.
However, without an accurate cost of production, it is impossible to estimate the company’s gross profit.
That said, business appears to have been booming recently – with Noel and his team moving into a larger premises to keep up with demand in June 2021.
Estimated Radford Pie Shop sales – £9.2m (not including manufacturing costs)
DIRECTORS OF TWO COMPANIES
Alongside the Radford Pie Company, Noel and Sue Radford are also the directors of the TRF21 Limited – a business that was set up in January 2019, which was the same year they began doing sponsored YouTube adverts.
Noel and Sue Radford pictured on their wedding day in September 1992. The couple welcomed their first child together three years earlier
The couple, from Morecambe, Lancashire, married at Kendal Parish Church in 1992 and have gone on to welcome 22 children together
After looking at the couple’s Companies House accounts, finance expert Rick Smith – Managing Director of business management consultancy firm Forbes Burton – says it’s possible that the pair use TFF21 to pay themselves a wage.
Highlighting the couple’s different use for the businesses, Rick said: ‘It’s worth noting that TRF21 Ltd has an SIC (industry classification) of 73120 [which means it is involved in] ‘Media Representation Services’.
‘Radford’s Pie Company Ltd has one of 47290 [which means] ‘Other retail sale of food in specialised stores’. This would indicate the companies had been set up for specific reasons.’
In their most recent statement, it appears as though Noel took £276,500 out of the company – but has since repaid £152,300.
In contrast, Sue received just £1 from the company last year and put over £81,830 back into the business – meaning TF21 is effectively in debt to her.
Sue and Noel Radford – who were 13 and 18 years old at the time – with Christopher their first child in 1989
Having looked at the company accounts, a financial expert at Menzies LLP told Femail: ‘The ‘Repayments’ might typically be in respect of salary and/or dividends payable to the directors that have not actually been paid from the company’s bank account. It is not unusual for small entities to operate in this way.’
In the last financial year, reserves in the company increased from £25,500 to £72,350, which suggests they made post profits of £46,800.
Although the Radford Pie Company has been in business since 1999, it was first registered on Companies House in October 2021.
Before then, Rick suspects that the couple were running the business as sole traders.
He explained: ‘When you are a sole trader all the business debts lie with you as a person, you are responsible for repaying the debt.’
However, becoming a Limited Company relieves directors of this responsibility and also comes with tax benefits.
While sole traders’ tax are based off of their Self-Assessment annual tax return, Limited Companies with profits of less than £50,000 pay 19 per cent tax in the UK. This then jumps to 25 per cent if they are making over a £250,000 profit.
According to Rick, Noel and Sue could feasibly now be paying less tax now that the Radford Pie Company is a Limited Company.
He added: ‘It depends how Noel has his salary structured, but if he is paying himself dividends it means that there are profits in the company, so the company will also be paying taxes as well, profits are subject to Corporation Tax at 19 per cent.’
‘The main benefit of a limited company is that the director has limited liability in regard to debts accrued.’
Noel and Sue pictured on a family outing with eight of their children in an episode of 22 Kids and Counting, which aired in January 2022
Meanwhile, the Menzies LLP expert said that Noel may have wanted to turn the Radford Pie Company into a Limited Company as it makes it easier to add new shareholders.
In a 2020 YouTube video, Sue hit back at comments from fans about the family’s wealth.
She said: ‘We’re definitely not secret millionaires. To me, rich would be having a big mansion, the flash cars and quite a few hundred thousand in the bank, to me that would be rich but we are not that.’
Noel’s 2022 ‘salary’ from TRF21: £124,500
Although they largely fund their own lifestyle, Noel and Sue – like all other UK parents – are also entitled to government grands for their super-sized family.
The current rate for child benefit in the UK stands at £21.80 for the eldest child, and a subsequent £14.45 for all additional children per week.
According to industry expert Jamie Ray, Noel and Sue (pictured) could be earning £10,000 for every sponsored video
Parents can receive child benefits for their family up until the age of 16 if they stop their education or training.
Benefits can be extended to the age of 20 if the children are still in education or training.
With 12 of their children under the age of 16, it means that Noel and Sue could receive £154,51 per week for all their large family, which adds up to £669.50 a month in benefits.
That said, if either Noel and Sue are earning over £50,000-a-year then they will have to either pay the High Income Child Benefit charge or opt out of the payments.
If they were to opt for the former, then the couple are required to repay one per cent of the benefit for every £100 above £50,000 they earn.
Potential yearly child benefits: £8,034
Noel and Sue Radford refused to comment when approached by the MailOnline.