Life Begins (TV series)

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Life Begins
Life Begins Series.jpg
Created byMike Bullen
StarringCaroline Quentin
Alexander Armstrong
Elliot Henderson Boyle
Ace Destiny Ryan
Anne Reid
Frank Finlay
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series3
No. of episodes19
Executive producer(s)Andy Harries
Mike Bullen
Producer(s)John Chapman (Series 1–2)
Emma Benson (Series 3)
Mark Hudson (Series 3)
Running time60 minutes
Production company(s)Granada Television
DistributorITV Studios
Original networkITV, STV, UTV
Picture format16:9 576i
Audio formatStereo
Original release16 February 2004 (2004-02-16) –
9 October 2006 (2006-10-09)

Life Begins is a British television drama first broadcast on ITV between 16 February 2004 and 9 October 2006, starring Caroline Quentin and Alexander Armstrong, Anne Reid and Frank Finlay.


The first series of Life Begins began on 16 February 2004. The first series was a success. The show managed viewing figures ranging from 9.51 to 10.45 million winning all of its timeslots.[1] The series has been aired on Channel Seven in Australia and TV ONE in New Zealand.

As the first Life Begins was so popular a second series was launched which began on 16 February 2005. Series two received strong ratings of 6.38 to 8.62 million.[1]

A third series started on 4 September 2006 on ITV. Again the viewing figures were still high managing to win half of its timeslots with figures of 5.79 to 6.32 million.[1]

It was always intended by the writers that the third series would be the last. A fourth series, thought possible at the time, never materialized.


The music plays over the "next time" clip and the credits is the specially produced "Life Begins Mix" of Faithless' song "No Roots", from their album of the same name released in June 2004, four months after Life Begins began, meaning the song was debuted on the show in this version. Faithless' Sister Bliss provided other music for the series.

Basic plot[edit]

The story focuses intensely on Philip Raymond (Phil) Mee and Margaret Eileen Brenda (Maggie) Thornhill-Mee, and their two children James and Rebecca. It also features various friends and relatives of the couple. The series depicts typical family life and presents the struggles of friends and family members, such as Maggie's parents, Eric and Brenda.

Episode list[edit]


Air Dates[edit]

UK air dates[edit]

  • Series One - 16 February 2004 to 22 March 2004
  • Series Two - 16 February 2005 to 30 March 2005
  • Series Three - 4 September 2006 to 9 October 2006

From June 2014, the show was repeated on ITV Encore ITV's new drama channel for sky customers.

International air dates[edit]

Country TV network(s) Series premiere Weekly schedule
 Australia Channel Seven 5 December 2006
7 August 2007
Series One: Tuesday 8:30pm (Dec 2006 – Jan 2007)
Series Two: Tuesday 9:30pm (Aug–Sep 2007)
Series Three: Tuesday 10:30pm (Feb–Mar 2008)
 New Zealand TV ONE
 Canada Vision TV 29 November 2004
6 November 2006
 Netherlands VARA Series One and Two: 6 May 2005
Series Three: 24 June 2008

Ratings in Australia: The first episode of the first series aired over Australia's non ratings period, and the opening episode rated 1.1 million mainland capital city viewers,[2] which was the 12th most watched show for the week. Ratings continued around the one million viewers mark throughout series one. The first episode of series two moved to 9:30pm and rated 998,000 viewers, ranking first in its time slot. The second episode rated 853,000 viewers.[3]


  1. ^ a b c "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-16.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "SMH: Stay In Touch". Sydney Morning Herald. 10 December 2006. Retrieved 31 July 2007.
  3. ^ "SMH: Stay In Touch". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 8 August 2007.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]