Keeping Up with the Maileys

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Sociopolitical Documentary hosted by Tara Lynne O'Neill, published by BBC broadcasted as part of BBC True North series in 2021 - English narration

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Image: Keeping-Up-with-the-Maileys-Cover.jpg

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Primary school teacher Tricia Mailey is mum to Cara, twelve, Noah, five, and one-year-old Bethany. Tricia and husband Sean run a home filled with laughter and love but what makes this everyday family so unique is that Tricia and her two elder children have the height-restricting condition achondroplasia, while Sean and Bethany are average-height.

Despite their physical differences, the Maileys have created an unbreakable bond as they navigate the ups and downs of everyday life. Filmed across six months as they juggle family, work and school, this documentary gives an insight into what it means to be small in a world designed for average-height people.

Even when the family are enjoying a day at the seaside, people can't help stopping to stare at them. Tricia has got used to this but worries about the impact on Cara and Noah in a world full of camera phones. Noah is at the start of his dwarfism journey and the understanding of what his condition means begins to dawn on him during his first year at primary school where he is smaller than his classmates.

At work, Tricia uses Anti-Bullying Week to talk to her Primary 5 class about the importance of accepting people's differences and explains that she had painful surgery to lengthen her legs when she was 11, because she wanted to be tall.

In an interview with Tricia's mum Libby, we learn that Tricia's condition came as a shock. With no history of dwarfism in either family, her parents knew nothing about the condition and a doctor's flippant comment about circus dwarves didn't help.

The documentary, narrated by Derry Girls star Tara Lynne O'Neill, finishes with the unveiling of a family photograph capturing a special moment in their lives, which now takes pride of place in the Mailey home.

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[edit] Technical Specs

  • Video Codec: x265 CABAC Main@L4
  • Video Bitrate: CRF 21 (~2532Kbps)
  • Video Resolution: 1920x1080
  • Video Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Frame Rate: 25 FPS
  • Audio Codec: AAC-LC
  • Audio Bitrate: 128Kbps CVBR 48KHz
  • Audio Channels: 2
  • Run-Time: 29 mins
  • Number Of Parts: 1
  • Part Size: 559 MB
  • Source: HDTV
  • Encoded by: JungleBoy

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