ONE big, happy family – that’s Dorset’s Lewis clan, who can soon be seen in a TV show exploring the lives of some of Britain’s biggest families.

The three-part series, called 15 Kids and Counting, starts on Channel 4 next Tuesday and the Lewises, of West Parley, feature in the second episode due to be screened on Tuesday, January 24.

Tracy Lewis and her husband Pete started making headlines in the Daily Echo when their own personal baby boom reached 10, but went on to attract national and international publicity when they went on to have three more children.

The couple have always worked and never had outside help with bringing up their family.

Apart from their 12 daughters – Carly, Tracy, Samantha, Lyndsay, Danielle, Chantelle, Charlotte, Georgia, Candice, Shannon, Shaznay and Porsha – they have one son, Charles.

The eldest, Carly, is 28, and the youngest, Porsha, will be nine in April. They also have seven grandchildren, with an eighth on the way – Tracy junior, 27, is expecting her fifth child.

Tracy, 48, said: “They followed us around for six months, starting with Danielle’s 21st birthday in May and finishing the week before Christmas. Because we’ve got all these girls, and the girls do beauty pageants, ours is all about the pageants.”

A highlight was when the producers arranged for the whole family to travel by minibus to stay in a hotel in London, where Chantelle was taking part in the Face of London competition. They were filmed visiting London Zoo and going up on stage with former X Factor contestant Chico.

“Chantelle is doing really well in her competitions. She was Bournemouth Carnival Queen at 15 and is now Miss Portsmouth,” said Tracy. “To go out together and watch one of the daughters in a pageant is really special – getting all the family in one place doesn’t often happen.”

She shelved her plans to train as a midwife when she became pregnant with Porsha, but has so far been at the births of all of her grandchildren.

“I want to help my daughters because I’ve been through it so many times,” she said.

“I’ve still got eight at home – the older ones decide to move out, they’re gone a month, then they’re back. There’s always something going on in the house and I think they miss the buzz. They all get on with each other and care for one another.

“Every time I got pregnant I was so excited, it was like having the first baby 13 times. I won’t be having any more children, so I’m just enjoying the ones I’ve got. I only have this one special time with them and I need to be there for them.”