Meet the incredible women behind our BBC Lifeline film and our ambassadors Ben and Marina Fogle

Watch Tommy’s on BBC One for this month’s BBC Lifeline, hosted by supporters Ben and Marina Fogle.

We’re delighted that the BBC’s chosen to feature Tommy’s for their February Lifeline appeal. The special film presented by ambassadors Ben and Marina Fogle features 3 incredible women who share their heart-breaking and inspiring personal experiences. They explain how, thanks to our specialist care and research, they’ve all gone on to bring home healthy, happy babies.   

We travelled to Oxfordshire on a snowy Monday to film with our ambassadors Ben and Marina Fogle. As you can imagine, due to the current circumstances, this was made a little trickier than it usually would be! To make sure we were as safe as possible and Covid-19-compliant, everyone involved took a test before setting off. The BBC sent bikers out with the test kits so we could make sure we were all negative. 

As well as reducing the amount of people on set, everyone involved in the production wore facemasks and all windows and doors were left open - which made for a rather chilly day of filming in the snow! A big thank you to Marina for keeping us warm with plentiful tea, coffee and biscuits. 

Our priority was to make sure everyone was as safe as possible, while creating a really special appeal showcasing Tommy’s incredible work. 

Ben and Marina

Explaining why the couple made the film, Ben Fogle said: 

“1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage, stillbirth or premature birth – and shockingly, most parents never find out why. The truth is that so much pregnancy loss could be prevented, but we need more research to improve care; that’s why I’m a huge advocate for Tommy’s and it’s a charity very close to my heart.

Across the UK, Tommy's dedicated researchers, doctors, nurses and midwives are finding causes and treatments to save babies’ lives. More research will make pregnancy safer and healthier for everyone and save babies’ lives. Together, we can make it happen.”

This opportunity to reach people across the UK is so important for us, now more than ever. The impact of Covid-19 sadly means that more than 40% of our income at risk, but our research hasn’t stopped and our support services haven’t stopped. In fact, they are needed more than ever – with our midwives seeing a staggering 71% rise in demand for their services during the pandemic.

That’s why we jumped at the chance to create this month’s Lifeline appeal. By supporting our campaign, you can help us continue our lifesaving research and provide much needed care and support to families like the wonderful women feature. 


Meet Katherine: 

"I participated in the campaign to encourage more people to speak out about their experiences and break the taboo of miscarriage. But also, to encourage participation in Tommy's research trials.

I attribute my successful pregnancy and the safe arrival of my daughter Sietske to the ground-breaking research conducted by Tommy’s with the SIMPLANT trial.

We still don't know why I suffered recurrent miscarriage so I want to see more research by Tommy's to find out why miscarriages happen, to prevent others from experiencing the same devasting repeated loss as we did; and to stop the blame game."


When we spoke to our National Centre for Miscarriage Research about finding someone who could talk about the support we offer to families who are pregnant after loss, they recommended Anita’s family. Before filming, we had a call to talk to her about her experiences and discussed the possibility of travelling to Birmingham to see her. We were unsure if we would be able to make it to film in person, but thankfully after our risk assessments made sure we were Covid-19-compliant, we were delighted to be able to visit Anita and her lovely family and film her story at home.

“I became part of Tommy’s after my 3rd miscarriage at 20 weeks, it changed my life and my outlook completely. It was one of the most life-changing events of my life as I was getting a private gender scan only to find out my little baby boy had passed away without any warning signs.

“I am indebted and grateful to Tommy’s for providing me with the support and investigations needed to reassure me and explore the cause of my miscarriage, a question a bereaved mother wants answered no matter what. I couldn’t have imagined surviving those painful months without knowing I was under the care of the best clinicians.

“Miscarriages are hardly ever given the importance they deserve; women are left to deal with it on their own. People are quick at deciding that’s it common to have miscarriages and women can quickly move on, trying for a baby again.

“Yet nobody knows or can feel what a bereaved parent goes through. Tommy’s ensures the robust support needed to a successful pregnancy and birth of a baby is available to all. 

“Without this support, I am not sure how bereaved mothers like myself would be able to face yet another uncertain pregnancy full of tribulations and distress.”


Obiélé on our BBC Lifeline shoot

As well as filming with Katherine, Anita and Obiele to hear their personal stories, we also wanted to showcase the work of our research centres. We spoke to Professor Alex Heazell, Director of the Tommy’s Manchester Research Centre to understand why pregnancy research is so important. We were also able to use some of the brilliant footage we have on file from our labs to give people a taste of what goes on every day in our pioneering research centres. 

A huge thank you to Ben and Marina Fogle, Obiélé, Anita, Katherine and our very own Professor Heazell for making this happen. Please watch and reshare if you can - We are supported by our community. Together, we work to break the silence around loss, support each other and prevent future heartbreak.