Channel 4RTS award-winning 24 Hours in A&E returns for a new series, capturing dramatic and emotional stories of love, life and loss on the frontline of the NHS. In this episode, which we looked at last month, the show follows patients ranging from the age of 12 through to 90.

Filmed around the clock at one of Britain’s busiest A&E departments at King’s College Hospital in south London, which this year celebrates its centenary, the series begins with a powerful episode about how our lives can change forever in the blink of an eye.

In a shocking random act of violence, a young woman is knocked to the ground after being punched in the face by a stranger on her way home from work. Lying in the street, she’s fighting for her life when Andrew, a passer-by, finds her and calls 999. A&E doctor Des has worked at King’s for over five years and is rarely shocked by what he sees, but when the unidentified young woman arrives in Resus with life-threatening swelling on her brain, the impact is felt by him and the entire department.

Also in Resus is 12-year-old Tom. He was hit by a car on his way home from school and airlifted to King’s by HEMS, the helicopter emergency medics. His mum Anna faces an agonising wait as A&E Consultant Emer assesses the extent of the damage to her son’s brain.

Meanwhile, 90-year-old ex-circus performer Frank is in A&E after collapsing at home. News of his colourful past – including training bears and lifting horses – quickly circulates among the staff as they try to determine what brought him to King’s.

“24 Hours in A&E is a powerful, intimate, at times humorous and ultimately heart-warming portrait of modern Britain in all its diversity.” – Channel 4

Episode one of twenty airs tonight at 9pm on Channel 4.

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