2point4 Children

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2point4 Children
2point4ChildrenTitlecard (fair use only).jpg
Title card, used from Series 5-8.
Created by Andrew Marshall
Written by Andrew Marshall
Directed by Richard Boden
Starring Belinda Lang
Gary Olsen
Julia Hills
Clare Woodgate (series 1 & 2)
Clare Buckfield (series 3–8)
John Pickard
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 8
No. of episodes 56 (list of episodes)
Producer(s) Richard Boden
Camera setup Video; Multiple camera
Running time 30 min per average episode
Original network BBC One
Picture format 576i (4:3 SDTV) (1991–1998)
576i (16:9 SDTV) (1999)
Original release 3 September 1991 – 30 December 1999

2point4 Children is a BBC television sitcom that was created and written by Andrew Marshall. It follows the lives of the Porters, a seemingly average family whose world is frequently turned upside-down by bad luck and bizarre occurrences.

The show was originally broadcast on BBC One from 1991 to 1999, and ran for eight series, concluding with 30 December 1999 special episode, "The Millennium Experience". The September 2000 death from cancer of lead actor Gary Olsen, who played the father, ended the possibility of any subsequent specials.[1] The show is now repeated regularly in the UK on Gold and Drama, and in Australia on UKTV.

The show regularly picked up large audiences of up to 14 million in the early 1990s, with an average of between 6 and 9 million, the final episode was viewed by 9.03 million people.[2]

In 1997 a remake of the show debuted in the Netherlands: Kees & Co starring Simone Kleinsma.[3]


Main characters[edit]

Supporting characters[edit]

Plot summary[edit]

The Porter family at first seem normal enough. Bill is the sensible, level-headed mother who does the cooking and housework whilst running a catering business with sex-crazed friend Rona. Ben is the father, who is often just as immature as the children. He runs a heating repair business with his slightly sarcastic assistant Christine.

Jenny is the typical teenage daughter, keen on boys, music, and vegetarianism, and David is the mischievous younger brother, who enjoys horror films, aliens, and annoying his older sister.

However, the Porters' world is frequently upended by bizarre occurrences and bad luck. Whether it's dealing with flatulent dogs, having frozen men in freezers in the front room, or even stumbling across Shirley Bassey's warehouse, anything seems possible in the Porters' world.


The show originally ran from 1991 to 1999. 56 episodes were made over eight series, including six Christmas specials in which the cast performed carols or original theme songs.

Andrew Marshall wrote virtually all the episodes except for a few in series seven which were written by Paul Alexander, Simon Braithwaite and Paul Smith.

Home media[edit]

The first three series were released on Region 2 DVD by Eureka Video in 2005, however Eureka stated "sales were not good", and did not release any further series. Despite poor DVD sales a box set of series 1–3 was also made available in 2008, again through Eureka Video.

In 2009 a Facebook fan campaign was launched to get support for the series to be released in its entirety entitled '2point4 Children DVD Campaign'

The show was produced by the BBC and is still owned by BBC Worldwide, who release a vast amount of their programmes through 2Entertain (which is part owned by BBC Worldwide).

Additionally, BBC Enterprises released a video in 1993, comprising the first three episodes of the series, which are known as: Leader of the Pack, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, and When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Go Shopping.

Title Release date
2point4 children – Complete Series 1 (DVD) 24 January 2005
2point4 children – Complete Series 2 (DVD) 25 April 2005
2point4 children – Complete Series 3 (DVD) 22 August 2005
2point4 children – Series 1–3 Boxset (DVD) 22 September 2008
2point4 children – Leader of the Pack (VHS) 26 February 1996

Opening/Closing credit sequence[edit]

For the closing credits, in series one to five the credits either flashed up on screen over a freeze frame of the final scene which gradually faded to black or scrolled along the bottom third of the frame from right to left (the latter usually reserved for Christmas specials). Series six-eight used a plain white background with the new colourful logo situated at the top of the frame and the credit list scrolling up the centre.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Sitcom star Olsen dies". BBC News. 13 September 2000. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  2. ^ "Top 30 Programmes". BARB. 9 February 2014. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  3. ^ "Kees & Co – Beeld en Geluid wiki" (in Dutch). Beeldengeluidwiki.nl. 19 July 2012. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 

External links[edit]