The Family (1974 TV series)

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The Family
The Family 1974 Title Card.png
Genre Reality Television
Directed by Franc Roddam
Paul Watson
Starring Heather Wilkins
Margaret Wilkins
Marian Wilkins
Terry Wilkins
Gary Wilkins Chris Wilkins
Theme music composer Dave Brooks
Opening theme Dave Brooks
Ending theme Dave Brooks
Composer(s) Dave Brooks
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 12
Producer(s) Paul Watson
Running time 30 mins
Original network BBC1
Original release 3 April – 26 June 1974
Related shows The Family (2008)
The Family (2011)

The Family was a 1974 BBC television series made by producer Paul Watson, and directed by Franc Roddam. It was a fly-on-the-wall documentary series, seen by many as the precursor to reality television. It was similar to an American documentary which had aired the previous year in 1973 (but which had been filmed in 1971), called An American Family.

It followed the working-class Wilkins family of six (led by Margaret and Terry, who divorced in 1978) of Reading, through their daily lives, warts and all, and culminated in the marriage of one of the daughters, which was plagued by fans and paparazzi alike.

The show was the basis for two parodies: Monty Python's Flying Circus, in their very last episode which aired 5 December 1974, featured a sketch called "The Most Awful Family in Britain 1974"; and Benny Hill, on one of his 1975 specials, did a takeoff called "That Family."

Margaret remarried (like her ex-husband) and became Margaret Sainsbury; she died of a reported heart attack in Berkshire on 10 August 2008, aged 73.Terry died on 31 October 2016, at age 82.

The format was revived in 2008 (see The Family).


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