TV Cream

TV: F is for...

Family, The

Who goes? *You* decide!DOCU-SOAP BEFORE they’d been invented, and indeed, the best one ever made. Lives of the Wilkins family of Reading laid bare for all to see. The mother was an old bag armed with a rolling pin and a nice line in vicious put-downs. Her attempts to subjugate the rest of the family were usually met with a combination of apathy and stubborn resistance and her husband would arrive home from driving buses to find everyone fighting and his tea in the dog. The kids (neither of which were his) comprised a surly blonde daughter who was engaged to a “wholly unsuitable” local lad with bad habits and a Zapata moustache and a monkey-faced pre-pubescent son who deserved sympathy rather than blame. Despite being representative sample of millions of households around the country, the Great British Public rose up in droves to protest before rushing to their newsagents to buy copies of the papers the day after the son got married. The missus turned up on WOGAN in the mid-80s to reveal everyone had since split up. Obviously the media, not the state of Ma Wilkins’ cooker, was to blame.



  1. Matt Patton

    March 15, 2010 at 1:21 am

    Around the same time PBS ran their own version of this called AN AMERICAN FAMILY–They were named Loud and lived in one of those overpriced “Santa” towns — the parents were getting divorced, the son was gay and exhibitionstic, and they were thoroughly annoying. They became vague media celebrities as well–alas. Oh, and the marriage of the parents broke up on television. Ghastly.

  2. Amanda Burton

    June 20, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    You’ve got lots of facts wrong here. The Mother wasn’t an ‘old bag’ who put the dinner in the dog. If you watch it, she’s not at all like that. Only one of the kids wasn’t the husband’s, the youngest boy Christopher. The blonde daughter Marian married Tom, who wasn’t a local lad, he was from Yorkshire. And it was their wedding which the great british public wanted to read about, not the son’s. They didn’t blame the media on their marriage breakdown. Margaret specifically said in a catch up programme in 1984 that it WAS NOT the programme at fault. They were all still friends and there were no hard feelings about the programme.

  3. Richardpd

    February 3, 2024 at 10:33 pm

    Over a decade later the same production team made The Wedding, a documentary about the build up to a couple getting hitched.

    Su Pollard’s Starting Together was the theme to it, & the video used clips from the documentary.

    I was too young to really watch it but my parents did. I can remember the Groom to be was called Mark & looked a bit like one of Uncles!

    More recently the bride was interviewed, where she mentioned she’s still married to Mark & have 3 grown up children

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