The Wild House

The Wild House

"The Wild House" was a serialised children's programme produced between 1997 and 1999 broadcast by the BBC. The idea was created by Jean Buchanan, and later series were written partially by Mark Haddon, author of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time". It follows the life of Natalie Wild (played by Ellie Beaven) and the other members of the Wild family.


The Wild House, while a reference to the family surname, also gives an apt description of the impression of the family. Natalie, who seems the 'normal' member of the family, is the character around which the show centres. The show is notable for its frequent use of soliloquy by, at various times, all of the Wilds (even the dog, Jasper). They speak directly to the camera, commenting upon their lives while dream-like images are projected behind them.

By the second series, Serena has left for Boston on a science scholarship. Later in the series, Mr. and Mrs. Wild join her in the USA. The family are now looked after by aunts, uncles and a granny. Cousin Georgina, a feisty 16-year-old, also moves in. In the finale, the rest of the Wild clan prepared to move .

After the last episode of the series, the principal writer of the series, Jean Buchanan, revealed a new children's television series, "Welcome to Orty-Fou". While more of a light drama than a comedy, it is based around an eccentric family, with the same use of soliloquy.


Natalie Wild

Played by Ellie Beaven, Natalie is the articulate 13-year-old "middle child", whose primary concerns we see in the transition from childhood to teenage years. She is generally the "straight guy" in the face of all the absurdities going on around her. This could be anything from her cousin Georgina moving in, to her grandmother dressing up as a pirate and having a swordfight with somebody.nn

erena Wild

Serena (played by Honeysuckle Weeks), 16, is a typical teenager with teenage concerns, most prominently relationships. Her cousin Georgina, who later took her place, had just the same fixation, but was more rebellious and manipulative.

Arthur Wild

Nicknamed "Wart", Arthur (played by Peter Kelly) is defined by his obsession with wildlife. He is consistently seen with dirt on his clothes and skin- presumably from where he has been digging around looking for minibeasts- and seems impervious to this. He has no understanding of his sisters' or cousin's attitudes towads relationships and constantly says "Yuk!" at the slightest reference to them. He has a friend named Emily who is just as obsessed with animals, but in spite of her being a girl their relationship seems entirely platonic. Only once, in the final episode, did he kiss her, and even then they both said "Yuk" and wiped it away. Aside from this, another frequent saying of his is, "I bet David Attenborough never had this problem".

Mr. & Mrs. Wild

Played respectively by Philip Bird and Annette Ekblom, Mr. and Mrs. Wild take less of the stage than their children. They are, in most respects, both typical, average parents, with the possible exception of Mrs. Wild's using a megaphone whenever she wants to make an announcement.


* Ellie Beaven - Natalie Wild
* Honeysuckle Weeks - Serena Wild (series 1 & 2)
* Peter Kelly - Arthur Wild
* Annette Ekblom - Mrs Wild (series 1 & 2)
* Philip Bird - Mr Wild (series 1 & 2)
* Meg Johnson - Aunt Yvette (series 2 & 3)
* Doreen Mantle - Granny (series 2 & 3)
* Catherine Bailey - Georgina (series 2 & 3)
* Tilly Gerrard - Emily (series 2 & 3)
* Holly Lambert - Annie Smerdon (series 2 & 3)
* John Glynn - Matt (series 2 & 3)
* Richard Burke - Dave (series 3)
* David Blair - Gavin (series 3)
* Jonathan Barlow - Uncle George (series 3)
* Susan Edmonstone - Aunt Penny (series 3)


* Jean Buchanan - Writer
* Andy Watts - Writer
* Mark Haddon - Writer
* Philip Gerard - Writer
* Sarah Louise Hawkins - Writer
* Philip Gerard - Writer
* Yvonne Coppard - Additional Material
* Mark Haddon - Additional Material
* Yvonne Coppard - Additional Material
* John Smith - Director
* Roger Singleton-Turner - Director
* Roz Anderson - Producer
* Marilyn Fox - Producer
* John Smith - Producer


* "Episode length: 25 minutes"
* Series One (12 episodes), 8 January - 26 March 1997, BBC1 Wednesday 4.35pm
* Series Two (12 episodes) 7 January - 25 March 1998, BBC1 Wednesday 4.35pm
* Series Three (13 episodes) 6 January - 31 March 1999, BBC1 Wednesday 4.35pmLater production of "Welcome to Orty-Fou":
* Series One (7 episodes) 21 September 1999 - 2 November 1999
* Series Two (7 episodes) 12 September 2000 - 24 October 2000

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