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Really Wild Show, The (1986-2006)

Courtesy of BBC

Main image of Really Wild Show, The (1986-2006)
BBC1, 21/1/1986-18/5/2006
Over 300 x 25 minutes edns in 21 series, colour
Producers includeMike Beynon
 Paul Appleby
 Nigel Pope
 Lucy Bowden
 Reema Lorford

Presenters: Terry Nutkins, Chris Packham, Nick Davies, Sue Dawson, Michaela Strachan, Howie Watkins, Nick Baker, Janice Acquah, Dominic Wood, Eils Hewitt, Steve Backshall

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Reports from around the animal world.

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This series was intended as a scientifically-minded successor to the more whimsical Animal Magic (BBC, 1962-84). Johnny Morris's longtime protégé Terry Nutkins became very much the senior member of the Really Wild Show team, aided by younger nature experts Chris Packham and Nick (Nicola) Davies. These younger faces helped update the staid Animal Magic, as did an energetic studio audience, colourful animations and recent pop hits accompanying stock animal films.

Despite being a pacier programme than its predecessor, The Really Wild Show was still largely studio bound for its first few years, film cameras venturing little further than the local River Severn. Tame animals had to be brought into the studio and could behave unpredictably.

Eventually the programme was regularly able to go on location and to all intents and purposes changed its title for two years to The Really Wild Roadshow (1991-92) to best get across its new mobility. Both this and Sunday morning spin-off The Really Wild Guide to Britain (BBC, 1994-95) visited animals in the captivity of Britain's zoos and aquaria and also observed some in their natural habitats.

With this aspect established, the show reverted to its original title. Since then the presenters (notably including Michaela Strachan from 1993) have travelled our shrinking globe with weekly travelogue reports from animal habitats from Africa to Australia.

Really Wild presenter Eils Hewitt, together with Chris Young, hosted a first series of companion piece Animal Arc in 2003. This animal rescue series was influenced by the popularity of Rolf Harris's Animal Hospital (BBC, 1994-2003) with younger viewers. In 2006, The Really Wild Show was put to sleep a few months after its 20th birthday.

Alistair McGown

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Video Clips
1. The real lemur (1:56)
2. Hold on to your feet (3:07)
3. Whales social group (4:15)
Complete edition (24:14)
Animal Magic (1962-83)
Factual Children's Television