1 9 8 6 – 2 0 0 6 (UK)
300+ x 25 minute episodes
The Really Wild Show was a mainly studio-based programme that allowed children in the audience to be involved with animals. It later evolved into The Really Wild Roadshow (1991).
Young nature experts Chris Packham, Nic (Nicola) Davies and Terry Nutkins presented the show with authority and the series deservedly won a lot of prizes.
It had an innovative style, mixing live studio film, graphics and animation to create an entertaining package of information.
However, there were problems with a studio-based programme of this nature. Often the animals would not perform to order, and small children ended up sitting in the studio for a long time waiting for something to happen.
Sometimes it happened in the wrong sense, as when a studio full of rabbits being cuddled by the audience lost patience and bladder control . . .
The Really Wild Roadshow attempted to solve these problems by going on the road to places where the animals would be in more familiar surroundings. As a result, there was much more variety in the programme with large animals and birds used in a much freer way.
In 2006, The Really Wild Show was put to sleep a few months after its 20th birthday. Packham and Michaela Strachan both ended up as regular presenters on annual BBC shows Springwatch, Autumnwatch and Winterwatch.
Nicola ‘Nick’ Davies