Filming has completed on Caitlin Moranâs semi-autobiographical Channel 4 sitcom pilot âRaised by Wolvesâ.
Caitlin now reveals what the show is actually about, in her own inimitable style, below.
Raised by Wolves is written by me, bestselling author and award winning columnist Caitlin Moran, with my sister Caroline Moran, who is actually the one who wrote all the funny bits while I sat on the desk going âWhat shall we wear to the BAFTAS? Letâs wear Ghostbusters jumpsuits, and see if we can get off with Ant & Dec.â?
Set on a Wolverhampton council estate, âRaised By Wolvesâ? is modern day reimagining of us, when we were growing up â loads of kids, no money, home-schooled, and educating ourselves on mankindâs great bounty of books, films, TV and pop music. Do you remember when people used to go on about the notion of a progressive working class? When admitting you were on benefits didnât immediately mean that you were morally incontinent scrounger scum? Yeah, neither could we. Itâs been ages. Telly never has any smart, amusing intellectuals living on a council estate. Thatâs why we wrote the sitcom. Well, that and the chance to make a load of jokes about vaginas.
Germaine, Aretha, Yoko, Mariah, Wyatt and baby Cher live with their mother Della, in a three bedroom council house. Della has a policy of naming all her daughters after strong female role-models, and her sons after characters played by Kevin Costner. Della loves Kevin Costner. And Russell Crowe. Men who are men. Who knows how this has been influenced by her dad, Grampy – a wiley old stoner in Â£12 market jeans, who often advents through the window (âI donât like keys. I operate on trust.â?) to dispense his wisdom to his grandchildren (Germaine: âWhat makes a boy like a girl, Grampy?â? Grampy: âWell, Iâm an arse-man myself, Germaine.â?)
Grampy advents through the window a lot, as heâs always being thrown out of Shit Nanâs house. Their relationship is âfebrile.â? Not as febrile as the on-going Sister War between the two oldest Garry children, though: Germaine (15, and 15 stone) and Aretha (14, angry, ginger.) This is a to-the-death battle of life-long rivals â Batman vs. The Joker. Sherlock vs. Moriarty. Toad of Toad Hall vs. Badger, when he gets in a bad mood and comes to take the car away.
Germaine is a verbally incontinent, extravert optimist with an almost deluded self-belief, and a desperate desire to get laid. Aretha, on the other hand, is an icy, still, angry introvert who just wants to be left in peace to read Orwell and Jung, and imagine being in a âwalking and talkingâ? scenario with Barack Obama.
Unfortunately, Germaineâs obsession with the local yob, Lee Rind â imagine a walking bottle of Lynx Africa â means she frequently has to drag in Aretha to be an unwilling Goose to her Maverick.
But while Germaine and Aretha deal with Germaineâs sexual destiny and Arethaâs enlarged pores (âAretha! Itâs like looking at a colander!â?), their mother, Della, is quietly preparing for the break-down of society. Sheâs seen the socio-economic writing on the wall, and is preparing, like the Sarah Connor of Wolverhampton, for the Apocalypse (âFucking David Cameron!â?) â whilst running an eBay business of vintage clothing on the side (âThese mugs will buy any mental moth-munched rara skirt if you list it as âLike Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex & The City.â These people donât deserve money.â?)
Della is played by Rebekah Staton (Spy, Pulling), with Philip Jackson (Poirot) as Grampy. In her first television role, Helen Monks (Pip in The Archers) takes on the role of Germaine, and up and coming actress Alexa Davies is Aretha. Yoko (Molly Risker), Wyatt (Caden Ellis Wall) and Mariah (Lucie Brown) are all played by newcomers found through extensive open auditions in Wolverhampton, as is Lee Rind (Kaine Zajaz). Baby Cher is played by identical twins Violet and Daisy Maple – most recently spotted suffering from Smallpox in BBC1âs The Village.