It may not surprise you to know that the Harper family is loosely based on the families of the programme's creators but the appeal lies in the situations that are common to all families. Surely almost everyone can identify with daughters demanding designer clothes, sons blowing things up in the garden and fathers regressing to a teenage state in the presence of an old school mate?
Robert Lindsay is an instantly recognisable face on British television, having made his mark in the late 1970s as Wolfie in the legendary Citizen Smith. Contrary to his current cuddly image, Lindsay has also played some fairly nasty pieces of work in his time, most memorably in comedy/drama GBH. Zoë Wanamaker is a global star thanks to her part as Quidditch teacher Madam Hooch in the first Harry Potter movie. If her surname rings a bell, it might be on account of her late father being acclaimed American actor/director Sam Wanamaker.
It's all about Nick
A popular cast-member of the early seasons of My Family was undoubtedly Kris Marshall, who played eldest son Nick Harper. Marshall added a certain air of surreal anarchy to proceedings, and it was hard to imagine My Family being quite so successful without his strangely grinning presence, but once he left the regular cast the show survived without.
Janey's EastEnd past
Soap fans will certainly raise an eyebrow at the presence of Janey (aka Daniela Denby-Ashe), who made a considerable splash in the mid-90s as deeply troubled Christian girl Sarah Hills in EastEnders. She also played Saffy's daughter in a unique flash-forward episode of Absolutely Fabulous, so it's no surprise she fits in so well on My Family. Gabriel Thomson, who plays youngest son Michael, had his big break in a Frosties ad at the tender age of four, but My Family is his first major role, although he did enjoy a small part in blockbuster flick Enemy at the Gates (he's the guy who gets hanged).