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Michaela Strachan

January 2013

IT started out as a book of children’s poetry, all based on her experiences with animals as a presenter of TV programmes over the past 25 years.
They included The Really Wild Show, Michaela's Wild Challenge, Orangutan Diary and Winterwatch, which returns to BBC 2 next week.
Michaela Strachan's Really Wild Adventures, which comes to Nottingham Playhouse on February 22, will mix live poetry with music, puppetry and plenty of fun and games for children, she says.
“I got in to poetry through writing postcards when I was away,” says the 46-year-old.
“This was in the days before e-mail and texting. I was travelling all the time so I was writing a lot of postcards. I got bored of just writing the usual so I turned them in to poems.”
She adds: “They are all based on experiences I’ve had with animals so they’re very true. Some of them are very emotional, some are funny and some are daft.”
The book came out in hardback at the end of last year. The paperback will be out in time for the tour.
She says: “Creating a stage show from it came about after a conversation I had with my agent.
“There’s a real culture at the moment for children’s books being turned into theatre shows, like The Gruffalo and Stickman. There seems to be an insatiable appetite for them.
“I took one of the poems to Malachi Bogdanov, who is a theatre director and he said that he could really see it working as a theatre show.”
She continues: “It’s very creative and a lot of fun. It’s also very factual, with interaction.
“I did a poem called Never Try To Out-Spit A Spitting Cobra that was based on a piece I did for Michaela’s Wild Challenge, which was a show I did for Channel 5. On stage there’s a puppet that’s a snake. We get kids up on stage with water pistols and they get prizes. “There’s another called Polar Dentistry, which was another one from the TV show when we had to take a tooth out of a bear to age it. For that we get a dad up on stage and dress him as a polar bear. We mark his bottom, which is one of the things we really did. It gets the kids laughing.
“So it can be very lively and interactive and fun, but there are also poems that I’m just reading to music, like one about an orangutan that we filmed for Orangutan Diary. That’s quite emotional.”
Although she does do a talk for adults with slides and stories from her career, Strachan says this one-woman show is entirely for children, aged three to eight.
“It lasts around an hour and it’s very simple but very effective,” she says.
The presenter now lives in Cape Town, South Africa with her partner, their son Ollie, seven, and three grown-up stepchildren.
“It’s a beautiful place. We live just on the back of Table Mountain and have a view of Hout Bay Harbour. It’s a great lifestyle but it is a little inconvenient for work.”

Michaela Strachan's Really Wild Adventures comes to Nottingham Playhouse on Friday, February 22 at 2pm. Tickets are £12.50 from the box office, call 0115 941 9419 or go to

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