On the 19th September 2000 the Harpers burst onto our screens for the first time. Who could have guessed then that it would go on to become one of the biggest ever British sitcoms? In these early days, Ben had dental assistant Bridget helping out at his surgery. The Harpers were just as dysfunctional as they are now though - for example Nick decides to become a stripper in one of the episodes.
Ben changed his dental assistants at an alarming rate in this second series. Janey meanwhile was busy dating Stupid Brian - his name probably under-exagerated how dumb he actually was! There was quite a bit of death and romance thrown into this series for good measure too.
Much to Ben's delight, Janey heads off to university at the start of this third season. It isn't long before the family start to squabble over who gets to use her room. Moving to Manchester doesn't allow Janey to escape her family though - before long Susan pays her daughter an inappropriate visit. The big shock comes in the Christmas Special - Janey returns home and reveals to her parents that she is pregnant!
Susan is looking forward to the birth of her first grandchild, but dreading being a grandmother. Nick is getting fed up with living in his ghastly flat and trying to think of a way to move back into the family home. The gap between Michael's IQ and the rest of the family's seems to be increasing, but so is his libido. And Abi is still Abi, only more so! As for perennially put-upon Ben, what with a new arrival causing chaos in surgery, being forced to take tango lessons and being officially declared dead, life is just one long major-league crisis in series four.
With Nick moving into his own flat, Janey at university, and Abi frequently attending evening classes, Ben and Susan enjoys some peace and quiet in this fifth series. Actually, of course they don't - the couple's peace is shattered when Janey comes home with baby Kenzo and Michael starts holding Bible study sessions in the living room. It was a packed series featuring everything from celebrity teeth to an exciting murder mystery.
The production team took a well earned break away from the series in 2005. However a couple of new episodes of My Family did make it into the schedules. The cast got involved with Comic Relief by filming a short episode for the charity, and returned for a Christmas special at the end of the year.
In the eight-part sixth series Ben starts a one-man anti-cycling campaign, Janey starts an affair with a dentist, the Harpers get involved in a pyramid selling scam, Ben buys the house next door, Michael embarks on a military cadet weekend and Susan is invited to dinner by a wealthy art collector.
The 2008 series started with Ben taking delivery of a neighbour's plasma screen television and falling in love with it, but it initally seems that Michael's current love interest may be expecting a delivery of something smaller but more problematic. At the end of this series Abi decides to become a nun and thus splits up from Roger. The 2008 Christmas special saw Ben and Susan hanging out in a department store overnight.