Bagpuss - 1974
A classic from 1974. Aired by the BBC, this Smallfilms Production is still loved by many. Just look at the amount of merchandise available these days. Created by Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin, they combined the writing (Oliver Postgate) with directing duties (Peter Firmin). Mr Postgate even narrated the show!!
Blue Peter Night - 1998
Bobobobs - 1989
With a mammoth set of opening titles lasting nearly 2 and a half minutes, Bobobobs was a Spanish cartoon made by BRB Internacional, and dubbed in to English by Telefilm Canada. BRB Internacional also made Willy Fogg and Dogtanian. The cartoon followed the spaceship "Bobobobs" and its crew as they flew towards Earth. Featuring the characters Captain Bob Wouter, Cornelius, Little Bob, Blip, Wilbur, Petronella, A.D., Fritz, Aunt Agatha, Ein, Stein, Peter, Doc Bone and Nurse Miny. The spaceship was basically a galleon with a protective dome. Directed and Adapted by Tim Reid, and based on the characters created by Henk and Nerida Zwart, the series was transmitted originally on ITV.
Bod - 1975
Aired by the BBC, this show followed the adventures of Bod (supposedly a boy), Aunt Flo (looked as if she was balancing an orange on her head), Frank The Postman, PC Copper (who did little policing) and Farmer Barleymow. There was a game of snap at the end of the show too, as well as a cartoon called "Alberto Frog and His Amazing Animal Band" where everyone had to guess what flavour milkshake Alberto would like after a hard day. The show was produced by David Yates, and written and designed by Joanne and Michael Cole.
Bump - 1993
Button Moon - 1980
Button Moon was a Thames TV Production, narrated by Robin Parkinson and written by Ian Allen, with puppets by Ian Allen and Alistair Fullerton. The show revolved around Mr and Mrs Spoon, and their daughter Tina Teaspoon, who flew about in a Heinz Beans Tin, complete with a funnel on the top and a tin of tuna at the bottom. In total, 7 series were made.
CDUK - 2003
Charlie Chalk - 1987
This Woodlands Animations production was created by Ivor Wood and written by Jocelyn Stevenson. Michael Wood, John Wells and Barbara Leigh Hunt provided the character voices and Mike Redway provided the music and lyrics. The title sequence reveals how Charlie ended up on an island, by falling asleep while out fishing one day.
Chorlton and The Wheelies - 1976
The Wheelies were little people with big noses that had wheels instead of legs. They lived in Wheelie World where they were constantly pestered by a green witch called Fenella. Luckily Chorlton, a dragon, was on hand to help. The programme was produced by Cosgrove Hall and Thames Television between 1976 and 1979.
Count Duckula - 1987
Another animation from the Cosgrove Hall stable, this was a spin-off from Dangermouse (see below!). Duckula had appeared in Dangermouse previously. There were 65 x 22 minute episodes created. Count Duckula (David Jason) lives in a castle, that can teleport itself to anywhere in the world, with his Nanny (Brian Trueman). Also on the Count's beck and call is his evil butler, Igor (Jack May).
Crystal Tipps and Alistair - 1972
Dangermouse - 1981
Featuring David Jason as Dangermouse and Terry Scott as Penfold, this cartoon was similar to The Simpsons in as much as kids loved it some of the humour was more adult oriented. DM's boss was Colonel K, and his arch enemy was Baron Silas Greenback. Greenback was assisted by his Sicilian henchman Stiletto, and a white fluffy caterpillar type thing called Nero. The show, produced between 1981-1991, was a joint Cosgrove Hall/Thames Production. It was written by Brian Trueman and Mike Harding, narrated by Brian Trueman with music by Mike Harding.
Fingerbobs - 1972
The one-man at the centre of it all was ex-Play School presenter Rick Jones as "Yoffy", who sat at a wooden table in front of a blue background and conversed with the various characters he'd devised from gloves and pieces of card, ping-pong balls etc. Aired by the BBC, Story and Design was by Michael and Joanne Cole (who created Bod) and music was by Michael Jessett.
Flumps - 1977
Made by David Yates Productions in wonderful stop frame animation. The 6 Flumps were Grandfather Flump, Father Flump, Mother Flump, Perkin, Posie and Pootle. Only thirteen episodes were made and the series aired in 1977 for the first time, although has been repeated often. That wonderful theme tune was by Paul Reade.
Fred Bassett - 1976
Hector's House - 1967
This show from 1967 is French (Le Maison De Tou Tou was the original name) but the BBC bought it and added an English voice over. The show was first shown in the late 60's but it is best remembered from the re-runs shown in the 70's. Basically Hector (a dog) lived with Zaza (a cat) in his house. Next door lived a frog called Kiki who would appear over the garden fence and sometimes was invited round to the house. In every episode Hector mentioned how he was "A big old (then insert a descriptive word such as curious/silly/devious/ignorant etc...) old Hector". He seemed to take the blame/responsibility for everything that occured.
Henry's Cat - 1983
Shown on the BBC, this show was directed and narrated by Bob Godfrey (of Roobarb and Noah and Nelly fame), and produced by Bob Godfrey and Mike Hayes. A total of 35 episodes were made. Henry was a yellow cat who had fun with his various animal pals. They were Chris Rabbit, Pansy Pig, Mosey Mouse, Sammy Snail, Douglas Dog, Philippe Frog, Ted Tortoise and Denise Duck. This is the sequence from the 1983 series.
Henry's Cat - 1984
How 2 - 1995
How 2 was initially produced by TVS, before moving to Scottish Television after TVS lost their franchise. Running from 1990 until 2006, it was designed as an educational show for children providing answers and experiments to questions started with a 'How'. Originally the show was presented by Fred Dinenage, Gareth Jones and Carol Vorderman, with Vorderman being replaced with other hosts in later series. The title itself was a throwback to an earlier long-running show 'How', produced by TVS' forerunner Southern Television, and also featuring Fred Dinenage. This episode, originally from the 1995 series, was repeated as part of CITV's Old Skool Weekend in 2013.
How 2 (Closing) - 1995
Jamie and The Magic Torch - 1978
Jamie and The Magic Torch was another Cosgrove Hall/Thames Television Production, written and narrated by Brian Trueman and directed by Keith Scroble and Chris Taylor. Jamie was always accompanied by his dog Wordsworth as they set off for a trip to Cuckoo Land every night. They would visit such people as Officer Gotcha (a unicycling policeman), Bully Bundy the Show Business Rabbit, Mr Boo (who flew about in a submarine type contraption) and Jojo Help (a handyman with an unusually long hat). Im total, 39 10 minute episodes were produced.
Joe - 1970
Shown on BBC (Watch With Mother slot), this Q3 Production was narrated by Colin Jeavons, Illustrated by Joan Hickson, stories were by Alison Prince, and Laurie Steele added the music. This pre-school show was pretty straightforward. The stories revolved around daily occurences, which created a whole host of questions that the average small child would want to know.
Knightmare - 1989
Produced by Broadsword, for Anglia Television, Knightmare was a hugely successful show on Childrens ITV. It started in the late 1987, before finally being cancelled in 1994, as the CITV of the 90s decided to cater to a younger audience instead. The premise was simple enough - A contestent, unable to see what was going on, was guided through a maze of dungeons, corridors and outdoor areas in an attempt to solve a quest. All the scenes were created using Chroma-Key overlaying (ie - standing in front of a coloured screen) and although the graphics look somewhat dated today, they were considered groundbreaking for the time. Clip courtesy of Iam Burn.
Knightmare - 1993
Little Miss and Mr Men - 1983
A revamp of the original Mr Men, this show was narrated by Pauline Collins and John Alderton. Based on the books by Roger Hargreaves (he wrote more than 70 Little Miss and Mr Men books) and produced and directed by Trevor Bond and Terry Ward, this show was good, but for most people could never replace the original Mr Men series narrated by Arthur Lowe.
Ludwig - 1977
Shown from 1977 by the BBC, this animation was about an egg (or was it??) with various mechanical devices that could appear from it, i.e. arms, helicopter blades... A strange man lurked in the bushes with a pair of binoculars (a pervert perhaps?) and a deerstalker hat, and watched Ludwig and his many woodland friends doing things. The show was created by Mirek and Peter Lang and was narrated by Jon Glover. Musical arrangements were by Paul Reade (of Flumps fame). And of course, all music was composed by Ludwig Van Beethoven. 25x 5 minutes shows were made.
Mary Mungo and Midge - 1971
Shown on the BBC, this John Ryan production was a classic. Narration and voices were provided by Richard Baker (BBC newsreader!!) with Mary's voice by Isabel Ryan. The show followed a girl called Mary, her dog Mungo and her mouse Midge. They would go out and about and have lots of fun!! Two things stand out from the show. Firstly the animation style; namely still bodies with moving eyes, mouths, arms and hands. All the scenes were shot in real time, which is pretty unusual for an animation, by Bob Bura and John Hardwick. Apparently this was immensley labour intensive. The second noteworthy thing was the great music supplied by Johnny Pearson.
The Moomins - 1983
Not to be confused with the cell-animated version from the 90s, 100 episodes of this earlier version were produced in Poland by Film Polski/Jupiter Films in association with FilmFair UK between 1979 and 1982. Featuring a combination of felt, strings and puppetry, it was based upon the original Tove Jansson books. A very dark feel could come over the program often, with characters such as The Groke appearing infrequently; a frightening large creature that ambled around making guttural breathing sounds, freezing everything she touched, floating over the sea and generally scaring the life out of anyone she approached. Despite being made at the start of the 80s, it didn't appear on ITV until 1983, and has never been repeated here. Thanks to Nicky Rowe for the info.
Portland Bill - 1986
From 1986, this FilmFair production told the story of Portland Bill, the lighthouse keeper, and his two mates who worked with him, Cromarty and Ross. He also had a dog... called Dogger. A very nautical theme... all but Ross are named after UK shipping areas. Narrated by Norman Rossington, Produced by Barrie Edwards, and fantastic nautical feeling music provided by John Grace, FilmFair made only 13 x 10 minute shows. They must have found that lighthouses aren't the most happening of places....
Raggy Dolls - 1988
Based upon the stories by Melvyn Jacobson and narrated by Neil Innes, this Yorkshire Television production from the late 80s followed the adventures of The Raggy Dolls. A bunch of mis-shapen rejects from Grimes' Toy Factory. The message behind it presumably being what was summed in the wonderfully catchy themesong; that being different doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you!
Rainbow - 1991
The much loved children's programme Rainbow, ran from 1973 until 1995, with this clip dating from 1991. A Thames Television Production. The show was initially commissioned by the IBA to compete with Sesame Street. The initial cast were David Cook, Bungle, Zippy, Sunshine and Moony. This lasted for a year before Geoffrey Hayes and George replaced Mr Cook, Sunshine and Moony. The show was produced by Pamela Lonsdale, directed by too many to mention and was created and written by John Kershaw. George and Zippy were voiced by Roy Skelton and Bungle was played by Stanley Bates.
Retrace - 1996
A rather forgotten programme in the history of CITV with little online about it, Retrace was a drama series produced by Yorkshire Television in the mid 90s. Spread across a first series in 1996 and a shorter second series in 1998, the main storyline focussed around the 'Fisher' family. One day the father of the family vanishes without trace, shortly followed by notices in the media suddenly hunting him for an armed bank robbery. As the story unfolds, very soon the entire family find themselves on the run from an obscure branch of the government as they know a little too much about an experiment on an island. Starring Michael Jowett, Kim Brearley and Adam Scourfield as the children, and Raiph Arliss as the father. With apologies for some degradation in this clip.
Simon in the Land of the Chalk Drawings - 1975
A FilmFair production for BBC TV, this animated show followed a young chap called Simon. He would draw things with his chalk, and then drift off in to fantasy... believing his drawings had come to life! 26 episodes were produced of this Ivor Wood animated and directed show. Good old Bernard Cribbins provided the narration, whilst Mike Batt (of Wombles and Bright Eyes fame) produced the music.
SM:TV Gold - 2003
After several years of mediocre Saturday morning programmes, which never seemed to stick around long, SM:TV hit the screens of ITV in 1998. Originally hosted by Ant and Dec, it initially proved to be a ratings hit for the channel. As time went on, things inevitably changed with presenters leaving, and viewing figures over time falling. The decision to axe the programme was finally reached in 2003. In the last few months of that year, SM:TV Gold was run, showing highlights from the programme's heyday. Clip courtesy of James Hadfield.
SM:TV Live - The Last Ever - 2003
For the last ever programme on 27/12/2003, the show went fully live one final time. The opening titles here are a combination of past efforts, featuring the older titles from Pre-March 2003 (albeit with updated logo) and the same 1999-2001 music mix used on SM:TV Gold. Thanks to James Hadfield for the clip.
The Sooty Show - 1986
The Sooty Show started out at the BBC in the fifties, before moving to ITV with the launch of Thames Television in 1968. It remained under production by Thames until the end of their franchise in 1992. Originally with Harry Corbett as presenter before passing to his son Matthew Corbett, the key characters remain the core 3 puppets, although other characters were added over the years. Sooty, everyone's favourite mute yellow bear, with a love for mischief and a magic wand. Sweep, a Grey Dog, who communicates via high pitched squeaks. And Soo, a panda, and the only one who can talk, being voiced by Brenda Longman since 1981. This sequence dates from 1986.
Sooty & Co. - 1993
With the loss of some ITV franchises at the end of 1992, most continuing children's shows just rolled over to an ITV company elsewhere on the network, and to the casual viewer little appeared to change. Sooty was an exception to this rule. The end of Thames' franchise saw the end of The Sooty Show in its previous form. Instead the show moved to Granada and was relaunched as Sooty & Co at the start of 1993, with an underlying plotline of them taking on a shop which ultimately never sold anything. A large amount of the first episode centred on highlighting this move 'Up North', with filming out on location in Manchester City Centre - very easy to do with Granada's studios at the time being so close. Sooty & Co ran through until 1998, and was the last show with Matthew Corbett presenting before the rights to Sooty were sold on to Richard Cadell. The opening titles here date from the first episode in 1993, and were animated by Cosgrove Hall - ironically owned by Thames until 1993.
Spot - 1993
Based on the children's books by Eric Hill, the programme followed the dog Spot, along with his parents (Sally and Sam), doing various gentle things. This 1993 cartoon was broadcast on the BBC, and was narrated by Paul Nicholas, with music provided by Duncan Lamont. There were originally 13 episodes made in 1986, but popular demand meant a second series was produced in 1993.
Super Gran - 1984
One of Tyne Tees' most ambitious and well remembered productions for ITV in the 80s was Super Gran. Based upon the books by Forrest Wilson and starring Gudrun Ure in the titular role, Super Gran followed the adventures of a grannie who gains super powers inadvertently during an incident. Then uses them to thwart the dastardly Scunner Campbell (played by Iain Cuthbertson) on a weekly basis. A delight of none-too-slick camera tricks and very Tyne Tees-esque visual effects only added to the charm of the series.
Super Gran (Closing) - 1984
Vicky The Viking - 1974
Based on the Runer Johnson stories, Vicky was a viking living in the coastal village of Flake with father (and Chieftan) Halva and mother Elva. His dad Halva used to battle against his great enemy Sven the Terrible (Don't think it was Goran-Eriksson) as well as general invading of other towns and villages (to rape and pillage presumably but this was not shown unfortunately!). Vicky used to play with Ticky his friend and show off his intelligence.
Willo The Wisp - 1983
This show, written and directed by Nick Spargo, aired on the BBC in 1983. The series was set in Doyle Wood with characters Willo The Wisp, Mavis Cruet, Arthur The Caterpillar, Evil Edna, Moog, Twit and Carwash. 26x 5 minute animations were originally made of this series. Voices were provided by the legendary Kenneth Williams. Unknown to most, despite a gap of over 20 years, a second series was produced around 2005, this time aired on Playhouse Disney, and with the late Nick Spargo's daughter Bobbie at the helm. Further information can be found on the official website at http://www.willothewisp.co.uk.
Will Quack Quack - 1982
Woof! - 1989
Produced by Central Television for Children's ITV, Woof first went to air in 1989 and lasted for a total of 9 series through until 1997. Based upon books by Allan Ahlberg, the main plotline involved a boy who would involuntarily turn into a dog, with all the ensuing problems this would bring. Over the lifetime of the show, a total of 3 boy/dog pairs were used (with more than 1 dog used for the first section). From 1989, Edward Fidoe was introduced as Eric Banks. Adam Roper took over as Rex Thomas in Series 6 in 1993, before the final series, series 9 in 1997, saw Sebastian Mahjouri take on the role as Jim. A variety of other well known actors appeared over the years, with Liza Goddard featuring in a role as the teacher across all 9 series. This intro dates from the very first episode, repeated as part of CITV's Old Skool celebrations in 2013.
Woof! - 1993
With the continuing aging of both the child actor Edward Fidoe and the dogs filling in as his counterpart canine, at the start of series 6 of Woof in 1993 the main characters were replaced. Adam Roper took over the role of the 'boy who turns into a dog' as Rex Thomas, with Punch taking the role of the 'dog' form. Fidoe's character reappeared in a brief cameo for the first episode as part of the switchover, after which this new combination was to last for 3 more series. This episode was the first episode from 1993, and repeated as part of CITV's Old Skool Weekend celebrations in 2013.