Here is a list of my top 10 children's shows most of which are from my childhood. Although I really don't think 10 cuts it because there are so many children shows that I love or loved as a child.
10. Wizards of Waverley Place (2007-2012)
I can't help but like this show I have no idea why but it's kind of my guilty pleasure. The show is about a family of wizards living in Waverley place in Manhattan, New York. The three kids Alex, Justin and Max are all training to become the family wizard. Selena Gomez who plays Alex would probably be my favourite character because I think she is funny always getting into mischief.
9. 100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd (1999 - 2002)
I really only watched the first series of this and thought it was quite good. The show was about a school bully that was turned into a dog and had to do 100 good deeds to get himself back to human form. It wasn't something I would run to watch but it did entertain me when it came on.
8. The Amanda Show (1999-2002)
This show was a comedy sketch that used to come on Nickelodeon and when I used to watch it found it extremely funny. I always used to get excited when this came on because it was a guaranteed laugh. I watch an episode of it a few months back and it was just a good as I remembered and also brought back so many memories.
7. Cow & Chicken (1997-1999)
I remember when I was younger and used to try and stay up 'late' to watch this show because I thought it was really good. After watching it recently I had to laugh at how dumb the show is. Two humans that don't show their heads that have kids who are a Cow and a Chicken is just madness right. I do have some memories of watching this show that's why it made my list.
6. Dexter's Lab (1996-2003)
I absolutely loved this show and couldn't get enough of it when it came on. The show is about Dexter who is a boy genius that has to deal with his annoying sister while trying to come up with great experiments. Dee Dee who was his sister was so funny I just loved her but did feel a little sorry for Dexter. Would hate to have such an annoying little sister like he did.
5. Two of a Kind (1998-1999)
A young Mary-Kate and Ashley starred in a Television series about two sisters growing up and day to day life. I loved this show mainly because I was a huge fan of Mary-Kate and Ashley. The series had lots of laughs and my favourite episode would probably be the one where they thought there babysitter was a killer. I still catch re-runs of this series every now and then and it still entertains me.
4. Doug (1991-1999)
What's not to love about a show with a boy and his dog. This show was a comedy show that dealt with loads of different topics such as school and life situations in general. The show was easy to follow and was good because it had loads of childish situations that I could relate to. This show is what made me have a journal when I was a kid just because Doug had one lol.
3. Hey Arnold (1996-2004)
The is no way I could do a top 10 and not include this because I watched this every single day after school as a kid. The show was about a bunch of school kids and their daily life. Arnold was the main character who lived with his grand parents. The relationship between Helga and Arnold is one of the main topics of the show. Helga is quite mean to Arnold and calls him football head but deep down loves him. The show was funny and brought alot of laugh just wish they did re-runs because I would love to catch a few episodes again.
2. Recess (1997-2001)
Everyone loves playtime so having a show about it was just the perfect thing to do. The show was mainly about what happens at playtime and rules of the playground. My favourite character was Spinelli because she was just a hardcore girl. The gang that the show focuses on has a character for everyone so weather you like the cool kid, the nerd or the sporty kid there is someone for everyone and represent each type of stereotype when it comes to school. Me and my sisters all had different favourites and we used to argue all the time over who is the best.
1. Are you afraid of the dark (1991- 2000)
This just had to be number one because this is the only place I used to get my horror thrills from sinc my mum never used to let me watch real horror. I loved this show because every show was different and it was cool. I liked that it was a bunch of kids out at night telling each other ghosts stories it's just cool because that's what I used to do at sleepovers. The very first episode The Tale of the Phantom Cab is an episode that I will always remember because it was the first one I ever watched. They had loads of two part episodes and had such a wide range of ghosts stories that it was hard to not love.
There are so many thing that I have missed that I would probably need a list of 100 to fit everything. Just to name a few extras there was:
As Told by Ginger
Rockos Modern Life
Power puff Girls
Clarrissa knows it all
Boy meets world
Drake and Josh
An so many more I could go on forever lol.
Here i go again with my top ten things, this was a must for me, especially now as i have a young daughter getting into some of these programmes. I love childrens tv shows, even now at 30 years old there are some that i still enjoy watching....should i actually admit that???
1 - Sesame Street
"Sunny days, chasing the clouds away..."
I think Sesame Street has to be my number one childrens tv show, it first introduced me to my favourite ever character Elmo!! Sesame Street is known for the muppets which were created by the late Jim Henson, and many favourites include Elmo, Grover, Oscar The Grouch, and of course Big Bird. This is totally an educational show but it is just great fun to watch, full of songs, stories and humour. Just brilliant in my opinion.
2 - Fifi and the flowertots
Fifi and the flowertots is a really sweet programme, based around little tots in a large garden. Fifi is a forget-me-not, and even though she is a forget-me-not, in every epsiode she forgets something and needs her friends to help her out to remember the word! The programme shows Fifi playing with her friends, looking after flowers in her garden, and quite often trying to stop Stingo the wasp from being naughty!! I really like this show, its fun and educational and so so cute, just ticks all the boxes for me!
3 - Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
"Meeska Mooska Mickey Mouse"
I am very new to Mickey Mouse clubhouse, its my little girls favourite thing at the moment so we're catching up on episodes (not too much, but not enough for her liking lol). This programme is one of the best around for fun and learning in my opinion, each episode gets the child involved in role play and problem solving with Toodles ears. Its great fun and i can see why its her favourite, even i quite enjoy it - although the hot dog song at the end is just way too catchy!!!
4 - Tom and Jerry
Hmmm this shouldn't really be in here as it isn't a great programme when i think about what it protrays, but it really has become a favourite of my daughters already so i just had to include it. The show is just basically a cat and mouse fighting - pure mindless violence but there is an awful lot of humour in there too. I am hoping it doesn't teach my little girl bad habits with animals, but it didn't do me any harm!
5 - Postman Pat
"Postman Pat, postman pat, postman pat and his black and white cat...."
I always loved Postman Pat, even named my first ever cat after the cute Jess! The series follows Pat around the little village of Greendale delivering his mail and quite often ends up helping the local residents. Postman Pat has recently been revamped to "Special Delivery" and shows him delivering mail by helicopter and other vehicles.
6 - Bookaboo
"He's a real rock dog and he plays the drums...."
Another new show, Bookaboo is a little rock dog who plays the drums in his own rock band, but there's always a problem, he can't play unless he's had his story!! Each episode sees a different celebrity coming to the tour bus with the bookabag which contains a story for them to read to Bookaboo. There are various celebs that have been involved, these include Kym Marsh, Meatloaf, Robson Green and Aleesha Dixon which is a definate favourite in our house! A really good, different way for children to have a book read to them.
7 - Elmo's World
As i said before, i just love Elmo, so this just had to be in my top 10. Elmo is a three and a half year old little red monster and the shows take place in an animated crayon- drawn room. Each episode sees Elmo in short skits and there's always something new to learn. A cute, educational show, and the potty show is great for training!!
8 - Bagpuss
"Bagpuss, dear Bagpuss
Old Fat Furry Catpuss
Wake up and look at this thing that I bring
Wake up, be bright, be golden and light
Bagpuss, oh hear what I sing"
God i feel old having this in here, but it was a real favourite of mine when i was very small. Bagpuss would wake up when his owner Emily went out, and other toys in the shop would wake up too - Gabriel the toad, Madeline the rag doll and a wooden woodpecker Professor Yaffle. Bagpuss and the toys would discuss and sing about different objects before Bagpuss falls back asleep.
A lovely little show, and apparently there was only 13 episodes ever made.
9 - Rainbow
"Up above the streets and houses rainbow flying high...."
What do i remember most about Rainbow? It would have to be the squabbling between the puppets Zippy and George! Each episode would see Geoffrey read a story from the rainbow storybook and there would be a song from the too happy, too cheesy Rod, Jane and Freddy.
Just a great fun show.
10 - Button Moon
"We're off to Button Moon, we followed Mr Spoon..."
Button Moon was a really quirky kids programme, all the characters in the show are based on kitchen utensils (Mr Spoon, "egg"bert and more) and in every show Mr Spoon would travel to Button Moon (which was literally just a big button in blanket sky) and they would look through the telescope at different places before heading home. It was a really good show in its time.
Wow, what a hard top ten to choose, there are so many more i could have had in that list, The Magic Roundabout, Batfink, Wallace and Gromit and who could forget Play School. So there's my top ten, i wonder how many will agree with me, i think it has a bit of everything in there, some classic some new, and i think some of those will just never die :)
I've decided to take a short trip down memory lane for this review and list my favourite childrens' television programmes. For those of you born before or during the 60's, you might be able to remember some of them and for those of you lucky to be born afterwards, you really don't know what you've missed!
Whilst the names and details of the programmes were secured firmly in my head, it was necessary for me to scour the internet to search the years of production for each and researching this review has been a real step back in time.
I'm going to have to start with my favourite of all time - Pipkins!
This show ran from 1973 - 1981 and was set in a warehouse. The stars were Hartley the Hare, Topov, Pig and Octavia.
I can remember this programme vividly when it first aired, even though I was only 6. I have very clear memories of Hartley the hare, who possessed huge perturbing teeth and was very domineering. His friend Topov was an extremely noisy hyperactive monkey who always sat on top of the high wall cupboards, hence his name Topov!! I can't remember Pig's character, but Octavia was a female ostrich who constantly sung at the top of her voice!! They were all cared for by Mr Pipkin, the caretaker.
2. Mary, Mungo and Midge
This show brings back so many fond memories and was aired in 1972 with only 13 episodes being shown in total. The programme was narrated by the BBC newsreader, Richard Baker, who had the perfect voice to fit the show. The characters all lived on the top floor of a tower block. Mary was the little girl, Mungo was the rather snooty dog and little Midge was the cute mouse.
I can specifically remember one episode where both Mungo and Midge were in the lift and needed to reach the top floor, but neither of them could reach the appropriate elevator button, which was located quite high.
It took them the whole episode to work out that if Midge stood on Mungo's nose he would be able to reach!
3. Jim'll Fix It
I don't think anyone needs me to explain the concept of this show, but I will for those of you who don't know. The show was hosted by Sir Jimmy Saville, a famous cigar-smoker and was aired from 1975 until 1994. Children wrote in to him to ask him to fix their dreams.
One of the most famous has to be the group of scouts who wanted to each lunch in an unusual place, so Jim fixed it for them to ride a roller coaster in Blackpool. Every time I see the video footage of their milkshakes and sandwiches ending up all over their faces, I'm reduced to tears of laughter!!
I wrote to Jim in 1982, as I desperately wanted Duran Duran to collect me from school in a flash sports car. I wanted to be the envy of my friends, but unfortunately, Jim didn't fix it for me and I had to walk like everybody else!! Oh bliss .... I'd still love Simon le Bon to pick me up in his wheels. Oh well, a woman can dream!! His loss!!
4. Hong Kong Phooey
I can hear the music of this playing in my head! Hong Kong Phooey was a Hanna-Barbera animation and aired between 1975 - 1994. He was a kung-phoo fighting dog who worked for the Police. When he needed to fight off the baddies, he suddenly changed into his robe and black mask and was ready for battle!
I can remember Rosemary, the telephone operator who would always answer the phone by stating, "you don't say, you don't say". Hong Kong Phooey would be tapping his foot in the background and responding with "what did they say?"
This was superb!! For those of you who'd like to have a sing along to the extremely catchy theme tune, here are the lyrics, which I managed to obtain from the internet. I can't stop singing it now!!!
He's got style, a groovy style,
and a car that just won't stop.
When the going gets tough, he's really rough,
with a Hong Kong Phooey chop (Hi-Ya!)
Hong Kong Phooey, number one super guy.
Hong Kong Phooey, quicker than the human eye.
Hong Kong Phooey, he's fan-riffic (gong!)
5. Dastardly and Muttely
My next favourite has to be these pair of pesky characters! This was another Hanna-Barbera animation and first aired in my second birthday and ran until 1971. It must be the repeats of this I can remember!
For the duration of every show, the comedy villains, Dick Dastardly and his dog, Muttley chased Yankee Doodle Pigeon, who carried secret World War I messages. The show ran for 17 episodes where you were able to hear Muttely's famous sniggering.
The famous tune for this show sticks in my mind "Catch the pigeon, catch the pigeon ...."
Oh, I loved Rupert the bear!! I didn't realise until I researched lovely Rupert, that he was initially created in 1920 by Mary Tourtell as a cartoon character for the Daily Express. He was so successful that a childrens' programme was created in 1970, which showed Rupert as a puppet.
For those of you who don't know Rupert, he was a cute little bear with yellow checked trousers and a matching scarf and a red top.
I was surprised to learn that the show had run for approximately 150 episodes and you can catch some of these on the internet.
The theme tune to Rupert is again, another catchy one, but I'm sure you know it!
Barnaby was a cute little soft toy bear with a white body and rusty coloured arms, legs and curly hair. He had the most gorgeous smiley face and the show was first aired on Watch with Mother during 1973. I can remember Barnaby's lady friend Nordeen who was white and had the cutest little voice that you've ever heard.
Unfortunately, this show only ran for 13 episodes, but had the most memorable theme tune:-
"Barnaby the Bear's my name, never call me Jack or James" I can't remember any more and loved this theme tune!!
8. Swap Shop
This was first aired with Noel Edmunds presenting from 1976 - 1982. The show was essential Saturday viewing and clashed with Tiswas. It seemed that you couldn't like both shows - it was one or the other! I was most definitely a Swap Shop girl.
The show was co-presented by Keith Chegwin and Maggie Philbin. I remember my Dad taking me to one of Cheggar's famous Swaparamas where kids were encouraged to swap their unwanted times. I took an expensive sealed game and exchanged it for a tatty box containing Battling Tops. However, I was distraught when I got it home as half the pieces were missing!!
9. The Clangers
I was very young when this was aired as it was first broadcast in 1969, when I was two, but I can remember the latter episodes. The Clangers were small mice-like pink puppets who lived on a far away planet. They spoke to one another in strange whistles and lived in burrows.
There were dustbin lids situated all over the planet and they opened these to enter their burrows. Apparently, since the final showing of this programme in 1974, the episode has remained secured in BBC Archives and has never been shown since.
10. Banana Splits
My final favourite has to be those mad but extremely entertaining men dressed up in furry animal costumes!! The theme tune was so catchy and for those of you who know the show you will remember:-
"one banana, two banana, three banana, four
four bananas make a bunch and so do many more ...
Tra la la la la la la, tra la la la la la la"
This programme was shown during the 1970's and was simply manic! The music was loud, the characters threw food at one another and raced around in dodgem-type cars. I loved it!! One of the animals spoke with a cute lisp and I simply loved this show. There was Fleegle the beagle, Bingo the gorilla, Drooper the lion and Snork the elephant. This show was simply wild, wild wild!!
Viewers were able to watch cartons within this programme such as The Arabian Nights and The Three Musketeers.
Well, that's it. It was extremely difficult to only list ten as I could have gone on and on. I have other favourites such as Babapapa, Bod, Animals Quackers and Barnaby. I hope you enjoyed my trip down memory lane as much as I did. The only problem I have as a result of writing this is the Banana Splits music is now embedded in my brain!!
Thank you for reading.
As I have previously mentioned I am a mum to two little girls aged 2 and 4 so as you can imagine I am familiar with Children's television.
So my eldest daughter has been dragged away from said television to share the top ten Television programs with you all.
1) I Can Cook
This is a favourite because she loves cooking and as per my previous review Katie the presenter is very clever at showing how to make the recipes' for example making breadcrumbs was described as tickling the ingredients.
2) Mister Maker
Personally this program drives me nuts but as stated it's not my list! My daughter unlike me loves to make craft and do art and she loves all the activities on this program. I have attempted to make some of the crafts and found the instructions easy to follow and of course the presenter is very enthusiastic.
3) Grandpa in my Pocket
I confess when she said she likes this one I was also pleased I think it is a enjoyable one to watch and the character of the Great Aunt always makes me laugh and lets be honest anyone who has siblings still reverts to childhood at times which is what makes this so funny.
4) Thomas The Tank Engine
This is really only the youngest favourite as the eldest puts it is a bit boring all those trains and I couldn't agree more normally this is the time for Mummy to disappear into the shower! I have to admit the youngest will sit totally engrossed in this so does a good job of giving Mummy a breather!
5) Charlie and Lola
We all love this always makes me smile and we also love reading the stories it is really clever and just great fun. The youngest will also sit through this and indeed has Lola jammies (pyjamas) and has named her Fish CharlieLola!
6) I am a big fan of the Five Minutes peace stories and was happy to see that this had been made into a series, which is very true to the stories and is a firm favourite for this reason
The cry of glee goes up tubbies tubbies we have every DVD, stories and enough stuffed toys to open our own shop as this is an old series this is stuck on at 6am so I have to record this personally I cannot see the appeal but is a favourite of my girls because of tubby custard and they are funny mummy. Well that explains it!
As a adult I really cannot see the appeal to Bullo as its called by my Girls however both my girls and my nephew and niece seem to be hypnotised as soon as this comes on to the television. So I suppose that is a good thing for a little peace and quiet but it just seems really odd. I am informed that they are cute and the music is good??
9) Show me Show me
I personally find the presenters very irritating and the content rather fake however this is another firm favourite they like the story line and will happy do the funky moves and as stated this is children's Television so I am not supposed to like it!
10) Big Cook Little Cook
I will avoid this program at all costs cleaning the toilet is preferable in my opinion I cannot stand this program one bit. "Mummy it's really good they make fun food and show you where it's made and they tell a good story"
Well there you have it, personally I cheer at 7pm when the red screen appears and there is no more Children's T.V with sickly sweet and super happy presenter's time for some Doom and Gloom thank God for Eastenders!!!!
(Please don't take this too seriously - it's a rather silly take on an adult's perspective of a children's programme which I wrote for my own amusement and hopefully yours. I've put it in here rather than as a premium review so that I don't get points for it. If you're not familiar with Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom, you should probably stop here as this will make no sense to you at all!)
Have you ever watched a children's programme and found that after a while, you started to notice that Things Didn't Seem Quite Right? The oddly short days in Peppa Pig. The precognitive schoolchildren in The Wonder Pets. The giant red chicken in Dora The Explorer. Most of Dora The Explorer, come to think of it.
So we come to The Little Kingdom: at first glance, it seems to be an idyllic storybook place to live. Everyone seems happy and fulfilled, it's always summer and there are magic picnic baskets which make spaghetti bolognaise. Look a little closer, however, and it becomes clear that this is a simmering cauldron* waiting to explode.
* pun intended
The Little Kingdom is a feudal society ruled by the Fairies in which the Elves perform all manual tasks, including farming and manufacturing. The Fairies live in a quaint little castle, while the Elves all live together in a tree. Many Elves toil all day in a factory deep under the tree to make toys for Father Christmas. The Fairies are far fewer in number than the Elves but keep their position of power by their abiliy to do magic; they are not unkind masters, although there are frequent instances of Elves being turned into small animals by Fairy children who are not adequately supervised, given that their magic is not fully under control.
The Fairies do very little of any importance. King and Queen Thistle spend most of their time launching ships, judging fruit-growing contests and meeting other dignitaries. Most of the children's time is spent either in lessons or in unsupervised play, although often the King or Queen will spend time with them. It is interesting to note that there are no male Fairy children at all, which raises the interesting question of whether Holly will be permitted to marry an Elf, should her wishes tend in that direction. This may be the only way to continue the family line, unless a suitable Fairy suitor can be found.
The Elves have been brainwashed into thinking that work is fun and feel anxiety when they are forced to take time off or holidays. Elf children are permitted to attend school, but are taught 'useful' subjects such as toy-making rather than more academic ones. By and large, the Elves do not question their position in society - where they are discouraged from thinking of themselves as individuals by all being given the same surname - but it is not inconceivable that Ben's friendship with Holly is the product of an Elf plot to take control of the Kingdom by putting an Elf on the throne.
The eldest child of King and Queen Thistle, Holly is unusual for a Fairy in that her best friend is an Elf. She is oblivious to the kingdom's unequal political structure and is interested only in games and practising magic. She is spoilt and indulged, not least by Nanny Plum, who often allows her to skip magic lessons. She does have Fairy friends with whom she takes her lessons, but is more often found in the company of Ben Elf. Fairies and Elves do not generally mix much, but Holly's friendship with Ben is generally accepted by all.
Ben is Holly's best friend. As all Elves are, he is bemused by her obsession with magic, but indulges her nonetheless. He is not blind to her faults; she always forgets his birthday, cheats by using magic during games, and quite often turns him into small animals by mistake, but he does not appear to bear a grudge against her. He may be harbouring long-term political aspirations (in one episode, he proclaims himself King of a giant sandcastle with Holly as his Queen).
Nanny Plum is the power behind the throne, although her influence appears to be largely benign. She controls the royal household, filling the roles of nanny, cook, housekeeper, teacher, chauffeur and diary planner, and even prefers to do housework herself rather than permit an Elf cleaner into the castle. She allows other Fairy children to visit the castle, but adult visitors are only permitted if they are rather silly and only interested in clothes. She looks down on Elves because they are unable to do magic, and thinks nothing of the children turning them into animals - in fact, she is usually impressed by this ability. She tolerates Holly's friendship with Ben in order to maintain good relations with the future queen, but she would not be pleased at a potential future Fairy/Elf romantic relationship, and may be rendered apoplectic by the prospect of an Elf King. Interestingly, her relationship with King Thistle suggests that she was his nanny as well, which suggests that she may be using a spell or potion to keep herself young.
He may once have attempted to stamp his authority on the Kingdom, but King Thistle now has the air of a man who has long since realised that the key to an easy life is to do as he is told. Largely, this means obeying Nanny Plum.
The Queen has long since given up any hope of wresting the King away from Nanny Plum's influence and now focuses only on her children. She displays occasional bursts of rebellion (threatening to turn Nanny Plum into a slug because of a broken teapot), but is, for the most part resigned to her lot.
The Wise Old Elf
The only Elf old enough to be suspicious of Nanny Plum's youthful appearance, the Wise Old Elf may have been politically subversive in the past, and still stands up to Nanny Plum on occasion. However, this is limited to attempting to stop her using magic in Elf situations (Elf School, the Elf Games) as he is now a little deaf and possibly slightly senile. He fills many roles for the Elves, including teacher, librarian, factory manager and general all-round sage, but is not the sharp tack he once was.
It seems unlikely that the status quo of the Little Kingdom can be maintained indefinitely, particularly if the evidence suggesting an underground Elf movement is to be believed. One can only hope that if this is the case, that the Elves are planning a slow change to the socio-political landscape through integration of the two communities rather than outright revolution, as otherwise there can be no future for the friendship of Ben and Holly. And without the unique bond between these two very different children, we would have to read The Gruffalo for the seven thousandth time in one day. And nobody wants that.
As I child I favoured reading stories, writing and drawing than watching TV, as an adult this trend continues only now it's making cards (writing reviews) or reading poems and novels. However, again, as both a child and adult, there has always been a little bit of room in my life for TV. When I was a child these were my favourite programmes:
Before Melissa Joan Hart played Sabrina and Miley Cyrus played Hannah Montana, Mayim Bialik played Blossom in the 91 - 95 TV series of the same name. I used to race home from school to watch it, she was so cool with her floppy hat, best friend Six and her big brother's Joey and Tony. Her Dad, Nick, who's wife left him was a struggling musician and was cool too, he used to let her friends hang at her house and was an all round great Dad. I loved how close they all were. It was great. But when I watched it recently as an adult, well I couldn't think of a more rubbish show on the TV.
Absolutely magical. So Iris would cycle each week to visit Greenclaws (big monster type thing) in his Greenhouse. They would plant a seed from his treasure box (seeds looked like marbles with different images / patterns painted on them). The seed in the pot would go in to the special tree and when it was ready Owlma would twit twoo a clue for them to answer. The plant would come out bearing unusual but fab things like a telephone or money or icecream - it was so magical I used to have a wooden box (looked like the one on the show, I still have it, full of hair clips and bobbles now), and I used to pretend it was Greenclaws seed box. Brilliant
3. Fresh Prince of Bel Air
I am not ashamed to say I still know the rap for this song. Its amazing what I remember when I think of this show (which by the way I would like to add I regularly watch on digital TV - its still as good!). So we were at Earl's Orchard in Richmond, North Yorks on a school trip when we were 10 (it's like a youth hostel near old derelict bell lead mines and a castle and stuff - good times). It was December and we were there for a week. My best friend ever's birthday was whilst we there and I bought her one of them Forever Friend diaries / organisers the 3 fold ones you know? We had a talent contest and me and my other friend did the Fresh Prince rap as our 'turn' - we won! I got hot chocolate on my fluffy white rabbit slippers that night. And then when we got back my Mam, Dad and Nanna were waiting for me, on the Monday I went on the trip my Granddad had died. I was a bit sad but I was most worried about my Nanna. She died of a broken heart the year after. Very sad times. Great show though!
4. Care Bears
My sister and I loved this show. I remember having one VCR and Cheer Bear was going to be on the float for the big parade. It was brilliant. She was my favourite - but she was really vain and ruined everything. She had to get her Care Bear friends to do the Care Bear Stare - It's the Care Bear Countdown... Really happy times sat cross legged with a picnic tea infront of the TV with my little sis.
5. You and Me / Through the Dragons Eye / BBC Stars and Planets
Educational programs used to be top on my list of favourites, and thinking about them gives me the biggest surge of nostalgia. You and Me was about 2 bears on a Market Stall, Cosmo and Dibs I seem to recall, who used to teach you things through selling their wares. Through the Dragons Eye was like the Chronicles of Narnia and I loved drawing Dragons in my work book at school from it. I'm not sure of the Stars and Planets programs name - but the song used to go 'Let's go to the planets, let's go the stars, let's journey to Jupiter, let's journey to Mars, cause a million stars are waiting, a million stars and moreeeeee' or something along those lines. It was fab. I still love Astronomy now and my partner bought me an indoor planetarium for my birthday.
Scott and Charlene - wow, I just looked this up and their wedding was aired in the UK on 08/11/88 - I was almost 5, and I honestly can remember it like yesterday. I got Especially for You and Too Many Broken Hearts on vinyl for my birthday as a child, I loved this couple. Still have a soft spot for Kylie now she will always be Charlene to me!
7. Save by the Bell
More fantastic unmissable viewing. Kelly, Zach, Screech, Jessie, Lisa and Ac Slater. A group of kids who used to go to school and get in to various scrapes and situations which they would have to work together to get through - they were in 3 on / off couples and everyone at school had their favourite. Mine was Kelly and Zach, they ultimately got married after the college years!
8. My So Called Life
Only watched the one series, Jared Leto and Claire Danes. Dealth with some hard hitting issues, I guess it was like a Hollyoaks of it's time. But it was unmissable for me, I loved Claire Danes. When she later appeared as Juliet in Baz Lurhmanns adaptation of Romeo and Juliet it was so unfair. I wanted her to be Angela Chase forever. And to me she always will be!
9. Rolf's Cartoon Club
Its Rolf's Cartoon Club, you can join today, What? Yeahhhhhh! Superb artist and all round loveable guy - I was desperate to be able to do that knock on my drawing board that he did.
Aw Tony Hart, what a great guy rest his soul. I didn't realise that he had died earlier this year. He was fantastic, and the character Morph sketches used to captivate me! I learnt all kinds of tricks from him, the classic, drawing a moon and it's reflection on water using black paper and white chalk, smudged with your finger. Awesome!
Mmm, my favourite TV shows as a child. Well, there were a few. I'm a child of the 80s so see how many of these you remember. Let me know your thoughts!! They're in no particular order cos I don't have an outright favourite, I always was a bookworm but I think I must have got through a fair few hours of telly!
1) Grange Hill
Groundbreaking stuff, I can still see Zammo on the floor after his overdose. 'Pupils' I remember were Gonch, Hollo, Vince and the gorgeous Ant Jones! Having said that, I think I must have tuned in quite early as I do remember Suzanne and Stewpot and was the bully called Gripper? My Grandma who used to live with us used to have kittens everytime it came on as she thought we'd be corrupted! I did think 'big school' was going to be like Grange Hill and all the teachers would be like Mr Bronson. Just say no!
2) Why Don't You?
Turn off the TV and go and do something less boring instead. Or something like that! It was presented for kids by kids, and you could send in your suggestions for games, recipes etc and the kids would present them on the telly. Summer holiday mornings weren't the same when that wasn't on. We didn't go and do something less boring til after. Not that we ever played any of the suggestions I don't think!
Probably my earliest favourite, a classic! Narrated by the lovely Brian Cant who also did Playschool amongst lots of other telly. I wanted to live in Trumpton, where the fire brigade were always on standby for emergencies like the mayor's hat stuck in a tree and Chippy Minton and his son Nibbs were reliable builders and not cowboys. And everyone gathered at the end of the day in the park to hear the brigade play in the bandstand. Let's move there now!
4) Chorlton and the Wheelies
Loved this and it's a shame cos I can hardly remember anything about it, except there was a wicked witch in the castle and the all used to zoom around in Wheelie World. It had a great theme tune as well!
Timothy Claypole! Miss Popoff! Witch Hazel! Mr Meaker! Dobbin the Pantomime Horse! Have I missed anyone? This was classic home from school, glass of milk and a custard cream telly. Why don't they show these anymore?!
6) Kids from Degrassi Street
This was American and I loved it, mid 80s. It was a different story each week revolving around a child who lived on Degrassi Street and their personal lives. Some of the stories I seem to remember could be quite moving: illness in the family, bullying and the general feelings kids get when growing up and the problems all families have. Great telly, I never missed it
7) The Littlest Hobo
Another summer holiday morning show! Bit like Lassie but better and the best TV theme ever! Until tomorrow I'll just keep moving on
8) Byker Grove
Good bit later this, I was about 13 when this came on. A bit like Grange Hill I suppose but set in a youth club in Newcastle. Lots of great characters and storylines about growing up, emotions, tragedy, family problems. And of course, it brought us Ant and Dec as PJ and Duncan. Remember when they went paintballing and PJ got blinded? Harrowing stuff!
Most of my memories seem to have been on summer holiday time! Kickstart was great, presented by Peter Purves it was essentially kids on motorbikes going on assault courses getting very muddy and often falling off. And a great tune to that as well!
Jim'll Fix It
Saturday teatimes. How many letters did you write? I never got on but I wrote wanting to go to the Sindy doll factory. He never replied. Crushing.
And that's it! Could probably stick a few more down. Who else remembers The Krankies, Crackerjack (with Stu Francis), Cheggers Plays Pop, We Are The Champions, Penelope Pitstop??
Oh happy days! Enjoy the memories, let me know what you think of my list xx
I initially found this a bit difficult to write as an opinion piece (as you will already know if you clicked on this review last night when it consisted merely of a long list of programme names!) I was not exactly discerning as a child, I would watch whatever was on the TV screen - I even remember avidly watching court TV as a toddler - and a lot of the fond memories I had associated with these programmes were actually nothing to do with the content of the shows themselves, and some I loved just because of the theme tunes, etc. So I did manage to get the list down from 50 to 10 in the end!
In descending order... (or is it ascending? I always get them mixed up)
I think I watched this because my younger brothers did, but it's stayed with me anyway. It was about a reject teddy bear who was discovered by a spotty man from outer space ' who brought him to life with his cosmic dust'. I couldn't stand Spotty's voice and the way he called Superted 'S-y-uperted', but the teddy bear superhero had really cute little paws, and I kept watching to see if he would ever say his secret 'special word' out loud (I don't think he ever did.)
9. Mighty Mouse
I loved this, but it was only on TV sporadically so I didn't get to see much of it. It's older than I thought actually, the cartoon dates from the 50s. Mighty Mouse was a rodent parody of Superman, with lots of super powers. The music was very 50s too, there was theatrical singing all the way through the cartoons. MM has a girlfriend called Pearl Pureheart who very often found herself tied to train tracks or in some other peril at the hands of Oil Can Harry the evil cat. He always saved her just in the nick of time, and struck a triumphant pose as the final credits came on.
8. Mr Benn
When I bought 'The Complete Mr Benn' on dvd for my son to watch it surprised me to discover only 13 episodes were ever made of this show. I remember watching it over and over again. Every episode, Mr Benn would leave 52 Festive Road and head straight for a fancy dress costume shop, to try on an outfit and walk through the door that always led to adventures! So simple, and a little bit odd!
Recently I was shopping in a branch of Hawkins Bazaar, where I saw a make-your-own-Morph kit for sale, and it brought the memories flooding back. Morph was a plasticine man made up by Tony Hart, an artist and long time television presenter. Morph was able to change shape and move through solid objects. He later acquired some friends - Chas (my favourite), Grandmorph, Delilah, Gillespie, a girl made from foil, and a pet nailbrush. They all spoke complete nonsense, so Tony Hart helpfully translated.
I have to admit to a bit of girl crush on She-Ra/Princess Adora, but I wonder now if it was mainly a gratitude crush? All my young male relatives watched He-Man and had a series of seemingly endless action figures to play with, while, if I remember correctly, all girls had was the choice of three or four sickly-smelling Strawberry Shortcake dolls or Barbie/Cindy. Then all of a sudden He-Man had a sister. She was very much the female version of him, and I realise now, had a rather bad hairstyle! She-Ra was only around for two years but is still a convention favourite. I never got my hands on any of the action figures, though my male relatives did!
5. Jem and the Holograms
Did Jem pre-date or post-date She-Ra? This cartoon was a real craze among my friends at primary school. I don't think we had seen anything like this before, a cartoon about a girl band, we were all smitten! Jem was a pink haired pop star, the night-time alias of mild-mannered Jerrica Benton, the front woman for Jem and the Holograms which consisted of her sister red-haired Kimber on keyboards ( the only line I recall from the show is Kimber flouncing off yelling 'You can get some other flunky to plunk keys for you!') Aja was on bass, and purple afro'd Shana on drums. Their rivals were a punky group called the Misfits who looked like they were out of the cast of Cats. The episodes often centered around a Battle of the Bands between the two. I had the (oddly masculine) dolls, music cassette tapes - the songs were dreadful, my parents were saints to put up with it - and the VHS tape which I wore out from watching too much.
The Muppets was a family show. My family never sat down to watch it together, but I was aware it wasn't just a kids show by the star guests that appeared every week. I never recognised a single one though obviously some were very famous. The show followed the same format every week; that fantastic opening song, then a series of skits (Pigs in Space, Fozzies stand-up, the newsflash) interspersed with the Muppets running around backstage trying to put on the show. Kermit was the star, with his paramour Miss Piggy, and dogsbodies Gonzo and Scooter, but there was a cast of dozens. I loved the grumpy old men who complained all the way through the show, and the Muppet band, with mad Animal on drums.
Garfield must be the most successful fictional cat ever. He started off as a comic strip character, and became a massive merchandising success in the 80s. Everyone knew someone with a toy Garfield suckered to their car window. I loved the comic books, I remember throwing a tantrum in a bookshop when my uncle suggested a Sindy annual might be more appropriate for a girl! (What was he thinking?) The original cartoons were charming and Garfield was voiced by a Bill Murray soundalike. Garfield liked sleeping and lasagnas, he hated Mondays and his owners other pets Odie the dog, and later Nermal the kitten. The cartoon I remember most clearly is the Christmas episode (as I re-watch it every December!)
I have a real soft spot for Snoopy and the other Peanuts characters. My mum had a Woodstock (Snoopys best friend the little yellow bird) on her dressing table. Snoopy was owned by the hapless Charlie Brown, and the cartoons featured Charlie, his little sister Sally and his friends bossy Lucy, Linus and his comfort blanket, Scroeder and his mini piano, and the little red headed girl he has a crush on. Again, I like to watch the Christmas episode every December, it's a family tradition now!
I think Spongebob Squarepants is the best cartoon to have emerged in the last ten years, in spite of it having the most irritating theme tune! Spongebob is a charming talking sponge who lives in a pineapple with his pet snail, and works at the Krusty Krab restaurant as a fry cook with his cantankerous neighbour Squidward Tentacles. His best friends are Patrick the starfish and Sandy Cheeks the underwater squirrel. They all live in the saucily named Bikin Bottom. He likes jelly fishing and attending boat driving school. it's a very funny cartoon, and can be appreciated by viewers of all ages. The reason I like this cartoon the most is because it's the only one apart from The Simpsons that I can watch it with my son without one of us getting bored and going off to do something else. In fact my son has taken his Spongebob dvds to my brothers house, and when I called round to pick him up a whole roomful of 20-somethings was sitting in silence watching Spongebob!
Well where do I start. There are so many to choose from. I'm still a big kid at heart and still love to watch cartoon every chance I get. Well here goes.
In at number 10 is my earliest memory of regularly watching a children's TV programme was Button Moon. I still remember most of the theme tune "where off to button moon, with a silver spoon, button moon" Ahh, those were the good old days. Can't remember any of the episode thou I was too young. Mostly I remember the little space ship and a spoon, but I loved it as a kid.
In at number 9 is another blast from my past its She Ra princess of power. I never really cared for He Man, but She Ra I had to have everything, the flying horse, the doll the lot. I was so happy with I found that Empire stores did She Ra PJ's I just had to have them. I think I still have all the toys in the attic somewhere.
In at number 8 is the children quest programme Knightmare. I always wanted to be a contestant. I love the opening Credit with the Knight charging through the castle. The dungeon masters catchphrase "Nasty". The big stupid horned helmet, fantastic. The characters in the Dungeon where excellent and the puzzles. You could only carry some many items and if you chose the wrong item you where dead. I don't think I ever seen any team complete it.
Number 7 is Dogtanian, "one for all and all for one, Muskerhounds are always ready, one for one and all for one, helping everybody". Classic. The kitty queen. Excellent. I saw the dvd collection a couple of days ago, i just had to get it, its fantastic to watch them all again.
Number 6 is dungeons and dragon. All aboard the roller coaster. I love the character Uni, the little unicorn that sounded like a goat (Maa!). All the adventures and special weapons. I want the cloak. Presto could never do any magic correctly at all. The dungeon master looking a lot like Yoda I think.
Number 5 has to be the classic Scooby doo, not the new ones that are showing now. "those pesky kids". Scooby and shaggy where my favourite characters. Anything for a scooby snack. Trying to solve the mystery first, love it. Didn't care to much for Scrappy Doo though, annoying little pup but did like the uncle (can't remember his name).
Number 4 is dangermouse, what a genius. Postbox mansion. Penfold voice by terryscott, dangermouseby David jason ."cripes" what else, Ahh yes the weird Crow spy, one of my favourite villian ever. Baron greenback always stroking that white furry caterpillar. Fond memories. Glad to see it back on our screens.
Number 3 is Nickelodeon's "Rugrats". Its unique to look at a babies point of view of the world. As it must feel like that to them. I wish I was a kid again. No pressure to earn money to eat, No jobs and not a care in the world, just lots of adventures. Not to sure if a like Angelica thou, I found she was a bit of a Brat really.
Number 2 is another recent programme, "Spongebob Squarepants". Brilliant characters especially Mr Krab and Plankton always trying to steal the recipe for Krabby patties. The childlike innocence of spongebob is cute, especially some of the faces he pulls.
Well finally my all time favourite is (yes you guessed it!) has to be "The Simpsons". Matt Groaning must be stinking rich by now. I dont think I need to say much of why it's my favourite. I think two words will do. "homer" and "Bart", need i say more
Anyway that's my list hope you liked reading it and maybe brought back some 80's memories for some.
Late addition to this list has to be grotbags, not sure where to put her but a remember never missing an episode, I always hope she'd get Rod and Emu as I didn't care too much for them.
Here are my top 10 Children's cartoons/programmes of all time. I will start of at the bottom and finish with my number one just so you all read the whole review from start to end.
NUMBER 10 - DUCKTALES
Favourite Episode: The Money Vanishes
Spinoffs: Darkwing Duck, Tale Spin
Started: 1987 - Ended: 1990
Created by: Carl barks
The bottom of the pile would be Ducktales. This is because this was a great cartoon and loved every minute of the series but those three nephews were annoying and can remember their irritating voices. The cartoon mainly involves treasure or vast amounts of wealth which Scrooge McDuck (Very original surname) has ascertained.
He is the richest duck on the planet and lots of villains try to steal his gold on many occasions. My favourite villains are the Beagle Boys which all look like an overweight Dennis the Menace.
Overall a great cartoon and a fabulous theme tune which is really catchy.
NUMBER 9 - RAGGYDOLLS
Favourite Episode: The Big Top
Started: 1986 - Ended: 1994
Created by: Melvyn Jacobson
Next up is Raggydolls. This is a great cartoon and takes me back to the days when I first started school. I was three when this was first released! Again I loved the theme tune to this programme and would love to watch another episode if I could. My favourite character would have to be Sad Sack - he was over stuffed and was rejected and thrown in the reject bin (they don't write them like they used too!).
Great cartoon and well worth a watch if you can.
NUMBER 8 - MIKE & ANGELO
Favourite Episode: Men in Brown
Spinoffs: Angelo & Katie
Started: 1989 - Ended: 2000
Created by: Themes TV
This was one of my favourite shows I watched whilst having my tea. It involved Mike (a human) and Angelo (the alien) who came from another world via a wardrobe (where have we seen that before). Angelo lived with Mike (Michael Benz). Each show would see Angelo try to invent something amazing. One of the funniest episodes was Angelo walking on the ceiling.
Great for kids and lots of crazy fun.
NUMBER 7 - T-BAG
Favourite Episode: Revenge of the T-SET
Spinoffs: Reunion Documentary (September 2007)
Started: 1985 - Ended: 1992
Written by: Grant Cathro and Lee Pressman
I remember T-BAG as an evil old lady that looked like a witch. T-SHIRT was her side kick and shared magic powers with her. There was a little girl who would stand up to T-BAG and try to stop her from taking over the world.
For you fans out there T-BAG stood for Tallulah Bag and T-SHIRT was Thomas Shirt. My favourite series was the pearls of wisdom.
NUMBER 6 - GUMMI BEARS
Favourite Episode: Secret of the juice
Started: 1985 - Ended: 1991
Created by: Disney
Now this is a great cartoon and whenever this was on the TV I always wanted some Gummiberry Juice it looked so delicious. My favourite Gummi Bear was Grammi Gummi as she looked after everyone and I wanted her to look after me. She also used to cook, clean and makes the special Gummi Juice.
Gummi bears are the last of their kind and after humans drove them away because we were jealous of their magic abilities. They live in Gummi Glen and the villain in this cartoon is called Duke Sigmund Igthorn who owns an army of ogres. He tries to steal Gummi secrets and magic through the series.
Great for kids and adults!
NUMBER 5 - The Smoggies
Favourite Episode: Oil or nothing
Started: 1989 - Ended: 1991
Written by: Gerry Capelle
The Smoggies was an animated children's series and was set on an island called Coral Island and people called Suntots lived there. Just offshore was a bunch of treasure hunters named the Smoggies. The Suntots spent much of the series defending their island from the Smoggies who polluted and tried to destroy the homes of the Suntots.
The main fight was to stop the Smoggies getting their hands on the magic coral which the Smoggies wanted to acquire.
NUMBER 4 - DANGER MOUSE
Started: 1981 - Ended: 1992
Created by: Brian Cosgrove and Mark Hall
I loved the theme tune to this cartoon and loved the whole story of Danger Mouse. The red post box were Penfold and Danger Mouse lived which was great for kids imaginations. Danger Mouse was the first British Cartoon to be broadcast on American TV were it became a massive hit. Danger Mouse (White Mouse) was the greatest secret agent and had a sidekick called Penfold (Hamster) who was quite shy and scared of his own shadow.
The main villain was called Baron Silas Greenback (Frog) and had a voice that sounded like he smoked 100 cigarettes a day. The whole cartoon was all very british and made you proud to be British.
NUMBER 3 - COUNT DUCKULA
Favourite Episode: The Vampire Strikes Back
Started: 1988 - Ended: 1993
Created by: Cosgrove Hall
This was one of my favourite programmes of all time. I even had the Count Duckula teddy which I had to have when I went to bed each night. I remember the characters Igor who reminded me of my dad and Nanny who would always call Count Duckula "Ducky Poos".
The main villains in the series were the Pirate Penguins, the Crow Brothers and the mega villain the Egg.
NUMBER 2 - THE RACCOONS
Favourite Episode: The Artful Dodger
Spinoffs: Spray - Run with Us (Took the theme tune and remixed it)
Started: 1985 - Ended: 1992
Created by: Kevin Gillis
I loved the theme tune to this like many cartoons around this time. The series was set in the Evergreen Forest along with Bert Raccoon and his friends. The main villain in this was Cyril Sneer but had a son who was friends with Burt which he did not like.
Each episode usually involved the raccoons working together but Cyril Sneer would find some way of upsetting the camp. It usually involves the forest being under attack or some scheme to make profits.
NUMBER 1 - TRAP DOOR
Favourite Episode: The Thingy
Spinoffs: Games (Trapdoor and through the trapdoor)
Started: 1984 - Ended: 1986
Created by: Terry Brain & Charlie Mills
This was my favourite cartoon programme when I was growing up and made me laugh so much. There were two series and in my opinion not enough were made. I remember the theme tune and some evil voice said to Berk (blue blob) "Feed me". It rather reminded me of my brother who used to eat all the time.
The whole trapdoor has loads of monsters and all takes place in a castle. Bert is the servant and main character of the cartoon. The master is the thing upstairs and usually gives his orders to Berk. He does have two sidekicks called Drutt and Boni (it sounds like a pop act i know).
Boni is a talking skull and Drutt is a kind of frog/pet of Berks.
Normally you would get some type of monster escape from the trapdoor and Berk would have to recover it or else.
This is great for kids especially if you want to get them to be quiet.
So there you have it my top ten cartoons. Some of you will disagree and agree with my number one. In reality I could have named hundreds of number ones but in my opinion this was my favourite.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed my review.
With the shameless help of wikipedia here are my top ten children's programs. As I was only as big as a thimble when most of them were on telly it's only fair I research them to put names to faces, hands to puppets bottoms, Finger Mouse well and truly fingered by 'Yoffy'. I always wondered about Yoffy. Some of you older ones will know who Yoffy is and most of these and one or two of you will even remember them in black n white...as dose Totalserenity...
Geoffrey, the presenter of Rainbow and the man of questionable sexuality to some, actually lives near me in my hometown of Northampton, answering that very question by having a wife and two kids, although that tends to mean little in showbiz. He was the human form, of course, on Rainbow, the mentor to a fluffy pink Hippo, a man-size teddy bear and Zippy, the loud mouth as yet unidentified creature, and still reminds me of Tony Parsons, talking crap just to get on camera. And for trivia buffs two of the three puppets were voiced by Rob Skelton, the voice of the Daleks in Dr Who!
The idea of the show, of which there was over 1000 episodes in those two decades, was to be an America version of Sesame Street, Geoffrey the teacher to the animal puppets in a classroom and the kids looking on would be unaware of the extreme campness going on, all of them sleeping in the same bed? There was also a singing trio called Rod, Jane and Freddy that would come on with a song about letters or words that the kids would sing along to.
Today Geoffrey appears regularly in panto and was last seen on telly advertising Virgin Money. It's not been as good for George; post Rainbow, punched in the face at an awards ceremony by a drunken spectator. Rather predictably the characters now appear at student unions across Britain. The team once released a naughty video on you tube not suitable for kids.
This one went out at lunch times for all those kids that didn't have school dinners because they were babies (me). The puppets were Hartley Hair and an old tortoise, created by master puppet maker Inigo Pipkin, played by George Woodbridge, who never looked well on screen, in fact dying backstage after just one year of the show. But the show has to go on and more puppets were added along with a new host who I can't recall, Topov, Pig, Mooney, Pigeon and Octavia the newbie's. The show was very low budget and the puppets rather moth-eaten and cheap but it was either that or school dinners, so a very reassuring experience for me as I wasn't eating school dinners when watching it.
This was a hybrid of 'Fingerbobs', which had only one run in 1972, hosted by 'Yoffy', a Canadian mime artist, real name Rick Jones. Gulliver the seagull, Scampi (a scampi...) and Flash the tortoise supported the Finger Mouse, all cheaply made finger puppets of course. Rather sadistically, Jones destroyed the puppets on air for the final episode because he was so fed up with the things. I think you can draw a picture. The main problem with the show was indeed Yoffy. He always looked like a bloke you wouldn't want your kids to go anywhere near, like those children's entertainers with highlighted hair you see that set up in your local shopping centers with the Punch and Judy's.
#4 BLUE PETER
1958 and onwards...
I won't lie guys but I'm in love with Konnie Huq. When the gorgeous and leggy Katy Hill left, my heart sank but when Konnie joined my spirits (and other things) were lifted. Why is it that Blue Peter always has crumpet on it, the young kids oblivious to all the goodies on offer, the suggestive ejaculation from a squeezy bottle going unnoticed?
There's eye candy for mums too, the young clean cut handsome graduates only to willing to abseil a cliff so the girls can catch a glimpse of Richard Bacons six-pack, apparently giving my Konnie a special half-hour or two behind the cardboard props in the 1990s. grrrr!
In my days it was the oddly sexy Val Singleton who caught dad's eye, and Peter Purvis's if the truth be told, owning up in his autobiography to letting her squeeze his squeezy bottle more than once. Ewwwwww! John Noakes, of course, would have none of that, only interested in the dogs on the show (cough!) But the 80s saw a change in kids TV, the men becoming more effeminate on the show (Simon Groom, Mark Curry and Chris Wenham to name but three), reflected across the whole of children's programming in the 1990s to the present day. If you didn't look or sound gay you weren't likely to be employed for some reason, ironic, really, as that wouldn't get you a job as a primary school teacher anymore.
#5 THE MAGIC ROUNDABOUT
There's no doubt there was a lot of subtle and hidden deviancy around in children's TV in the sixties and seventies, shows like the Magic Roundabout an example of, a French show more than hinting at European decadence and drug culture by those who know, be it well hidden to primary school kids of course. Captain Pugwash famously had characters called Willy, Master Mates and Seaman Stains, Channel Fives Captains Tugg comic book series joining in the in giggle some 20 years later. I'm afraid kid's shows from Europe have a reputation.
Lets be honest guy this program was probably made by people on Class A, all the characters spaced out and from another dimension- the crack dimension. Psychedelic was not the word! But the kids were none the wiser and Zebedee bouncing around with his eyes spinning and Dougal (made from a giant pee and based loosely on Tony Hancock) going through the bins looking for fag ends meant little to the rug rats.
The Magic Roundabout in question was a central placed fairground carousel, where Ermintrude the cow and Dylan the hippy rabbit would sing trippy songs, sexy Emma Thompson narrating the English version. It was all very weird and everything was constantly spinning around as if high on something. Some say the show was based on French politicians of the day...Dougal...Degalle...? Whilst others say no, it was drugs and sex.
#6 BANANA SPLITS
'Fleegle' was a beagle; Bingo was a gorilla, Drooper a lion and Snorky an elephant. Now you know. They were a gang and lived in an encampment of sorts (the Double Decker's to be the later human version of them). The hour long show was a real mix of cartoons and silliness. The Arabian Knights, The Three Musketeers, The Hillbilly Bears (not to be confused with the Hair Bear Bunch from the Wonderland zoo...) would be the cartoon to split up the show and various other things popped up. A live action segment featured Jean Michael Vincent (he of Air Wolf) in Danger Island. The Sour Grapes club, girls who would dance into the Splits' clubhouse wearing purple minidresses, matched with pink leotards, tights, was their enemey. They would normally intimidate or frighten the Splits by gaving a note to Fleegle on a challenge or dare. You want to know why the gang culture toook hold in South Central in the 1970s? Well the Banana Splits was the reason. That's what kids learnt from these guys!
#7 WHACKY RACES
So can you name the contestants? Well of course you can't so here they are. We all got the same four.
Dick Dastardly and Muttley in the Mean Machine
The Slag Brothers in the Bouldermobile
The Gruesome Twosome in the Creepy Coupe
Professor Pat Pending in the Convert-a-Car
Red Max in the Crimson Haybailer
Penelope Pitstop in the Compact Pussycat
Sergeant Blast and Private Meekly in the Army Surplus Special
The Ant Hill Mob in the Bulletproof Bomb
Lazy Luke and Blubber Bear in the Arkansas Chuggabug
Peter Perfect in the Turbo Terrific
Rufus Ruffcut and Sawtooth in the Buzz Wagon
The unusual thing about this cartoon for kids was the villains were the hero's and would win most of the races, held every week. It was a kid's show after all.
Dick Dastardly would never win the race of course and was denied victory on the one occasion he actually did cross the line first, adjudged (Bernie Ecclestone style), that the tactic of extending the Mean Machines nose cone was illegal, even though it turns out it wasn't when Penelope Pitstop does the same thing two years before. The cartoon Baileys Comets would try to copy the series in the 70s.
# 8 VISION ON
In the old days kids programs were actually educational and not about political correctness and shifting merchandise, the Teletubbies making millions through syndication and cuddly toys, let alone making our kids even more delinquent. No, Vision On was about interaction with its viewers, weekly competitions and science experiments having us hooked. The idea of the show was to include kids with disabilities, especially deaf ones, the show unique in that way, sign language for all segments.
Tony Hart, who recently died, co-presented with actress Pat Keysell. Hart would encourage kids to send in their own pictures they had created for 'The Gallery', to be featured on the show if they were lucky, but a waver suggesting you wouldn't get your work back if it wasn't featured, presumably binned! Eccentrics Sylvester McCoy and Wilf Lunn appeared as barmy scientists with equally eccentric experiments performed on the show.
# 9 TISWAS
There were only two reasons to watch Tiswas... Sally James's huge tits - that of co-presenters Bob Carolgeese and John Gorman, of course! What did you think I was talking about?
Alongside Lenny Henry and Chris Tarrant, Sally would have the dads dribbling in their cereal for the popular Saturday morning to start, one in the ribs from the misses to remind him he still has the Saturday morning shop to do. This was commercial TV after all and they needed to sell ad space to get those parents buying. Lenny was hilarious and Tarrant the consummate live show host, an absolute must for all on Saturday mornings, blowing the BBCs Swap Shop and Saturday Superstore out of the water in the ratings, Sarah Green and Simon Mayo not quite as appealing.
I suppose it was the original kids show for me, certainly the first one I remember. It later evolved into Playbus and then Playdays and its most famous presenters were Brian Cant and Derek Griffiths. Big Ted, Jemima, Hamble and Humpty, and later the representative ethnic addition Poppy, the black doll, were the toys on the show, various live pets caged around the set. It was most famous for the three windows, round square and rectangle, which we kids had to guess which one whatever it is would be in.
The Australians have their version, their longest running TV show. In 2004 a segment was shown there with two lesbian women taking their child and her 'friend' to an amusement park. A little girl narrating the clip, stated "My Mums are taking me and my friend Merryn to an amusement park." The clip caused uproar in the Aussie parliament. The Australin Broadcast Corporation responded, saying that "Play School aims to reflect the diversity of Australian children, embracing all manner of race, religions and family situations. Needless to say they don't have an Aborigine Poppy yet.
I have read a few of these reviews in the last few days and just HAD to do my own!! I grew up in the 90's so most of mine are the old classics, I've had great fun remembering them all lol So, here goes in no particular order!!
1. The Racoons
"This is the Evergreen forest. Quiet, peacful, serene. That is until Bert Racoon wakes up!" I used to know all the words to the intro and often recited it word for word on a daily basis everytime it would come on TV to my poor mum, I think she ended up knowing them word for word too! The Racoons was a Canadian animated series that was broadcast on CBBC if I remembery correctly? Anyway, I remember watching it when I was younger. It was created a while before I was born and ended not long after so I guess I was watching the re-runs. The show was set in 'Evergreen Forest' and the main characters were Bert Racoon, Ralph Racoon and Melissa Racoon. Then there was the pink Aardvark Cyril sneer and his three accomplices who were pigs. He was a slightly evil character I think. Either that or I just didn't like him, I can't remember it was a long time ago lol. There were a lot of other characters but I can't remember most of the names, it was a brilliant cartoon though.
I watched this show daily from the age of about 2 until 5. My mum and me would sit down and eat breakfast while watching it, it was a very long time ago but I still remember this one! I remember that each day there would be a different theme to the show that would focus on one main character and I could never wait until the end of the week where they would show the episode with Rosie the magic roundabout! The other main characters were Why Bird, Peggy Patch (she was awesome!), Poppy the cat and of course Mr.Jolly! Those days children's TV was actually GOOD and not based around weird things that talk nonsense mentioning no titles of course...COUGH TELETUBIES!!!! lol
3. Mopatop's Shop
Woo! This was aired in about 1999 I think so I must have been around 8. It was on CITV (I don't know if it still is, I don't watch kids TV these days lol) It was about a big green puppet named Mopatop and his assistant PuppyDuck. The reason I was so fascinated by Mopatop's Shop is because I loved the idea of a shop where you could buy anything and everything! It was brillant! My favourite character was Moosey Mouse who lived in the loft above the shop though! lol
This CiTV show was brilliant, back in the day when CiTV actually HAD presenters! It was about a comic brought to life, on the title part of the show you would see the front page of the comic and each part that would feature in the show. If that makes sense? It's hard to explain lol. There were various characters that would all come back every week. Some of the characters included: Cuthbert Lilly, Smart Arty, The Handymen, Puzzle Page, Tricky Dicky, Daisy Dares, and Minnie the Mini Magician.
5. Julia Jekyll and Harriet Hyde
Not many people remember this show because it only ran for a short time. If you haven't seen it you'll probably guess that it was based on the novel Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. It was about a school girl who got poisoned in a Science lesson which made her turn into a monster every now and again. There was nothing really special about Julia Jekyll and Harriet Hyde but I used to love it. Although it did encourage my mum and dad to give me the lovely nickname of Harriet Hyde! lol.
6. Hey Arnold!
This was a brilliant American cartoon about a boy with an American football shaped head and other funny characters. I used to make sure I never missed Hey Arnold!, it was always on when I came home from school and both me and my brother loved watching it. The other main characters were: Grandpa Phil, Grandma Gertie, Helga Pataki (Arnold's bully who actually loved him awww lol), Gerald Johanssen (Arnold's best friend), Eugene Horowitz, there were so many more but I can't remember the majority!
This was over the year before I was born but I used to always watch the re-runs before school! I used to love it! Me and my brother used to argue over who the best Smurf was. I of course said Smurfette! lol The other thing that used to make me laugh in this show was that I knew this elderly man that lived near me who looked almost identical to the evil and very scary (to me!) Gargamel. He was a very nice man though lol. Anyway, I think that everyone will remember the Smurfs, definitely a kid's classic.
8. Tots TV
This show was brilliant, it only fuelled my obsession with rag doll type things, along with the help of Rosie & Jim of course lol. I used to always try and sing along with the theme tune to Tots TV when I was very little, the actual lyrics are: "I'm a tot, je suis une tot, Tilly, Tom and Tiny, we're the tots on Tots TV, one two three-BOO!" but I couldn't get my head around the French parts so I would sing the English parts, mumble between the French and scream BOO at the end! lol.
9. Penny Crayon
This was another show that was finished with before I was born I think, but again I watched the re-runs and loved it! It was about a girl (Penny Crayon) who has magic crayons that she takes everywhere. Wherever she draws something it comes to life. Might not sound that great but for a 5 year old girl it was brilliant lol. Unfortunately there were only 12 episodes of Penny Crayon but I thought it was great!
10. The Wombles
No kid's TV list would be complete without The Wombles! I don't remember ever not watching this as a kid. There's not really much to say about this show, I think everyone knows who The Wombles are or were, brilliant show!
I think it's a shame the way kid's TV seems to have gone downhill in recent years. Especially with shows like Balamory, In The Night Garden and Teletubies. Creators have made things too complicated, I think it was so much better when they were just simple shows like the ones mentioned above, they were much more enjoyable! And the majority of them were actually educational too, unlike some today. I've heard kids going around saying "Macca-Pacca" and all that rubbish, that's not educational. At least I son't think so anyway! lol Bring back good TV!!!
Thanks For Reading!!
I was born in 1970 so grew up with programs that some of the younger readers will never have heard of while others, I hope, will remember them as fondly as me.
1 Playschool - This was a mixed program that featured a variety of presenters but two per episode. The two who I remember vividly are Brian Cant and Floella Benjamin. There were five toys Jemima a rag doll, humpty a green humpty dumpty, big Ted and little Ted and Hamble a doll. The toys were involved in most of the activities going on around the studio. They also featured the windows in which the presenter would ask which window it will be today. A short film on a theme was shown through the chosen window. This certainly wasn't a high tech program but brings back happy memories for me.
2 Mr Benn- Mr Benn used to go into a fancy dress shop and try on an outfit and through the back of the changing room was a door in which he would enter to have an adventure on a theme that related to his outfit.
3 Bagpuss - a saggy old cloth cat who came to life with his friends a book end, rag doll, a toad and mice. Each episode Emily a small girl who owned the shop would bring a thing that someone had lost. They would then while singing songs, telling stories and chatting would discover what the item was and repair it ready for someone to collect then Bagpuss and all his friends would go back to sleep
4-Paddington Bear- Paddington is a bear from deepest darkest Peru. He wears a blue duffle coat, red wellies and a black felt hat. He loves cocoa and marmalade sandwiches. He had a little adventure and often got things so wrong despite trying so hard.
5 The magic roundabout- The carousel featured in the beginning and end of the program but the main program was about the characters: Dougal, who was dog who ate only sugar; cubes a Zebedee a toy with a moustache that had a spring rather than legs; Dylan the rabbit; Ermintrude a pink cow, Florence a girl and Brian the snail. If you explained the story they don't sound exciting but it was fantasy garden where a little problem is resolved by the end of an episode. It always ended with Zebedee saying time for bed.
6-Camberwick green- A little village where the most famous inhabitant is windy miller who loves to drink cider. The village has a baker, postman, milkman doctor, mechanic, farmer amongst others. Each episode centres on a story around a specific character which is revealed as they are elevated out of a magical box at the start of the show.
7 Danger mouse- Danger mouse and his assistant Penfold were secret agents who saved the world from the villains trying to destroy the world. The most common been the Baron.
8 Blockbusters- a quiz program for students that featured a honeycomb board with letters. The contestants answer questions which the letter on the board is the first letter of the answer. The aim is for the single player to get a line of lights vertically and the two joint players to get a horizontal line. The winner plays the gold run which they get to win reasonable prize.
9-Grange hill - A comprehensive school in London which followed the lives of the pupils. I remember Tucker (Todd Carty) Suzanne (Michelle Tully) Zammo who got addicted to drugs. The drug addiction story line was considered, at the time, to be pushing the boundaries of programming. The story lines tackled race, bullying but was compulsive viewing
10 Tiswas - This was a Saturday morning show which was presented by Chris Tarrant, Sally James and Lenny Henry. It was a wild show where buckets of water and custard pies. The guests were usually covered and class has no relevance on this program. IT was great fun which entertained week after week.
I have thoroughly enjoyed writing this review and reminiscing about the best on TV during my childhood. Hope you have enjoyed reading it.
well most people would still class me as a child now but have a few hidden gems under my sleve when it comes to childrens tv programmes. I remember leaving school everyday and returning to my grandads to watch hours of cartoons before i would go home only to watch more. I have to admit i hate a lot of the childrens programmes of today and with having young cousins and a younger brother i have watched my fair share of hannah montanna and that kind of tat and all i say is bring back the classics, todays children need educating when it comes to childrens tv especially with classics like grange hill being axed and blue peter etc truly i believe the childrens tv i grew up with was amazing compared to todays.
1) Button Moon
i will still sit and watch button moon today and i dont even used my family as an excuse its just something i love to do. The show was made totally of recycled materials which i thought was great and i even had my mom help me make a rocket and mr spoon to play along with the shows (fab i know lol). Basically its based on the spoon family who fly to button moon in their rocket and meet fantastic characters like the jelly queen and the hoover( cant remember his name :() in my opinion this is pure tv heaven and the best thing is todays kids can watch it too as its on Nick JR most nights between 7 and 9 (not sure exactly what time).
the big purple dinosaur. this was the show i watched with my grandad everyday after nursery and i can still remember it which obviously means it had a big place in my heart. The story follows a group of school children who wish their purple dinosaur to life and play with the lovable barney, adorable green Baby Bop and sporty yellow DJ (Baby bops protective big brother). I must admit i have all the movies and live shows and will sit and watch them at times lol but who wouldn't its just a classic and who doesnt love remembering the innocence of their childhood all over again.
3) Noels Hous Party
im not sure if i can add this as a childs programme but im going to anyway because of the legenday Mr Blobby. Basically mr blobby was noel dressed as a big pink thing with yellow spots. I loved watching him mess arond with celebs and just take the mickey completly. I had a mr blobby birthday cake for my 5th birthday and i loved it so much i didnt want to eat it lol. The shoow was amazing and Mr Blobby is just amazing... thats all i can say.
yes i know how can you like something so unbareable well the thing is i didnt actually like it so much as a kid i used to hate my little brother watching it however i watched it so much i have a rather fond memory of the show so i had to include it as its had such an impact on my life lol. 4 tweenies Milo,Jake,Bella and Fizz along with 2 adults Max and ? and Doodle the dog. They would go and try do exciting things but they never were it was just like watching a fable everthing had a moral.
5) The Riddlers
Haha noone can ever remeber this but when i was yonger this was on CITv and it involved 2 riddlers Mossup and Tiddlup who lived at the bottom of the garden. I cant remember any story lines but i know the puppets did scare me at times even though i thought they were cute ( i was a strange child lol).
yes i know i said i dont like modern cartoons etc but this is something else. During secondary school i had to wake up very early to get to school so while i sat eatting my breakfast i would watch the hoobs. It invoved 3 hoobs travelling around earth talking to the tiddlypeeps(children) trying to understand different cultues etc. full of music and fun its a great wake up call especially at 6am lol.
7) In the Night Garden
again yes i know a modern show but i have 4 cousins under 4 who i look after alot and they always ask to watch this show. igle piggle, upsy daisy, mka pakka, the tombliboos are the main characters and i must admit they are stupid but very very cute which makes this show bareable to watch lol. the storylines are simple e.g. maka paka washing rocks in the garden but they keep the kids entertained. Overall a good show for very young children.
neil buchannan haha i loved sitting down with my craft box trying to copy what he did on the show xcept nothing ever turned out very well and mosr of it ended up in the bin lol but watching the show alone was great fun and i even got my mom to buy me the vdeos so i could try things over and over again.
sooty was a little yellow puppet that couldnt talk but he spoke through his puppetter. he was also a magacan with his magical catchphrase 'izzy whizzy lets get busy' love it!!!!. There was also swep the squeaking dog and sue the panda who was very smart as she could actually talk :) i loved this show as a child but i think the more modern versions are terrible so if your going to watch it make it a classic.
George, Zippy and Bungle come on who didnt watch this as a kid. Its upsetting now as i find it very hard to put on for my family as it only on rarely even though so many people love the show. im not going to xplain rainbow as i just cant do it justice but if you can watch it with your children do so as nostalgia is not all bad this is a fantastic way to get yor kids loving your childhood as much as you did.
hope you enjoyed my top 10 :)