Saturday, 5 April 2014


Time for a visit with Geoffrey, Zippy, George and Bungle!

Each episode of Rainbow revolved around a particular activity or situation that would arise in the Rainbow House, where the main characters lived. Usually, it would involve some kind of squabble or dispute between the puppet characters of Zippy, George and Bungle, and Geoffrey's attempts to calm them down and keep the peace. The main story would be interspersed with songs (usually from Rod, Jane and Freddy, although, guest singers would occasionally take their place), animations, and stories read from the Rainbow storybook, usually by Geoffrey. Some episodes would focus on a particular theme, such as sounds or opposites, and would consist mainly of short sketches or exchanges between the main characters, rather than a consistent storyline.

Skeleton Warriors

Saturday morning cartoons were all about toy promotion! Can anyone remember the Skeleton Warriors?

The story takes place on the distant planet of Luminaire. The conflict of the plot revolves around the need to control the Lightstar Crystal. This powerful crystal powers the great city of Luminicity. Baron Dark, the show's main villain, tried to steal the crystal in order to gain control over its incredible power. He only succeeded in obtaining half of the crystal, with the other half being obtained by Prince Lightstar.
The half of the crystal that the Baron Dark managed to obtain turns him into a living skeleton. It also gives him the power to turn those with evil hearts into living skeletons for his army. Each episode involves Prince Lightstar, his siblings and Baron Dark attempting to obtain the other half of their respective crystals in order to gain control over the planet.
Prince Lightstar forms part of the "Legion of Light." It consists of Justin Lightstar a.k.a. Prince Lightstar, Joshua Lightstar a.k.a. Grimskull, and Jennifer Steele a.k.a. Talyn. They also have been endowed with great powers through their half of the Crystal. They team together with their uncle Ursak (a.k.a. Guardian) to battle the evil Baron Dark. While Baron Dark is transformed into an undead skeleton and given the ability to transform other living beings into his Skeleton Warriors, the Legion of Light gains other fantastic abilities: Lightstar gains the ability to channel energy through his hands, Talyn gains the power of flight, and Grimskull is transformed into an undead creature similar to the Baron, but also has the power to travel through shadows.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Noggin the Nog

Created by the same team that brought us Ivor the Engine, I give you Noggin the Nog! This is a four part story, so I have included all four episodes in this playlist!

The stories were based around the central character of Noggin, the simple good-natured son of Knut, King of the Nogs, and his queen Grunhilda. When King Knut dies, Noggin must find a queen to rule beside him or else forfeit the crown to his uncle, Nogbad the Bad. After many adventures, Noggin meets and marries Nooka of the Nooks, (an Eskimo princess), and becomes the new king. Noggin and Nooka have a son, Knut, who comes to the fore in later storylines.

The on-screen title is "The Saga of Noggin the Nog", since the stories were based on the principle of a Norse saga, and episodes began with the words, "Listen to me and I will tell you the story of Noggin the Nog, as it was told in the days of old", or "In the lands of the North, where the Black Rocks stand guard against the cold sea, in the dark night that is very long the Men of the Northlands sit by their great log fires and they tell a tale ... and those tales they tell are the stories of a kind and wise king and his people; they are the Sagas of Noggin the Nog. Welcome to Northlands, a tribute to Noggin, King of the Nogs and the People of the Northlands."


The classics just keep on coming! Thunderbirds are Go on the BCC!

Thunderbirds is set in 2065, and follows the exploits of International Rescue, a secret organisation established to save people who are in mortal danger with the aid of technologically advanced land-, sea-, air- and space-rescue vehicles and equipment, headed by the Thunderbird fleet and launched from a hidden island base in the South Pacific Ocean. The main characters are ex-astronaut Jeff Tracy (the founder of IR) and his five adult sons, who pilot the Thunderbird machines.
The Tracy brothers wear a blue uniform comprising a polo-neck tunic, trousers, side cap and boots, with a sash (of a colour unique to each brother) carrying a gun holster, pouches and the IR insignia (an arm extended over the Earth's surface).
Along with "Brains" (birth name unknown), a scientist and the inventor of the Thunderbird machines, Malaysian manservant Kyrano, Kyrano's daughter Tin-Tin, and Jeff's mother, the Tracys reside in the luxurious Tracy Villa on an un-charted island in the South Pacific Ocean. Here, IR is safe from criminals and spies envious of its technological superiority and desperate to acquire the secrets of its machines. That Tracy Island serves as IR's base of operations is not evident from the air, since the Thunderbirds and Pod Vehicles are housed in underground hangars accessible only via hidden launch chutes. Visitors to the island are kept ignorant of the Tracys' double life with the aid of the "Operation Cover-Up" security protocol, which physically erases evidence of IR's existence.
Although the organisation's principles are humanitarian, IR's rescue operations are sometimes necessitated not by misadventure, but by deliberate sabotage driven by human greed for power and money. For missions requiring criminal investigation or military intelligence, the organisation incorporates a network of undercover agents, headed by English aristocrat Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward and her Cockney butler and chauffeur Aloysius "Nosey" Parker. Based at Creighton-Ward Mansion in Kent, Penelope and Parker's primary mode of transport is FAB 1 – a pink, amphibious Rolls-Royce. follows the exploits of International Rescue, a secret organisation established to save people who are in mortal danger with the aid of technologically advanced land-, sea-, air- and space-rescue vehicles and equipment, headed by the Thunderbird fleet and launched from a hidden island base in the South Pacific Ocean. The main characters are ex-astronaut Jeff Tracy (the founder of IR) and his five adult sons, who pilot the Thunderbird machines.

Thursday, 3 April 2014


Lace up those magic shoes, it's time for Hammerman!

Youth center worker Stanley Burrell (MC Hammer's real name) owns a pair of magical dancing shoes (which are alive and can speak), which when worn cause Burrell to transform into the superhero Hammerman. He frequently gets advice from his "Gramps", who was a former owner of the shoes and was known as Soulman. While in the guise of Hammerman, Burrell was dressed in MC Hammer's signature purple parachute pants and myriad golden chains.
The show was hosted by the real MC Hammer, who also sang the show's lengthy theme song, telling about the origin of Hammerman. Back in the 1960s and 1970s, Gramps (real name unrevealed) was the superhero Soulman, but as he grew older, he grew weaker and was forced to retire. Gramps and his granddaughter Jodie traveled to find the next new superhero. Their search was over when they met Stanley and he put on the shoes. Each episode, Hammerman faced various social issues; at the end of each episode, a puppet version of the magic shoes would speak to a live child audience and provide methods the children could use to address these issues themselves.

The Magic Roundabout

I think we are long overdue a visit with Dougal, Brian, Ermintrude and Zebedee in The Magic Roundabout!

The Magic Roundabout is a carousel that is owned my Mr Rusty, which the local children used to use. One day a magical being called Zebedee arrives bringing magic to the area and casting a spell, ensuring the children return and play on the Magic Roundabout.
Around it lives a host of eccentric characters including Dougal, a shaggy dog who lives on a strict diet of sugar lumps, Zebedee, a bizarre bouncing character, who announces his arrival with a 'boing', a laid back rabbit called Dylan, Ermintrude - the pink cow, Florence a young girl, and Brian the snail.
Once, they had a sinister visitor called Buxton, the blue cat, who wanted to take over the area they lived in and turn everything blue and imprison anyone that wasn’t blue. As you can tell, Dougal wasn’t happy about this and decided to take on the blue cat and stop his dastardly scheme.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014


Continuing on the theme of art programmes today, I bring you Hart Beat! (also keep an eye out for Andy Crane on the seque into the show!)

Like its predecessor Take Hart, Hartbeat featured Tony Hart and the animated Plasticine character Morph and taught children how to design art features and use everyday items to make objects.
Hartbeat continued the themes covered by Take Hart but was a deliberate attempt to update the image of its predecessor. A more modern set of opening titles using rudimentary CGI and a synthesised theme tune were introduced.
Several young female co-presenters were added initially alternating between Margot Wilson, Joanna Kirk, Gabrielle Bradshaw and Liza Brown. The studio backdrops were also changed to reflect the new direction of the series. In another attempt to move away from the format of Take Hart a "storyline" was also featured in each episode to keep casual viewers interested, generally revolving around a topic – e.g. a broken computer, Tony's birthday or something similar.

The "Gallery" segment, as featured in both Take Hart and its predecessor Vision On, in which viewers would send in their own artworks, also remained in the series and has continued to be used since 1994 in the BBC Children's programme SMart.

Art Attack

Are you creative? Like making pictures? Then let Neil Buchanan give you some top tips in Art Attack!

In this series, artist Neil Buchanan presents various suggestions for kids about various neat art projects they can create with everyday items they can find at home. In addition, Buchanan has location segments where he is inspired to have a Big Art Attack where he arranges ordinary items to create giant pictures.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014


There have been many films and TV shows about sentient cars that can think for themselves, but none of them were anything like Brum!

The title character is a half-scale replica of a late-1920s Austin 7 "Chummy" convertible. He drives by himself (in reality by radio control) and can express himself in a number of ways including opening and closing his doors and bonnet, "bobbing" his suspension, flashing and swivelling his headlamps, rotating his starting crank, extending his turn signals, and using his horn.
The actors in Brum do not speak; mime and off-screen narration help propel the story. Each episode of Brum begins and ends in the same way - with Brum, sitting amongst the cars in a motor museum. When the museum owner's back is turned, he comes to life and heads out to go exploring in the "Big Town", but always returns to the museum at the end of each episode.
Originally the programme was set in the city of Birmingham in England, hence the name: in addition to its onomatopoeic nature of a car engine revving, Brum is a common colloquial name for Birmingham and its inhabitants are known as Brummies. Later series make no mention of Birmingham, calling it the "Big Town", but Brum still continued to be filmed there and many Birmingham streets and landmarks can be seen in each episode, including Aston University.

Barnaby Bear

This is a show that is completely new to me, although it's a classic to many people, it's Barnaby Bear!

Barnaby the bear lives in a pretty wood forest. He's a small bear cub who often arrives late at school. He would love to sing, but he has a terrible voice. He makes friends with the birds and they introduce him to the King of the Birds. He gives Barnaby a magic whistle which makes his singing sound so lovely. Barnaby joins the Pimoulu Circus, he makes lots of friends there and becomes a great success as 'Barnaby the Singing Bear'. Barnaby decides he wants to leave the Circus but Mr. Pimoulu doesn't want his 'Star of the Circus' to leave. So he decides to lock Barnaby up in a cage to stop him leaving! One of Barnaby's friends helps him escape. On his adventures, he is accompanied by his friends - Hector (the rat) and Corbeau (the crow).

Please note that the video quality differs as I had to piece together a couple of videos to make a complete episode!

Monday, 31 March 2014


Another classic that has been left out for far too long, it's the original incarnation of Transformers! I have chosen one of my favourite episodes for this post, entitled Dinobots S.O.S!

Not that this show needs any introduction, but just in case you have been living in a cave for the last 30 years...
The Autobots and Decepticons, during the great Cybertronian War, crash landed on earth. Millions of years later, geological activity revives the warring factions - the Decepticons want to strip the earth of its vast energy resources, and the Autobots seek to protect the inhabitants of earth from that fate. And so an endless battle begins...

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Pob's Programme

You can't get much better than this. Pob's Programme! Reeling in another celebrity on a string of pink and yellow wool...

In a typical episode, the celebrity visitor to the show finds a label attached to a piece of string on the gates of Pob's garden;
If in my programme you would be, Wind the wool and follow me.
The celebrity guest then follows the woollen string, winding it as they go, and encountering a second label;
Wind it slowly, wind it fast, A secret you will find at last.
Ultimately the wool is found to be Pob's unravelled jumper, and he is awoken to trace his name on the screen. Over the course of the programme, the celebrity guest reads a story, and solves a word puzzle with Pob.
Before the end of the programme, the celebrity guest gives Pob a gift, usually related to their story, which they attach to the woollen thread of Pob's jumper. Pob retrieves the gift, and plays with it, stopping periodically to wipe the programme's end credits from the fourth wall. The Ragdoll logo follows at the end of every episode, another ragdoll appears, but as a toy and Pob blows out the candle held by the toy ragdoll while the cartoon ragdoll stays on screen. The next celebrity visitor is seen arriving at Pob's garden, realises they are a week too early, and leaves.
Over 24 celebrity visitors appeared on Pob's Programme, some appearing twice. The visitors, many of them well known as actors, included Roy Castle, Madhur Jaffrey, Brian Blessed, Hannah Gordon, Su Pollard, Kathy Staff, Spike Milligan and Toyah Willcox.