Thursday, 2 August 2007

Top 5 TV shows I liked as a child

We're pretty much talking the early seventies here and TV shows that made a lasting impression on me. Interestingly I think all of these were aired on BBC. I have long held the opinion that ITV is rubbish and all really good telly is only ever shown on BBC or Channel 4 (which wasn't on when I was little) so today's poll (and in fact my earlier one about Quiz shows) would seem to bear this out.

1. Mr Benn

2. Camberwick Green

3. Wacky Races

4. Bod

5. Bagpuss

Mr Benn - They only made 13 episodes of this but every single one is solid gold. Written and based on the illustrations of David McKee, Mr Benn was both beautifully drawn and beautifully told. Mr Benn lived at number 52 Festive Road, the place where every show began and ended, and this was apparently based on Festing Road in Putney where David McKee used to live. It was also narrated by (famous Fulham fan) Ray Brooks. A new book "Gladiator" was published in the 90's (and is a favourite story of both my boys) and this has subsequently been turned into the 14th TV episode.

Camberwick Green - This is really an idealised view of what it was (and should be) like to live in Britain. A lovely little picturesque village with no crime and friendly people helping each other out. Nothing particularly amazing ever happens just nice little stories. Succeeded by "Trumpton", which introduced the Fire Brigade with their "Pugh! Pugh! Barney McGrew! Cuthbert! Dibble! Grubb!" roll call, and "Chigley", which had the 6 o'clock whistle at Cresswell's Chigley Biscuit factory to mark the end of the working day. Also made "cool" by 80's indie band Half Man Half Biscuit writing two songs based on the shows.

Wacky Races - Hanna-Barbera were responsible for some great cartoons, but this was the first one I remember watching on a regular basis. Eleven different cars race against each other in two races each episode. Dick Dastardly and Muttley in their Mean Machine being the only racers to never win a race.

Bod - Narrated by the immaculate John Le Mesurier with music by the multi-talented Derek Griffiths. It also featured a frankly bizarre interlude from Alberto Frog and his Amazing Animal Band every week. This always ended with Alberto choosing a different flavour of milkshake as his reward for solving a problem. The theme tune is forever stuck in my head.

Bagpuss - "Bagpuss, dear Bagpuss, Old Fat Furry Catpuss, Wake up and look at this thing that I bring". Created and voiced by Oliver Postgate, who was also creator of "Noggin the Nog", "Ivor the Engine" and "The Clangers". One of my favourite parts involved "The Marvellous Mechanical Mouse Organ" and it's mice that sang in high pitched voices about fixing and mending whatever had been brought into the shop that week.

Ah, happy days.

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