KIDS TV SHOWS FROM THE 70S AND 80S
by Mark Nobes, chief editor
Transport yourself back to more innocent and simple times, when there were no violent or sexual music videos on the TV featuring half-naked pop stars or crotch-grabbing rappers. This was a time when kids weren't interested in comparing brand names on clothes, and didn't have to worry about health and safety issues such as wearing goggles to play conkers - who came up with that one?
In the 70s, there were no home computers, tablets or mobile phones, and for that I am truly grateful. We would watch innocent TV shows like those featured on this page, and then maybe go out for a bike ride and meet up with our friends, actually talk to each other face-to-face, climb trees and ring someone's door bell and run away - a lot more fun than staring at a mobile phone and sharing your latest batch of selfies on Instagram.
Well, that's my rant over with! Let's now take a look back at a few of those children's TV programmes from the golden days of television.
The Banana Splits
The Banana Splits were a rock band, but do you you remember the names of the four costumed characters? They were Fleegle, who was dog-like and played guitar and vocals, Drooper (bass, vocals) who I think was supposed to be a lion(?), Bingo (drums, vocals) who looked like a smiley monkey, and Snorky, who looked like an elephant that had been on a day trip to Sellafield, and who played keyboards and effects.
The series was produced by Hanna-Barbera and ran for just two seasons. It originally aired between September 1968 and Sept 1970.
Created by Pamela Lonsdale, Rainbow was a very popular and iconic children's TV series originally aired five times weekly on the ITV network, before being rescheduled to twice weekly on Mondays and Wednesdays, then Tuesdays and Fridays. Another reschedule led to the programme being aired just once weekly at 12:10 on Fridays, before it's demise on 6th March 1992. The first episode was broadcast on ITV on 1st September 1972.
The series ended pretty abruptly when, after more than 1000 episodes, Thames Television lost its ITV franchise.
We all remember the main characters don't we? Zippy (who was actually made from a rugby ball!), George (a gentle, more reserved pink hippo), Bungle (a clumsy bear who complained a lot) and, of course, the human presenter trying to keep them all under control, Geoffrey.
HERE COME THE DOUBLE DECKERS
I certainly remember watching Here Come The The Double Deckers on a Saturday morning back in the 70s, and the video clip made me feel like a kid all over again!
The characters were Spring (He was black, but I'm not
sure why he was called Spring), Billie (The cowgirl), Brains (he wore
specs), Doughnut (he was fat), Sticks (he played the drums), Tiger (she
had a cuddly tiger who was also called, erm, tiger!) and Scooper - no
idea why he was called Scooper?
I'm not sure whether calling someone Doughnut would be allowed today, though, in our politically correct world.
The video clip in the playlist at the top of the page features the legendary Brian Cant, Tony Arthur, Jeremy Irons, Anne-Marie Hackett and Julie Stevens. Tony Robinson was also in this episode, although, unfortunately, he's not on this clip!
Regarding the video clip at the top of the page, that's the first time I've heard that music since the 70s! Vision On
was a childrens art programme for the deaf, although many kids who were
not deaf would also watch it, including myself. The programme became
quite popular and soon gained a wacky and surreal
Regular presenters on the show were Tony Hart (who went on to present his own art shows inc. Take Hart and Hartbeat), Wilf Lunn (he used to show-off his latest inventions) and Sylvester McCoy who became the seventh doctor on Doctor Who in 1987.