03 February 2006

It Really Doesn't Matter If It's Raining Or If It's Fine...

Wyndham the Triffid has been exposed to the horrors of modern programming for small children. He's had a rough time of it, but these are the slings and arrows a modern father must face!

As I was reading his post, the natural cry of a media aware modern 30 something was to cry "Ah we had much better children's telly in my day" but the words got stuck in my throat. We didn't have better telly, not really and there was a lot less of it on the television as well. The cartoons were great Mr Benn, The Clangers, Ivor the Engine. Well I thought they were great and they probably are but I've seen them all so many times I think it is now impossible for me to be critically objective about them.

But there was a lot of rubbish on for children. First up most of the time we had to put up with this.

picture from meldrum.co.uk

There wasn't the daytime telly apart from schools programmes and the lunch time programmes so what we had was limited.

The live action programmes for small children were fairly dire two prime examples were Rainbow and Playschool.

Rainbow is crap, was crap. Being all post modern and ironic about it (a nasty habit which seems to have been invented just round about the time I was a student) isn't going to hide that it was poor, slightly creepy and unfunny. I didn't like it as a child - zippy was too cruel and I really didn't like the singers.

On the BBC you had Playschool Never liked it, too preachy and "nice children play like this" for me. I loathed and detested Hamble the doll don't know why now but I did.

However there was one programme that I loved, Playaway presented by Brian Cant it had guest stars on it, silly songs bad jokes and it looked like a lot of fun. Brian Cant was a one man entertainment system for the under 8s of Britain during the 60's 70's and the 80's.


  1. Brian Cant is a Television legend. So is Derek Griffiths, who can forget the theme tune to Bod or Heads and Tails?

  2. Now heres a thing.
    My uncle was the film editor for a number of childrens tv shows Thames TV. Magpie, Thomas the Tank & believe it or not Rainbow.
    Claim to fame is meeting Rod of Rod Jane & Freddy.
    You are right, very odd person for a creepy show.

    Ok so 70's & 80 kids tv was slightly crap, but I bet you still sing along to the mice on the mouse organ in Bagpus.

  3. "Not the Nine O'clock News" ran this version of "points of View".

    Presenter: This week we've had a lot of comments about the Test Card. Mrs Smith of Avenham writes:

    Voice 1: Well done the BBC. Another winner!

    Presenter: And Mr. Cook of Stevenage called to say:

    Voice 2: The test card is quite magnificent. It justifies the licence fee on its own. I would willingly sell my house and all of it's contents to help the BBC.


    On a related subject, it would have been nice if the BBC could have found someone who looked a little bit more like the girl in the testcard to play "girl in the testcard" in "Life on Mars"