Kids TV Classics: William’s Wish Wellingtons

‘William’s Wish Wellingtons’ (1994-1997) followed a wee lad called William who had magic wish-granting wellies (it was all in the title really).

The show was narrated by former Faulty Towers star Andrew Sachs, known to a younger generation for that infamous Russell Brand phone-call.

The people behind the show, Hibbert Ralph Entertainment, also made ‘Spider’ (1991)

Check out some episodes of William’s Wish Wellingtons after the jump!

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Kids TV Classics: Tots TV

Everyone remembers that catchy ‘Tots TV’ theme tune – but little did we realise that those cute puppets were actually smuggling French lessons in right under our noses!

The original show ran from 1993-1998 and was made by Ragdoll productions, the same people behind ‘Rosie & Jim’ (they sure know how to do a theme-tune).

tots tv

Parent-figure Tom was voiced by Robin Stevens – also the creator of Pob (see here).  French girl Tilly became Spanish in the US version, and she was English in the French version!

Tiny was the youngest tot who carries around the magic bag (or “sac magique”).  He was voiced by Andrew Davenport – the co-creator of ‘Telletubbies’ and creator of ‘In The Night Garden…’.

Check out a full episode after the jump and more Kids Classics HERE

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Kids TV Classics: Children’s Ward

‘Children’s Ward’ (later renamed ‘The Ward’) injected a bit of hard-hitting drama to the usually sunny hours of kids TV.  The hospital based drama dealt with drugs, child abuse, alcoholism, cancer and even had an internet serial killer who was never caught.  Lovely stuff.

children's ward

Not surprisingly there was some serious new talent behind the BAFTA-winning show  - it was devised by Paul Abbott (‘Shameless’, ‘State of Play’, ‘Touching Evil’) and Kay Mellor (‘Fat Friends’, ‘The Syndicate’), and was produced by Russell T Davies who went on to create ‘Queer As Folk’ and revive ‘Doctor Who’.

The show was a starting point for ‘The Royle Family’ star Ralf Little, Emmerdale’s Chris Bisson, TV presenter Tim Vincent… 

tim vincent children's ward

 … Steve Arnold, aka Ashley Peacock from ‘Coronation Street’.

steve arnold children's ward

.. along with Coronation Street’s Tina O’Brien, Vicky Binns, and Jane Danson

Check out a full episode after the jump!

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What Ever Happened To… Mr Majeika?

Mr Majeika (1988-1990, repeated loads) was all about a bumbling wizard school-teacher who would wiggle his tuft of hair to create a bit of cheeky magic.

mr majeika

Majeika could fly around on a magic carpet, turn school bullies into toads, and rock a check-pattern suit like nobody else.

But what ever happened to the actor who played him?  Find out after the jump!

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Kids TV Classics: ‘Zzzap!’

You may not immediately remember ‘Zzzap!’ but if you we spent any time slouching on a couch back in the 90′s you’ve definitely seen it.  The show ran from 1993 right through till 2001 and followed the simple format of short comedy sketches coming to life on a giant comic-book.

Zzzap!

It was very much like ‘Playdays’ (more on that here), but if Playdays was slightly unnerving and directed by David Lynch.

What brought this show to mind?  Well, I was challenged on Twitter to track down the cast-members …

tweet zzap

… and I rise to every challenge like a Googling superhero – find out what happened to ‘Daisy Dares’ and co after the jump!

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What Ever Happened To… The Borrowers?

While there has also been a US film, a Japanese manga version and a Christmas special starring Christopher Eccleston and Robert Sheehan, for one generation the definitive version of ‘The Borrowers’ will always be this 1992 TV series starring Ian Holm and Penelope Wilton.

the borrowers 1002 daniel newman

The books and adaptations are all about a family of two-inch tall folk who run about nicking buttons while hoping not to be spotted by humans.

Want to watch a bit of the series, or maybe find out what happened to the cast?  Check it out after the jump!

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Kids TV Classics: Sharky & George

‘Sharky & George’ was kind of like ‘Spongebob Squarepants’ crossed with ‘The Wire’.

sharky & george

The deep-sea crime-fighting series started in France in 1988 but was later translated into English and ran on Channel 4 from 1991-1998.   It was set in the underwater city ‘Seacargo’ and followed the two lads trying to thwart baddies like Dr Jelly and Colonel Klaw.

I think most of us really just remember the theme tune..

Check out a full episode after the jump!

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Kids TV Classics: ‘Come Outside’

“Come Outside” (1993-1997) was a BBC kids show all about Aunt Mabel (Lynda Baron), her dog Pippin, and her amazing ‘Spotty Plane’.

lynda baron come outside

I don’t want to ruin your entire childhood but I’ve just discovered that Lynda Baron didn’t actually fly that Spotty Plane herself.  She was just filmed sitting at the controls with her cap and goggles on before a professional pilot took over.

Crushing, I know.

Here’s a quick episode (she only hops in her plane at 6 mins).

Check out more about Lynda Baron after the jump!

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Kids TV Classics: Muppet Babies

‘Muppet Babies’ (1984-1991) featured the Muppets… as babies.

muppet babies

The cartoon followed Kermit, Piggy, Gonzo, Ralph, Fozzie, Animal, Scooter, and Rowlf the dog as they used their imaginations to escape the boredom of day-care and instead go on adventures in space, medieval times or to become Indiana Jones.

The cartoon was inspired by a brief sequence in ‘The Muppets Take Manhattan’ where Miss PIggy imagines what it would have been like to grow up with Kermit.

The cartoon was such a big success that it kicked off a ‘baby versions’ trend including ‘The Flintstone Kids’, A Puppy Named Scooby-Doo’, ‘Tiny Toon Adventures’ and ‘Tom and Jerry Kids’.

Check out 4 full episodes after the jump!

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Kids TV Classics: Johnson and Friends

Johnson and Friends (1990-1995) was an Aussie kids TV that was also broadcast in the UK and US.

johnson and friends

It followed a group of toys that came to life when left alone, and who lived in mortal fear of falling out of their owner’s affections or being replaced by new toys.

Sounds vaguely familiar..

toy story castHere’s the ‘Johnson and Friends’ opening titles.

The show involved Johnson (the pink elephant), McDuff (the blue concertina), Diesel (the truck), Alfred (the hot-water bottle), Squeaky (the robot), and Victoria (the dinosaur).

Check out a full episode after the jump!

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