‘Super Gran’, based on the books by Forrest Wilson, followed a feisty old lady who was granted super powers via a stray laser beam. She had x-ray vision, super-strength, the ability to leap over buildings, and.. she could walk really quickly. It was all done with the kind of blockbuster special-effects you’d expect from a late 80’s afternoon kids TV show.
The lead Gudrun Ure (now 87 years-old) is a Scottish actress as fits the original books, but because the show was shot in Newcastle most of the other characters, including her grandkids, have a distinctly more Geordie hint to their accents.
The catchy but somewhat questionable theme tune (“she makes them look like a bunch of fairies..”) was sung by Billy Connolly and released as a single in 1985.
Puppeteer Shari Lewis created ‘Lamb Chop’s Play-Along’ in the early 90’s as a way to combat kids’ shorter attention spans. She says the motto was “don’t just sit there – come play with me”, which translates as “You’ll feel like you’re being ordered about by a cheery play-school drill sergeant”.
During the height of the show’s popularity the little sheep puppet even appeared before Congress to talk about children’s television. The Play-Along ended in 1997 and Shari died the following year aged just 65.
The show is best remembered for this audio abomination…
‘Henry’s Cat’ was an 80’s kids cartoon which looked like it had been chucked together with scribbly markers in under 2 mins, and that was its unique charm.
The show, which followed Henry and his best friend Chris Rabbit, was created by Stan Haywood and illustrator Bob Godfrey. Bob was also the artist behind the similarly ‘wobbly’ styled 70’s hit cartoon ‘Roobarb’. He died in February 2013 aged 91, just a few days after ‘Roobarb’ narrator Richard Briers..
‘Wizadora’ (1993-1998) gave a harrowing insight into the troubled mind of a woman who is so lonely she tries to form a relationship with a coat hanger – or it’s about a bumbling trainee wizard in a magical house. It depends on how you read it really.
‘Balamory’ (2002-2005) was a relentlessly cheery kids programme set on a fictional Scottish island where everyone dresses in brightly coloured clothes, lives in a brightly coloured house, and asks questions directly to the camera (I hate when they do that …)
It’s perhaps best remembered for the brain-achingly catchy theme tune.
But where are all those Balamory residents now? Find out after the jump!