‘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.
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…
… Steve Arnold, aka Ashley Peacock from ‘Coronation Street’.
.. along with Coronation Street’s Tina O’Brien, Vicky Binns, andJane Danson
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.
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 …
… and I rise to every challenge like a Googling superhero – find out what happened to ‘Daisy Dares’ and co after the jump!
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 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!
‘Sharky & George’ was kind of like ‘Spongebob Squarepants’ crossed with ‘The Wire’.
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..
“Come Outside” (1993-1997) was a BBC kids show all about Aunt Mabel (Lynda Baron), her dog Pippin, and her amazing ‘Spotty Plane’.
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).
‘Muppet Babies’ (1984-1991) featured the Muppets… as 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’.
When Roland Rat left ITV’s ‘TV-am’ for the BBC, Timmy Mallett was quickly drafted in to present a 35 minute segment for kids during the school holidays. ‘Wacaday’ ran from 1985-1992 and actually outlived the breakfast TV show which launched it.
Timmy was already known as the host of the Saturday morning ‘Wide Awake Club’, in fact that’s where the ‘W-A-C’ of ‘Wacaday’ comes from. Here’s the most-remembered segment ‘Mallett’s Mallet’.
In 1990 Timmy had a UK number 1 with ‘Itzy Bitzy Teeny Weeny Yellow Poka Dot Bikini’.
His follow-up single was the dodgy-titled ’7 Little Girls Sitting In The Back Seat’.
Timmy Mallett took part in ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!’ in 2008. He still plays ‘Mallett’s Mallet’ in student unions, and regularly appears in panto – and is also a pretty good painter.
This green-skinned swamp witch was even more terrifying to me as a child than dentists, or clowns, or dentist-clowns (*shudder*), but looking back now I recognise that’s she’s actually a cheaply-wigged legend.
Grotbags was first introduced as a panto villain on the 1982 series ‘Emu’s World’, and went on to land her own spin-off series in the early 90′s.
‘Emu’s World’ followed Rod Hull and his decorated sock puppet (aka Emu) as they pranced about in a Pink Windmill with loads of insufferable stage-school kids.
Grotbags would turn up each day just to piss them all off. Good on ye girl.
A knock on the door would fling the hateful all-singing kids into a rendition of ‘There’s Somebody At The Door’. It was usually Grotbags…
.. but not always. Here she is in action with her ‘bazazzar’, a seemingly useless golden arm on a stick. I’m pretty sure it was actually used it to scratch her arse, stab at the remote, and poke friends in the eye while watching telly (note to self: get a bazazzar).