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Friday, 6 March 2015

Childhood TV

When I were a nipper...
I know we all layer on those rose tinted specs when we look backwards. We never had the choices back in my childhood that kids have now and our parents didn't have the choices we had. Life is constantly changing, evolving. It's getting easier, but paradoxically harder.
There's nothing profound about this nostalgic list though. Just TV programmes that bring back happy memories from childhood. Most of these shows would appear so dated now, but were highlights of our TV viewing back then. These are the first 10 that jump into my mind.
One of my favourites has to be Bagpuss, that soft furry cat puss with his familiar stripes.
I loved the idea of the toys waking up, the mice running around fixing the treasures that shop owner Emily would bring to them Madeleine the doll and her stories and wise old professor Yaffle. Always opening with with sepia pictures of Emily and her shop.
Bagpuss, dear Bagpuss
Old fat furry cat-puss
Wake up and look at this thing that I bring
Wake up, be bright
Be golden and light
Bagpuss, Oh hear what I sing
The Smallfilms (the company that made Bagpuss) only made 13 episodes shown from 1974 on BBC1, yet it's become one of the nation's all time favourites.
Another favourite has to be Champion the Wonder Horse. School holidays, downstairs in front of the black and white TV in my quilted dressing gown while parents had a lie in.
Watching Ricky, Champion and Rebel (Ricky's dog) as Ricky or his uncle Sandy would routinely get into a 'fix' and Champion would have to come to their aid.
Like a streak of lightnin' flashin' 'cross the sky Like the swiftest arrow whizzin' from a bow Like a mighty cannonball he seems to fly You'll hear about him everywhere you go The time will come when everyone will know The name of Champion the Wonder Horse Champion the Wonder Horse 
Little House on the Prairie was a firm favourite of most girls at the time, and most of us wanted to be Laura, bit of a rebel who always comes good.
It's the earlier episodes I remember better, before Mary lost her sight when there were just the 3 girls. I used to wish Pa could be my Pa too!
One of my favourites from my earlier years has to be Play Away with very fond memories of Brian Cant and Toni Arthur.
I was even lucky enough to go and see a live performance and watch my hero Brian in manic, but joyful action. Play Away was related to Play School, but seemed to have more going on and didn't have such a pre school feel to it.
Certain programmes bring back specific memories. Val Doonican sitting in his rocking chair with a chunky jumper, singing to us on a Saturday evening.
Christmas specials too, these were favourites at Nan and Grandad's house, reminding Nan of the home country with Val's soft lilting accent.
Good for a giggle and still brings a smile to my face at the memory, Basil Brush.
It was the famous 'Boom! Boom!' at the end of the joke, I loved it. Not the same when he was brought back, our old Basil is a cult icon now.
Wonder Woman, she'd take off her glasses, shake out her scraped back pony tail to reveal her luscious locks, put out her arms and spin around. That's all it took for Diana Prince to transform into her alter ego Wonder woman.
I have heard some birdies tweet that there's a Wonder Woman film in the making. I wonder how she'll come across to 21st century youth...
The secret magical life of Mr Benn. All he had to do was visit the costume shop where the shop keeper would magically appear, try on a costume and go through the door to a whole new world.
Limitless costumes leading to a myriad of worlds for an ordinary person, what more could an ordinary '70's child wish for.
The Incredible Hulk with Bill Bixby nearer the end of the 1970s. The haunting music played at the end of the programme as David Banner had to leave yet again, find a new place to settle down where no one would know about his alter ego.
I loved the way David Banner would arrive and make things right, but then have to leave to escape anyone finding and exposing The Hulk within him.
Every episode started with:
Dr. David Banner: physician; scientist. Searching for a way to tap into the hidden strengths that all humans have. Then an accidental overdose of gamma radiation alters his body chemistry. And now when David Banner grows angry or outraged, a startling metamorphosis occurs. 
Space 1999, the future. Yes, I did wonder if it was possible for us to be living on the moon by 1999, especially as a child, it was so far in the future.
Set on Moonbase Alpha, a scientific research station set on the moon. The moon is thrown through time and space with the research station's inhabitants who then meet new species and experience things we could only imagine!
It was hard to narrow it down to just 10, so I may have to make another list another time.
What are your favourites, what sticks out in your memories or conversely pulls you back to your childhood? Are there programmes we should have kept, or ones that should never have been made in the first place!


  1. I haven't heard of some of your childhood shows, but of course Little House on the Prairie, Wonder Woman (whom my husband still loves!-LOL!) and The Hulk I remember. I call my Pa, "Pa" because of Laura! I used to watch Bonanza (the Ponderosa) religiously. Loved that Little Joe Cartright (Pa!). I fondly remember The Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. As a younger child cartoons were my favorite....Caspar, the Friendly Ghost, and the Hannah Barbara cartoons...I tawt I taw a Putty Cat! The good ole days huh? Got my rose colored glass on, on this snowy cold day!

    Cindy Bee

    1. I remember watching Bonanza, my mum used to like it too x

  2. I love looking back at programmes from my childhood. I loved all these, the only one I don't know is Space 1999. I loved Little House on the Prairie, as you know, I'm working my way through the DVD's now. I always watched The Waltons too. As for Watch With Mother type programmes, I loved Andy Pandy, Pipkins, Mary Mungo and Midge, there's just so many when you start thinking about them. I remember something called Mr Trimble which I loved but no one seems to remember it when I mention it to them, but even I can't remember what it was about now.

    1. My husband is excited that someone else also remembers Mr Trimble, he says no one else seems to remember it either! I liked Mary, Mungo and Midge too x

  3. Little House was a big favorite of mine. We also had The Brady Bunch, and Lost in Space.
    Great memories.

    1. it seems like Little House was a favourite everywhere x

  4. I remember some of these too, although not all of them - I think I am older than you! Funny though because today I was thinking of the famous five on TV and went hunting on you tube and found some episodes, which were nothing like I remembered them being! It is nice to reminisce sometimes isn't it! xx

    1. It's nice to be able to share common memories x

  5. some I remember, other's I don't. Do you remember Bill and Benn, the flowerpot men?

  6. I remember all those programmes too. In Somerset there is a museum of television - Montacute TV Radio Toy Museum

    1. I'd love to go there, really bring back some memories x

  7. I remember all of them. Great memories. X

  8. Thanks for a lovely trip down memory lane. :-)

  9. We had some of those shows in the Philippines when I was growing up: Wonder Woman, Little House on the Prairie, Incredible Hulk. I remember them and they're my favourites too. X

    1. I still love to hear the music from them now, brings the memories flooding back x

  10. I think we must have watched the same TV!!!! Bagpuss is still my all time favourite. Jx

  11. I remember all of those though we didn't watch Space 1999 - we were more Blakes 7. We also watched The Waltons every week. I remember the days of childrens TV in the school holidays with Champion, White Horses and the old Tarzan and Elvis films! x

    1. Yes, I loved The Waltons and really enjoyed Tarzan x

  12. Ooh yes, Little House on the Prairie and we definitely need Wonder Woman to come into the 21st century...she's fab!
    Susan x

  13. Ah, there are some classics here! I always used to love Rainbow. I can still hear the theme music now... x

    1. Afraid I didn't like that one, my younger sister watched it though x

  14. Strange that over here in Belgium, we only knew the american series you mention... I know none of the british ones ! You would think, since England is closer to Belgium than the US...

  15. I've only just seen your blog and this wonderful post ...... memories, nice one.

    Thank you.

    All the best Jan


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