I was born in November 1979, so aside from the first 6 weeks of my life, my entire childhood up to the age of 9-10 was within the 80s. I have many fond memories of that era: the toys I played with, my school days, the sweets and crisps I enjoyed, the kids’ TV I watched, and the games I played on my beloved Commodore 64. So, I thought I’d do a few blog posts to document my memories, and perhaps highlight some of the lesser-remembered things about that decade. I’m starting with kids’ TV.
I had many favourite television shows as a kid; some are even still about today (Postman Pat and Thomas the Tank Engine, for example). Others were such long-running classics that it’s hard to forget them (Play School, Rainbow, Tom & Jerry, Sooty, etc.). My list of 10 contains ones that are perhaps slightly less well-remembered, with some entries that you just might have forgotten!
1. Ragdolly Anna
This show aired between 1982-1987 and featured a doll that came to life when no-one was looking. I had a big knitted doll that I named after her, as well as some of the books.
2. The Little Green Man
This only had one series, broadcast in 1985. It was a cartoon about a boy that befriended an alien and was narrated by Jon Pertwee.
3. King Rollo
I had a book of this, which I think I remember more than the TV show itself, which first aired in 1980. It featured a child-like king as the main character, who was always requiring advice and assistance from his friends.
4. Tottie: The Story of The Doll’s House
First aired in 1984, this animated series was about a family of Victorian dolls called the Plantagenets. There was Mr Plantagenet, his wife Birdie, their child Apple, a dog called Darner and Tottie. There was also a nasty china doll called Marchpane, who, at the show’s darkest moment, set fire to Birdie and watched her burn. Aside from that bit, I have fond memories of watching this show with my mum!
5. Pob’s Programme
Pob’s Programme (1985-1987) featured a puppet called Pob who apparently lived inside the viewers’ television set. Each show featured a different celebrity guest visiting Pob’s garden, although they were never seen on screen together.
6. Muppet Babies
First shown in 1984, this cartoon was about baby versions of Jim Henson’s Muppets in a nursery. Apparently there’s a reboot in the making!
7. Willo the Wisp
Kenneth Williams provided the voices for the characters in this cartoon series, the first of which aired in 1981.
8. You and Me
The Cosmo and Dibbs era of the educational kids’ TV show You and Me started in 1983 (although the first series aired way back in the early 70s). The two puppets touched upon subjects such as bullying and road safety.
Family-Ness was a cartoon about a family of Loch Ness Monsters and the Mactout family. It only aired between October 1984 and April 1985, with repeats shown on CBeebies in 2002 for a very short time.
10. Dogtanian and the Three Muskahounds
This Japanese animation came to our screens in 1985 and was about Dogtanian’s plight to become a musketeer in Paris.