We often talk about our favourite 80s kids tv programmes when we reminisce about our childhood. How many of these did you watch? Had you completely forgotten about some of them? Which was your favourite?
First aired in the 70s but shown on tv in the 80s too!
Ludwig was a surreal 1977 British-made children’s cartoon animation about a magical egg-shaped gemstone who lived in a forest. Twenty-five 5-minute episodes were made.The programme was produced by father and son team, Mirek and Peter Lang. Peter went on to animate Pigeon Street. The Lang’s wrote the stories with Jane Tann and Susan Kodicek. The scripts were edited by Michael Cole. Peter did the artwork. The music was arranged and played by Paul Reade. Jon Glover provided the voice of the birdwatcher. The Langs shared the animation, with Mirek doing about 80%.
2. Round The Twist
Only four series were made despite the show having an 11-year run. The first two series were based on fantasy stories written by author Paul Jennings; the latter two were based on a variety of authors’ work. Its first series was made in 1989. A second series, with many roles re-cast, was made in 1992. A third series, again re-cast, was made in 2000, followed by a fourth (with some roles again re-cast) in 2001. The show’s distinctive theme song, with the lyrics “have you ever… ever felt like this?” was sung by Tamsin West, who played the lead female role of Linda Twist in the first series. It borrowed lines from popular nursery rhymes such as “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly”, “Humpty Dumpty” and “Rain Rain Go Away”
Making a show about children which spanned more than a decade meant many changes in actors were required, as the child actors became too old for their parts. Overall, three sets of children (the Twists, the Gribbles and Fiona) were cast. Additionally, most of the major adult roles were recast at least once: overall, there were two Tonys, two Nells, three Fays, two Mr Snappers, two Harold Gribbles, and three Matron Gribbles across the series’ run.
Greenclaws was a big green monster who lived in a greenhouse. The man who played Greenclaws was Nick Mercer. Every week, Iris would visit Greenclaws. They would put one of Greenclaws’ fabulous seeds in a plant pot, put the plant pot inside a secret growing place in the Riddle Tree, wait for Owlma (a mechanical owl) to alert them that the plant was ready, answer three riddles/questions correctly from Owlma (which were always along the lines of “Twit twoo, twoo, twit twit twoo?” and then translated into English by Iris for her and Greenclaws to solve), then open the tree to find the plant had grown into something bearing unusual fruit. Each episode featured a song filmed (lip-synched) on location, most of which were written by Hilary James and Simon Mayor. There would also be a story told featuring relatives of Greenclaws while the plant was growing, accompanied by illustrations.