Whatever Happened To The Children’s TV Presenters We Knew And Loved?

Are you an 80’s kid?

I love the 1980’s and I am a true 80’s kid. There’s nothing better than reading articles on the internet taking a stroll down memory lane and reminding us of TV shows, toys, and games that we all knew and loved.

That’s all well and good and I like reminiscing as much as the next person but I was inspired by a recent post on Suzie81Speaks about children’s TV presenters from her childhood. So, instead of just living in the past – let’s get real people…

Where are they now?

Let’s start with the Broom Cupboard which was the smallest studio in the world that the TV presenters sat inside where the walls were adorned with paintings and pictures that had been sent in by the viewers. Both Andi Peters and Phillip Schofield were resident in the Broom Cupboard for long stints and have since went on to have successful “grown up” TV careers. Andi can be currently seen on Good Morning Britain whilst Phil has been a long-standing presenter of This Morning.

Phil & Andi - The Broom Cupboard Years...
Phil & Andi – The Broom Cupboard Years…

I’m pleased they have went on to have very successful careers but I’m not too interested in that just now – what about their puppet sidekicks? Whatever happened to Gordon The Gopher and Edd The Duck? They were no doubt cast aside like a dirty pair of pants to collect dust in the BBC basement despite being just as popular as their human counterparts. It’s not all doom and gloom for the empty-handed puppets as to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Broom Cupboard in 2010 Phil was reunited with Gordon – there was a tear in my eye…

What of Edd The Duck? Where has he gone? Andi did no such reunion that I can see and it makes me sad. Come on Andi, we’d love to see you reunite with the other half of the duo that helped springboard your career!

Some very clever chap has made an unofficial documentary of Edd’s life and it is pretty good. Although, I do have to say I much preferred Gordon as Edd was a little annoying and quite often around tea time in my house there would be a shout from my Dad – “turn that f***ing duck OFF!”

One of the earliest children’s TV shows I can remember watching was “Playschool“. For anyone who has never heard of it, let’s just say it was classic children’s TV as it should be and none of this crap we get nowadays. Enjoy and indulge…

The lady in the clip is Floella Benjamin. With a fantastic name and brilliant energy she is a major memory from my early days. I knew she was still around today but I was shocked to f*** surprised when I typed her name into Google to see exactly what she is up to now…

Floella Benjamin, Baroness Benjamin, OBE, DL is a British actress, author, television presenter, singer, businesswoman and politician

Amazing! To go from dancing around with a dark green large egg-shaped soft toy with green trousers on national TV to being a fully blown Baroness is exceptional. I hope she remembers the little people (especially Little Ted, he was my favourite) now that she is all grown up! On a slightly more risqué not, this section of the clip (12m 20s) is a tad questionable, don’t you think Floella?

Now, a presenter who may only be familiar to those who grew up in Scotland is Glenn Michael but bear with me as I’m sure every country has their version of “Glen”. He hosted a Sunday afternoon show called “Glen Michael’s Cartoon Cavalcade” which introduced me to cartoons such as Bugs Bunny, Asterix, Fantastic Four and many others. Every time I hear the theme tune I am instantly transported back to those Sunday afternoons and I can literally smell the Sunday dinner being cooked…

Where is Glen now? After a record-breaking run of 26 years starting on 6 April 1966 with “Cavalcade” and a career from before that he is, unsurprisingly, retired at the ripe old age of 88. A recent interview in the Herald caught up with him and is well worth a read.

A brilliant fact I have just found out is that Glen Michael inspired Scottish comic book writer Mark Millar who, among others, produced the Kick Ass comics. If it wasn’t for Glen and his show, Mark said, none of his comics would exist. He even offered Glen the ultimate show of his gratitude by landing him a cameo role in the movie version of Kick Ass. Sadly, the part was cut from the final edit but what an honour and I would love to see that footage!

Thanks Glen for being a true legend of children’s TV and restoring my faith in the 80’s – unlike others I shall not name.

Enter Stranger…

Hearing those two words still give me nightmares, or should I say Knightmares. An adventure game show which would quite often see kids getting killed by dragons or falling down big endless pits of death! Cheery, right? I can’t actually remember if they announced that the kids were actually okay and went home safely. Either way I loved it and the entire game was overseen by the Dungeon Master himself, Treguard…

Scary s*** for a kids TV show isn’t it? It’s not exactly an after school dose of Blue Peter!

What became of Treguard, this scary figure that happily sent kids into a nightmare world and in some cases to their death? He was an actor of course, played by theatre actor and director Hugo Myatt and has since appeared as other similar, dark characters as well as, interestingly, computer training videos – I’d love to see them.

As a treat for all you fellow geeks out there a remake of Knightmare was produced last year to celebrate Geek Week. Thanks, Treguard for making me crap myself whilst eating my fish suppers on a Thursday evening after school…

Last up, I couldn’t possibly write an 80’s post without including my favorite children’s TV show EVER…

Of  course, it’s Rainbow – the ultimate 80’s memory for me. In short, a man in a house with three puppets who occasionally get visited by the friendly neighbourhood singing trio. Let’s cut to the chase – Zippy, George & Bungle are all living in a retirement home for puppets in South end On Sea and perform weekly for the other residents who include Sooty & Sweep (not Soo as she is a little b**** and wasn’t allowed to take up residence there who now lives alone in a high-rise flat in Essex and gets no visitors ever). Well that’s my take on it and I’ll have no one spoil my fantasy now let’s deal with the humans.

Geoffrey played by Geoffrey Hayes done a wonderful job of keeping those troublesome puppets in check. Puppet Daddy could be his official title…

He also had a wicked sense of humour, especially when he decided to be part of the infamous “Twangers” episode. Sadly, he found it hard to find work after the show was cancelled and now works as a taxi driver. With the 80s being so retro now he has picked up various other pieces of work but he seems happy doing what he does and I for one would be thrilled if I got in a taxi and he was the driver!

I hardly ever see my neighbours so I would love to have Rod, Jane & Freddy live next door to me. Every so often they would just pop in, sing a little song about something topical and then f*** off again. Best neighbours EVER! These days Jane is still in a relationship with Freddy although she was originally married to Rod, hmmmm, let’s not go there and simply remember them as being the “pure” meaning of a threesome…

They did go on to have their own show and still pop in to the odd pantomime. Thanks for the music guys and gals!

I hope that’s helped clear a few things up?

Who do you remember? What are they doing now? I’d really love to know! Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @stevesays2014

Where Are They Now?

10 thoughts on “Whatever Happened To The Children’s TV Presenters We Knew And Loved?

  1. Well a great trip down memory lane. I lived in London in the late 80’s so remember most of these. Did you know that Phillip Schofield started his career presenting in New Zealand – a music show if I remember correctly. Just a bit of trivia for you. 😀


      1. Actually, in the time I posted, I found I was wrong. We had some show called “Pinwheel” which had the Paddington segments.

        I’m kind of inspired now, I want to know what happened to other kid’s show actors, like The Buggaloos.



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