Classic TV programmes from our childhood (that were also very weird)
Children's television in the 70s and 80s was a disconcertingly odd experience.
After hearing the sad news that Carol Lee Scott (the actor who played legendary 80s character Grotbags) had passed away, we began reminiscing about our favourite childhood television programmes. But, the more we discussed the ins and outs of our personal faves, the stranger they sounded to be honest.
Here's our list of the most memorable television programmes from our childhood (that in hindsight were actually very, very weird)...
Knock knock, open wide, see what's on the other side, knock knock, any more, come with me through the Magic Door.
2. Pajo's Junkbox
A rat who lived in a junk box, ably assisted by his friends Grabbit and Fetchit and a teenager called Kevo, who never seemed to age.
3. Fortycoats & Co.
Fortycoats only appeared in his flying sweetshop when his alter-ego Rory had gone off somewhere. Weird from start to finish.
4. Round The Twist
Have you ever... ever felt like this? Three Australian kids, their widowed dad, and a magical lighthouse. They miraculously got years of telly out of this plot.
We never questioned a schoolboy turning into a muscle-man superhero every time he ate a banana.
Tony Hart and Hartbeat just wouldn't have been the same without this pesky little clay dude. Still, an odd relationship.
When Zippy became irritating his co-stars would zip his mouth shut. Occasionally he would unzip himself, although seemed to be unable to do so on other occasions. Sinister as.
Don't you open that trapdoor, you're a fool if you dare... Stay away from that trapdoor, 'cos there's something down there. Poor auld Berk was the miserable servant of "the thing upstairs." Even though each episode was only four minutes long, it was still pretty creepy.
Batfink was pretty incapable. He would have been in serious trouble if it weren't for Karate, his martial arts expert sidekick who also drove the Battillac.
10. Worzel Gummidge
As if Worzel wasn't terrifying enough with his head removing behaviour, Una Stubbs' Aunt Sally also traumatised us as life-size fairground doll and Worzel's femme fatale, Aunt Sally. We're still having nightmares.
11. Rod & Emu
There's somebody at the door, oh, there's somebody at the door! Oh, the anxiety we endured as, each week, Grotbags attempted to steal Emu in order to use the bird's 'special powers' to control all the 'brats' in the world.
12. The Mysterious Cities of Gold
They dream of following the path of the setting sun that leads to El Dorado and the Mysterious Cities of Gold. We're still none the wiser as to what was actually going on here but it was oddly riveting.
There was something almost bordering on tragic about the end of every Bagpuss episode. The pink cat would start yawning as the colour faded to sepia tones and everything that was alive stopped moving. Yeah, creepy.
Enter stranger! Four kids attempting to complete a quest in order to exit a dungeon, whilst wearing something called the 'Helmet of Justice'. Enough said.
15. Mr Benn
Mr Benn, always dressed impeccably in his black suit and bowler hat, leaves his house at 52 Festive Road in order to visit a fancy-dress shop where he has a (usually moral-based) adventure. We feel like there was a subtext to this we weren't getting?
16. The Wombles
The Wombles delivered the positive environmental message that we should "make good use of bad rubbish" but their retractable claws hinted at a darker side of the pointy-nosed litter-obsessed creatures.
You may or may not have had the pleasure of watching this bearded man play with his finger puppets, but it's certainly burned into our subconscious. We have no words.
18. Count Duckula
As the title sequence used to say, "the latest reincarnation did not run according to plan." Count Duckula was a vegetarian tomato-sauce-loving vampire who was looked after by his Nanny. David Jason made this semi-political commentary cartoon seem totally normal.
The beginning of each episode of SuperTed was pretty dark. An ordinary teddy bear who was deemed to be "defective" and thrown into an old storeroom, he was then given life and super powers by Mother Nature, transforming him into SuperTed.
20. Roobarb and Custard
Almost as addictive as the chewy penny sweets.
21. Jamie and The Magic Torch
Each episode began with Jamie's mum tucking him into bed and saying, "sleep well, Jamie." Suddenly, his dog (Wordsworth) would appear holding a magical torch in his mouth that opened up a portal slash helter skelter to Cuckoo Land. Trippy.
22. Danger Mouse
An ironic and sarcastic gem that was so good the telly people recently brought it back.
23. Sooty and Sweep
Izzy wizzy, let's get busy! Aww, so many fond memories, yet so many questions. Anyone else remember the weird episodes with Bonnie Langford and Geoff Capes? No? Alrighty then...