The DYR blog

The blog with general chat about all things from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s plus news about new features and developments on the website.

Friday, August 13, 2010


When people say "ah, you see, you couldn't make a programme like that now-a-days" they might have "tickle-on-the-tum" in mind.

First aired in 1983 (continuing until 1988) it was set in the fictional village of... tickle-on-the-tum. They were 10 minute episodes, and every week a new village resident would enter the local shop and recount a tale from the past week - the tale would then be made into a folksy song! How quaint, and how much of a lost and by-gone world!

Even the title alone "Tickle-on-the-Tum" harks to a time of innocence and non-complicated viewing that in today's cynical and world weary 2010's would be impossible to air. Tickle-on-the-tum?! These days with a fear-mongering media, that title almost seems totally inappropriate for a childs programme.

If you look into the cast of this show you can see how the programme got away with it's folksy ways, it's almost a who's who of 1980's uncle and aunt figures, the type of celebrity that made you go "ahhhhh" and cosy up into the croched doilies on the back of your floral settee. There was Bill Oddie, Penelope Keith, John Wells, Molly Sugden, Nerys Hughes, even the folk singer Ralph McTell.

It makes fascinating viewing, because even though it's dated and old, it really is quite enchanting. You will find yourself enjoying the stories and story telling, the performances and the pace of the series. You might even find your eyes misting over with thoughts of an England past, a nostalgic reverie, when all was happy, the birds tweeted rather than the teenagers, and people spoke rather than facebooked each other.

Though do remember during that reverie that this was also the time of late punk, huge unemployment, the miners strike and massive social upheaval. So it wasn't all ideal.
However, if you want to book your trip to an England past, then you can order this DVD series for the first time from here or pick up more information here

Sunday, August 01, 2010

"The Raggy Dolls" out on DVD

Out this week is the series "The Raggy Dolls"

The series was produced by that stalwart of Kids TV, Yorkshire Television, which made "3-2-1", "Follyfoot" and "The Darling Buds of May", among many many others.

Raggy Dolls was a stalwart of my childhood, even just listening to the theme tune transports me back to a time when I didn't have to cook my own food and bedtime was something I disliked rather than loved.

Indeed, whether you watched it avidly in the years it was shown on terrestrial TV (fairly regularly throughout 1986 - 1994) or not, you would most definitely be aware of it's theme tune. You-tube it and see!

The episodes were written and voiced by Neil Innes, who also wrote and sang the theme song. Yes, Neil Innes from Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band and Monty Python fame. He worked with Beatles, on Rutland Weekend Television and also composed the music for some Children's TV classics like Puddle Lane, The Raggy Dolls, The Riddlers and Tumbledown Farm.

They had a moral message that most kids TV had those days. A line from the theme tune is: "Just to be whoever you are is no disgrace". The Raggy Dolls were rejects you see, not like everyday dolls, but special. The ethos of course, making it okay to be different. In these days of Heat Magazine, and celebrity diets, and the constant pressure to look and act a certain way, it might be quite the tonic to watch a few episodes of the Raggy Dolls and reset your psychological balance.

The characters had quite underwhelming names - "Sad Sack", "Back to Front" "Raggy Muffin" and "Claude" (yes - from France). Their adventures were characterized by using their unusual traits being put to good use, to help others and to over come the bad guy (Mr Grimes")!

For more information you can go here and see whether after a day you can get that theme tune out of your head!