Monday, 23 February 2015
First watched : Uncertain
If I had to list my least favourite children's TV characters , Bungle the giant bear on Rainbow would probably come out on top. I just couldn't abide this giant wet blanket with his mincing voice and self-appointed head boy status in the household simpering up to Geoffrey ( Hayes ) at every opportunity like the school creep. While loud-mouthed Zippy , a creature of indeterminate species, was undoubtedly annoying in his own right, I unfailingly rooted for him when he was undermining Bungle's position, to which the big oaf could only respond with violence. About dumb hippo George I couldn't muster any strong feeling one way or the other.
Rainbow was conceived as a British version of Sesame Street with a similarly balanced mix of music, educational content and puppet fun. It's the best example of a programme I watched because there was nothing else on and I don't remember finding it anything other than childish and irritating. As I must have been at least pushing eight - quite possibly older as I've no recollection of original presenter David Cook - when I first saw it that's not too surprising . Rainbow is therefore the first programme I was "a bit too old for ".
It continued all the way to 1992 when Thames Television controversially lost the ITV franchise in the London area and disappeared from the network. Two separate revivals in the nineties were short-lived.