K I d D i E S '   Q u I Z

This is where you may discover how mispent was your youth. If you were a child who lived in Britain, born between about 1965 and 1975, who watched television, then you should stand a decent chance with these questions. If you don't fit this description, then you haven't much of a hope, I fear.

R o U N d   O n e

Childrens' Television

Question 1.  Who did the narration and voices for The Wombles?  See the answer ▼

Bernard Cribbins, bless him. I once shared a dentist's waiting room with him. He looked a bit grumpy. He also looked a bit grumpy when I was one of the kids in the audience of "Star Turn". Still, great voices for the Wombles.  Hide ▲

Question 2.  What was the main difference to be seen between Paddington, and the other characters from that animated series?  See the answer ▼

Paddington was a furry three-dimensional model of a bear in red wellingtons. All the other characters were flat, drawn on pieces of card.  Hide ▲

Question 3.  What were the three shapes of window in Playschool?  See the answer ▼

Round, square and arched. "Broken", and "bricked up" are not acceptable.  Hide ▲

Question 4.  What student prank was featured in the opening titles of The Monkees?  See the answer ▼

Wheeling an occupied bed down the middle of a street, in night-shirts, hence "Here we come, walking down the street, getting funniest looks from everyone we meet...". I suppose that it would be fair to give you half a mark if you wrote "Riding bicycles into the sea."  Hide ▲

Question 5.  What colour was Barbapapa?  See the answer ▼

Pink. Many of you may have had black and white televisions in those days, so this one may have proven a challenge to you.  Hide ▲

Question 6.  Who did the narration and voices for Rhubarb and Custard?  See the answer ▼

Richard Briers, most famous for playing Tom Good in The Good Life, with Felicity Kendal as his wife Barbara. Someone I know spent a lot of one evening (when drunk) saying "Felicity Kendal" with feeling.  Hide ▲

Question 7.  What did Top Cat do in the end title sequence every week?  See the answer ▼

You could have had any of: arrived on the back of a milk float; drank a stolen bottle of milk through a straw in one go; threw away milk bottle; leapt over fence; got into dust bin; wound up his alarm clock; put on his pyjamas; opened a box on a telegraph pole and took out his tooth brush; brushed his teeth; replaced tooth brush and shut box; screwed in ear plugs; switched off light; put on blind fold; hung "DO NOT DISTURB" sign on dust bin; replaced bin lid (complete with TV aerial).  Hide ▲

Question 8.  What was 7-Zark-7's pet dog called?  See the answer ▼

1-Rover-1. You might have guessed that. This was the sad little cute thing that all such cartoons had to have, which was supposedly some feeble attempt at humour, or perhaps it was to get girls to watch an action cartoon. I blame R2-D2.  Hide ▲

Question 9.  Name three of the G-Force team, from Battle of the Planets.  See the answer ▼

The five fearless expendable young orphans were called Princess (the pretty one in the swan helmet), Jason (the one who every week would say "Let's blow them to bits with the missiles"), Tiny (the stupid fat one whom they trusted to pilot the Firey Phoenix), Mark (the hero, who every week would say "No, we can't do that Jason, because of some contrived plot device which means we're all going to have to go down there ourselves and muck around for ages, before being surprised by a lot of guys in flares, whose weapons we will destroy with improbably-shaped boomerangs, before we, yet again, hit on the idea of standing in a pyramid formation and whirling around a lot, which defeats our enemy, who always turns out to be Spectra."), and Keyop (the brain damaged runt). Apparently, this series has been re-voiced, and the silly voices we had to put up with are now boringly normal.  Hide ▲

Question 10.  Who did the narration and voices for Paddington?  See the answer ▼

Michael (later Sir Michael) Hordern. I can do a decent impression of Sir Michael, so it is a bit annoying that he's died.  Hide ▲

Question 11.  Who played Robin Hood in the Childrens' Film Foundation version?  See the answer ▼

Keith Chegwin. He was somebody's idea of what a dashing bandit leader should be like, presumably.  Hide ▲

Question 12.  Where was Willow the Wisp set?  See the answer ▼

Doily Wood. Another question on this series later.  Hide ▲

Question 13.  Who killed Bambi, according to Kenny Everett?  See the answer ▼

Godzilla. It was not the fairest of fights, and the contest, as it was animated, was a quick one. Actually, I don't think that the cartoon was Mr Everett's idea, but it appeared on his show.  Hide ▲

Question 14.  Who was Noggin the Nog's greatest foe?  See the answer ▼

Why it was Nogbad the Bad, of course, fiend that he was.  Hide ▲

Question 15.  Who drove Ivor the Engine?  See the answer ▼

Jones the Steam, boyo. Let us not forget Evans the Signal, nor Dai the Station. In those innocent days, one could get away with doing all the sound effects by mouth. Do you remember the noise Ivor made as he went along? Pishh-ta-cuff, pishh-ta-cuff!  Hide ▲

Question 16.  Complete the sentence "Pugh, Pugh, Barney-McGrew..."  See the answer ▼

... Cuthbert, Dibble, Grubb. These were the firemen at Trumpton station, working under Captain Flack. A friend of mine informed me that her sister got so upset at the thought that the Trumpton fireman who always got on the engine at the last instant, might not manage this feat, that she had to be banned from watching this action-packed series. Mind you, some people found Tom and Jerry frightening. It never occurred to me that I might be watching anything other than drawings.  Hide ▲

Question 17.  What was the owl's name in The Herbs?  See the answer ▼

Sage. Geddit? It was one for the linguists among the three-year-olds. Remember also Parsley the lion, Dill the dog, Aunt Rosemary, and The Chives (I never trusted The Chives).  Hide ▲

Question 18.  What manner of creature was Evil Edna?  See the answer ▼

Uncommon amongst the creatures of a fantasy enchanted forest, Edna was a television set. Her face was the picture on the screen, and her wands were the aerials on top. Her voice was Kenneth Williams at his cackling best.  Hide ▲

Question 19.  What device did the Tomorrow People use to teleport accurately?  See the answer ▼

A "jaunt belt". You know, even in the 1970s, this series seemed to have tacky special effects.  Hide ▲

Question 20.  In The Muppet Show, what was odd about Scooter's eyes?  See the answer ▼

They were not on his head. Instead, they existed only as the images caught in the glass of his spectacles. I think I remember seeing him take his glasses off once, making his blank head all the more obvious. The Muppets was the best thing on television for a while. I remember how much trouble they went to to make everything seem American, and how surprised everyone was to learn that it was all made in Blighty. For those with a very strong stomach, there is a great spoof film of The Muppets by Peter Jackson (director of Brain Dead, Bad Taste, and the excellent Heavenly Creatures), called Meet the Feebles. It's foul, but it's good. Every car in it is a Morris Minor, including the black stretch-limo driven by the baddie.  Hide ▲

Question 21.  What piece of clothing was common to Daffy Duck, Sylvester, Bugs Bunny, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and Goofy?  See the answer ▼

An animator could answer this with ease. They all wore white gloves. Hands in animation almost always have three fingers, and are almost always a pale colour. If you think that some of these characters had white paws, look again. You can see three lines on the back of the hand, like a glove, and the rim of the glove where the hand enters it.  Hide ▲

Question 22.  What did the craters have on them in The Clangers?  See the answer ▼

They had sauce-pan lids on them. If you wrote "dust-bin lids", you can count half a mark.  Hide ▲

Question 23.  What was Noah's wife Nelly's great ability?  See the answer ▼

She had the amazing ability to knit ANYTHING. In one episode, she knitted an electric generator. Noah and Nelly (opening words: "All aboard The Skylark!") was a very surreal programme. I'm sure that the gibberingly insane world, through which the heroes voyaged, has contributed greatly to the mental make-up of my generation.  Hide ▲

Question 24.  What was Crystal Tipps' dog called?  See the answer ▼

Alastair. This was an amazingly dull and badly-animated series. Aimed at girls, I suspect. No guns, no explosions. Personally, I never saw the point.  Hide ▲

Question 25.  Where did Stig live?  See the answer ▼

In the dump, of course. The series title Stig of the Dump was a clue.  Hide ▲

Question 26.  What was the fitness fanatic womble called?  See the answer ▼

Tomsk. Others were Orinocco (lazy), Tobermory (bowler-hatted handyman), Bungo, Wellington (shy and bookish), and Uncle Bulgaria (old, in tartan), all named after places.  Hide ▲

Question 27.  What was the name of Captain Pugwash's ship?  See the answer ▼

The Black Pig. It seems, alas, that the rumour that the first series had characters called Seaman Staines, Roger the Mate, and Master Bates, is false. The cabin boy was called Tom, though (Tomboy?).  Hide ▲

Question 28.  Who wrote Bright Eyes, and why?  See the answer ▼

Mike Batt (born Southampton 2/2/1950, trivia fans). His birth details are not needed for the full mark. As for why, well, to add to the money he made writing all the songs for The Wombles (can it be true that they were top selling records?) might be one answer, but I'll accept that he wrote the song for the film Watership Down. I read the book twice, and noticed that whereas in the book no rabbits from the group that sets out to find a new warren die before the end, the film changes things and has lesser characters being butchered left right and centre. Great book, but I'm sure it has done much harm in convincing people, who are now adults, that rabbits are like humans with different shaped bodies.  Hide ▲

Question 29.  According to The Water Margin, why should one not despise the snake for having no horns?  See the answer ▼

Because who knows - one day he may become a dragon! This piece of oriental wisdom ended each episode. No one at my school knew what this meant either. Many of the main elements of the plot of this series happened during very bloody fights. Unfortunately, the British censors cut out much of the fights, leaving the episodes even less comprehensible.  Hide ▲

Question 30.  What apology always followed the "gallery" section in Vision On?  See the answer ▼

"We are sorry that we cannot return your work, but there is a prize for all those that we show." This was signed in British Sign Language, as well as spoken. I don't think they ever did catch that fluffy thing like a mini feather boa, which zipped around the set, nor the insect made out of writing the words "Vision On" twice, once backwards, and adding them together. I liked the big drawings of animals Tony Hart would do on tarmac, with a football pitch marking machine. The pictures would then become animated, and walk off the screen.  Hide ▲

Question 31.  Describe Ludwig's body and home.  See the answer ▼

His body looked like a cut diamond, with many facets, making a sort of egg-shape. Each facet could open like a door, and little mechanical jointed arms would come out and play musical instruments. His home was a tree. Opening words: "Ah... Ludwig!".  Hide ▲

Question 32.  Which cartoon heroes lived in a space ship at the bottom of a volcano?  See the answer ▼

The Space Sentinels. This awful American cartoon was another one plagued by an R2-D2 substitute, which this time was an astonishingly unfunny cleaning robot. The Space Sentinals spent a lot of time talking to the ship's computer, which manifested as a giant blue head, the booming voice of which would have had any space-ship crewman leaping for the off-switch, I'd have thought.  Hide ▲

Question 33.  How did Hong Kong Phooey get to know his kung fu?  See the answer ▼

Penry (not, as we generally misheard it, Henry) the mild-mannered janitor learned his kung-fu from the "Hong Kong Book of Kung Fu". Funny to think that they only ever made sixteen episodes of this. It seemed to run for years. "... and a car that just won't stop. When the going gets rough, he's super-tough with a Hong Kong Phooey chop - ya!"  Hide ▲

Question 34.  What was Dangermouse's address?  See the answer ▼

221c, Baker Street, in the bottom of a pillar-box. DM was one of the finest cartoons of its kind ever made. Voiced by David Jason, our hero with his side-kick Penfold, voiced by Terry 'Curley-Whirley' Scott ("Oo! Carrots!"), would defeat the evil machinations of the arch villain Baron Silas Greenback.  Hide ▲

Question 35.  What two features of his face described Harold Lloyd?  See the answer ▼

"A pair of glasses and a smile." This was shown at 6pm on BBC2, and proved that you didn't need colour or even sounds to entertain kids.  Hide ▲

Question 36.  What was the "nature of Monkey"?  See the answer ▼

"The nature of Monkey was IRREPLESSABLE!" After these words, an actor in a bad monkey suit would break out of the stone egg, ending the opening sequence of this Japanese series. Monkey, accompanied by Pigsy the man-pig, Sandy the man-fish, and Tripitaka the boy priest (played by a girl, oddly enough), adventured in a world of badly-dubbed demons, to find the holy scrolls in India. I don't remember his getting the scrolls, but I do remember his getting to the border with India and shouting "We're coming Buddha! Better get the kettle on!"  Hide ▲

Question 37.  On Crackerjack, what were the regular responses to "Maclean!" and "Crackerjack"?  See the answer ▼

The response to the first of these was "Yes, I had a bath this morning!" which, inexplicably, got a laugh every time from the audience of cub scouts and brownies. The response to "Crackerjack" was a resounding "CRA-CKER-JACK!" from those same children.  Hide ▲

Question 38.  Who were the first two presenters of Screen Test, and how is the second connected with question 34?  See the answer ▼

Michael Rod, then later Brian Truman. I don't know where they found the children to take part in this observation quiz, but my guess is that they scoured Britain's schools for the blind and stupid. Brian Truman wrote the scripts for Dangermouse. I once saw him recording a Screen Test programme, and he was very witty in rehearsal. In recording, he stuck to the jokes in the script, all of which were awful.

Steve Berry, one of the people who runs the website "TV Cream", pointed out to me that three men presented Screen Test, the third being Mark Curry, for one season, after we had all grown up. Also, Roland Rivron presented the BBC CHOICE programme Screen Test 98. So far as I am concerned, though, Michael "tension mounts in the Screen Test studio" Rod, and Brian "DM" Truman were the proper presenters of Screen Test, with its set designed in myriad shades of beige.  Hide ▲

Question 39.  Describe the currency used on the planet Arg, in The Adventure Game.  See the answer ▼

The currency was the Drogna (which like all the names on Arg, was an anagram of "dragon"). Drogna coins were transparent circular plastic things with a shape set inside them, which had a significant colour. I'm proud and boastful enough to write that I worked out the currency almost immediately. A coin was worth its colour multiplied by its shape. So, a blue square would be worth 20 Drogna, because blue is the fifth colour of the rainbow, and a square has four sides, and 20=4x5. A red circle was worth one, a red ellipse two, and a violet hexagon was 7x6=42.

The Adventure Game was a good programme, with good puzzles. Some of the celebrities/actors/presenters who went on it might have been well advised to stay away, however, as they revealed themselves to be fairly unintelligent. Derek Griffiths, I remember, did well, but David Yip (The Chinese Detective) did the best. He solved almost all the puzzles. Mind you, the programme with him in it was shown near the end of the series, so they might have briefed him on the answers, so that he could show the viewers at home that the puzzles were possible, and just how many clues there really were.  Hide ▲

Question 40.  Who was the pilot for Thunderbird One?  See the answer ▼

Scott Tracy. Thunderbird One always struck me as oddly pointless. It was a huge and very fast rocket, which would fly at high speed to the scene of a disaster, where Scott Tracy would emerge and tell everyone that International Rescue was on the case, and that since his craft carried no equipment whatsoever, everyone would have to wait for Thunderbird Two to arrive with the tools for the rescue. Would it not have been quicker and cheaper to pick up the 'phone? The only thing Thunderbird One ever seemed to achieve, was to give the local press time enough to arrive and photograph Thunderbird Two as soon as it landed. The Tracy family professed to hate publicity.

Thunderbirds was, in my opinion, a fundamentally flawed programme. Every week, there would be some pressing crisis, and the men of International Rescue would hurry to save people from urgent peril. It was always vital to do something difficult before something disastrous occured, and there was a great deal put on the suspense created by this race against time. Unfortunately, all the characters were string puppets, and one thing which no string puppet can do is hurry. The men of International Rescue never ran. They never even walked briskly. Their top speed was a sort of springy mellow amble. The episodes were very long, and it was difficult to feel any suspense when the characters one saw on the screen were so laid back about the dangers they were in. Mind you, this show still has the best explosions on telly.  Hide ▲

Question 41.  With what accent did Marina of Stingray speak?  See the answer ▼

This was a trick question. Marina never spoke.

I once met a girl who claimed to have had a crush on Troy Tempest. There is something seriously wrong with the universe.  Hide ▲

Question 42.  Who was Brian Cant's pianist in Playaway? Also, what heart-throb movie star appeared as part of the team in this same show?  See the answer ▼

Jonathan Cohen tinkled the ivories. I am told that Spike Heathley played the bass, but I am ignorant of the drummer's name ( Edit: I have been contacted by someone who worked with Jonathan Cohen, and one drummer he worked with was a certain Johnny Ball). Mr Cohen was very tall, and once trod on my foot in the Barbican Centre. This isn't a great claim to fame, it's true.

The movie star was Jeremy Irons. What amazes me, on seeing old Playaway footage, is how ancient Irons looked in those days. If anything, he has grown younger since. I have also encountered Mr Irons, who sat down at the next table to mine in a Newcastle nightclub. I pointed him out to my companions, none of whom had heard of him. They were Norwegian.  Hide ▲

Question 43.  What was the name of the gang of gangsters which took part in the Wacky Races?  See the answer ▼

The gang was called The Ant Hill Mob. Award yourself a violent pat on the back if you could add that the members of the gang were Clyde, Ding-a-ling, Zippy, Pockets, Snoozy, Softy,and Yak-Yak.

The full list of contenders is: The Ant Hill Mob in their vehicle The Bullet-Proof Bomb; Luke and Blubber Bear in The Arkansas Chugabug; The Slag Brothers (Rock and Gravel) in The Boulder Mobile; The Creepy Coupe with the Gruesome Twosome (Big Gruesome and Little Gruesome); The Sarge and Pvt. Meekly in The Army Surplus Special; Professer Pat Pending in The Ring-a-Ding Convert-a-Car; The Red Max in The Crimson Haybailer; Rufus Ruffcut and Sawtooth in The Buzzwagon; Peter Perfect in The Turbo Terrific; Penelope Pitstop in The Compact Pussycat; and greatest of all, Dick Dastardly and Muttley in The Mean Machine. I can remember how often my friends and I in the playground tried and failed to imitate Muttley's husky laugh.  Hide ▲

Question 44.  What hair-style did all the trainee space detectives share in Captain Zep - Space Detective?  See the answer ▼

"Captain Zep! Captain Zep! Super space detective!
Captain Zep! Captain Zep! Super space detective!
A man of steel, a man of nerve!
The warlords get what they deserve!
Captain Zep is on his way, and Captain Zep will save the day!"

Thusly went the theme to this programme in which each week school children were shown a case from Captain Zep's investigations, and then challenged to solve the mystery. In a bid to make the children seem futuristic and cultured, the BBC make-up department slicked back their hair and gelled it firmly in place, with only the very frizziest hair defying these efforts. Each week, Captain Zep would exhort the viewers with his parting phrase:

"Stay alert!"  Hide ▲

R O U n D   T w O


Question 1.  Who was Stretch Armstrong?  See the answer ▼

He was a toy figure of a wrestler with arms made out of a sort of stretchy rubber which children would go to some effort to break. I never saw the fun in him, to be honest.  Hide ▲

Question 2.  What company made the Evel Knievel figures?  See the answer ▼

Ideal. So far as television informed us, everything which wasn't made by Ideal was made by Ronco, which I always imagined was a company started by a man named Ron.  Hide ▲

Question 3.  In the game Mousetrap, the old boot kicked the iron ball out of the bucket to where, and where after that?  See the answer ▼

The ball rolled down the rickety stairs and into the gutter. This game was good, until the plumbing broke.  Hide ▲

Question 4.  Describe the game Striker.  See the answer ▼

It was a football game. The figures had heads which you pressed down, which caused one leg to flip up and kick the ball. Subbuteo was miles better.  Hide ▲

Question 5.  Who were the Fighting Furies?  See the answer ▼

They were dolls of pirates. You pressed a lever hidden in the side of the torso, to operate one arm which went up and down in what was meant to be a sword-fighting action. They were too small to be compatible with Action Man, which was an annoyance.  Hide ▲

Question 6.  Which did Action Man get first: gripping hands, realistic hair, dynamic physique, or eagle eyes?  See the answer ▼

First realistic hair, then gripping hands, then eagle eyes, then dynamic physique. In my day, we had proper Action Man dolls, which could be dressed up in any costume, and which had joints which made them poseable in all sorts of positions, not like today. Most of them today have stiff arms which don't even bend at the elbow, and moulded-on costumes, so you have to buy another doll instead of just changing the costume on the one you already have. Big swizz. Not many girls' toys in this round, are there?  Hide ▲

Question 7.  Describe the game Crossfire.  See the answer ▼

A puck would be placed in the centre of the pitch, and the two players would then shoot ball-bearings at it from a gun on a swivel at their end of the pitch, and try to knock the puck into the opposing goal. This was excellent fun until one of the plastic guns would get a bit more tired than the other, and the game would become hopelessly biassed in favour of the player with the better gun.  Hide ▲

Question 8.  Describe a typical Space Hopper.  See the answer ▼

A big orange/brown balloon of thick rubber, with two handles at the top to hold onto, and a little line drawing of a face on the front. I never had one, but friends of mine did. One would sit on top, grab the handles, which were meant to look a bit like ears, and bounce along. This action was so exhausting, though, that no one ever bounced along for more than about fifteen yards. Attempts to go further resulted in fatigue, which led to loss of control, and a fall.  Hide ▲

Question 9.  What did the Weebles do, and more importantly, what did they not do?  See the answer ▼

They wobbled, but they did NOT fall down. These much-advertised toys were egg-shaped people, with weighted lower ends. When placed on a table, they wobbled a bit, with their narrow head-ends in the air. A more pointless toy I never knew. I knew no one who had any, nor anyone who had the slightest interest in owning any.  Hide ▲

R o U N d   T h R e E


In this round, you have to do the things, so put down your paper and crayon. This might be fun at a party.

Question 1.   Say "A pan of soup, please" in Clanger.  See the answer ▼

The answers to this round are understandably tricky to write down. To answer this one, a swanie whistle or duck whistle might help, but whistling with the lips might do if the whistler is talented. For full marks, the whistle must match the intonation of the words.  Hide ▲

Question 2.  Sing the Rhubarb and Custard theme.  See the answer ▼

I'll start you off: "Diddle-di-deeee, diddle-di-deeee, diddle-di-DI'di-deeeeeeeeeeeeeee..." You could try "Wahddle-dah-waghhhhh!" instead.  Hide ▲

Question 3.  Walk in the manner of "Brains" from Thunderbirds.  See the answer ▼

For full marks, the contestant should walk in the manner of a string puppet, complete with embarrassed smile, big bottom lip, square forehead, glasses (tricky, those last two, without practice and the appropriate prop), arms reaching forward from the elbow, and a marked lack of urgency and coordination.  Hide ▲

Question 4.  Laugh in the manner of Basil Brush.  See the answer ▼

"Ha ha ha... ha...  ha....  ha....   ha...    ha...     BOOM BOOM!". Throwing the head back and moving it very slowly from one side to the other will help for full marks, as will doing great violence to the person sitting to the contestant's left on the "boom boom!" part.  Hide ▲

Question 5.  Say "Er... I'm not very good at this" as Morph would.  See the answer ▼

This one is next to impossible to write down. To get the mark, witnesses have to recognise it, even though they didn't hear the question. Morph's words consisted almost entirely of vowels, although they often started with D or B, sort of.  Hide ▲

Question 6.  Sing the theme to The Magic Roundabout.  See the answer ▼

Doooo doo doo
          Doooo doo (etc.).  Hide ▲

Question 7.  Walk in the manner of "Shaggy" from Scooby Doo.  See the answer ▼

A goatie beard will help, as will flared trousers and a stupid expression. The gait involves arms hanging down by the sides, and the weight too far back for speed. For extra marks, the contestant should walk along at a speed noticeably different from the rate at which the background scrolls along.  Hide ▲

Question 8.  Summon a small pink cloud as Monkey would.  See the answer ▼

A complicated ritual, the key part of which involves bringing the right hand from the right ear to in front of the mouth, then moving the bunched fingers of it back and forth across the mouth, whilst half-whistling half-blowing on them, and then making a big motion with the same hand, and pointing to the sky, with a look of triumph. For full marks, the last action should be accompanied by a sort of "Shhhwrrrrring!" noise.  Hide ▲