The Throwback Tuesday weekly post is a opportunity for me to revisit the good, cheesy, forgotten or essential parts of music, film, tv and books from my childhood, the past few years or the generations/eras/works of art that have influenced my life in some way.
So as it’s nearly my birthday it has obviously given me plenty of time to reminisce about my childhood and wonder how the hell I managed to make it to 23 [well almost] already! The main thing I reminisce about is the TV I watched when I was a child and mainly how it is so different to the TV shows on today. One of my absolute favourite shows is one that hardly anyone I’ve mentioned it to remembers at all even though it was on Citv quite a lot. Let me hopefully remind you or if not introduce you to the amazing world of Zzzap!
That is part of the first ever episode of Zzzap! that was broadcast all the way back in 1993. I was only 2 then so I’m not sure if I actually watched that particular episode but I remember a lot of my after primary school TV viewing being taken up by this. The programme ran all the way up until 2001 which for a pretty basic kids show is pretty damn impressive if you ask me. This along with How 2 and Fun House were the highlights of my day and if you ask me they just don’t make silly kids TV like they used to.
The basic premise of the show for those that can’t quite remember it or have never had the sheer pleasure of watching it, is that there is a giant comic book front cover that had been brought to life with different cartoons and characters in each square. Throughout the programme all or most of the characters had their turn in a short 2 minute segment, a bit like a mini child friendly comic strip before heading to the next one. The camera used to zoom round the comic hovering around each square so you never knew where it was going before zooming in on the particular one it was going to in a way that made you think like you were going into that comic strip.
The characters on the show were The Handymen – a yellow and blue hand that made things and did little magic tricks, apparently these were the main characters that helped the show maker’s idea of making a show predominatly for deaf children which this was meant to be and looking back on it now there was never much sound just the odd funny noises or music but never words so the whole making the show for deaf children idea obviously worked very well. Other characters include: Cuthbert Lilly – a sort of posh man and his hilarious mishaps, Smarty Arty – played by Art Attack’s Neil Buchanan was a French artist and Daisy Dares – a trouble making girl with, if I’m honest, a little bit of an attitude problem. There was other characters that made smaller appearances like Tricky Dicky and Minnie the Mini Magician but the others listed above where the main characters.
I really hope this has reminded you of some of your childhood especially if you are around my age then I’m hoping you remember this. For everyone else I hope it’s opened your eyes to some very good 90’s children’s TV. Check out some The Handymen in action being all clever and still awesome [even though I’m a lot older now I’m still astounded by this] below: