1 9 5 7 (UK)
1 9 6 2 – 1 9 6 6 (UK)
1 9 6 8 – 1 9 7 0 (UK)
220 x 15/30 minute episodes
Dancing blank-faced pig puppets Pinky and Perky (Perky was the one who wore the hat) were created and controlled by Czech puppeteers Jan and Vlasta Dalibor.
The porcine duo with high-pitched voices were longtime TV favourites with their amusing cabaret of marionette struttings to contemporary pop music.
The sound emanating from the snouts of the puppet pigs sounded uncannily similar to playing a Little Jimmy Osmond record at 78 rpm, yet during the 60s they were amazingly successful.
The early programmes originated from the BBC’s north of England studios, and their additional BBC TV series were Pinky and Perky’s Pop Parade (1960), Pinky and Perky’s American Journey (1963), Pinky and Perky’s Island (1967) and Pinky and Perky Times (1968).
Pinky and Perky even conquered the US themselves, making six appearances on the prestigious Ed Sullivan Show and doing a year at the gaming capital of the world, Las Vegas.
Besides Pinky and Perky there was Ambrose Cat, Horace Hare (the spitting image of comedian, Ken Dodd), Basil Bloodhound, Morton Frog, Conchita the Cow, Bertie Bonkers the baby elephant and the sultry Vera Vixen, plus an endless supply of mice.
Notable human guest stars included Michael Aspel, Stratford Johns (in Z Pigs), Freddie and the Dreamers and Henry Cooper.
After a defection to Thames in 1968 Pinky and Perky finally retired from the nation’s television screens in 1970.
The voice of Perky, Michael John, passed away in 2004. John also performed on The Black & White Minstrel Show, sang with The Mike Sammes Singers, backed Shirley Bassey and Judy Garland and sang on the Oliver! (1968) and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) soundtracks.