1 9 5 1 – 1 9 5 3 (UK)
35 x 60 minute episodes
This early BBC children’s TV series aired every other Saturday afternoon, alternating with Whirligig.
The show’s star was Peter Butterworth (who later found fame in the Carry On film series).
He appeared initially as Mr Chadwicke-Bugle, a night watchman whose job was to mind a hole in the road. He would inevitably be interrupted by a visitor and would go on to tell a story before returning to try to boil his kettle over a candle.
Butterworth was assisted by his real-life wife, impressionist and comedienne Janet Brown and a puppet parrot named Porterhouse (built and operated by puppeteer Sam Williams and voiced by Peter Hawkins).
Later episodes were broadcast as SS Saturday Special and set aboard a paddle steamer of the same name, with Butterworth now playing the vessel’s skipper, still accompanied by Porterhouse, the ship’s parrot.
Another puppet was also introduced as the ship’s mascot – a small bear with black ears, named ‘Sooty’. He and his “minder”, Harry Corbett, were later given their own show and went on to a long and illustrious broadcasting career.
Peter Hawkins (voice)
Sir Anthony Fairfax