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Whirligig

1 9 5 0 – 1 9 5 6 (UK)
Approx. 110 x 60 minute episodes

This fortnightly Saturday afternoon variety show – the first such show designed especially for the short-trousered crowd – was initially presented by puppeteer Humphrey Lestocq (“Goody goody gumdrops”) and his obnoxious wooden companion, Mr Turnip (pictured above) who addressed Lestocq as “HL”.

turnip_whirlygig

Over the seasons the bill included the pioneering British Sci-Fi serial Stranger From Space, the animated The Adventures of Hank (a carefree cowboy and his buck-toothed hoss, Silver King), conjuring with Geoffrey Robinson, Steve Race on the piano, The Sooty Show with Harry Corbett, and – in his TV debut – Rolf Harris (with Willoughby, an easel that sprang to life).

The show was devised and produced by Michael Westmore. Among the writers were Peter Ling and Hazel Adair, later to create Crossroads.

Humphrey Lestocq (HL)
Peter Butterworth
Francis Coudrill
Peter Hawkins
James Ottaway
Sheilah Ward
Geoffrey Robinson
Pat Driscoll
Peter Hawkins
Raymond Rollett
Rolf Harris
Steve Race