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Whirligig

whirligig1 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 wooden assistant, Mr Turnip (pictured at right) who addressed Lestocq as “HL”.

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 hoss), conjuring with Geoffrey Robinson, Steve Race on the turnip_whirlygigpiano, The Sooty Show with Harry Corbett, and – in his TV debut – Rolf Harris (with Willoughby, a drawing board with a life of its own).

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