1 9 7 1 (UK)
6 x 30 minute episodes
The elephant is a pretty bird,
It flits from bough to bough,
It builds its nest in a rhubarb tree,
And whistles like a cow
This short-lived crackpot comedy from Thames Television – aimed at nine to 14-year-olds – was compiled by Ian Davidson and had a permanent cast of five; Richard Beckinsale (fresh from The Lovers), Paul Whitsun-Jones, David Rowlands, John Gould and Ann Beach.
Poems, comedy sketches, riddles, comic verse, tongue-twisters and songs were presented along with snippets of work by T.S Eliot, Hilaire Belloc, Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear, John Lennon and Spike Milligan.
A terrific contribution was made by Peter and Iona Opie, who wrote The Law and Language of Schoolchildren. They traced the rhymes and sayings of children (which is where the title of the programme came from).
The result was guaranteed to make you smile or groan, depending on your age and sense of humour.