1 9 7 2 (UK)
Finger puppets foraged for everyday objects to help tell illustrated stories in this 1972 addition to the Watch With Mother slot.
Gulliver the seagull, with his ping-pong ball head and white-gloved finger wings, collected pebbles while slow-but-sure Flash the tortoise and the energetic Fingermouse – with grey pointed nose, bristling whiskers and oversized round ears – collected feathers for a story at the end of the show.
Sea creature Scampi rounded out the group.
There was no attempt to disguise the home-made nature of the finger puppets that came to life using the gloved hands and fingers of scary old Yoffy (ex-Play School star Rick Jones) – in fact, it was positively celebrated.
Jones even had his own special song describing how the Fingerbobs were created: “Yoffy lifts a finger, and a mouse is there – puts his hands together and a seagull takes the air; Yoffie lifts a finger and a scampi darts about.”
Each character had their own song. e.g. Gulliver ( “I spread my wings . . . “), Scampi (“My name is Scampi, Scampi that’s me”) and Flash (“My name is Flash, But I don’t dash, Who wants to run a race?”).
Rick Jones was the singer and keyboard player with progressive rock band Meal Ticket – and he looked it . . .
Fingermouse was undoubtedly the show’s sugar-paper star, and many remember his own jaunty theme tune and recall (wrongly) Fingermouse as being the show’s title.
This incorrect assumption finally became reality with belated sequel Fingermouse (BBC, 1985), hosted by Play School‘s Ian Lauchlan. The 13 new episodes saw the cardboard hero investigate musical instruments.
I am a sort of wondermouse
A hit, a miss, A blundermouse
Fingermouse, that’s me
I am a mouse called Fingermouse
A mouse with guts and nerve
I get past cats so easily
with my famous body swerve