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Lizzie Dripping

1 9 7 3 (UK)
4 x 25 minute episodes
1 9 7 5 (UK)
5 x 25 minute episodes

“Lizzie Dripping, Lizzie Dripping, don’t look now your fibs are slipping”

This BBC children’s series was set in the imaginary village of Little Hemlock and featured a mischievous 12-year-old northern lass called Penelope Arbuckle (played by 19-year-old Tina Heath).

Penelope was the ‘Lizzie Dripping’ of the title – the name being a provincial term in the Nottingham area for a girl who has difficulty differentiating between fact and fiction.

Lizzie had a (possibly) imaginary witch friend (Sonia Dresdel), who might- or might not – live in the graveyard, and who only she (and the TV viewers) could see.

The character of Lizzie Dripping was created by Helen Cresswell for a single Jackanory Playhouse presentation in 1972 entitled ‘Lizzie Dripping and The Orphans’ and commissioned as a full series the following year.

The stories were told from Lizzie’s point of view with a narrative supplied by Heath for moments when she was thinking. Heath actually delivered more dialogue in post-dubbing sessions than in performance.

The series was filmed in the Nottinghamshire conservation village of Eakring, where Helen Cresswell lived at the time. Only nine episodes were made, the first four in 1973 and the other five in 1975.

The series ended with Lizzie saying a wistful goodbye to her witch, a metaphor for her growing up. Heath (who became a Blue Peter presenter in 1979) reprised Lizzie in 1987 for a BBC talking book.

Cresswell wrote one new Lizzie tale for Jackanory‘s 21st Anniversary in 1991, begetting five further adventures the following year, read onscreen by Patricia Routledge.

‘Lizzie’ (Penelope Arbuckle)
Tina Heath
Witch
Sonia Dresdel
Patty Arbuckle (Mam)
Barbara Mitchell
Albert Arbuckle (Dad)
Geoffrey Matthews
Gramma
Sheila Raynor
Aunt Blodwen
Jane Lowe
Jonathan
Keith Allingham
Toby Arbuckle
Candida Lucy Rowe

Episodes

Lizzie Dripping and the Witch | Lizzie Dripping Black Sunday | Lizzie Dripping Runs Away | Lizzie Dripping and the Leek Nobblers
Lizzie Dripping and a Wish | Lizzie Dripping and the Little Angel | Lizzie Dripping Tries a Spell | Lizzie Dripping by the Sea | Lizzie Dripping Says Goodbye