1 9 7 3 – 1 9 8 1 (UK)
313 x 30 minute episodes
Inigo Pipkin was a puppet maker. Hartley Hare, Pig, Tortoise, Octavia the Ostrich and Topov were a group of animals who lived with Inigo and ran an organisation called The Help People.
Tortoise lived on the cash register of the shop and looked after the cash. Pig was an inventor and had a lab in the cellar, Topov was a (very ugly) monkey who lived in a treehouse in the garden and Hartley Hare was the boss (or thought he was) and always craved to be the centre of attention.
This ATV series began in 1973 as a show called Inigo Pipkin, starring George Woodbridge as the titular Mr P. Unfortunately, George died during the second season so the show was re-named simply Pipkins and continued on with Inigo’s assistant Johnny (Wayne Laryea, pictured above) and the ‘animals’.
The hand up Hartley Hare was that of Nigel Plaskitt, who at the time was much loved for playing Malcolm, the poor lad who had to take his exams with a cold in the Vicks Sinex commercials. He went on to operate grown-up puppets in Spitting Image.
All the major puppets were made by Jane Tyson.
Johnny left Pipkins around 1978, to be replaced by Tom (Jonathan Kydd, son of actor Sam Kydd, pictured below), who also moved on in 1980 to be replaced by Peter Potter (Paddy O’Hagan). In later years Sue Nicholls made regular appearances as neighbour, Mrs Muddle.
Pipkins ended when ATV lost its franchise for the Midlands ITV region, was restructured and became Central Independent Television. The programme was replaced by Let’s Pretend.
Mooney the Badger