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Play Away

1 9 7 4 – 1 9 8 7 (UK)
Approx 500 x 30 minute episodes

Play School‘s family spin-off, Play Away, ran for thirteen years and followed a similar format as Play School although the games and songs were less infantile.

playawayAlthough most of the programmes were made in the studio, there were a number of Play Away Away Days when the show was recorded at an outside location. One was even made aboard a narrowboat on a canal, with the piano and band on the boat.

Brian Cant, Toni Arthur, Derek Griffiths and Floella Benjamin (all from Play School) each appeared in the show but they were joined by a whole host of new presenters.

playawaySome of the most famous presenters were Tony Robinson who went on to star as Baldrick in the Blackadder series, Anita Dobson who found later fame as Angie in EastEnders and future Hollywood Oscar winner Jeremy Irons (making his television debut).

Jonathan Cohen was the resident pianist and musical director.

Play Away was succeeded by a fully-fledged children’s sketch show Fast Forward (BBC2 1984-87), overseen by Ann Reay and John Smith and featuring Play Away regulars Floella Benjamin and Nick Wilton.

Brian Cant
Toni Arthur
Derek Griffiths
Julie Stevens
Floella Benjamin
Tony Robinson
Anita Dobson
Jeremy Irons
Chloe Ashcroft
Lionel Morton
Jonathan Cohen
Alan Rushton
Spike Heatley