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Tales from Fat Tulip’s Garden

1 9 8 5 – 1 9 8 7 (UK)
28 x 10 minute episodes

Created by drama school chums Tony Robinson and Debbie Gates, Tales from Fat Tulip’s Garden was a bizarre children’s show featuring Robinson jumping around a garden while explaining in an excited and animated manner – direct to camera and in great detail – the strange things that went on above the grass.

He played every character in his semi-improvised stories, using just his voice, his body and anything he found lying about in the garden.

Characters included a posh-talking ex-police dog called Dorian, Wayne Newt, Thin Tim, Anwar Rabbit, Gilbert Harding Sheep, Bunting Tadpole, Farouk the Greenfly, Fred the Baddie, Norman the Shrew, Costello the Sparrow, Lewis Collins the deluded stunt tortoise, Tracy Bee, Ernie and Sylv the pond-dwelling frogs and, of course, Fat Tulip.

The second series took the characters out of the garden and into places such as a local swimming pool (Filmed at Leyton baths) and even a seaside holiday for Fat Tulip and Police Inspector Challenor.

The series was filmed on location at a house called Little Monkhams in Woodford, Essex, and in a section of Epping Forest adjacent to the house, called Knighton Wood. Unfortunately, Little Monkhams was destroyed in a suspicious fire in 2007.