1 9 9 0 (UK)
10 x 10 minute episodes
This ITV children’s animation series, written by Elizabeth Beresford, starred Bertie the Bat, who had a winsome face with large round eyes and elephantine ears; a skinny sub-human body with which he liked to strike athletic poses; and wings that either trailed behind him like a cloak or wrapped around him like a comfort blanket.
Beautifully animated by Julia Coutanche, the opening story told how Bertie visited the sky painter, a stringy man in dungarees who produced sunsets and stars before settling down with slippers and pipe in a powder blue armchair on the edge of a fluffy cloud.
Bertie – much given to out-of-tune renderings of cabaret standards – proved he wasn’t just any old bat by enlisting the sky painter’s help at decorating his wings and he was soon a Day-Glo op-art bat.
Bernard Cribbins was the perfect choice as the voice behind the adventures. Mellow and somewhat doleful of tone as narrator, he switched to a wondrously off-key screech when he became the voice of Bertie.