Thursday, 21 July 2011

Paint the Whole World with a...

I was rather saddened by the passing of Roy Skelton back in June - the name might not sound familiar, but the characters he brought to life would be VERY familiar to fans old and new.

Next to being one of the original voices of the Daleks for Doctor Who (next to Peter Hawkins), Roy was also a puppeteer on the popular children's show Rainbow where he voiced Zippy and George respectively - and at the same time, with great skill!

Whilst I'm more familiar with Blue Peter and Sooty when it comes to naming a classic live-action kids show, Rainbow also has several winning qualities that have made it the British equivalent to Seasame Street in America. The four friends - Zippy, Bungo and George, along with Geoffrey Hayes - not only taught kids numbers and colours and other little lessons like handling jealousy and telling fibs, but also more advanced episodes including learning different languages and cultures across the world. All fantastic stuff =)

But of course, they didn't forget to entertain as well as educate. So we were treated with the odd funny episode (often led by loud-mouthed but loveable Zippy), storytellings from Geoffrey and harmonious interludes from Rod, Jane and Freddy.

Ranking up just over 1000 episodes from its original 20-year run between 1972 to 1992, it's not hard to guess how its gained such a warm and faithful reputation. However, apart from the odd forgettable revival here and there (one featuring Dale Superville as presenter), Zippy and George had obviously proven to be firm favourites, making many present-day appearances outside of Rainbow up till Roy Skelton's death.

It's quite remarkable how many memories can be unlocked by the passing of one person connecting to them. God rest yer soul, Roy...

So here's a collection of Rainbow vids to enjoy, a mixture of old and new:

From 2002, Zippy "celebrates" 100 years of Marmite:

And a hilarious video edited by smallerfilms of YouTube - what would Zippy sound like as a Dalek...!?

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