BOD, Aunt Flo, PC Copper, Frank The
Postman and Farmer Barleymow
dwelt in a simple world of single-colour
backgrounds and cut-outs.
starred in a show specifically tailored
for preschool children, featuring
stories, music and games, and the 13
episodes were shown repeatedly
through the 1970's as part of the BBC's
"Watch With Mother" schedule.
Each original episode included a short BOD
story, a story about Alberto
Frog and His Amazing Animal Band, a
song, and a game of BOD Snap.
It was a simple affair, but the delivery
was both masterful and memorable.
BOD is now fondly recalled for its simple,
repetitive animation, it's
hypnotic flute-infeced theme tune, John Le Mesurier's
droll, dry narration,
the juxtaposed "sections"
of each episode and of course that final game
Here was an "interactive"
tv show presented years before the concept was
in vogue. The series and characters were
created by prolific tv producer
Michael Cole and his wife
Joanne and BOD originally appeared in picture
book form, back in the 60s. Michael was working
on "Playschool" at the
BBC at the time, and the BOD books were featured
on the show. The
animated series was eventually filmed in
Sadly Joanne Cole died in 1985. And Michael
passed on in August 2001.
As a couple this multi-talented duo also
brought us "Fingerbobs",
"Fingermouse" and "Gran".
Michael's other TV credits included "Ragtime",
"Heads and Tails", "Stop and
Go", "Pigeon Street" and "Edward and
Friends". He also worked on the very
first series of "Postman Pat".
The BOD estate is now in the very capable
hands of Lo, Alison, Sam and
Kate Cole. Lo and Alison have so far
completed two BOD books, "BOD's
Way: The Meaning of Life" and "BOD's
New Leaf". The siblings talked
about the first title, and BOD's past, present
and future plans in our
Q&A in which they finally revealed the origins of the character.
And those interested in discussing BOD's
get in touch with Lo
and Alison, in the first instance....
Alberto Frog section featured narration from Maggie Henderson who
had previously co-presented
Michae Cole's award-winning "Ragtime" series.
fluted music came from the ever-inventive Derek Griffiths. He
worked with Michael on
Playschool and indeed, went on to front that inspired
menagerie of animals and
songs, "Heads and Tails".
director and animator David Yates also brought us those splendid
Northern furballs, The
Flumps. He worked with Michael again on "Pigeon
Street". Alan Rogers
was on David's small animation team on BOD and
He went on to form an animation partnership with Peter Lang,
called The Cut-Out
Animation Co. And, what do you know, their first job
was to provide the animation
for Yates' and Cole's "Pigeon Street" series!
although this is a BOD page, can we sing Cut-Out's praises for a
wee while? - Their animation
style is instantly recognizable, with its bright ink
colours and puffed-up character
designs. Movement is brilliantly exaggerated,
a mixture of shuffling and rolling.
The company's credits include the BAFTA
winning "Rat-A-Tat-Tat", "Rub-A-Dub-Dub",
"Words and Pictures", "Storytime",
and Me", "Number Crew", "Rosie and Jim",
and "Little Giants"...
To celebrate BOD's 50th birthday, Lo
Cole has put together a series of
twelve A4 limited-edition prints for
Press. Each is hand-numbered
and embossed with a Michael Cole Estate
seal, and they come with a
Certificate of Authenticity. They're
limited to just 175 editions...
BOD's Appples BOD
and the Cherrry Tree
Goes Up... BOD's
Come Down BOD
and The Grasshopper
& Birds Pink
Flo & her Aga Barleymow
& his Tractor
BOD at fifty, and the new BOD prints...
Come The Coles Q&A
The Hound talks to Lo and Alison Cole...
Hound: October 2003
A new BOD book...
BOD's Dream BOD
and the Cake
BOD in the Park BOD
and the Kite
BOD and the Rain BOD
and the Birds
BOD and Breakfast BOD
and the Grasshopper
BOD and the Apple BOD's
BOD on the Beach BOD
and the Cherry Tree
BOD and the Dog
2 / all 13 episodes / Contender / July 2004
film by David Yates
written and produced by Michael Cole
animation: Alan Rogers,
narration: John Le
Maggie Henderson (Alberto Frog)