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Toonhound presents...






British TV series

  The Fiddley Foodle Bird & friends

   small spacer
The Fiddley
   Foodle Bird
     producers: H.A.P.P.Y. / BBC
cel animation 
       episodes: 13 x 10mins

     "Remember the end of the last episode? - You do?
      Then what am I doing here!"

                                                                  - Bruce Forsyth gets shirty


    When you wish upon a star, magical things can happen. Take young Algernon.
    This young lad wished upon a lucky star and found the extraordinary Fiddley
    Foodle Bird standing next to him. Fiddley has unique and uncontrollable
    powers that allow him to change his colour and size at will. Handy for getting
    folks out of scrapes and predicaments, but equally liable to get Algernon, Mrs
    Grumblebaum the housekeeper and Algernon's pals into those self-same
    scrapes and predicaments in the first place!

      Foodle again!   Uncle Arbathnot - Boo!

    The Fiddley Foodle Bird's full name is actually the Fiddley Foodle Bim Bam
    Boodle Oo-diddly Doodle Oodle Bird, and his discovery and arrival in Algernon's
    home is revealed in the breathless opening narration:

    "Long, long ago there was a magical time, when all the creatures
     from legends, myths and fairytales roamed the earth. One, however,
     was much too silly to be believed in. It was the Fiddley Foodle Bim
     Bam Boodle Oo-diddly Doodle Oodle Bird. One picture of him existed
     in an ancient magic book discovered by a couple of potty explorers,
     who were lost, exploring in a sieve (serves them right!). The book
     was found, one christmas night by their lonely young son Algernon.
     He saw something really special in the friendly face of the creature,
     made a wish upon his Lucky Star, and to his amazement the
     Fiddley-Foodle Bird came to life. And this, of course, is where
     our story really begins..."

    And that little lot is shoehorned into the credits sequence of every episode!

    Algernon's adventures are hindered and undermined by his dastardly relative,
    Uncle Arbathnot ("I bath not" - geddit?). He's a True Blue vaudeville villain complete
    with top hat and twiddling moustache, and he has two cronies, a hired musclebrain
    called Mister Damage and a flowery French seducer called Claude Flannel.
    In the opening episode "Foodle Power", these three felons inveigle their way
    into Algernon's home, intent on retreiving a coveted treasure map. But our
    heroes thwart their wiley scheme and set off with the map to retrieve both the
    treasure and Algernon's parents who are lost on the self-same Egg-Shaped
    Island in the middle of the Specific Ocean (yes, you heard right, it's "specific").

    What follows is a madcap series of cliffhanging episodes in which Algernon and
    company and his pursuers follow the MerseySippi Drift (an ocean current) all the
    way to their island destiny. Joining them are Captain Jollylegs and his ship
    mates, including his Last Mate (there's no First Mate here). Meanwhile, Uncle
    Arbathnot teams up with the mad pirate Pierre Head, who he finds stranded
    in the middle of the SoGuessWho Sea. And - well - suffice it to say, the plot
    is as convuluted, ridiculous and knotted as a Scout Master's Woggle.

    It's all jolly silly, and jolly good fun, with the series improving handsomely after
    a not-quite-so-successful first episode. Events are regularly punctuated by
    some witty narration from comedian/entertainer extraordinaire Bruce Forsyth,
    there's lots of corny word games and a liberal dollop of knockabout songs
    which spoof show tunes, pop hits and almost everything inbetween.

    "The Fiddley Foodle Bird" series was directed by Tony Garth, who had previously
    worked on DangerMouse for Cosgrove Hall. Interesting to note that, actually,
    because this shares much in theme and spirit with that gem of a show.
    Tony has gone on to bring us the likes of Microscopic Milton and those
    "Little Monsters"...


Some Fiddley-squiddly info

    » The Fiddley Foodle Bird is a truly legendary creature. The late comedian Max
        Wall made a record about him back in 1973 - which may explain why we now
        have Bruce Forsyth, one of Max's Variety Show contemporaries, narrating
        these tickling tales...

    » Algernon is almost able to control his pal Fiddley by giving him lots of happy
        encouragement. If this dotty bird feels loved and appreciated all that size-
        swapping and colour-swatching becomes ever-so slightly more manageable...

   » Now look at this! - A freezeframe of the opening sequence reveals this
        rather sneaky aside concerning Tony Garth. On the left-hand page of
        the Magic Book it says:

           Magic words in the Magic Book!
     "Tony Garth has got
      spam and piccalilli
      sandwiches again!"

     Goodness, that's despicable!...


Fiddley episodes

Foodle Power                       
Sea Saw                             
Cock-a-Doodle Crazy            
The Yolks on Who?              
Catch My Drift                     
Up the Pole                        
There's No Business Like Snow Business
What the Dino Saw
     Hic Hic Wooray

      Goin' Bananas
     Planks a Lot
Squids In
     Will Ee No Come Back Again?


Broadcast info

     The first episode "Foodle Power" premiered on BBC1,
      8th January 1992, at 4.15pm. The series played consecutively
thirteen weeks, concluding
- rather aptly - on 1st April.

     Pendants will note that, from episode eight "What the Dino Saw"
     the broadcast time shifted back ten minutes to 4.06pm...


   based upon the original story by Jonathan Hodge  
   written by Jonathan Hodge and Stuart Leathwood

     Tony Garth
   Jonathan Hodge
    exec prods:   
     Theresa Plummer-Andrews (BBC)
                            Chris Ambler, Andy Taylor (H.A.P.P.Y.)
      Don Arioli, Jonathan Hodge, Stuart Leathwood     
    title song:      
     Jonathan Hodge, Bob Saker 
    orig songs:    
     Jonathan Hodge, Stuart Leathwood, Julian Littman
Jonathan Hodge, Julian Littman
    recorded at:    
    Honeywood Studios
     Whizzline Productions, Clinton J Priest
                            Nick Love Gittens, Stephen Hales, Billy Allison,
                            Simon Turner, Paul Smith, Denise Smith,
                            Bob Smith, Malc Smith,
      Aileen Raistrick
    des, st'boards
    & layouts:             
Vince James, Jeremy Lounge, Miss Spomin
    & Xerox:          
     Lynn Durans, Kate Smith
Karina Stanford, Margaret Johnson
    paint & trace
Louise Harding
    paint & trace:  
    Michael Ambler, Anne Marie Briggs,
                            Damian Knapper, David McGuire,
                            Russel Marshall, Greg Smith, Paul Murphy,
                            Sharon Walsh, Fabian White, Tanya Blosen
    prod man:             
Heather Pedley
John Cook, Charles Heath
Paul Rudkin
    rostrum cam:      
Glynis Werndly
    superv cam:        
Alec Jacklin
Ian Gillespie & Silk Sound
     Dennis Waterman (Fiddley Foodle Bird)
      Bruce Forsyth (narrator)  
      Kate Robbins (Mrs Grumblebaum)
                           Jimmy Hibbert
                           Jonathan Hodge
                           Julian Littman
                           Stuart Leathwood
                           Tammy Coleman


     On the web

      HIT Entertainment  
      HIT now have the rights to Fiddley, and he's there in their catalogue
      along with all the other series and creations they currently own...

      Tony Garth
The director's home on the web...

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© Fiddley Foodle Bird Productions Ltd / HIT Entertainment / F2009