"Yoffy lifts a finger,
and a mouse is there..."
Yoffy is the friendly, bearded host for
this fabulously quirky series featuring stories
and songs and a cast of finger puppet characters.
As the title songs says, when
Yoffy lifts a finger, Fingermouse appears.
When he puts his hands together, Gulliver
the seagull takes to the air. When
he lifts another finger, Scampi darts about. And
when he does it again Flash the tortoise peeks
out in to the world. Yoffy (Rick Jones
of "Playschool" fame), gives voice
to these fine four friends and each episode he
persuades them to gather up items to help him
tell a tale.
Fingermouse, Gulliver, Scampi and Flash
are beautifully simple creations
incorporating gloves for legs and body with
rudimentary additions: a cone-shape
head for Fingermouse, a ping-pong ball for
Seagull, etc. They are extensions
of Yoffy, of course, but each is treated
as a uniquely seperate character. So
Yoffy pulls a bright cut-out shell over
his grey glove and - voila! - Flash appears,
talks to his creator and sets about his task.
The series is based in some light, bright
Shangri-la studio by the sea, with a
sky blue background and tan coloured tabletop.
The Fingerbobs take off to
simple swatches of sand and sea, astro turf
fields, and even a purple-blue
undersea haunt that's perfect for Scampi
The Fingerbobs characters were the brainchild
of the late great tv producer
Michael Cole and the creations were co-designed
with his wife Joanne (see: BOD).
Fingermouse was the series star, of course, renowned
for being a "wonder mouse"
and for being able to dodge past cats with his
"famouse body swerve". And in 1985,
thirteen years after "Fingerbobs" first
premiered, he garnered his very own spin-off
series, called naturally enough, "Fingermouse".
Other lesser-recalled Fingerbobs characters
included Enoch the woodpecker,
Scaredy the crow, Gloria the white mouse,
Louise the squirrel, Mole, Prickly the
hedgehog, a Peacock, a whole girly family
of Scampis and a trio of worms - Herbert,
George and Alistair.
Only thirteen episodes of "Fingerbobs"
were ever made and repeated as part of the
BBC's "Watch With Mother" broadcast
slot. This has made the tales exceedingly
memorable. Thus a generation can fondly recall
the tale of the paper Mexicans
dancing on stones, or the story of Scaredy the
thirsty crow and his efforts to reach
the contents of a cool clear jug of water. Yoffy
told his tales and sang his songs
with such seductive simplicity, and those
"Fingerbobs" were simply brilliant...
Bumpy Shapes Shiny
Stones Bricks Paint
String Wood House
2 / Contender / April 2004