and Bitsy were spider friends and regular stars on tv's "Paperplay"
The show was presented by Susan Stranks,
of "Magpie" fame. Itsy and
Bitsy would assist her in the construction
of simple craft designs, models,
and pictures - although their enthusiasm
would frequently overrun their talent...
This lively duo were created by Norman Beardsley.
They were nothing more
sophisticated than bright coloured hand
puppets operated against a jet black
backdrop but they were brought to life by
some wonderfully adept puppeteering.
The yellow one was Itsy, a girl spider with
big fluttering eyelashes. Bitsy was
the orange one, a mischievous fellow, who
frequently had to be restrained
by his friend. They didn't talk, as such.
Rather, they chatted and gabbled in
their own unique spider tongue.
It's often forgotten that there were
other critters making regular "Paperplay"
appearances alongside this duo. Boris
was a big, sluggish, ladybug. Cardew
the caterpillar would wriggle into frame
as well, and then there was a fussy
bird called Katie...
In all, these two spiders made 182 appearances
on "Paperplay" and back
in 2003/2004 they popped up again, via
a series of high-profile licensing deals
made by LicensingByDesign. Greetings cards,
beanies and chattering
toys (above) were all available on British
high streets, and much-desired.
Simple creatures, for sure. But simply brilliant,
none the less...
on ITV, on the 2nd April 1974...
Itsy & Bitsy on DVD
An episode of "Paperplay" is included
in this fab tv compilation:
Back On 70's Telly - Issue 1
2 / two discs/ Network DVD / February
No links right now....
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