and begorrah! - Here's Mr Sage and Mr Onion, two of the daftest "oirish"
fellas ever to have graced our tv screens.
These fine creations first appeared on
the second series of the BBC's "Live
and Kicking" saturday morning entertainment
show. They popped up on show number 21, on the 4th
February 1995. Their role
was simply to titillate, twitterpate and titter
in between segments of the live show,
but they quickly went on to steal the whole darned
thing. No star guest was big
enough to outshine the sparkling pair, with their
nonsensical banter and patter.
So whom was Mr Sage, and whom Mr Onion? -
Who knows! - What is known is
that they successfully outlived presenters
Phillip Scofield and Emma Forbes,
flourished through the Good Old Days of Zoe Ball
and Jamie Theakston and stayed
on right up to the show's demise in 2001. In the
end they joked, joshed and jested
with the star guests on more than 150 shows
and notched up in excess of 500
sketches with luminaries as diverse as Brittany
Spears, The Spice Girls,
Westlife, Cher, Nanette Newman, French and Saunders,
BoyZone, Rolf Harris
and Lionel Blair.
The Sage and Onion puppets were brought to
life through a combination of
hand puppetry and animatronics by Darryl Worbey,
John Eccleston and
Don Austen - puppet designers, builders and
operators at the forefront of
their industry. John and Don have individual
credits on the likes of "Labyrinth",
"Little Shop of Horrors" and "Muppet
Treasure Island". All three muppeteeered
in various capacities on "Muppet Christmas
Carol" and Darryl Worbey Studios
have built Emlyn the CBBC Gremlin, "The Timekeepers",
and recently the
boom-booming new-look Basil
Trivia Hounds will note that John and Don
also manipulated The Wolves
on STV's "What's Up Doc!" - the
Big Saturday Morning Rival to the BBC
just prior to 'L&K's launch!
"Live and Kicking" may be gone now,
but Mr Sage and Mr Onion remain. And
who knows, with the luck of the Irish they
may yet return...
The Weakest Leprechauns
Actually, on 28th december 2007, Mr Sage
and Mr Onion did indeed return
to our screens, courtesy of hit BBC
quiz show "The Weakest Link". They
appeared alongside a jolly bunch of
similar tv puppets in a celebrity charity
special. But alas, they were deemed the weakest
link of all, and were voted
off the show in the very first round!
For the record, the winning "guest"
was Soo, who collected £11,500
the W.W.F. (for their work with pandas,
Need a puppet for your new series? -
This is the place to go.
This official details all the puppets built
by the studio, together with
a selection of press cuttings, behind-the-scenes
contact information and more...
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