Boomerang- Look over there!
It's Tingha and Tucker, the two little bears!"
Tingha and Tucker were a pair of puppet koala bears
who found fame in the
hands of "Auntie Jean" Morton. Jean was
an ATV continuinty announcer
and part of her role involved her introducing ATV's
children programming each day.
The story goes that Jean had in her possession
a soft toy koala bear which
her parents had given to her. Whilst she was on air one
afternoon, an engineer
made it appear over her shoulder, like a puppet.
The koala enamoured the viewers,
many of whom wrote in to let ATV know this. They were
to suggest names for a new bear family, and Tingha
and Tucker were the
ones that were chosen. New koala hand puppets were
eventually, Jean and her koala pals opened
the doors to The Tingha
and Tucker Club...
Over time, many more antipodean pals joined the club.
The Tree House
Family of Willie Wombat, Grandpa Wombat, Wibble
and Wobble, Wendy
Wombat and Cousin Wanda, and the likes of Katie
Emu and Kiki the Kangaroo all contributed to the
fun and games, under the
matronly supervision of "Auntie Jean",
who never let things get out
of hand. Most importantly, all the animals had a role
to play in what
was, in fact, a very real Kids Club because
The Tingha and Tucker Club
was something those ever-keen viewers were all invited
to join. It had
a club badge, and rules, and its own club song and
even a special
greeting (index finger aligned along the nose, as
you bowed your head).
And the viewers joined in their thousands. Nay, tens
of thousands. At its
peak, there were 750,000 members of this tv club
and the massive volume
of mail it generated completely overwhelmed both
ATV and the Post Office.
Indeed, its ridiculous success actually hastened
"Tingha and Tucker Club" was broadcast
monday to friday, and depending
on the schedule, would run anywhere between ten
and twenty minutes. It also
garnered its own Sunday spin-off "The Tree
House Family" (more on that
It's often forgotten that another ATV announcer, Pat Astley regularly
appeared on the show.
Looking back now, we can see that Tingha and Tucker
were the forerunners
to all those stars of the BBC Broomcupboard, and
those Saturday Morning
puppets. Gordon the Gopher, Otis the Aardvark, Ed
the Duck and the rest
all owe a debt to our marsupial pals...
series is simply billed as "Tingha and Tucker Club". There's
"The" in the title!
comes from an aboriginal word meaning "flat" or "level".
It's also the name of a
mining town in New South Wales.
Tree House Family
and Tucker Club info
magic password: club
Bear in mind to be good and kind
Jean Morton Tingha
Kiki the Kangaroo Willie
overseas members: committee
Tree House Family
Wibble and Wobble
Grandpa Wombat Porky
links right now...