Bob and Margaret

Bob and Margaret was an animation about a fairly ordinary British couple. It was an adult cartoon, although you couldn’t call it the British answer to The Simpsons it was an amusing show.

It originated on Channel 4 but also aired on the long-gone Freeview channel FTN. I’m not entirely sure which of the two channels I saw it on first as around the same time as it was on FTN it was also on (very) late on C4.

The premise was that Bob was a dentist and Margaret was his wife their lives were pretty vanilla but usually a few over the top situations would arise. They had no children but in one episode they were looking after someone elses.

This could easily be my house right now.

Another episode saw them taking an elderly relative to see someone’s grave only to find a supermarket built on the graveyard with the tombstones now being lined up along the carpark wall.

The whole series changed when its funding moved from being joint British and Canadian to just being funded by Canada. As a result the couple moved to Canada which made it a bit more quirky – a British couple in Canada.

Overall it was their dynamic as a couple and the mundane situations they found themselves in that made it entertaining and very much relatable. It wasnt laugh out loud funny but still worth a watch.

Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles

What happens when teenagers and turtles collide? They become Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles. Yep HERO Turtles because that’s how they were known over here because Ninja was considered potentially too violent for the children of Britain.

As one of those children of a Britain I was a fan and I think I still am. The Turtles were the first series I remember which really pushed merchandise, they were everywhere.

I had one or two of these…

Each episode was pretty much the same something bad happened, usually at the hands of Shredder (voiced by Uncle Phil from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air) or his boss Krang. But it was brilliant, entertaining and a show that spoke to kids, occasionally literally when they broke the fourth wall.

There was a character for everyone, my favourite was Donatello, he was probably the turtle I associated with most – a bit geeky but quick witted. I guess that was its main appeal to children.

Go on name them all…

Technically speaking it wasn’t perfect. There were times Raphael would talk but he was mysteriously wearing Leonardo’s bandana and on one occasion one of the turtles mouths was about 3 feet from their body. I spotted these as a kid but it still didn’t put me off.

The Racoons

The Evergreen Forest, quiet, peaceful, sareen, that is until Bert Racoon gets up and so a million Saturday mornings began.

The Racoons came from Canada but over here they arrived on Saturday mornings just before Going Live. The storyline revolved around the good guys (the racoons) Bert was the main focus but a bit haphazard.

His life would be peaceful except for Cyril Snear… the bad guy who almost always was up to no good and something that would affect the other Racoons but fortunately his son was Cedric who happened to be friends with Bert and therefore the good guys would always win.

Cyril Sneer, an evil Aardvark

Cyril and Cedric incidentaly, were meant to be Aardvarks but they fall into a long line of Aardvarks that look nothing like the real thing, they’re pink with bendy noses, Otis The Aardvark and Children’s BBC puppet had fluffy ears and Arthur from the titular cartoon has no nose at all.

Back to the Racoons and not forgetting the three pigs that were Cyril Sneer’s henchmen and the dog friends of the Racoons, there was certainly a lot of wildlife in the Evergreen forest.

But overall the series was enjoyable it charmed me as a kid on a Saturday morning and when they replaced it with (Lois and Clark) The New Adventures of Superman it didn’t really have the same appeal, at least Live and Kicking would show the Rugrats.

Inspector Gadget

Not an obscure one at all, I’m sure there are loads of people who remember Inspector Gadget. Go Go Gadget Arms…

Gadget was a robot uncle to Penny, I’ve really understood the backstory there but she always called him Uncle Gadget. He was a bumbling police inspector who would try and solve crimes but mostly really it was Penny who would do the solving and then put herself in peril.

Penny, Brain and Inspector Gadget, he was always enthusiastic about everything.

Gadget naturally was there to assist her but was oblivious to the danger to her and himself and so it would be the pet dog, Brain who would typically save the day.

The main enemy was Dr. Claw who always promised “I’ll get you next time Gadget… Next time…” with a very raspy voice and of course he never did.

For me a personal memory of this was it being shown daily on CITV in the mornings during what I think was my first ever summer holiday. I think that because I distinctly remember feeling like it (and Inspector Gadget) had been going on forever.

The theme tune was good too and I didn’t regret making my kids sit down and watch it with me more recently on Netflix…

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