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28 October 2014

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Bodger and Badger

Andy Cunningham as Simon Bodger, with Badger

Bodger and Badger is something of a rarity in children's TV comedy. Not many other kids' sitcoms can boast the twin distinctions of running for ten years and achieving a lasting cult status.

But from its broadcast in 1989, the varied slapstick capers of odd-job man Simon Bodger and his mashed potato-loving pet quickly became a CBBC staple, and it's still loved both by twenty-somethings who remember it fondly from their own childhood and students tuning in religiously to daytime reruns.

Badger and Mousey

Across nine series the unlikely pairing of Bodger and his badly behaved (puppet) friend were put in a whole host of tricky scenarios, moving between several workplaces depending on where the handyman could find a job and (in earlier seasons) keep Badger's existence hidden.

These included a food joint called 'Troff's Nosherama' and a primary school (Letsby Avenue Junior) before the duo became more ambitious, eventually opening their own seaside guesthouse.

As the show evolved, the spotlight shifted from Bodger's work and concentrated instead on Badger's wacky antics, often involving his slow-witted, cheese-loving friend Mousey.

But what never changed, though, was Badger's ceaseless ability to get into all manner of trouble regardless of the situation.

Andy Cunningham as Simon Bodger, with Badger

Actor Andy Cunningham was not only the show's human star as Simon and Badger's ventriloquist, but he also created the series and wrote most of the scripts.

Chalking up one hundred and twenty-four episodes of fifteen-minute slapstick fun (yes, more than an entire day's worth!), this was no mean feat.

Maintaining a retro feel which recalled The Basil Brush Show, several recurring characters were introduced throughout its decade-long history (including Bodger's animal-hating landlady Mrs Dribelle and her niece Vicky, another big fan of mashed potato), and Bodger and Badger ended up earning an affectionate place in viewers' memories, together with its insanely catchy theme tune.

Its continuing cult popularity shows little sign of abating, and has even led to a tour of British universities and an appearance at the Glastonbury Festival!

Cast

Andy Cunningham
Simon Bodger
Joanne Campbell
Mavis
Roger Walker
Mr Troff
Lila Kaye
Mrs Trout
Selina Cadell
Miss Moon
Andrew Fraser
Brains
Neil Kattenhorn
Danny
Jane Bassett
Millie, Mousey
Carol Macready
Mrs Dribelle
Ricky Diamond
Alec Smart
Valerie Minifie
Miss Peake
Jo Warne
Mrs Bobbins
Bill Thomas
Mr Tucknott

Crew

Andy Cunningham
writer
Wayne Jackman
writer
Jane Bassett
writer
Pierre Hollins
writer
Claire Winyard
director
Judy Whitfield
producer
Greg Childs
producer
Christine Hewitt
producer
Sue Morgan
producer
Judy Whitfield
executive producer
Andy Cunningham
creator

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