Entertainment & Arts

Original Humpty Play School toy sells for £6,250

One of the original Humpty toys made for the BBC children's TV programme Play School has sold at auction in Oxford for £6,250.

The 53cm-high toy is one of several made for the show which ran for more than 20 years from the mid-1960s, and also featured characters such as rag doll Jemima, Big Ted and Little Ted.

Based on Humpty Dumpty from the nursery rhyme, it first appeared in April 1964 and was then in nearly every programme.

Bonhams had valued the doll at £1,200.

The auction house called Humpty "an important member of the Play School cast, taking part in almost every single episode and even receiving his very own fan mail."

Image caption Actress Julie Stevens with rag doll Jemima and Humpty Dumpty on Play School in 1964

The large egg-shaped soft toy, which is dark green with checked trousers, was sold to a private bidder.

It is thought as many as 20 were made during the time the show ran, but it is believed to have been the first time an original Humpty has come on to the open market.

Playschool's long list of presenters included Johnny Ball and Floella Benjamin, with the show running each weekday morning.

Over the years it opened with several variations of the words: "A house, with a door, 1 2 3 4, ready to play, what's the day? It's..."

Nursery rhyme character Humpty Dumpty has featured in several books, songs and films including Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland sequel, Through the Looking Glass, and more recently Shrek spin-off Puss in Boots.

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