Last updated: 11 February 2009
"This is the story about an ordinary teddy bear. When he was made they found something wrong with him, and threw him away like a piece of rubbish into an old dark store room.
"Then, from outer space, a spotty man brought him to life with his cosmic dust. He took him to a magic cloud where Mother Nature gave him special powers. That bear became SuperTed!"
Starring a teddy bear with super powers, the cartoon SuperTed began in 1982 on the Welsh-language channel S4C.
Each episode of the show began with the tale of how SuperTed came to life. After being rescued by Spotty and given magic powers, the pair fought the wily evil ways of Texas Pete and his gang of scarcely-intimidating cohorts: the bumbling Bulk and the alarmingly camp Skeleton.
To activate his magic powers, SuperTed whispered his secret magic word and transformed into his hero costume, complete with rocket boots which enabled him to fly.
Behind the scenes
SuperTed was created by Mike Young. The story grew from tales Young told his stepson, which later became a series of more than 100 books.
The books were noticed by Welsh television channel S4C, which approached Young to suggest creating an animated show.
SuperTed was first broadcast as a Welsh-language cartoon on 1 November 1982, S4C's first day of transmission. It was made by Siriol Productions, the company formed by Young and his wife in Pentyrch, near Cardiff. Also at Siriol were animator Dave Edwards and writer/producer Robin Lyons.
Three series of SuperTed were made by Siriol, along with a special film made specifically for the Welsh Office. Supersafe With Superted was a public information film featuring SuperTed, Spotty and his sister Blotch, created to help teach children about road safety. It included scenes of Cardiff Castle, Castle Street and the Arms Park Stadium.
The cartoon was later dubbed into English and was shown throughout the UK by the BBC. It was a huge success, winning a number of awards including the 1987 BAFTA for best animation.
In 1984 SuperTed became the first British cartoon series to be shown in the US on the Disney Channel. All 36 episodes were later released on six video cassettes by Walt Disney Home Video.
In 1989 Hanna-Barbera renamed the show The Further Adventures Of SuperTed, creating a new theme song and more villains to join Texas Pete and his gang. Thirteen episodes were made with a new animation style, with different actors providing many of the voices.
Key cast members
- Derek Griffiths: SuperTed
- Jon Pertwee: Spotty
- Victor Spinetti: Texas Pete
- Roy Kinnear: Bulk
- Melvyn Hayes: Skeleton
- Sheila Steafel: Blotch
- Peter Hawkins: Narrator