Monday, 23 January 2012

Here comes Bod! (1975)

Bod was a BBC children's television programme first shown in 1975, with thirteen episodes, based on four original Bod books by Joanna and Michael Cole. It was an animated cartoon series narrated by John Le Measurier & Maggie Henderson with music by the multi-talented Derek Griffiths and produced by David Yates. The four books were published in 1966 in the United Kingdom and later in the United States and France. They were: Bod's AppleBod's PresentBod's Dream andBod and the Cherry Tree. The French version of Bod's Apple was called La Pomme de Gus.

Before the animated series was commissioned, the four books had been read on another BBC children's programme — Playschool. In 1974, thirteen five-minute episodes were created for transmission on the BBC as part of the Watch with Mother series, and were also sold to Australia's ABC channel. Soon thereafter, it was shown in New Zealand, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Poland and Israel. In the United States, Bod aired on Nickelodeon as a segment on the Pinwheel program.
The character of Bod is a boy who lives in a town with Aunt Flo, PC Copper, Frank the Postman and Farmer Barleymow. Each of the characters have their own theme music performed by Griffiths which is heard when they appear. Regular features are animal identification and Bod Snap.
There is also another set of characters who appear in each episode called Alberto Frog and his Amazing Animal Band. This section featured short extracts from famous pieces of classical music as part of the story, and always ended with Alberto choosing a different flavour of milkshake as his reward for solving a problem, and was narrated by Maggie Henderson.
Bod has appeared in Channel 4's 100 Greatest Kids TV Shows and 100 Greatest Cartoons, and the creators of Homestar Runner. have cited it as one of their inspirations. Bod continues to be very popular in Northern Ireland
 Bod's Way: The Meaning Of Life courtesy of Contender Books
All thirteen Bod episodes are available on DVD.
The Alberto Frog segments were produced separately by the BBC and were originally shown alongside the Bod episodes; only five out of thirteen of these segments survive in the BBC archives, following a decision in the early 1990s to wipe a large amount of videotaped 1970s children's programmes but all these are present on the Bod DVD

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