RASTAMOUSE or Fingermouse? Tracy Island or the Teletubbies? Television has shaped the lives of British children for decades.
Now, a city museum is promising visitors to their latest exhibition a trip down memory lane – getting up close and personal with their favourite children’s television stars.
‘The Story of Children’s Television from 1946 to Today’ exhibition, which opens at The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum today (Friday, May 22), will display nearly 200 carefully selected and curated TV items dating back almost 70 years.
Billed as a ‘celebration and exploration’ of British TV for the young (and young at heart), the highly interactive exhibition, contains original material from some of the nation’s favourite children’s programmes – including the original 1990s Tracy Island model created on Blue Peter; Gordon the Gopher from the Broom Cupboard; and the original puppets of Fingermouse, Rastamouse and Muffin the Mule.
Created in partnership with the Department of Film and Television Studies at the University of Warwick, staff say the exhibition ‘could not be timelier’ with new series of Danger Mouse, Clangers and Teletubbies all set for broadcast later this year.
As well as the historic artefacts, the exhibition will also take a look at some of the latest programming for children and their families – including the increasingly popular apps which are transforming the way young people access programmes.
Also supporting the exhibition, Robert Seatter, Head of BBC History, said: “With over 70 years of wonderful programmes to call upon, we are really keen that there will be something for everyone to enjoy in this exhibition.
“We hope to see grandparents, parents and children all coming face to face with their favourite childhood characters and broadcast moments both past and present, proving the enduring appeal of children’s television.”
The free exhibition is open at The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum from Friday, May 22 until Sunday, September 13.
Other pieces on display in the exhibition include:
- Morph – original from Aardman
- Grange Hill uniform and original scripts
- SuperTed original artwork
- Original Pingu model
- Original characters from Cockleshell Bay
- Original Toad from Wind in the Willows
- Humpty and Little Ted from Playschool
- Original Mr Benn artwork
- Jess the cat from Postman Pat
- Isabel from the BBC’s latest Furchester Hotel
- A full set of Blue Peter Badges
- A brand new Clanger from the new series
Observer photographer, Jon Mullis, went down to the gallery and took these exclusive snaps before the items were put behind glass ahead of the exhibition’s opening.