A magical roundabout of children’s TV programmes

Johnny Morris star of Animal Magic
Johnny Morris star of Animal Magic
Ear witness Brian Whiting identified the robber's distinctive tones

THIS WEEK IN 1996: Robber caught by his voice alone

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hey were the programmes which defined our young lives with theme tunes that became earworms and remain with us forever.

Tomorrow a major exhibition examining the story of children’s television from 1946 to today opens at the City Museum, Portsmouth.

We asked readers to name their favourites.

Colin Comben came up with one from the late 1950s/early 1960s which I’d forgotten, Junior Criss Cross Quiz. The sublime Johnny Morris and his Animal Magic was another.

But, adds Colin, ‘for thrills and action you couldn’t beat William Tell’. My colleague Bob Hind remembers that David Whitfield sang the theme tune.

John Simmonds, from Cosham recalls Robinson Crusoe from the ’60s with its lilting theme music. ‘It always reminds me of summer holidays as a young child because this used to play every morning. Fond memories of long summer days.’

William Tell (Conrad Phillips) and Jennifer Jayne as his wife Hedda

William Tell (Conrad Phillips) and Jennifer Jayne as his wife Hedda

Many of you cited Robin Hood with Richard Greene in his Lincoln green in the title role.

‘As soon as the theme music played I’d get my bow and arrow out from behind the settee,’ says Tony Curl, of Fareham.

Like so many of us, Bob Hind grew up on TV Westerns, most of which were aimed at children. Rawhide, Bonanza, Champion The Wonder Horse and, of course, The Lone Ranger.

Bob says: ‘Saturdays at 5pm was the time to be in, with mum serving tea, hopefully before he came on with his horse Silver, Red Indian friend Tonto and his horse Scout. Never, ever to be missed.’

Here's a man who could buckle a fine swash - Richard Greene as Robin Hood

Here's a man who could buckle a fine swash - Richard Greene as Robin Hood

Ah, glorious days. Hi Ho Silver... away!

n Don’t miss tomorrow’s Weekend magazine in The News for a four-page feature on the exhibition. And to hear some of those unforgettable theme tunes go to portsmouth.co.uk.

Clayton Moore as the Lone Ranger astride Silver

Clayton Moore as the Lone Ranger astride Silver