More TV Memories – Bug Alert.

Bug Alert (GMTV, 1996-1997, Channel 4, 2000)

You might remember when I said that I used to enjoy the programming for younger viewers at the weekend during TV-am. Well in the mid-90s, even though I was a little older and almost past the point where I would watch children’s TV regularly, I wondered what the equivalent was that was offered by TV-am’s successor GMTV. So for a while I set the video for Saturday mornings, to determine what would be my favourites from their mixture of puppets, cartoons, and so on.

One that I did enjoy was Bug Alert. This was a show that was set in a kitchen and featured puppets who were various types of creepy crawlies, and we would see what they would get up to while there were no humans around. There was a rather enjoyable mix of odd characters and among those providing the voices was Francis Wright who also voiced The Head on CITV’s Art Attack for many years. vlcsnap-01166

These included Grub Bug, who liked his food and was rather moody, Mystic Mug, a green creature with a crystal ball, Doodle Bug, who looked like they had been made out of a dirty old cloth, Plug Bug, who was silver and had a rather large nose, Buggin the worm, Grunge and Slopp, who were both green, seemed to have old mops on their head and spoke in that American “totally bogus, dude”-type voice, and Gorgon and Zola, who often told terrible jokes. vlcsnap-01167

There were also some features on Bug Alert, including creative ideas in Raid The Fridge where Grub Bug would make a meal, In The Bin, where Doodle Bug would make things out of pieces of paper, and Through The Cat Flap, where something would be observed from a cat’s point of view. There would also be a Teletubbies-style interlude showing people doing everyday activities. vlcsnap-01169

As far as I know, Bug Alert was never known on CITV, and after a gap of a few years the third and final series was shown on Channel 4 in their early-morning weekend children’s slot. There was also a slight format change, as the show was now set in a restaurant called Bug Bites which only ever seemed to have one customer. There was the usual amount of chaos though along with the regular characters and features. vlcsnap-01172

A lot of the 78 of episodes of Bug Alert have been released on VHS and DVD, and it seems that it was repeated for a few years after it ended. I must admit that I did enjoy it, although I’m not sure how many people ever saw it as it only ever seemed to be shown on the TV at around 7am. I can’t be the only one who remembers this show though I’m sure.

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