Melvin And Maureen’s Music-A-Grams (CBBC, 1992-1993)
I just can’t do music. Of course I am interested in music, but I wouldn’t know where to begin about how to make any myself, I just don’t seem to have any skill in that area, as much as I tried. This is a CBBC show from the 90s that I remember watching though that was all about music, and aimed to educate people about all of the various instruments and genres in a fun way. You’ll never have to wonder what an oboe is again.
Melvin And Maureen’s Music-A-Grams starred a pair who ran a shop that were eager to help people out who needed a song and could always find just the right thing for anyone. As you can imagine, their phone rang constantly. They were Melvin (Matthew Devitt) and Maureen (Sophie Aldred, who also sang the opening theme). Now most people would remember Sophie from her appearances in Doctor Who in the late-80s, but I’ve never watched that show much. I know her more from her children’s TV work, which along with this show also includes schools series Words And Pictures, Saturday Morning show Wow, and also the later series of CITV’s Zzzap!
I wouldn’t class it as a comedy show as such, but there were plenty of amusing moments and corny jokes, and most of the episodes were written by Simon “bid again, Simon!” Davies, who worked on a lot of other CBBC shows around this time including Monster Cafe (that I also reviewed a while back). There would be intervals where songs and stories would be performed, and various dance styles would also be shown. I guess you could say that this was a show where they really did like to make a song and dance about everything.
There were a few other characters who featured on the show, while Melvin was endlessly banging his drums and Maureen was doing a dance. These included a puppet bear called Groovy Ted who often spoke to the pair and tried to make some music of his own along with his friends. Not weird at all. And Melvin would think nothing of whipping out his glockenspiel at a moment’s notice either.
Every edition of Melvin And Maureen’s Music-A-Grams was 15 minutes long, and I’m fairly sure that there were two series, that were repeated on BBC2 as late as 2001. It also had a second lease of life when it was repeated on the CBBC On Choice strand in 2000, and just like many other shows it was very enjoyable to see it again. It then had an, er, third lease of life when it was repeated on CBeebies almost 15 years after it was made, but there has been no DVD release. If it even kept a tone deaf person like me entertained, then that must prove it did something right.