Button Moon (CITV, 1980-1988)
Whilst I’ve been thinking again about some children’s TV shows that I remember watching in my earliest days, here’s another one that comes under the “for younger viewers” strand that I’m sure many other people enjoyed too. Button Moon was a show that featured some puppetry, and showed just how creative you could be with a few old bottles and spoons, although this only added to the show’s charm.
Button Moon was a Thames Production for ITV, along with Rainbow. The theme music was provided by Peter Davison and Sandra Dickinson, and Davison would of course go on to star in another TV show that was very popular in the 80s… Sink Or Swim, yes. In every episode the Spoon family, consisting of the parents and their daughter Tina, would get into their homemade rocket ship, and leave their own planet to fly through the sparkly air and visit the rather yellow Button Moon.
When they were about to arrive, Mr Spoon always made sure to press the round button to make sure that they landed safely, and then they would meet a wide range of unusual characters, including teddy bears, dolls, robots, and many more. The Spoon family themselves really did look like they were made out of kitchen utensils. It also seems that all of the voices were provided by only one or two people, although the Spoons never actually spoke themselves.
One regular feature would be when Mr Spoon got out his telescope and would take a look at something happening on another planet, and then a story (usually a fairytale) would be told. Then at the end, they would all get back in their rocket to return home. It was another one of those shows that blurred the line between being rather cute and rather weird. Button Moon ran for longer than most CITV shows did, with eight years altogether, and there were over 90 editions made that were all ten minutes long and repeated fairly often.
After the original run ended, Button Moon was then repeated on various channels including UK Gold, The Children’s Channel, and Nick Jr., meaning that it had definitely earned its cult status with viewers. There was also a stage show that toured the country. And as ever, there was some merchandise released, including some tapes, and I actually think that I did have one or two of these, so the show clearly did meaning something to me. And a few (but not all) editions have been released on DVD in more recent years too.