Barmy Aunt Boomerang (CBBC, 1999-2000)
This is a CBBC sitcom with a fantasy twist that I only remember watching occasionally at the time, but looking back it is an interesting show, so I thought that it was worth featuring here. Firstly, I don’t have any aunts myself, but if I did, they probably wouldn’t be like the one in this show! And also, the main character in Barmy Aunt Boomerang was played by Toyah Willcox.
Now Toyah of course was a rather quirky pop star who had lots of hit singles in the 80s, and she has also had lots of success as an actress, so it would be good seeing having a go at a children’s TV show (and I might do a piece about her music career one day too). Now clearly there was a lot of anticipation in the show, Toyah even appeared on Fully Booked to promote it and everything.
The show was created by Roy Apps, who also wrote the majority of the episodes. The idea is that one day somewhere in Scotland, Sebastian Simpkins (Richard Madden, who in more recent years has appeared in some high-profile TV drama series including Game Of Thrones which is rather fancy, isn’t it) along with his parents Kevin and Tracey, get a shock when their lives are turned upside-down after his long-lost Australian aunt turns up.
It turns out that she is the ghost of a rather successful actress who starred in the Australian soap Cobblers, and it is clear that there’s something rather unusual about her. Sebastian hasn’t been at the Irn-Bru though, it’s true. Aunt Boomerang often tries to help out Sebastian with her supernatural powers such as being able to walk through walls and appear magically when the billabongblaster is blown, but it often goes wrong.
Sebastian attends Millstone School, where the headmaster Mr Diplock, and the chair of governors Mrs Belcher (whose badly-behaved son Ashley also attends the school) are fairly sure that there is something strange about Aunt Boomerang, and they often try to expose her. Sebastian’s best friend at school is Meryl, the only one who helps him to deal with all this oddness.
There’s no doubt that Toyah put a lot of energy into her role, and as for her Australian accent, well, that really was something. There were two series of Barmy Aunt Boomerang, both featuring 15 episodes that were 15-minutes long. There has been no DVD release though, and the last time that it was spotted on TV was in a very early morning slot on BBC2 in 2004. It really was bonzer.