The Pig Attraction (CITV, 1993)
This is yet another show that was on CITV in the 90s, and there is something rather unusual that I remember about it. For a short while on CITV, there would be a feature where several shows would be previewed with information shown very quickly, and the only way that it could be read was if it was recorded and then paused (Bad Influence and How 2 also memorably used this technique), so people had to get a tape ready during the break.
One of the shows that was featured was The Pig Attraction, where we were informed “Billy claims he was once a sunbathing extra on Baywatch“. Oh really? I thought that it might be a good idea to give this one a review. A large amount of children’s shows over the years have featured puppetry, and not all of them have been incredibly creepy, honest. And this was a show all about puppetry and how it worked.
I have often done the joke that the puppets on children’s TV have often managed to outsmart their human colleagues, but that wouldn’t be the case here, as this one was hosted by an actual puppet, who was Billy The Pig. The show was done in the style of an entertainment and chat show that was set at a station called PTV, where plenty happened behind the scenes. All of the guests were puppets who were interviewed by Billy, who wore a horrible sparkly suit.
Guests included Gilbert The Alien, Big Bird from Sesame Street, various fluffy things from What’s Up Doc?, and Roland Rat (a character who has had a rather fascinating career that I plan to get round to reviewing one day). Helping out on the show was Simon (bid again, Simon!) Buckley, who has operated and voiced a huge amount of puppets on TV, including dear old Nobby The Sheep. It was definitely a creative way for viewers to discover more about this area of entertainment.
There was also a look behind the scenes at how various puppets were used, and making a contribution were the porcine double-act Pinky And Perky, who performed some hit singles in their high-pitched style. There was only one series of The Pig Attraction that ran for ten editions, and some of the Pinky And Perky songs that featured were released on a tie-in album. I didn’t buy it myself, but I suppose that someone somewhere did. I don’t ever remember seeing Billy on TV again after this, I wonder where he is now.