Model Millie (CBBC, 1994)
My memory of this one is a little vague, but because I do remember watching, I might as well feature it because it was another quirky but short-lived CBBC show from the 90s, and you should know how much I enjoyed those by now. This was just about a sitcom, it’s one that’s rather hard to define really. But I’m sure that someone else somewhere must’ve watched this at the time too, I don’t make any of these shows up, honest.
Firstly, the word “Model” in the title doesn’t refer to Millie being a fashion model or anything like that, it’s because Millie is someone who likes to make models of things, usually houses! Millie was played by Sarah Davison (no relation to Peter I imagine!) who was also among the cast of The Tent Stop which was Friday’s edition of Playdays where they made up a story. The theme music was some rather odd trumpet noises.
Millie often travels around to get ideas about what models to make, such as maybe a farm and its various animals, or a department store, and her house seemed to be full of pieces of card that were all different colours as she began to create her model worlds. A few other characters appeared, including Trendy Wendy, played by Sue Devaney, who was also in CITV’s Spatz, but is best known for playing Debbie in Coronation Street.
Also featuring was Clumsy Roger, and as for when Aunt Barking came round, well, would you believe it. There were would also be moments when Millie would randomly burst into a song and dance, a few fantasy sequences, and she would often talk to the camera too. The combination of all this was mildly ridiculous, but the fact I can still remember some of it 25 years on means it must’ve done something right.
There was only one series of Model Millie, featuring 13 episodes that were all 15 minutes long. Unsurprisingly it hasn’t been released on VHS or DVD, but it has been rather well served by repeats. After the original run ended in the CBBC main afternoon strand in 1994, it was then repeated fairly often on BBC1 and BBC2 in various slots until 1998.
There was then a repeat run as part of the CBBC On Choice strand in the early-2000s, which as I have said several times now was a terrific chance to see lots of great shows from the 90s again. And then there was yet another repeat run on CBeebies as late as 2007, well over a decade after Model Millie was first shown. I can only imagine what the toddlers made of it.