Stay Tooned (BBC1, 1990-1996)
Now one thing that I really do like to watch on TV are cartoons, as I’m sure you’ve realised by now. I’m fairly sure that this show wasn’t ever shown as part of CBBC, as it was usually on weekend afternoons, but it definitely contained plenty that was enjoyable for younger viewers. Stay Tooned was a show that was all about the history of cartoons from all over the world.
There would be a look back at various characters, along with the stories about how they were created, and the people who worked behind the scenes to do this. The host was Tony Robinson, who had just finished the final series of Blackadder, and he was becoming known to CBBC viewers for his great sitcom Maid Marian And Her Merry Men.
A lot of cartoons from the archive would be shown, and these included what was produced by Warner Brothers, who were behind a huge amount of very successful and enduring characters, Bugs Bunny being one of them. The world of animation has definitely changed a lot over the years, and there was a look at the early days, right up to the present of computer-generated films.
And of course the people who provided the voices of the characters were profiled, as they played an important part in the whole process as well. There was also a look at less famous characters, trying to work out why some simply failed. But whether it was Woody Woodpecker, or Betty Boop, or anyone like that, there was a interesting story behind all of them.
Thinking about Stay Tooned again reminded me of when there would be some rather old cartoons shown on the TV, usually in the afternoon, to fill a small gap in the schedule. This almost always seemed to be Tom And Jerry, and they must’ve all be shown eventually, right into the 90s. I also remember Popeye being shown a lot, along with many others.
It really does go to show you what you can do with some pens, a few tins of paint, and your imagination. Stay Tooned ran for about six years, I’m not sure why this came to an end, maybe it was time for Tony to go off and rehearse for My Wonderful Life, but his enthusiasm for these cartoons was clear. There was also a repeat run in a morning slot on BBC2 in 1997.