Friday, 24 June 2011

Back To The 80s - Part 2: Wacaday! Look at everyone at home and say blairrrr!!

Ok, this just suddenly occurred to me. One of the best TV shows ever when I was a kid was Wacaday! I remember getting up early Saturday mornings - I used to get up stinkingly early - about 5am! I must have been insane!! I remember getting up so early that there would be literally nothing on the TV except that scary test card girl with the creepy clown doll.

Anyway, I remember sitting and watching all these odd shows in the mornings - Will Quackquack, Ludwig, Fred Bassett and all sorts of other weird and wonderful crap! But the one I really loved was the Wide Awake Club - shortened to WAC. It used to have Tommy Boyd and some other people on it whose names I can't remember now... although I can still see their faces in my mind's eye. It was cool (except the Mini Pops - why do adults think kids want to watch other kids trying to act cool on TV? I wonder how often those kids got beaten up by their peers?) and it introduced us to the one and only Timmy Mallett! I seem to recall he joined it later on.

Not sure whether I should admit this but Timmy Mallett was my hero when I was a kid! I wanted to be just like him - I remeber once going to a fancy dress party with the glasses, crazy shirt and a big home made mallet to hit people with!

When WAC spawned WAC-A-Day during the school holidays (see, it was on every day - see what they did there?) it became Timmy Mallett's own gig. He hosted sometimes by himself and sometimes with the lovely Michaela Strachan (yep - the one that does all the animal shows now). I used to get up and watch it religiously. I used to feel bad if I overslept and missed it (that happened a few times as I got older).

I used to stick plasters on myself in odd places. I used to do the W wave at the TV. I got a Pinky Punky one Christmas. Then, one day, Timmy Mallet came to my home town for a carnival. I remember my Dad telling me and I had to go! Well, there we were - hundreds of people lined up for the carnival. For some reason some of us were standing in the road when I saw Timmy Mallett apparoaching. I was far too shy to call out to my hero - I was going to be content with just watching from the sidelines. But my Dad had no fear! He called out "Mr. Mallett! Mr. Mallett!" just like Pinky Punky and over comes Timmy Mallett! Well, I'm in a bit of a daze - I wasn't expecting that. For some reason I'm momentarily fascinated with Mr. Mallett's shoes - well, they were quite funky - but I suddnely hear a voice ask "this one?" and the next thing I know he's got his arm around me and my Dad takes quite possibly the best pic an 8 or 9 year old can ever have taken! A quick "thankyou" and he was off on his way! I still remember that moment and I still ahve the pic somewhere too.

You no doubt think I'm very sad but cut me some slack - I was just a kid! I remember it for several reasons. 1. I met my childhood hero and have a momento to prove it. 2. It proved that my Dad was the best father ever - and that he had no problem in being silly to get the attention of his son's hero! 3. It was just a great moment - one of those ones you'll always remember.

Anyway, Wac-A-Day ended when TV-AM lost their franchise to the awful GMTV. Gone was Timmy Mallett with his funky dress sense, crazy sense of humour and just all round sense of fun. What did GMTV replace it with? Simon Parkinson. Making something crap out of cardboard (that's all I can remember). I'm sure Mr. Parkinson is a really nice guy but... come on! He was never going to live up to Lord Timmy of Mallett!

I think they tried some other shows with Timmy Mallett. A show called Utterly Brilliant and some game show thing on The Children's Channel... I also remember he was in a really cool show on CITV that I cannot for the life of me remember the name of. He had to team up with other celebs like Neil Buchanan and some others and get from one place to another, doing challenges along the way. I think they went around in a bus... No idea what it was called but I loved it!

These days I believe Timmy Mallett does a lot of painting - he's a good artist from what I remember (careful now!) and he has his own website with Timmy memorabilia too.

And you know what? I still think he's cool!

I think Pinky Punky and Magic The Cockateil formed their own progressive rock band but it fell apart when Magic's crack habit and wild orgies took their toll. As Timmy used to say, that's a true story as I just made it up myself!

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