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Play School

620 of 1160 nominations

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Play School

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Play School

"Which window will it be?" "What day is it today?" "What’s under the clock?"

These were just some of the questions that gripped generations of pre-school children, who tuned in to the BBC’s flagship show from 1964 to 1988. Play School made history on two counts: it was the first children’s programme to be broadcast in colour and, thanks to a power failure that scuppered a grand opening schedule, was the first ever programme broadcast on BBC2.

It was also innovative, in that it used ever-perky human presenters for its combination of educational song, dance and games, rather than puppets à la Andy Pandy and pals. Brian Cant was the longest-serving of them, but others included Floella Benjamin and Johnny "Father of Zoe" Ball. The Play School toys, including Jemima the rag doll, Humpty, and the possibly related Big Ted and Little Ted, can still be seen at the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television at Bradford.

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Your comments

The show Play School was the first ever programme broadcast on BBC2 in April 1964. Without the show there would be no Brian Cant and Trumpton, no Johnny Ball teaching us about maths and science, no Fred Harris teaching us how to use our computers... Not forgetting the Toys as well, Humpty, Jemima, Big Ted and Little Ted... Without Playschool there would be no television for pre-school children, no Rainbow and no Tweenies...

Robert Williams


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I believe rice, peas and jerk chicken is an Icon of England.

Ade Adeluwoye

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