the utterly brilliant cocketiel was easily one of the
most popular parts of Wacaday.
was named as such, because he was given to Timmy by a
magician. The name certainly suited, though, because Magic
soon became adept at performing a whole range of tricks!
clever cocketiel even appeared in his own cartoons on
the programme and won an army of admirers who would send
him in all sorts of presents and pictures...and Magic
would show his appreciation by eating them, of course.
Magic giving out his special Magic Word at the
beginning of each show? And did you ever notice the bit
of blue silk ribbon that Magic loved and would always
would never have been the success it was without the most
wonderful co star in the world. It was always fun and
Magic even had his own car to bring him into the studio!
after the show, many mornings would be spent trying to
coax him down from the lighting rig! "Come on Magic!
Time to go home!"
favourite trick was to fly to the red light on top of
the camera and his tail would hang down in front of the
lens - a lovely grey blur across the shot!
the cameraman was forever scared Magic would plop on his
head, which of course he did!
teamed up with parent show WAC for Christmas 85's fantastically
panto was a crazy drean sequence that lasted the full
length of the Wide Awake Club the Saturday before
Tommy, Arabella and James were joined by regulars Dr
Pete, Charles Golding, acrobat Sally Dewhurst and (now
GMTV soap queen) Tina Baker. Are You Awake Yet? stars
"Down Town" Julie Brown, Pete Gosling and
Terry helped out too, as did Gyles Brandreth and a couple
of members of the WAC production team!
happened? No idea - it was far too complicated to actually
moments included the song and dance finale number and
Timmy dressed as a fairy of course!!
make things even more bizzare, many of WAC's usual features
were cunningly included into the story...So the starving
castaways made a WAC SNAX, Sally Dewhurt was
challenged to a game of Bonk 'n' Boob and there
were even the Questions on the cards!
bonkers TV, but loads of fun!
still not sure what the story was about but what a triumph
to knit together this whole Children's department crew
and the other characters who found their way in!
was the team from Are you Awake Yet? Wide Awake Club,
Wac Extra, Wacaday and more
Childrens TV shows do Christmas pantos nowadays but
I reckon ours has a place somewhere in the annals -
probably just in the index!
on a desert Island...Or is it Mad Lizzie's exercise
could have dressed more colourfully, Howard Jones!
Henry sings the Wacaday theme tune!
welcomed loads of guests into the chaos over the first
couple of years. The likes of Kylie Minogue,
Jason Donovan, Howard Jones, Lenny Henry, Bjorn
from Abba, Ruby Turner and Su Pollard all joined in
would be asked to pull questions out of the big pink
bin as well as chatting to Timmy about their latest
Donovan had a great time on the show - appearing in
disguise throughout the show as a secret agent (it was
Timmy Bond day) before revealing himself and playing
a special game of Mallett's Mallet!
Lenny Henry popped in to sing the Wacaday theme tune
- he knew all the words!
course, most of the time the guests were just Tommy
Boyd or Lizzie Webb.
1987 celebrity guests had stopped being a regular part
of the show - but if the star was big enough, there
was still a place on Wacaday for them!
of the guests were left over from Good Morning Britain!
They would only come on the TVam sofa if they were able
to appear on Wacaday afterwards!
all knew what real telly was and where their audience
really wanted to see them!
not joining the WAC team until 1986, Michaela actually
appeared on the Wide Awake Club pilot in 1985.
a great moment she performed ina dance group called
Wacky Feet, complete in purple leotard!
was spotted by the WAC team who thought she would be
great for the show and, sure enough, she was! Why was
she spotted? Well, she was the only one who smiled for
proved such a star that she joined Timmy for two series
of Wacaday - Summer 1987 (remember Michaela's
Map?) and Summer 1989. Timmy and Michaela also hosted
WAC Extra on Sunday mornings together where they
played Singing In The Shower and Silly Senses.
in the right place at the right time lead to Michaela
becoming part of the WAC team! Michaela is adorable!
silly senses, singing in the shower, yelling Flipper
goes Floppy! All these things were just made utterly
wonderful with Michaela laughing away alongside me!
just introduce a cartoon when you can do some weird
shows like Go Botts, Transformers and
Flipper all got the WAC treatment in their introductions...Do
you remember the shout "Go Botts Go Botty"
accomponied by the obligitary arm thrust?!
Michaela and the kids would happily pretend to be a
dolphin spasming for the introduction to Flipper, while
the Transformers actions required you to transform all
the way to the ground - quite strenuous for 8.30 in
a look at the actions on the left.....and why not give
them a go! We can accept no responsibilities for slipped
discs, after all you're not 8 anymore.
has to be a bonkers way to introduce stuff and we found
always seemed to find it!
favourite though has to be the link into the break a
song with the hardest lyrics ever and a tune that went
on to resonate around football stadiums across the nation
- "stay tuned wideawakers, there's more to come
on .wacaday wacaday wacaday .!"
many, the ultimate highlight of Wacaday, Mallett's
Mallet was the best example of the educational-but-fun
mould of games so brilliantly created on Wide Awake
Club (think Silly Senses, Bonk 'n' Boob etc!)
what made Mallett's Mallet so great? Was it the simplicity
of the word association? The ropey prizes (Wham LP's
all round) on offer? The mega-fast rules? Or was it
just the fact that everyone wantedto be hit by the mallet?!
in Summer 1986 the original mallet was so heavy Timmy
could hardly lift it! But the game fast became a hugely
popular part of the show...
rules got faster, the plasters got wackier and the Magic
Word was added later (simply say Magic's secret
word of the day and win a great prize).
a word, hesitate or say something irerelevant and you
get a bash on the head from the mallet.
only thing better than winning Mallett's Mallet was
losing! - after all everyone wanted the chance to get
the Wacky Plaster and wave their chin/ear/cheek
at the nation!
don't mention the rubbish hit-the-button-not-the-kids-heads
still plays Mallett's Mallet at his gigs over the country...So
there's still a chance to look at each other and
say bleugh! Why Bleugh? Why not!
you alright with this, Timmy? Because for the rest of
time people are going to associate you with it "
Every day people still ask "where's your mallet?"
hit me with your mallet, please please please "
It's the easiest game of all time to understand and
the hardest game to play. Just try it - after you've
mastered the rules!
1987 Timmy travelled the world with Wacaday. From Australia
to France, Egypt to Gilbraltor, Ireland to the USA and China
to Jordan.....If it was a country, then Wacaday would visit
daily reports would be played each day, with each series
being themed around a country or continent. (WAC Asia for
Summer 89, Majorca for Summer 87 and Jordan for Christmas
day would be different - sometimes we'd learn about a historical
story (told in that unique Timmy way) - remember the time
when Timmy won the French recvlution single-handedly?! Sometimes
we would find out about local stuff and meet Timmy's bizzare
cousins (all played by him, of course).
of the favourites included Timmy Bond: The Man with the
Golden Mallet in Thailand, Wacadile Dundee and
Mr T in a tea plantation in Malaysia.
was tons of other stuff too. In Kenya Timmy demonstrated
how water runs opposite ways down the sink on each side
of the equator. In The Land of the Midnight Sun, Timmy demonstrated
how the sun never sets. And he Dug an escape tunnel out
of Colditz knocked down the Bleigh-lin wall with his mallet
and kissed the Blarney stone!!
has a favourite story that they remember most - often something
historical that they learnt from Wacaday rather than school.
favourite place I ever went to? All of them! Stories were
vaguely planned and then everyone would suggest jokes to
try. We filmed them all, laughed like crazy and then went
onto the next place. One thing I always insisted on - no
voice over. All comments were done on location - out of
respect and to give people a chance to join in and enjoy
aborigines, soviet soldiers, and zulu warriors all enjoyed
us being part of their extraordinary customs.
up was an important part of Wacaday! The great tales Fables,
Parables and Miracles and Heroes, Heroines, Villains,
Villainesses were regularly told over the first couple
were often mad, usually funny - and regularly included little
dance routines! Sometimes they were even true!
Tommy and Michaela dressed up as everything from King Kong,
to Victorian policemen and jungle adventurers!
me a costume, a nutty disguise and a good story and lets
go! Heroes and heroines went on to become true legends of
Wacaday - how do we know? "we made them up ourselves!"
Jason and the wacanoughts etc. There's a whole treasure
chest of bizarre wacaday costumes in the attic.
had more sayings than a secret society. There was virtually
an entire language of WAC terms...
the Wac-A-Wave, W-moats (just draw a W in the sand), the
WAC Pac you could win, or was it the WAC Sac...and then
there were the phrases Wide Awakers (referring to the
faithful viewers) and of course The Show Your Telly
Was Made For!
lingo developed a great relationship between Timmy and
the viewers...It was like a secret club that not many
people knew was about.
theme devloped further with gags and phrases for the foreign
trips...Top Wacaday gags like there's NOR-WAY it's Norway
and Wac like an Egyptian. Plus the crazy Aussie sayings
Timmy picked up from his mate Steve Bingham - remember
Linga Longa in Yarrawonga?!
Some English graduate once wrote in to ask for a copy
of the script because he was writing a thesis on the use
of language in TV and found Wacaday an unusual example
the producer replied "sadly we don't have a script.
We don't know what he's going to say, or what it means
either. If you ever find out, please let us know!"
- there's Pinky on the top left...and spot the awful prototype
Pinky on the bottom right?!
got a name for the mallet?!
Mallett, Mr Mallett, Can I go to the toilet?!
Punky wearing his cool New York cap!
PUNKY GETS HIS NAME
Punky arrived in the summer of 1990. It was a Greek
themed series that alao included the game Chat and Splat
and the infamous Wac a Letter Box.
minature mallet appeared first as an inanimate object usually
residing at the back of shot. Not only did he not talk -
he didn't even have a name! And he didn't even know what
a toilet was!
were invited to send in their name suggestions for the mallet...These
included Utterly Utterly Punky and Mallett's Mallet's
few weeks later the lovable mallet got his name...But the
production team had lost the name of the girl who dreamt
it up and so Pinky Punky's roots appeared to be lost forever!
2004 in Sleaford,
Linconshire! After one of Timmy's Wacaday gigs,
Little approached Timmy to say it was her who had
come up with the name all those years ago...
catchphrase is Mr Mallett, Mr Mallett, Can I go to the
has remained a good friend of Timmy's and has popped up
on Timmy Towers and his recent radio show. You can also
buy your own in the shop!
who remembers Hanky Panky (Pinky's sister) and Uncle
I wanted the mallet to be something to cuddle so I
drew a face and gave the design to my friend Robert Lewy
who made the first Pinky Punky.
Punky then went onto become the voice and face of the audience
by popping up with excited comments the most memorable of
which was "Mr Mallett, can I go to the toilet?!"
He's very loveable, very pink and extremely punky!
conquered everything on Wacaday in 1986 and 87...The Timmy
learns to... series saw Timmy tackle everything from
horse riding to diving and windsurfing...Why? Because
there wasn't enough money to go abroad yet!
learnt to ride in Summer 1986 which included that infamous
clip that always crops up on outtake shows....Timmy grabs
onto the branch and it snaps! Another memorable occasion
saw Timmy try to feed sausage and chips to a horse!
every report seemed to end with Timmy falling off something....just
how many different ways can you fall off things?!
idea - if only I'd kept it all up. Like my mum said "practice
Timmy, you have to keep practising "and as I
say to my son "I know everything me - apart from
the things I don't know .!"
Magic goes to Bleughmeny/Bleugh, Bleugh, Bleugh, Bleugh,
and Magic meet Steven Speielbleugh!
of the best parts of Wacaday was Magic's cartoons. Drawn
by top cartoonist Ash, the adventurers followed Timmy
and Magic going all over the world doing all sorts of
to the Future....Timmy goes to Hollywood...and Magic goes
to Bleughmeny....All these and other great cartoons
featured over the years.
were great adventures like when Magic built a time machine
and went back in time...And remember when Timmy and Magic
met Steven Spielbleugh?!
cartoons span off into their own comic (the rare last
few copies can still be bought in the Timmy shop) which
was drawn by Craig Davison and featured loads more great
adventures, puzzles and games...Remember Mallett Man?
Ash wrote the stories and drew the pictures. Everything
was big and exciting and colourful except one thing Magic!
The most colourful bird in history was only ever drawn
grey. Why? Because Ash was the only person left in the
world with a black and white telly! "I couldn't see
his yellow and white cheeks and his lovely white streak
in the tail"
were loads of different phone in games on Wacaday...but
it doesn't matter, because they were all the same!
basic premise involved answering questions to move a plastic
man/horse/something else up some steps until you got to
the top. Then you could drop your man into some shark
infested custard (this was actually just custard - no
imagination gave us names like Mallett's Mallettine
for the phone in games, though by about 1990 this was
dropped in favour of the same heading Chat and Splat
referring to every game. Though, as we said, they were
all basically the same anyway!
moments included the kids on the phone sounding distinctly
unimpressed when being made to talk to the kids in the
studio, then suddenly lighting up when talking to Timmy!
could even name your plastic man. "Who do you want
your man to be?" "My nan" etc...
inventive and easy to understand. Sadly they didn't always
work, but they always worked in THEORY.
started with the wonderful Blackie the donkey game which
colour Blackie do you want to be? Why do you call him
Blackie? Ee or, eeor, eealways calls me that!
and Splat...Egypt style for Summer 1991
Malletts Malletine...can you be-head the jelly?
remembers Timmy's utterly crazy clothes....the brighter
then there was the glasses. They were specially made by
Anglo American and got wackier and wackier over the years...Timmy's
got hundreds of pairs - and no two are the same!
you could join in at home with the bonkers fashion too.....Remember
Twin Peaks? (Just wear two caps at once!) and don't forget
to roll one leg of your trousers upp when your watching
Wacaday! Why? No idea!
it is, it musn't match!" The only rule for the wardrobe
department! And one they seemed to get perfectly right
Just as in the wacawave you can tell people you watch
the show your telly was made for by the ridiculous things
you wear and the way you wear them .one leg of your
shorts rolled up, twin peaks .
really is a simple extension of the Englishman's favourite
thing to wear. Whatever he likes and whatever he feels
comfortable in .!
were loads of great characters that popped up on Wacaday
from time to time...Remember the inanimate skeleton -
Skelly on the Telly saying "Dem Bones Dem Bones"
(really the voice of producer Peter Van Gelder in the
gallery)...or how about the postbox that would display
there was the Man from Manchester - played by Top Banana's
Mike Brosnan, who was actually Australian!
from 1991 Shaky the cameraman would nod and shake to register
old mate, Karen Walsh popped up as Aunty Boneykneecaps,
a character born on Timmy's Picadilly Radio show in the
early 80s...but she decided not to tell the boss of her
real job - reading the news on BBC 2 - that she was moonlighting
- and he promtly spotted her on the show!
always enjoyed finding something utterly bonkers to add
to the Wacaday family.
the lion, the postbox, Michael Wacson, Norman the Norman,
Its ever so easy once you get into the rhythm of it!
get to play one of the costumed characters all you needed
was to be a Wacaday researcher, or one of my mates with
a week off work!
on the Telly!
the Empire WAC Building, Christmas 1990
1988 half term came live from Aunty Boney Kneecaps' cottage
won an ostrich egg - stand on it to check its real!
- A real WAC PAC!
kid dreamt of winning a prize on Wacaday, though we're
not really sure why!
Mallett's Mallet you could get your hands on a WHAM
LP or, if you were lucky enough to lose, a Wacky
you could win the much sought after WAC PAC.
And that's why the prizes were so great...because they
were unashamedly Wacaday!
- it was a piece of band-aid with WAC written on it, but
to us viewers that was the brilliant Wacky Plaster!
while you can just imagine the bordeom of the young researchers
peeling labels off school lunchboxes and replacing them
with WAC stickers...we all craved the mighty WAC Pac.
There was even genuine thought put into the prizes contained
therein...So a successful appearance on spelling game
Bonk 'n' Boob could win you a tin of alphabet soup!
from the late 80s, correctly guessing the Magic Word
during a game of Mallett's Mallet could get you a special
prize relating to the theme of the series from Timmy's
travels...Like a teatowel for Jordan 89! Bonkers,
cheap, but genius!
the filming trips, it was always important to stop at
the souvenir shops. It didn't matter what the souvenir
was we would buy it for the set and for a prize.
Amazingly some of the prizes were quite exciting
like a bit of the Berlin wall!
the only prize anybody ever really wanted was the wonderful
The bigger the better.
undoubted stars of Wacaday were the kids...Well, after
Timmy, Magic, Pinky Punky and the perperipheral characters,
of viewers appeared on the show over the years doing all
sorts of things...Like Mallett's Mallet and the
phone in games.
the kids really excelled during Talent on the Telly
(remember the big black talent spot?!) where kids
got to show off their talents....or lack of them!
were impressionists, singers and kids doing things with
a Casio keyboard that you never thought possible...
children's show needs to have children on it.
there wasn't a studio audience though everyone thought
there was. So children would write in, researchers would
interview them on the phone and then they'd be brought
to London on the train and put up in a nice hotel with their family.
course the whole thing was then utterly different from
how they imagined it and many kids got rather tongued
Pearce, aged 9 from Barnet
performs a dance called Naughty Girl!
course, you needed to stand on the talent spot!
great thing about Wacaday was that you could write in
every competition or feature had it's own title and address
caption...whether it was Mallett's Mallet, Talent
on the Telly, Hero of the Day, Drop your
Toast, WAC Snaps or something else!
of letters poured in to Wacaday every week throughout
the holidays...Some asking to be on the show, while others
were sending in WAC Snaps (did you send in a photo
of you Wac-a-Waving on the beach?!) or posting a picture
or suggestion for show.
still gets stopped virtually every day by somebody saying
they sent in a picture that Timmy never showed!
we love the address because everyone knew it - because
it never changed! Infact Timmy still tests Wide Awakers
on it at his gigs today - and everyone knows the postcode!
reckon the address must have been read out around 5 times
every show, 65 shows a year, for over 7 years - that's
all together now...
Today everyone emails or texts so sometimes I have to
stop and check I'm not still giving out the TVam address!
There's still a box of some of the funniest letters, I bet your picture is in there still!