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Want the full story of Wacaday? For the first time you can find out the answers to all of those illusive questions…Whose idea was the mallet? How did the show begin? When did Wacaday start? What are the rules to Mallett's Mallet? And many many more!

With the help of the man himself - Timmy Mallett - we tell the story. Timmy's comments are in blue.

Read through the whole story, or just choose the headings below to skip to the parts you want to see…

Introduction | How did it begin? | Mallett's Mallet | Timmy's Travels | Michaela Strachan | Games | Kylie | Pinky Punky | Magic | The End...

What was Wacaday?!

Wacaday was the show your telly was made for! It was shown during school holidays on TV-am between 1985 and 1992. The programme was presented by Timmy Mallett who also presented sister show The Wide Awake Club shown on Saturday mornings.

Wacaday was a live 30 minute programme containing a mix of wacky features. Popular and long running ones included viewers' Holiday Postcards, Hero of the Day, Talent On The Telly, Wactors and Wactresses, The Manic Minute and Foreign Reports. Other one time features include The WAC-SAW puzzle, Making Things, Fingers in your Ears Time and Drop your toast in which viewers' names would be read out in the hope that at home they would drop their toast!


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How did Wacaday begin?

Wacaday started in October 1985. It began by mistake - Roland Rat left to join the BBC and we had one week to put together a replacement show. This is why the title music tells you nothing about the show - because we didn't know what would be in it.

"Its Wacaday, no school today,
here's what you got to do...
forget the post, put down the toast
we're waiting here for you..... etc"

Download the Wacaday theme here!

In the summer of 86, Mallett's Mallet began as did Timmy learns to ride, and Timmy learns to dive etc.

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Arguably the most popular feature, and one that run throughout nearly the entire run of Wacaday, was Timmy's game Mallett's Mallet. Two contestants would sit opposite each other on those pink and yellow stools linking each word they said to the last one, however these "rallies", started by Timmy, would often begin with some very unusual words to make the competition more interesting. If a contestant failed to link their next word to the last one then they would get hit on the head with Timmy's trademark - the huge pink and yellow foam mallet. The person with the most "bruises" lost - receiving a Wacky Plaster which was stuck on to any part of their face for them wave at the viewers at home, while the winner won something that ranged over the years from a Wham! LP to a Super Nintendo!

So…where did the Mallet come from?

It was invented in the summer of 1986 during a lunchtime meeting about the show…

"let's have a game"
"what about a word association game? You know Orange - banana - fruit - er"
"yeah, we bonk them on the head when they go wrong."
"What about using a mallet?"
"Mallett's Mallet!"

And the props department at TVam were asked to make one. It weighed a ton!
"Can we have it a lot lighter please?"

And the wardrobe department made a special black TOP SECRET bag to carry it in. It still travels in this bag today.

Everyone wanted to be bashed on the head "I want to know what it feels like!" Timmy has no idea of the exact number of heads but it's around a million. And that's nearly a SQUILLION!

Have you been Malletted? What did it feel like? Tell us more at wacachat.

How many Mallets have there been?

Not many! They have to be refurbished after a while. It's a bit like servicing your mallet after so many thousand heads. New covers, new linings and new insides. It's a very specialised thing making a mallet.
It has to have the cover taken off for washing and checked regularly.

Who made the Mallet?

The very first one was made by TVam props department, but as it was too heavy to use on air it was replaced by a much lighter and more user friendly mallet. Tony Stringfellow in the West Midlands is a specialist props make and he services and repairs Mallett's Mallet for Timmy. In essence it's the same Mallet that appeared on Wacaday.

Who chose the Mallet's colours?

Mallett's Mallet has a yellow stem and top bit with a pink head. The colours are Wacaday's colours.

What were the rules?

Each day's round of Mallett's Mallet was started by Timmy reciting a long list of the rules very quickly! But what exactly were his words? We asked him to reveal all...

Pay attention and listen closely!

Mallett's Mallet is a word association game, where you musn't pause, hesitate, repeat a word, or say a word I don't like... otherwise you get a bash on the head like this...or like this...the one with the most bruises loses.... look at each other and go Bleugh! Look at everyone at home and go Bleugh! Everyone at home look at them and go Bleugh!

Where did "Look at each other and go Bleugh!" come from?

It started on the first show by mistake. Timmy introduced the contestants to each other and instead of "look at each other and say hello!"
He said Bleugh!

It's pronounced BLAIR.
Or BLARE
And sometimes spelled
BLAAAAH

But Timmy usually spells it BLEUGH! And as it's his word that's the way to spell it.

What does Bleugh! mean?

We have no idea. But it sounds good doesn't it?!

And who can forget that sound effect when the mallet hit the contestant's heads? Eek Eek Bonk, Ding!!!

Download the Mallett's Mallet "Eek Eek Bonk, Ding!" sound effect here!


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Wacaday ran during each school holiday - Summer, Easter, Christmas and Half-Term weeks. 65 programme were made each year shown over 13 weeks. From 1987 each series of Wacaday became themed as reports were shown each day of Timmy visiting a particular country. The first trip was Mallett in Majorca while later locations included Egypt - who remembers WAC like an Egyptian?, France, Asia (Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia and Australia - under the title WAC Asia), Jordan, Germany (or Blermany as Timmy called it!) and Gibralta. Towards the end of Wacaday's run the set would also become themed to the country.

One of the best bits of Timmy's Travels were all the wonderful stories Timmy told.

They are all true stories Wideawakers.
How do we know?
We made them up ourselves!

Summer 1987: Mallett in Majorca

This was Timmy's first Wacaday excursion abroad and featured in an issue of Look in!

Favourite bits in this series were Timmy pouring a bucket of ice into the sea to cool it down!, bargaining UP the price in the market and paying with a big bag of Spanish Potatas! (pesetas!!)

Timmy's first on screen painting was done on this trip. The picture of a beautiful Majorcan valley was given as a present to the producer's 9 year old boy Robin.

Summer 1988: The Grand Tour

In the 18th century young men made grand tours of Europe to finish their education and see the sights. Timmy decided to do exactly the same - but different! In the summer of 1988 Timmy started out in Inverness, talking to Wackety Yaks, looking for and finding the Wacness Monster; and dancing very complicated Highland (fishing) reels!

Then he went to Holland and had some wacky Dutch clogs made, found the smallest house in Amsterdam; and put his finger in the dyke which of course saved Holland from flooding.

In Blermany Timmy met Mad King Ludwig at the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang castle and knocked some sense into him with the Mallet!

In Switzerland Timmy wanted to make a Magic Cuckoo clock and find out what happened to all the holes in the Swiss cheese.

And in Italy he did one of his daftest stunts. He dived into the Grand Canal in Venice!!!!!

Who was Spaghetti Malletti?

One of Timmy's favourite tricks was to meet his cousins in whatever country he happened to be in. Spaghetti Malletti like all Timmy's cousins looked exactly the same as Timmy and he taught Timmy how to make the leaning tower of PIZZA.

After eating the pizza, Timmy famously climbed the leaning Tower of Pisa and unfortunately knocked it down while trying to straighten it with the Mallet! It remained closed for many many years.

Wasn't Timmy a Roman Soldier once?

Oh yes! When in Rome do as the Romans do.
Like - Have a guided tour by a Roman Soldier who looks like Timmy!
Everyone knows that all roads lead to Rome and it's good luck to chuck rice for some reason.
Hence we had Timmy in a centurion's uniform trying to find a Roman road he could cross and then when he did, he ran around the Coliseum chucking rice and shouting Latin phrases like Amo Amas Amat, Waca this and Waca that!

It made sense at the time….

Who was Wacadile Timmy?

He was Crocodile Dundee's wacky mate who famously coined the phrase
"Call that a Mallet? That's not a mallet
THIS is a Mallet!"

Timmy made several Wacaday trips to Australia. Once he was found at Bondi beach surfing on an ironing board! The board had been borrowed from the hotel and there was a bit of explaining to be done because it came back utterly wrecked!

Summer 1989: Wac Asia…and the Ninger Whinger?

One of Timmy's favourite summer tours was in 1989 when he filmed the tour of WacAsia: Cancer to Capricorn. Taking in countries like Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia and Australia.

It was in Hong Kong that Timmy met a fearsome foe (who looked very much like Timmy) called the Ninger Whinger. He spent a lot of time Ninging and Whinging. We don't really know why but it looked dead funny!

In Thailand, Timmy upset the Royal Family by wearing shorts and huge numbers of ties around his neck! Timmy suddenly became the King of Siam (Yes I am, Yes I am) Etcetera, Etcetera. Watch Yul Brynor in the King and I and you'll know what he was on about.

Our favourite Timmy adventure in Malaysia involved Mr T making a cuppa in a tea plantation; and on another occasion finding Michael Jackson in a rubber plantation!

Tell us about Timmy and Bubbles the chimp…

Bubbles the chimp was Michael Jackson's best friend and he lived next door to Timmy's brother in law, Steve, in California. (that's Bubbles not Jacko). So we had a great Wacaday adventure teaching Bubbles to wacawave!

Afterwards we met some of the stars of Indiana Jones - the spiders and snakes in the Temple of Doom. Bob the trainer of Bubbles bred weird beasties for the movie industry. Unfortunately it's not easy to get the autograph of a tarantula!

Did Timmy ever go into Space?

Of course! But there wasn't much atmosphere!!! When Wacaday went to Disneyworld Florida, there was a great story at Cape Canaveral where we saw the Space Shuttle, Skylab and the Apollo Lunar landing module. Timmy tried to moonwalk! Incidentally, one of Timmy's greatest moments was shaking the hand of Commander David Scott the last of only 12 men to walk on the Moon.

Is it true Timmy fought a Zulu army in South Africa?

Yes, it was at the battle of Rorke's Drift near Isandlwana where in 1879 the British Army won 11 Victoria crosses in a single day. To recreate the battle as if really happened Timmy had a Wacaday flag, a mallet to bash his way out of the hospital (this was after he used a real sledgehammer to make some holes in the wall because the custodian on the day said he could!) Single handedly he faced a mighty regiment of Zulu warriors from the resort we stayed at. At the crucial moment Timmy and the Zulus started going Bleugh at each other and we all lived happily ever after!

What was WAC like an Egyptian?

A top dance from 1991. This was the summer of the WacAfrica tour in Egypt, Kenya and South Africa. At the pyramids Timmy was seen admiring the Sphinx (with a face and glasses rather like Timmy!) and bashing a camel to make it gallop round the pyramids at Gisa. There was a royal ruler called Queen Hatchet soup who boiled hatchets into soup, and of course the boy King Toot and come in.

Having Waced like an Egyptian all the way down the Nile, the team went to Kenya.
Kenya believe it? Of course we can!

Here our little hero went on the trail of Rory the Lion. He was a permanent fixture in the studio was Rory.

What happened to the water in the plug hole on the Equator?

One of the strangest natural effects in the world only happens on the Equator and Timmy has had so many people come up and tell him how this was one of their favourite episodes.

Walk ten paces south of the equator and the water goes down the plughole anti clockwise; ten paces north and the water goes down clockwise. On the actual equator itself it goes straight down. So Timmy proved it for the cameras. He was absolutely gob smacked to see it happen. And even more so when it was proved that vines curl in the same manner either side of the Earth's central line.

Is there really a line dividing the Indian and Atlantic Oceans?

When the Wacaday team went to the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, Timmy wanted to show where the two oceans meet.
"We'll put a line in later" said the director.
"No need" said Timmy; and he was right because right across the sea as far as the eye could see was a real live line showing where the warm waters of the Indian Ocean meet the cold grey waters of the South Atlantic Ocean.

One of Nature's great mysteries revealed on Wacaday!

What's the coldest place Timmy's been to?

That'll be the North Cape of Norway, where you are nearer to Canada over the North Pole than you are to London. It was mid summer 1990 and Timmy was in the Land of the Midnight Sun. At one o'clock in the morning (strangely Norway has daylight saving!) Timmy stood on top of a 300-metre cliff looking out across the sea towards the Arctic in full sunlight!

The oddest sensation was that although the sun never set, there was a definite difference in the warm light of evening and an hour or so later the cold light of a dawn that never was. "Ooh er missus, weird or what?!"

Listen to Timmy's podcast on this adventure!

And the weirdest place?

Dead easy - the Dead Sea! Yikes it's odd. Timmy in his stripey fluorescent trunks paddled out to the water's edge and found himself floating like a cork in this slimy, thick, heavy, water. It's not a nice sensation at all; and the joke is that you can't sink; no matter how hard you try and bob down you can't; so Timmy lay back and read his comic.

What Bible stories did Timmy do?

In Jordan, Wacaday was able to tell the story of Moses parting the red sea (since when did Moses have big colourful specs?) and leading his people to the land of milk and honey (cos there wasn't any ice cream and jelly).

One of our favourite Wacaday stories was the Nativity. They came to Bethlehem on a donkey. Joseph leading Mary (played by Lynda Mallett who had on a pair of reeboks poking out from under her jalaba!)….but there was no room at the Inn (shown by the director's hand waving them away towards the stable). In the stable the little baby Jesus was born and Pinky Punky sang Away in a Manger to him. It was very moving.

Wasn't there a story about the fourth wise man?

Petra, the Rose Red City (half as old as time) was used as a location in another great Tim-diana jones adventure: Timdiana Jones and the fourth wise man.
One day Timdiana Jones bit a piece out his dead sea (bread) roll and in it was a map leading thataway…..
Leaping on a handy horse he raced down to Petra and met Fritz Hamburger of the Nasty party who was being nasty to the fourth wise man. A quick Malletting and some Timmy type nonsense later the fourth wise man was safe.
"And tell me what was your gift for the baby Jesus?"
"I brought him this - a T shirt and a lollipop!"

Weren't the French peasants revolting?

Absolutely. Timmy led the French revolution against the baddies. The peasants (also called the San Cullotes meaning - no trousers) had no food, no freedom, nobility, and no trousers! So Timmy ran around Versailles shouting for his trousers while Marie Antoinette (who looked remarkably like Timmy) went around offering out cakes to all the peasants who were visiting!

 

Take a look at some of the photos collected over the years from the various filming trips. Click on each one to make the picture bigger...

The Ninger Whinger Timmy Mallett...In Shepton Mallet! Timmy Bond - The Man With The Golden Mallet! Sir Walter Raleigh The War of the Roses Brunehilder Von Brookes - Austria's 39th most popular DJ! Keep off the grass! Hans Knees I am the King of Siam - yes I am, yes I am, yes I am! Mallett in Majorca - Summer 1987 Mr T, Mount Cameron, Malaysia


Wasn't Michaela sometimes on Wacaday?

Yes - For a series in 1987 and in 1989, The Wide Awake Club's Michaela Strachan joined Timmy as co-presenter on Wacaday. She joined in the fun with Timmy helping on all the usual features as well as doing film reviews, fashion slots etc. Later she got her own show - called Michaela of course!


Each edition of Wacaday would always end with a phone in game…But what were they?

In fourteen hundred and ninety two, Columbus sailed the ocean Bleugh!
A great quiz where we splatted your teacher or best friend into the bowl of jelly.

Shark Infested Custard
Answer the question correctly and make the 5 part mallet up. Then pull the lever and the mallet clonks the lever which flicks the boot which kicks the ball which runs around the rails and drops onto the seesaw and flips Michael Wacson into the bowl of shark infested custard.
This prop is still in Timmy's collection.

Blackie the donkey (eeyore, eeyore ee always calls me that!)
What colour would you like your Blackie to be?!
This was a fun donkey racing game. Get the question right and your Blackie would run forward another space towards the winning line!

Manic Minute
Just like hangman, but completely different. Guess the popstar before the minute is up! There was also the Movie Minute…you can probably guess what happened in that!

Wacsaw puzzle
Answer a question to get a piece of puzzle and work who the pop star is!

Mallett's Malletine
Every question right moved the mallet up another notch then you could let it go into the bowl of jelly and splat!
It's a massive heavy prop and for many years was stored in Carol Vorderman's shed!


Norway ski slope
A wonderful ski slope where your little man climbed up the stairs with each right answer and finally skied at top speed down the hill and into the bowl of shark infested ice cream!
This lovely little prop has been a favourite sandpit toy for little Billy Mallett!

How much does a Grecian Urn?
Build the pillars of the Greek temple (one for every question correctly answered , then our little Grecian Urn can fall off the top into the Greek Yoghurt!

The Horrible Haggis
A complicated lever controlled haggis in a kilt that ran across the top of a Scottish castle and kicked the little man into porridge!



Does anyone remember when Kylie popped into the Wacaday studio to be a guest? It was when she first came over to England in 1988...And will Kylie ever appear with Timmy again on the telly? She should be so lucky!

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In 1990 a new character was introduced. This minature version of Timmy's pink and yellow mallet that wore clothes, had a face and talked, was originally un-named. Viewers were invited in to suggest names and Pinky Punky was eventually chosen. We asked Timmy to take up the story...

A little girl wrote in with suggestions from all her family. I liked the name Pinky Punky so much I chose it. Unfortunately, we lost her letter so I have no idea what her name was. Shame because I'd like to thank her. It was half way through the summer of 1990 that he got his famous catchphrase... Mr Mallett, Mr Mallett, can I go to the toilet?.

Are you that girl? If so, GET IN TOUCH!!!

Replica Pinky Punky's were made for viewers to buy - and are still available. See here for more information.

On the penultimate edition of Wacaday, ever, a contestant on Mallett's Mallet brought Timmy a present - Hanky Panky - Pinky Punky's sister which she had made herself! Timmy was so impressed that he had Hanky Panky made into a toy and was available to buy. She most recently appeared on on Timmy Towers - Timmy's CITV show. As with Pinky Punky's constant want for the toilet, Hanky Panky always needs to sneeze!


One of the most loved features of Wacaday that lasted the whole history of the show was Magic. Magic was Timmy's pet cocketial, and every series he would feature, but not just in the background, actually taking part - sometimes even seen through the technological wonders of the Magicam (a camera placed inside his cage) and even in a specially drawn cartoon - for example WAC to the future which was drawn for Christmas 1989.

I'm hungry! Send me something to eat - birdseed, your brother, or one of these tasty cockatieeeeeeeeeee-mails!


Sadly, with the demise of TV-am in 1992 came the end of Wacaday. Timmy is still very much in the business, though. He runs his own production company Brilliant TV which makes his own show Timmy Towers which was shown recently on CITV. Since Wacaday finished Timmy has also presented many other programmes including Utterly Brilliant, Questions, Way to Go and Around the World in 80 Seconds.


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Is there a bit about Wacaday's history that you still want to know?

You can ask Timmy your questions on the Wac-A-Questions page...and he'll answer them personally!






Catherine loves her Pinky Punky...have you got yours yet?
Get it in the SHOP!