Very well remembered children’s mid day pre school entertainment that initially focused on elderly puppet maker Inigo Pipkin (played by George Woodbridge) and his young assistant Johnny (Wayne Laryea), they along with their puppets, Hartley Hare, the Brummie Pig, Topov the Monkey, Tortoise and the ostritch Octavia, had a little helping people agency.
Each episode also featured a story and a couple of generally not very good songs, Hartley was the real star, a boorish, often petulant, selfish little git who always wanted things his own way and would go to outrageous lengths to get them.
As the show went on Johnny left and was replaced by various other helpers including Tom and Mrs Muddle from next door.
Writers on the series included Denis Bond, Gail Renard, Johnny Byrne and Vicky Ireland.
UK / ITV Network – ATV / 313 episodes x 15 minutes and x30 minutes / Broadcast 1 January 1973 – 29 December 1981
Creators: Michael Jeans, Susan Pleat / Theme Music: Two versions, the first was written by Frank weston and Ron Roker and sung by the legendary Jackie Lee, this was later replaced by the one most people remember which features a Tubular Bells-esque pronouncing of the cast whilst Hartkey makes sure he is not forgotten.
GEORGE WOODBRIDGE as Inigo Pipkin (season one)
WAYNE LARYEA as Johnny
NIGEL PLASKITT as Hartley Hare, Tortoise and the Narrator
JUMOOKE DEBAYO as Betha
SUE NICHOLLS as Mrs Muddle
ANNE RUTTER as Sophie the Cat
JONATHAN KYDD as Tom
PADDY O’HAGEN as Peter Potter
ROYCE MILLS as Fred Pipkin
CHARLES McKEOWN as Charlie the dustman
PRESTON LOCKWOOD as The Old Gentleman
BILLY HAMON as The Genie
HEATHER TOBIAS as The Bag Lady
JANET DALE as Granny