Lizzie Dripping – 1973
We’re always looking out for those comedies or just good old fashioned TV programs that have disappeared from memory and never get a mention or a repeat outing. If you’re of a certain age here’s a trip down memory lane with former Blue Peter presenter Tina Heath in the title role.
It was in 1972 when makers of the then long running kids TV show Jackanory decided to develop a new story telling format alongside their existing successful show. The result was Jackanory Playhouse, a full-cast anthology series dramatizing traditional folk tales. However a chance to produce something by notable children’s author, Helen Cresswell, meant an exception to the rules. The BBC commissioned her to write a wholly original play, the result was: Lizzie Dripping and the Orphans. This was screened in December 1972.
The play was a success and a full series was ordered. The first series was written specifically for television as it followed on so closely from the original play, the second series however, screened in 1975 was adapted for television from three Lizzie Dripping books that Helen Cresswell had published in 1974. Running for two series in 1973 and 1975, Lizzie Dripping only ever amassed eight episodes (four per series).
Tina Heath who played the title role and provided narration for the series went on to become a Blue Peter presenter, briefly between 1979 and 1980.
Although a series each episode was an individual story in it’s own right.
Set in the country village of Little Hemlock, where a young girl, Penelope, with a vivid imagination encounters a local witch (played by Sonia Dresdel), the problem is only she can see and hear her.
Things become rather complicated by the fact that Penelope has established a reputation for being an imaginative liar, this makes it difficult for her to convince others that her witch is real.
Candida Lucy Rowe
Written By: Helen Cresswell
Original Transmission Dates: 13th March 1973 – 19th March 1975
No DVD release, but the children’s books are widely available