Play Away – 1971
A sister program to the popular pre-school children’s TV program, Playschool. Play Away was was the BBC Saturday afternoon show that ran for a mammoth thirteen years, clocking up an impressive one hundred and ninety episodes.
Aimed at a slightly older children than it’s sister program, Play Away was a much more lively show with a host of regular presenters taking part at any one time.
The first eight series were shot in a studio, usually at BBC Television Centre, London, although certain episodes were recorded in Bristol or Manchester. Later episodes were recorded in front of a live studio audience.
Sadly much of the original series has been deleted from the archives as recently as the early 1990’s.
A whole host of famous names started out in Play Away, take a look at the cast and see how many you recognise.
The format was a little like a music-hall variety show or ‘end-of-the-pier’ show. The first series mixed films of children at play with links, makes and songs from Brian Cant and team in studio. The series would soon become known for it’s groan-inducing humour. As the series progressed the films were phased out, in favour of more of the infectious studio tomfoolery, jokes and comic songs.
John W. Hyde (as John Hyde)
Ian White (1984)