Rainbow, The Original Series, 1972
It became the butt of many a comedian’s jokes. Rainbow was the long running children’s TV show that went out on a weekday lunchtime.
It ran for a marathon 1071 episodes over twenty seven series. Episodes were typically fifteen minutes long excluding the ads.
The programme was originally conceived as a British equivalent of long-running American educational puppet series Sesame Street. However Rainbow would be developed in house by Thames Television and had no input from the American producers.
The series came to an abrupt end when Thames Television handed its ITV franchise over to Carlton Television on New Year’s Eve 1992.
There have been two revivals of the show neither as successful as the original but that’s another story for another post.
Each episode of Rainbow revolved around a particular activity or situation that would arise in the Rainbow House, where the main characters lived.
Usually, it would involve some kind of squabble or dispute between the puppet characters of Zippy, George and Bungle, and Geoffrey’s attempts to calm them down and keep the peace.
There would be a musical interlude and stories read from the Rainbow storybook, usually by Geoffrey.
Bungle – John Leeson
Zippy – Peter Hawkins
George – Roy Skelton
Sunshine and Mooney – Violet Yeomans
Ronnie Le Drew
Created By; Pamela Lonsdale
Produced By: Thames Television for ITV