Totally Tiswas – Original Script

To celebrate the return of Tiswas to our screens on ITV1 during the evening of Saturday 16th June 2007, Lee Bannister produced an UpAndHappy! Radio Special which aired on that very morning on WCR FM in Wolverhampton.

What follows is my original script for the radio show, alongside which you’ll be able to see full details of all the music used in the show. If you missed the programme when it first went out, you can listen to a specially extended version.

Click here to play hour 1 extended version
Click here to play hour 2 extended version

So here’s the script – this is what you want!


Saturday 16th June 2007 – 10.00am – Hour 1

Good morning, it’s Saturday Morning, just after 10 and it’s time for an UpAndHappy! Special with me, Lee B… and me, the Nikkster. So let us take you back in time to a more innocent age, the late 70s and early 80s and we’ll go Totally Tiswas!

>>Tiswas Theme<<

Details of music used in the programme, where known. For any corrections/additions, please get in touch:

Watch It Theme – “Dragster”

ATV Ident – “Zoom 2” Written by Wally Stott

“Saturday Is Tiswas Day” Performed by Tom Bright & Suzy Breeze Words & Music by Tom Bright Published by Interworld / RAK / Yellow Balloon Music

Yes, this was Tiswas, and this is Totally Tiswas, a 2-hour celebration of Saturday Morning Telly of years gone by, to celebrate the fact that for one night only… tonight… Tiswas is back – Tiswas Reunited, tonight on ITV1. But what was it all about, well Tiswas stood for “Today Is Saturday, Watch And Smile”… and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

It was where your Saturday Morning entertainment on TV really came from. It ran from January 1974 until April 1982, and Chris Tarrant was there for most of that time. Along the way, he was assisted by actress and presenter Sally James, John Gorman – from the 60s group ‘The Scaffold’, Bob Carolgees – who has a couple of friends called Spit the Dog and Charlie the Monkey – erm… oh yeah, and a little known local comedian (from Dudley) by the name of Lenny Henry.

Now, what we’ve got for you during the next 2 hours is a bunch of sketches and songs performed by the Tiswas team, some fascinating facts about the show, and we’ve got some exclusive interviews with some of the stars of Tiswas itself.

So let’s go right back to the beginning (ATV Ident, runs backwards).

ATV Ident running backwards.

Its 10 AM, the first Saturday morning of 1974, and a programme called “Today Is Saturday or the Tis-was Show” is coming on ATV in the Midlands. It’s a new kind of children’s TV magazine show, presented by local announcer Peter Tomlinson alongside actor and singer John Asher and local news reporter Chris Tarrant. So how had it all come about, well last year I spoke to Peter Tomlinson and asked him exactly that:

>>Peter Tomlinson Interview 1<<

Later on, a caller called Jackie brought back a couple of memories of the early days…

>>Peter Tomlinson Interview 2<<

Tiswas carried on in the Midlands for a couple of years stringing together Cartoons, Pop Videos, Film Clips and Competitions for the young audience in much the same way as they still do today.

The difference was that no-one had ever done it before and because it was live, anything could happen. Plus, very early on they decided to make use of the classic slapstick device of chucking Custard Pies and Buckets of Water over people just as the old black & white comedies had done!

The kids loved it and slowly the other ITV regions around the country spotted what was going on too and made sure that it was shown in their area. By 1976, the BBC had cottoned on too and decided that they also ought to be doing something for Children on Saturday Mornings, and so the Multi-Coloured Swap Shop, presented by Noel Edmonds, Keith Chegwin, John Craven and later Maggie Philbin, was born.

“Atomic Butterfly” (Barry Stoller) Published by Rouge Music, London Hudon Music – HRCB 17

Loyal to the end, all the cool kids stuck with Tiswas. By 1977 both John Asher and Peter Tomlinson had moved on. Chris Tarrant was still there though, and was now joined by a sports presenter and major Derby County fan, Trevor East; as well as a rather lovely young lady called Sally James – she was an actress who’d also been presenting her own Saturday Morning TV show “Saturday Scene” in London.

The team of Chris, Sally and Trevor soon introduced us to what was to become a phenomenon. A little dance that had been invented by Jasper Carrot, where you had to, basically, lie flat out on your back and as soon as you heard the following music, you’d have to pretend to be… a Dying Fly:

>>The Dying Fly (original single version)<<

Tiswas Whistles Theme

“The Dying Fly (nee The Typewriter)” Performed by Sal, Chris & Trev With The Bety Gribbitt Massed Ensemble (Anderson) Mills Music Ltd.

“Grab a Granny” Performed by Sal, Chris & Trev With The Bety Gribbitt Massed Ensemble (Raymonde, Mike Smith) Chappell Music

Sal, Chris and Trev there with the Dying Fly and Grab a Granny from 1977.

This is ‘Totally Tiswas’, an UpAndHappy! Special with Lee B and the Nikkster. We’re looking back at the original Saturday Morning Kids TV show, Tiswas. We’re playing songs and sketches from the show as well as speaking to some of the stars of the show too.

Saturday Is Tiswas Day Sting (see above)

Now, as we said earlier, Tiswas cottoned on to the fact the Custard Pies and Buckets of Water were always good for a laugh as they’d always been in the old Black & White comedies in the 20s and 30s, so they soon became a trademark of the show. In fact, they even managed to recruit someone who dedicated his life to chucking a Pie at anyone who stood still long enough… usually guests on the show or the kids in the audience. The foulest fiend in the cosmos – The Phantom Flan Flinger!

Phantom Sting – “Strident Theme” Written by Francis Monkman

The Phantom was completely covered head-to-toe in black cloth so as to disguise himself, but today we can exclusively reveal his secret identity… oh, ah, he’s arming himself with a Custard Pie as I speak…oh, no, he’s coming in this direction… perhaps we’d better leave it to Tiswas Reunited tonight on ITV1 to sort it out…

Coming up shortly we’ll have the first of our exclusive interviews with members of the Tiswas team… but first, erm, let’s look at, erm, oh yeah, I know, buckets of water instead. Water is Wonderful you know…

>>Water Is Wonderful (single version)<<

“Water is Wonderful” (original single version) Performed by The Four Bucketeers (John Gorman) Copyright Control

So Water Is Wonderful then and that was The Four Bucketeers telling us that! Who are The Four Bucketeers I hear you cry, well let’s get them to tell us… I’ve got the record around here somewhere… ugh, it’s a bit dirty, this one, looks like it might need a bit of a clean…

>>Introduction To The Tiswas Album<< >>We Are The Four Bucketeers<<

“Hello and welcome and off to a clean start.” Performed by The Four Bucketeers (Gorman/Tarrant/James/Carolgees/Henry) Copyright Control

“We Are The Four Bucketeers” Performed by The Four Bucketeers (John Gorman) Copyright Control

We’re Totally Tiswas today on this UpAndHappy! Special, with Lee B & the Nikkster. With songs, sketches and interviews with some of the Tiswas team – the first of which is coming up right now – we’re taking a nostalgic look back; ahead of Tiswas Reunited which is on ITV1, tonight at 9.

>>Matthew Butler Interview<< >>Bright Eyes<<

“Contents” Performed by The Four Bucketeers (Gorman/Tarrant/James/Carolgees/Henry) Copyright Control

Saturday Is Tiswas Day Sting

“Bright Eyes” Performed by Matthew Butler (Mike Batt) April Music Ltd / Watership Productions Ltd

Up By The Ears – “Coming Frantic” (Duncan Lamont) Keith Prowse Music (KPM 1145)

Matthew Butler there, the singing rabbit, or Matt Lewis as he’s known today, and you can actually catch his radio show here on WCR FM on Sunday nights.

Saturday Is Tiswas Day Sting

This is Totally Tiswas, an UpAndHappy! Special with Lee B and the Nikkster, and we’re celebrating the classic Children’s Saturday Morning show of the 70s & 80s Tiswas, with sketches, songs and interviews from those that made it what we wanted.

Time to chat with another member of the Tiswas team now, and it’s someone who could usually been seen arm in, erm, arm (?) with a number of unusual characters… a rather Cheeky Monkey called Charlie, a pinkish purple-ish cat that didn’t do a fat lot, called <cough> Cough… blimey, <cough> I must’ve won a million quid <cough> oh hang on, wrong programme…. <clears throat> and then a dog, that Spits, called, er, Spit the Dog. It can only be, Bob Carolgees

>>Bob Carolgees Interview<< >>Funky Spittin’ Punk Dog<<

I spoke with Bob last year in an interview for the website, more about that later, but I thought I’d better clear things up first and foremost by asking Bob what his real name was…

Up By The Ears

“Funky Spittin’ Punk Dog” Performed by Bob Carolgees & Spit The Dog (Lee Brennan / Bob Carolgees) Copyright Control

Bob Carolgees there, telling us all about Spit – the funky spitting punk dog!

This is Totally Tiswas, An UpAndHappy! Special with Lee B and the Nikkster, to celebrate the return of Tiswas for one night only, tonight on ITV1.

And we’ve reached the end of our first hour. Don’t worry though, there’s plenty more to come! More music and mayhem from the Tiswas team, including a certain song about a bucket of water. Apparently, this is what they want. Ah, hang on, I sense we might have to lie down again… see you shortly… over to you CT:

>>The Dying Fly (album version)<<

Saturday Is Tiswas Day Sting

“The Typewriter* in Medley with The Dying Fly**” (*Anderson, **Gorman/Mann) *Mills Music Ltd, **Belwin-Mills Music Ltd/Cop Con

Back to

Saturday 16th June 2007 – 11.00am – Hour 2

Welcome back, we’re going back in time today in this UpAndHappy! Special. Back to the late 70s and early 80s when every Saturday morning, kids across this Fair Isle would go Totally Tiswas!

“Welcome Back” Performed by The Four Bucketeers (Ollie Halsall / John Hasllsey) Copyright Control

We’ve got more sketches, songs, fascinating facts and interview from the world of the original Saturday morning kids’ TV show, which is returning to our screens for one night only, tonight on ITV1

>>The Hoppers!<<

“Contents” Performed by The Four Bucketeers (Gorman/Tarrant/James/Carolgees/Henry) Copyright Control

“It’s Fun To Be A Hopper” Performed by The Four Bucketeers (John Gorman) Copyright Control

Ah, thank you very much Chris. Time for a sing along I think…

CT: No not you… <edit> … go away…

Oh, right OK. I only wanted to tell ‘em that this is Totally Tiswas… an UpAndHappy! Special to celebrate tonight’s return of Tiswas… Oh well, let’s have a sing song then. I’ll see you in a bit…

CT: Sorry about that. Hello David.

>>Wuwal Wetweats<<

“David” Performed by Lenny Henry & Chris Tarrant (Gorman/Tarrant/James/Carolgees/Henry) Copyright Control

Wuwal Wetweats Performed by Lenny Henry with Chris Tarrant (John Gorman) Copyright Control

Wuwal Wetweats there, performed by non other than Lenny Henry. This is Totally Tiswas – an UpAndHappy! Special with Lee B & the Nikkster. Lenny Henry had grown up in the Buffrey Park area of Dudley, here in the West Midlands. He’d been doing well as a result of his appearance on the talent show New Faces, and also in a little known London Weekend sitcom, The Fosters, but it was Tiswas that helped him to make his name, and he never looked back. In that song we’ve just heard Lenny was pretending to be the famous botanist-with-a-beard, David Bellamy… although as I remember it, David Bellamy’s beard was never orange… but Lenny’s was… ah, well, you can see what I mean when Tiswas returns to our screens tonight on ITV1.

Saturday Is Tiswas Day Sting

Time to meet another star of Tiswas now, and it’s someone to make all the fellas smile! We did this interview a couple of years ago to mark the launch of, the website set up to remember The Best of the Best Bits of Tiswas and everything else as well… and I’m part of the team that puts it together. So let’s go back and introduce you to who’s in the studio…

>>Sally James Interview<< >>Like To Get To Know Me<<

Up By The Ears Music

“The Fastest Selling, Most Fabulous Record Ever To Be Made In The Entire History” (Ollie Halsall / John Hallsey) Copyright Control

“Like To Get To Know Me” (Smith / Jelly) Interworld Music / Yellow Balloon Music

Sally James there with ‘Like To Get To Know Me’… I think she’s probably managed to get out of that straight jacket by now. I don’t think her singing was that bad, do you? This is Totally Tiswas, an UpAndHappy! Special with Lee B and the Nikkster, to celebrate the return of Tiswas, for one night only, Reunited tonight on ITV1.

Now as we’ve seen, Tiswas was the original Saturday Morning Kids TV programme where anything could happen, and it usually did. You’d have competitions, star guests, jokes and sketches… we’ve already heard some of them, and there are plenty more to come. And of course it’s where we first really met Chris Tarrant and Lenny Henry. Of course it’s best remembered by those of a certain age for whom retro is everything these days.

If you were to watch a regular episode of Tiswas today, you’d probably recognise a lot of it from programmes you see these days. In particular Ant & Dec managed to get a similar sort of feeling into SMTV: Live a few years ago, and more recently Dick & Dom in Da Bungalow took the gunging aspect of the show to a new level entirely. Dom was known to wear a Tiswas T-shirt on the show, and they even went as far as to feature 4 people dressed as Rabbits, singing Bright Eyes! Well one of them was Matt who’d done it in the first place… and the others… well I was one of them actually, with Peter and Marc from the website. Mmm… we’ll never live that one down.

>>Water Is Wonderful (album version)<< >>Village Idiots<<

“World Agenda” (Johnny Pearson, Dave Hewson & Bill Baylis) KPM Music Ltd (KPM 402)

“News Splash” (John Gorman / Ollie Hallsey) Copyright Control

“Water Is Wonderful” (album version) Performed by The Four Bucketeers (John Gorman) Copyright Control

“Algernon Razmataz” Performed by Lenny Henry (Gorman/Tarrant/James/Carolgees/Henry) Copyright Control

“Gabriel Gastropod” Performed by Chris Tarrant (Gorman/Tarrant/James/Carolgees/Henry) Copyright Control

“The Village Idiots” Performed by The Four Bucketeers (Gorman/Tarrant/James/Carolgees/Henry) Copyright Control

The Four Bucketeers there, better known as Sally James, John Gorman, Bob Carolgees and Chris Tarrant – The Tiswas Team – all pretending to be Village Idiots!

This is Totally Tiswas, an UpAndHappy! Special to celebrate the return of Tiswas, reunited on ITV1 tonight at 9.

Time for more sketches and songs from The Tiswas team now, and we’ll turn to one of the main creative brains behind the series as it became more popular. John Gorman had had great success in the late 1960s as one third of the Liverpudlian group – The Scaffold. Along with Paul McCartney’s brother Mike McGear and the popular poet Roger McGough, John McGorman… sorry, John Gor-man has a unique sense of humour and was always on hand to play numerous characters and write many sketches… and of course songs. So here’s a few, we’ll blow a few Raspberries shortly as John becomes the legendary ‘Chuck Rock’, but first another of his alter egos… pooh, is there a pong in here… ah, it’s Smello!

>>The Smello Song<< >>Raspberry Rock<<

Saturday Is Tiswas Day Sting

“The Smello Song” Performed by John Gorman (John Gorman) PVA Music

“One of Sally James’ Almost Legendary Interviews” (Gorman/Tarrant/James/Carolgees/Henry) Copyright Control

“Raspberry Rock” Performed by John Gorman (John Gorman) Copyright Control

John Gorman there, or should I say a couple of songs by, firstly, Smello with, er, The Smello Song, and then we had Chuck Rock… or was it Jett Lagg… I can never tell… either way it was a trumpingly good track – the Raspberry Rock! <blow a small rasp>

Saturday Is Tiswas Day Sting

Now time to talk to the man himself. The bloke behind Tiswas, the one that everyone remembers, of course it’s CT – Chris Tarrant.

Now we’ve got a couple of interviews with Chris which we’re going to switch between so as to get the full story of the show. Asking the questions alongside me is Marc Neun. So let’s get going, “and the first thing we asked Chris was…”

>>Chris Tarrant Interview<< >>Compost Corner<<

“Compost Corner” Performed by Chris Tarrant (John Gorman) Copyright Control

“Excuse Me, Chris” Performed by Chris Tarrant & Lenny Henry (Gorman/Tarrant/James/Carolgees/Henry) Copyright Control

Saturday Is Tiswas Day Sting

Yep, Saturday really is Tiswas day, not only are you listening to Totally Tiswas, an UpAndHappy! Special with Lee B and the Nikkster, you can see what it was all about on your telly box tonight as Tiswas Reunited gets going on ITV1.

Now, as Chris said earlier, he actually left the programme in 1981 along with John Gorman, Bob Carolgees and Lenny Henry, while Tiswas itself continued for another year. This was all mainly because they wanted to try out new, more grown-up ideas. Chris had mentioned a few years before that he’d love to do a late night version of Tiswas, and now he’d got his chance but it was more than that, it was really OTT – Over The Top… and the show was indeed known as OTT, and it more or less coincided with the beginnings of the alternative comedy scene.

However, back on Saturday Mornings, Tiswas came back with a new look. Sally James had taken over from CT as the head presenter… so she moved to his side of the desk… Joining her was a mix of presenters, comedians and musicians. Sal’s first co-presenter was Gordon Astley, who later made his name locally, round here, on the Beacon Radio Breakfast Show before he moved on to Radio WM. Den Heggarty was with the band ‘Darts’ in the late 70s and had already appeared on Tiswas’s rival Swap Shop a year or so before, and Fogwell Flax was a very talented comedian and impressionist. Together they steered Tiswas through its final year inside your Telly. And funnily enough they discovered that, that final year was actually The Year Of The Pie – so, they formed a band, called The Pie ‘n’ Ears, and told us so!

>>Year Of The Pie<< >>The Custard Pie Song<<

“(It’s The) Year Of The Pie” Performed by The Pie ‘n’ Ears (Smith / May) Yellow Balloon Music / RAK Publishing Ltd

“The Custard Pie Song” Performed by The Pie ‘n’ Ears (Mike Smith / David McKellar) Yellow Balloon Music / RAK Publishing Ltd

The Pie ‘n’ Ears there with The Custard Pie Song, and before that it was The Year Of The Pie. You’re listening to Totally Tiswas, an UpAndHappy! Special with Lee B and the Nikkster. Those songs were performed during Tiswas’s final year in 1981-82. The ITV network was changing and they decided it was time to do something else, leaving a nation in tears. Well, perhaps that’s a bit much, but apart from a short reunion in 1988 as part of the massive ITV Telethon 27 hour-long programme, altogether it would end up being 25 years before the classic Tiswas team got back together again to make a proper new show… and that just happens to be going out tonight on ITV1 as Tiswas Reunited. I’ll let you into a secret, we were there in the audience and I promise you, you’re in for a real treat!

>>Dying Fly (reprise)<<

“The Typewriter* in Medley with The Dying Fly** (Reprise)” (*Anderson, **Gorman/Mann) *Mills Music Ltd, **Belwin-Mills Music Ltd/Cop Con

Blimey, I dunno about you, but I’m out of breath after all that.

So there you have it, we’ve been going Totally Tiswas over the past 2 hours, to celebrate the return of that original anarchic kids TV show from back in the day. So you’ve heard what it’s all about, why not tune in to ITV1 tonight to actually see what it’s all about. If you want to see some famous people making absolute fools of themselves just for a laugh, then this is for you – Tiswas Reunited is on tonight at 9 on ITV1

So, it’s the end of the show, and I’m sure we’ve forgotten something… we’ve had the Custard Pies, we know that Water Is Wonderful… water… water… what on earth can you put the water into… the perfect finale to a show… a song perhaps… ah, buckets… water… buckets of water… a song… what do you reckon CT?

>>The Bucket Of Water Song!<<

“Chris Gets Carried Away” Performed by Chris Tarrant (Gorman/Tarrant/James/Carolgees/Henry) Copyright Control

“The Bucket of Water Song” Performed by The Four Bucketeers (John Gorman) PVA Music Produced by Nicky Graham, CBS 8393

  • This was Totally Tiswas, An UpAndHappy! Special.
  • They were Lee Bannister and Nikki Reynolds.
  • With Matthew Butler, Bob Carolgees, Sally James and Chris Tarrant.
  • Thanks to all our friends, Peter Thomas, Mark Neun, Andrew Wooding
  • And everyone who visits
  • Special Thanks to Mike Smith and the Tiswas Reunited Production team.
  • This has been a Lee B Production for WCR FM, in Colour!
  • Tiswas Reunited is tonight at 9 on ITV1. This is what they want!

“One For You, One For Me”
Performed by Johnathon King
(La Bionda / La Bionda / Palmer)
PolyGram Music Publishing Ltd
(From ‘The Many Faces of Johnathon King’, MCCD 108)

featuring clips from “Tiswas Presents The Four Bucketeers”
Performed by The Four Bucketeers
Copyright Control

Totally Tiswas is © 2007 by Lee Bannister. All Rights Reserved. All music is © as noted.
All original artwork drawn and painted by Chris Wroe, used by kind permission and with grateful thanks.
Logo designed by Lee Bannister, and obviously inspired by the original Tiswas logo as designed by Stuart Kettle.