TV Cream

Bric-a-Brac: B is for...


All hail the feathered Cribbins!When Bernard Cribbins, the voice of Buzby – a straggly, phone pole-dwelling cartoon canary in personalised vest – phoned his mum to tell her she was on telly, a nationalised industry dipped its toe into the heady world of merchandise. plush toys, stickers, combs, necklaces and badges sprang up. Buses and Commer vans carried his image everywhere. Buzby’s adventures appeared in TV Comic and picture books detailing his laddish antics (‘Buzby’s Rock Group‘, ‘Buzby’s Girlfriend’). There was even an abortive attempt to privatise the company with the issue of ‘Buzby Bonds’. It all got a bit much, and he was eventually replaced with the less omnipresent (though more annoying) ‘It’s for you-hoo!’ campaign.



  1. Matthew Rudd

    January 13, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    Ah, Buzby. When I was six and it was my turn to supply my form’s reading book for the end of the day, I took in the Buzby book which features him learning how to skateboard, and phoning his mother from hospital with injuries after he went on his new toy without “a helmet and some elbow and knee pads”. So the phone was in the story – I assume it was in all of them – and his mother got to say, in proper context, “Oh Buzby, you are a naughty boy”.


  2. Lee James Turnock

    May 20, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    I had the Buzby annual, and most of it appeared to be the work of a solitary cartoonist who was doubtless Buzbied out by the end of the project. Also had loads of guff about the history of telephones, unsurprisingly.

  3. Richard Davies

    June 22, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    I had a Busby pencil case which hung around at home for years until we had a clearout.

  4. Lee James Turnock

    July 20, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    If anyone cares, the Buzby annual was drawn by Bill Mevin, who later took over the Perishers strip in its later years.

  5. Sam Dutton

    August 4, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Buzby was a ginger. Our gang’s token ginger kid is still known by that name to this very day.

  6. wilberforce

    August 12, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    in the early 80’s i remember once hanging around in the less-than-cosy DHSS offices waiting to see someone about getting my rent paid, when a guy sitting next to me started ranting about the apparently inept desk clerk, referring to him as “Buzby” – when i asked why, he replied “because he’s always on the f*cking phone!”

  7. Paul Bovey

    July 12, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Referred to in the 1982 ‘Only Fools’ episode called ‘A Losing Streak’, when Del retrieves a wad of cash hidden in the mouthpiece of his phone to spend in a poker game. Rodney: “Where did all that cash come from?” Del: “Buzby sent it down the line, didn’t he?”

  8. RL

    May 18, 2016 at 11:45 pm

    I have a vague recollection of having a hand me down toy from my cousin probably at my grandma’s house of a red telephone talking buzby. Would love to see one of these again or even a video to hear what buzby was saying.

  9. Joanne Gray

    May 5, 2017 at 11:24 pm

    I had a Buzby T-shirt with red sleeves and a picture of said bird sat on a telegraph wire at night with a crescent moon in the background; one of my siblings had one the same only with blue sleeves. And we had a set of Buzby note cards that were sent with one of our phone bills.

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