TV Cream

Radio 4: The Programmes

Listen With Mother

And they wonder why Punk happened.FINAL resting place of the one-time broadcasting institution, by then very much on its last legs thanks to the machinations of Derek Griffiths and Barnaby. Glory days of youngsters giving a flying fuck about the exploits of My Naughty Little Sister and The Yompity Yo were long gone, and later years saw attempts to update wildly anachronistic approach by bringing in folk-rockers like Nola York and finally desperately involving Noel Edmonds in some capactity, but to no avail. Cancelled in 1982, to much still-enduring wailing and gnashing of teeth.



  1. Paul

    November 4, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    and one of the loveliest little theme tunes – Gabriel Faure’s Dolly Suite: Berceuse. Thank goodness I can still vaguely remember this, and always associated with clothes airing on the clothes horse and the warm glow from the dials and tuner of the radiogram in the corner.

  2. Glenn A

    October 27, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    Does anyone know what the ratings were in the final years? I must admit it was on anachronism and could never really compete with Watch With Mother.

  3. Richard16378

    July 27, 2017 at 10:21 pm

    Even Watch With Mother sounded very twee by the 1970s, like someone that was last relevant about the time Please Please Me was released. Even if it’s replacement See-Saw was a little dull, though that in the end was just a holding operation until CBBC started to cater for pre-schoolers towards the end of the 1987.

  4. Glenn Aylett

    August 11, 2018 at 11:17 am

    @ Richard 16378, most small children by the seventies would much sooner watch Fingerbobs, Mr Benn and Mary, Mungo and Midge than try and concentrate on a radio programme that really belonged in the pre television era. I’d imagine Listen With Mother would probably be something a parent who was an ardent Radio 4 listener putting on for their children, which would be a rarity as most young women preferred Radio 1 then, or would switch on BBC1 at 1.45 to keep the children quiet. Also BBC research when Listen With Mother was being cancelled revealed it had a cult following among long distance lorry drivers.

    • Glenn Aylett

      April 10, 2021 at 10:31 am

      We have Listen With Mother, but no Watch With Mother, surely a very Cream feature for most of us over a certain age. I know some of the series were scrapped through old age as the colour era beckoned, but how about the 1970 colour version of Andy Pandy being mentioned as this ran until about 1980 and was so iconic it was revived as an animation in 2002. I’m sure the stripy one and his two friends should get into the A to Z.

  5. Sidney Balmoral James

    April 10, 2021 at 1:57 pm

    When I was a lad I didn’t give it a second thought that they were still showing black and white children’s programmes – but then I think a lot of people still had black and white tellys well into the early 80s. What was the last black and white series seriously shown to children (as distinguished from something shown for its vintage value, like the Buster Crabbe Flash Gordon which has been shown as a filler – and may well still be on somewhere)? Was it Champion the Wonder Horse? Fireball XL5?

  6. Richardpd

    April 10, 2021 at 2:55 pm

    I heard Fireball XL5 was repeated as late as 1986 by some ITV.

    From personal recall the Whirley Birds were still being screened even later, possibly into the early 1990s.

    I remember some of the old Republic serials & the occasional B&W cartoon being dragged out that late, normally as the first thing on a weekend or holiday weekday.

  7. Glenn Aylett

    April 10, 2021 at 6:10 pm

    @ Sidney Balmoral James, I suppose in the earlier part of the seventies, when most households still had black and white, the BBC and ITV could get away with showing programmes in black and white and some like Champion The Wonderhorse were still reasonably recent.

    • Richardpd

      April 10, 2021 at 10:22 pm

      White Horses was repeated until 1977, probably in the mornings in the holidays.

      • Glenn Aylett

        April 11, 2021 at 11:25 am

        Robinson Crusoe survived on BBC One into the eighties and in 1987, the same station repeated the entire series of Hancock’s Half Hour from 1961 in peak time. I suppose, then, these programmes still had a decent following, Hancock was a genius and colour didn’t reach over 90{30e2395aaf6397fd02d2c79d91a1fe7cbb73158454674890018aee9c53a0cb96} of the population until 1988.

    • Sidney Balmoral James

      April 11, 2021 at 8:17 am

      Champion was – incredibly – last shown in 1993! And not as a one-off!{30e2395aaf6397fd02d2c79d91a1fe7cbb73158454674890018aee9c53a0cb96}22champion+the+wonder+horse{30e2395aaf6397fd02d2c79d91a1fe7cbb73158454674890018aee9c53a0cb96}22#search. As for when people got a colour television, we didn’t get one until early 80s (post Royal Wedding, as we had to got to my grandma’s to see it in colour – she had a rented colour telly). Although that may have been my parents being tight, as we got a video pretty early in 1980s, as first film we rented was Battlestar Galactica !

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