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TV: D is for...

Double Deckers, The

FLIMSY FAMOUS FIVERY on a London bus in a none-too-secret “hideout”. Meet the gang: “Scooper” (PETER “DOMINICK HIDE” FIRTH) – leader; “Sticks” (BRUCE CLARK) – obligatory Yank drummer; Spring, played by ASWAD’s BRINSLEY FORDE; Doughnut (fat one, natch) played by DOUGLAS SIMMONDS; Tiger (DEBBIE RUSS), the girl with the toy tiger; Billie (GILLIAN BAILEY) the ponytailed one, and, yes, a speccy kid called Brains (MICHAEL AUDRESON) who cooked up the clever inventions and noxious chemicals. One and only grown up friend was, eek, MELVYN HAYES.



  1. ansonort

    September 25, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    I was totally, unflaggingly, heart-breakingly, fastidiously, jaw-droppingly in love with Billie.

  2. Great Bustard

    December 5, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    The American is called Sticks, right, and we see him playing the drums in the titles of every episode, but never in the show itself! He plays the bongos a couple of times in a halfhearted fashion, but you don’t use sticks on those! So why bother calling him Sticks? Mind you, what’s a Scooper?

    Anyway, most impressive bit for me watching as a toddler was when the gang peeked around a corner, one head on top of another. I thought that was brilliant.

  3. Richardpd

    January 1, 2023 at 11:50 am

    I remember spotting an LP of the soundtrack in a record shop in Sarasota in 1998. I was tempted to buy it but thought it wouldn’t survive a transatlantic flight in a suitcase.

  4. Glenn Aylett

    January 1, 2023 at 12:31 pm

    I’m sure Frank Thornton appeared in a few episodes as well as Mervyn Hayes.
    Just thinking, Mervyn Hayes had form with London buses, being in Summer Holiday, so The Double Deckers was probably a career progression for him before his best known role as a singer in drag a few years later.

  5. Glenn Aylett

    January 1, 2023 at 12:32 pm

    Melvyn not Mervyn sorry.

  6. Sidney Balmoral James

    January 1, 2023 at 6:17 pm

    Wasn’t this called ‘Here Comes the Double Deckers’? I don’t remember this being repeated at all, one of those children’s programmes which disappeared within a few years of being shown, unlike say, Champion the Wonder Horse or Camberwick Green. Mind you, a few years later, Peter Firth had moved on to be Britain’s best known naked horse assailant, although he wasn’t able to sustain leading man status for more than a few years – seemed to go from teenage heart-throb to middle-aged man in less than ten years. Spooks gave him a much more satisfying role (I remember being outraged that he got killed off at the start of the Hunt for Red October) but he has got a bit hammy over the years.

  7. Glenn Aylett

    January 1, 2023 at 7:25 pm

    @ Sidney Balmoral James, the series was repeated regularly on BBC One in the seventies and I’m sure it was repeated again by either ITV or Channel 4 in the early nineties. However, by then it was starting to look very dated and of its time and wasn’t seen again on terrestrial television.
    Peter Firth was good in Spooks as a ruthless MI5 officer far removed to his innocent role in The Double Deckers, but wasn’t good in other roles.

  8. Richardpd

    January 2, 2023 at 11:13 am

    It sounds fun but I’ve never got to see anything other than some clips.

    Considering the older Monkees were being repeated well into the 1980s, it’s interesting that it wasn’t shown that late in the summer holidays.

  9. Droogie

    January 3, 2023 at 11:49 am

    HCTDD was quite unique for a British kids show due to being shot on 35mm colour film ( no doubt for the American market). I can only think of the Gerry Anderson shows doing the same.
    Debbie Russ who played the adorable Tiger is a successful voiceover artist / radio announcer these days, including doing The Shipping Forecast.

    • George White

      March 8, 2023 at 12:08 am

      Was technically a US production, made by ABC when BBC and ITV turned it down, only for the BBC to buy it.
      (one of the rare US TV series shot in Britain without British network money – see also the Ugliest Girl in Town, QB VII, the HBO Sherlock Holmes series with Ian Richardson, Quentin E Deverill with Sam Waterston)

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