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TV: E is for...

Emu’s Broadcasting Company

Petulant puppetry at its most potent Look, the bird is trying to speak

TAKE ROD HULL, a fake plastic arm, a bit of Goodies slapstick here, a bit of Python media parody there, and a good amount of Kenny Everett-style mayhem. Stir liberally in Television Centre. Hey presto: EBC-1, complete with a mock ‘handover’ from a Beeb announcer before each programme, with tea lady and brown-coated cameraman/technician (top turn BILLY DAINTY) and witty spoof shows like Doctor Who with pedal bins as Daleks, ‘Yesterday’s World’ (Tomorrow’s World with spoof fried-egg titles sequence), Open University pisstakes Open Emuversity/Closed University (“And that’s how this bridge was made. I’ll just run over that again”), endless ads for multi-purpose miracle product Scunge, frequent technical difficulties caused by Emu’s stab-happy approach to the control panel, and much mayhem of the sort viewers were familiar with from numerous Parky and Royal Variety Show appearances. Rod would go out on location (school canteen, village fete, etc.) and Emu would, inevitably, cause messy chaos. Remember him this way!



  1. Arthur Nibble

    July 23, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    Not forgetting the fake Christmas ident (a cream-laden Xmas pudding rotating on a record turntable) and the banner-on-a bike start to “Worldwide Grandstand of Sport”.

  2. lump516

    April 4, 2011 at 1:16 am

    Never saw this, but I remember Hull from several appearances during the 70’s on Carson’s TONIGHT SHOW, where even the sainted Johnny got attacked by the Emu. Richard Pryor, who was also a guest that night, is rumored to have said “you are either the craziest or the bravest man that ever livedf. NOBODY does that to Johnny.” At least that’s the version I’ve heard.

  3. Dave in Dover

    May 26, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    Sir Billy of Connolly’s best quote on Parky when he and said bird appeared on the same show…..”That birrd comes anywhere near mae and I’ll wring its neck and break your bl**dy arrm” (best said in broad Glaswegian)

  4. THX 1139

    November 14, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    I used to find the dustbin Daleks quite scary, though not so much Emu Trek (with Portsmouth Sinfonia theme tune) which replaced Doctor Emu. There were so many spoofs in this, but the one which sticks out is the Milk Tray man parody where the lady opened the chocs at the end to find them covered in seaweed!

    Loads of out of nowhere craziness in this, like the rubber faces on the wall or the baby Emus in the control room. Incredibly inventive. Barbara New was the tealady. “Weather, weather, altogether, what’s it going to do?”

  5. Joanne Gray

    November 20, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    My granddad’s lame to fame is that he worked with Rod Hull before he started his showbiz career. He was an apprentice on the Isle of Sheppey (where he was born and brought up). Grandad recalled that Rod was quiet and unassuming.

  6. Glenn Aylett

    November 2, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    My main memory is the straight man newsreader Tom Chatto being attacked every episode by Emu. Vastly better than the ITV years, when we had those annoying stage school brats and the unfunny Grotbags.

    • Andrew Hinds

      February 26, 2020 at 11:49 am

      I was saying the same thing on another thread. It’d be sad if these shows don’t exist in the BBC archives.

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