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TV: F is for...


CHEAPO HIPPY puppetahon courtesy of one-man creative maelstrom (see MAELSTROM) RICK JONES, aka Yoffy. Our host would sit a trestle table in grey poloneck in front of minimalist blue background and proceed to converse with various characters he’d devised from gloves and pieces of card and ping-pong balls. In other words, Yoffy lifted a finger, and a mouse (Fingermouse – rapid, self-absorbed grey upstart – “Fingermouse/Fingermouse/I am a sort of wondermouse/A hit, a miss/A blundermouse/Fingermouse, that’s me/I am a mouse called Fingermouse/A mouse with guts and nerve/I get past cats so easily with my famous body swerve”) was there. Put his hands together, and a seagull (Gulliver – tuneless singer, least popular character – “I like to flyyyy/And spread my wiiiiings/Above the rooves and trees/And then to gliiiide down/Down onto the sea/Fold my wings behind my back/And float just like a boooooat…” or something) took the air. Yoffy lifted another finger, and a scampi darted about (“My name is Scampi/Scampi that’s me/I live in a hole in the sand/By the sea-eeee!” – constantly cooing to its five camp and glittery cohorts “Oh girrr-rrlls!” played by the five fingers of Jones’ spare hand). Yoffy bent another, and a tortoise head peeped out (Flash – “Slowly/Steadily/Moving at my own pace/They call me Flash/Though I don’t dash/Who wants to run a race?/As long as I get theeeeere/Why worry?/What’s the hurry?/Uuuuuuuuuuhhhh….”), a narcoleptic version of Magic Roundabout’s Dylan, “special shell” detatched for carrying stuff. Then they all went off to collect stuff for use in the story at the end. As usual, the journey was better than the arrival. Cost an average of fifty pounds an episode. Recession-beating genius!



  1. Glenn Aylett

    June 15, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    Ever get the impression the BBC was short of money when this was made?

  2. Arthur Nibble

    April 18, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    Less is more, simple is effective, either of these sum the show up.

  3. guineabull

    April 21, 2010 at 10:37 am

    I believe it was resurrected by a ginger haired Scotsman – possibly named Stuart McGoohan, ex-Playschool. And it was crap

  4. Arthur Nibble

    April 21, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Stuart McGugan was also in It Ain’t Half Hot Mum, though he didn’t become as big as Don Estelle…boom boom!

  5. David Smith

    April 22, 2010 at 7:50 am

    Actually it was one Iain Lauchlan who fronted the relaunched ‘Bobs in the ’80s (now renamed Fingermouse).

  6. Arthur Nibble

    April 22, 2010 at 8:15 am

    Sorry, schoolboy error – I got mixed up with Stuart’s stint on Play School.

  7. Chris Jones

    April 22, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Didn’t Iain Lauchlan go on to invent The Teletubbies?

  8. MartS

    April 27, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    No – it was the other lot he (partly) created. The Tweenies.

  9. Applemask

    April 27, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    I once saw Iain Lauchlan miserably eating a Wimpy at a motorway service station. This probably sums something or other up.

  10. Mycroft Milverton

    January 24, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    I remade the Fingerbobs and opening titles!

  11. Mike Bailey

    November 17, 2014 at 6:06 am

    There was an article in the papers saying that Rick Jones was permanently off his face in the studio – and that he destroyed the “puppets” in a fit of rage at the end of filming.

    • Joanne Gray

      November 20, 2017 at 7:36 pm

      He admitted on ch4 list show “100 Greatest Kids tv Shows” (or something similarly titled) that he bribed the cameraman to keep filming after finishing the last episode and he “drowned” Fingermouse in a cup of cold coffee.

  12. THX 1139

    October 9, 2021 at 11:54 pm

    Flash carrying the feathers in his shell, the crow using stones to get a drink of water, the bangin’ choons… perfect viewing, relaxed a generation and gave an older generation of mums some respite. RIP Rick, even if you weren’t keen on your literal handiwork.

  13. Tom Ronson

    March 27, 2022 at 11:54 pm

    Let’s not forget Rick Jones and Jonathan Cohen basically invented lo-fi DIY bedroom pop with this proto-slacker blunted beats number from 1973…

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