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Living and Growing

PENNY WHITTHAM was your first guide, mentor and studiously-unflappable narrator of this long-running, unchanging schools’ biology work-out, which by ’69 had moved to the unlikely source of Grampian Television, and began tackling the ever-thorny subject of sex education. Friday 11th April was the momentous date when, at the safe-enough time of half-past midnight, Alec Taylor summarised the main points of the programme with Dr KJ Dennis. “This preview gives parents a chance to prepare themselves for what their children will see on Sunday and looks at the questions the children may ask about sex.” Then, on Sunday 13th, at 10.40am, the taboo was finally broached. “The outstanding characteristics of the series are its clarity, simplicity and complete lack of embarrassment giving a useful starting point to families who want to discuss sex frankly.” Each fifteen-minute programme was preceeded by a similar late-night preview – no risks taken here. By May we were “Setting sex in a total context”. Then in 1977 Thames took over, and it was STANLEY MITCHELL’s turn to take over from the good doctor in the unembarrassed stakes. The final version in 1984 had SARAH “GAME FOR A LAUGH” KENNEDY demonstrating birth by pushing a doll down a piece of drainpipe.



  1. THX 1139

    May 26, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    When I was little I thought this was called Living and Groving, and I wondered what groving was. Thought it was something rude. Although judging by the theme tune, it could have been called Living and Grooving.

  2. Tom Ronson

    March 30, 2022 at 2:00 am

    Why do I remember Sarah Kennedy pushing a doll through a piece of drainpipe so clearly?

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