TV Cream

TV: R is for...

Romper Room

PRODUCED IN both “national” and “regional opt-out” flavours, this pre-school programme cropped up everywhere from Norwich to Nebraska, customised to suit the locale. Consistent across the board, however, was the arts/crafts premise. Toddlers, with parents looking on, would be supervised by a friendly adult host teaching them a variety of educational pastimes in the PLAY SCHOOL mould (games of ‘Simple Simon’, musical chairs and the like). After an hour of this, the presenter would hold up a ‘Magic Mirror’ and address the viewers through the TV screen, in truth reeling off a list of popular children’s names of the day to create the false “fourth wall” illusion. Co-hosts would invariably be two cat mascots and a large, costume bumblebee (rather cynically marketed during the advert break as cuddly toys).

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