TV Cream

TV: S is for...

Saturday Banana

BILL ODDIE again. This regional TISWAS replacement (see also OUR SHOW) didn’t exactly have legs. Oddie wore yellow waistcoat and boots. “Banana”, you see? They had an audience. They had guests. “It’s the Saturday Banana…” Notable (well, relatively) for containing the first TV appearances of METAL MICKEY in a pre-Dolenz series form. Presumably he just stood about saying “boogie boogie boogie” to Oddie. The shadow of Maidstone, ME15 6RS loomed. Set featured a 30ft tall fibreglass banana, sat phallus-like vertically in the air, almost level with the main road.



  1. Arthur Nibble

    September 18, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Originally to be called “Saturday Bonanza”, but someone misread or mistyped the original handwritten memo.

  2. Zastrozzi

    June 3, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    Growing up in Southampton in the 1980s, the contrast between the bright, cheery, whimsical banana and the utter urban shitscape that surrounded it is hard to express nowadays. Back then Northam was the kind of place where the milk floats had tailgunners, and the studio was set between a massive scrapyard, a rail line, the concrete monolith of the Northam Bridge and the mud of the tidal river Test. The presence of the banana was like a flower in hell – something which just makes the horror all around it that much more evident…

  3. Tom Ronson

    October 25, 2022 at 7:38 pm

    There’s a 1970s Southern TV Christmas tape doing the rounds where a tetchy Oddie’s been roped in to read some tedious VT engineer’s in-jokes off the autocue on the Banana set, clearly can’t be arsed with it, and doesn’t even bother to conceal his utter contempt. Great. Cut back to a more affable Fred ‘How’ Dinenage calling him ‘the poison dwarf’ or something equally unamusing. God, I bet those Christmas parties at Southern TV were a laugh an hour…

  4. Glenn Aylett

    October 26, 2022 at 7:37 pm

    I have heard Bill Oddie could be rather awkward and not the easiest of people to deal with.

    • Tom Ronson

      October 27, 2022 at 12:13 am

      Oddie’s autobiography, One Flew Into the Cuckoo’s Egg, is well worth a read. His childhood can best be described as ‘difficult,’ and his more recent problems with bipolar disorder and lithium poisoning are well-known.

  5. Richardpd

    October 26, 2022 at 10:00 pm

    I heard that too, & that he was banned from a Radio 4 panel show for some inappropriate comedy voices even when told not to.

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