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Willo the Wisp

SUBLIME SIMPERING nonsense that began as an animated campaign to promote North Sea oil. Titular apparition was created by artist Nick Spargo and leant pipes by KENNETH WILLIAMS, despite the Beeb telling Spargo “it would be wrong to have Williams’s voice just before the news”. Instead Willo became, basically, Kenny, the nosey narrator of life in Doyley Woods wherein dwelt a menagerie of freaks and fancies: Mavis Cruet, hapless fairy; Carwash, learned cat; Arthur, world-weary caterpillar; Evil Edna, monstrous walking TV; the Moog, pig-shaped dog who was thick; and Twit the bird. There was also an ugly prince who kept being turned into a frog and vice versa. And space aliens visited in one episode. Perhaps.



  1. Moog Synthesiser

    March 8, 2010 at 9:31 am

    I used to like the way the Moog would appear to the accompaniment of a “dumbed down” version of the Willow the Wisp theme tune. The episode where he turned into a werewolf (or something) was one of the best.

    Didn’t Mavis get kidnapped by Vikings and when she was rescued by her friends she was really annoyed because her abductors had treated her like their Queen? That was the punchline.

  2. Andy Bennett

    April 5, 2015 at 11:23 pm

    1980-1982? It began on 14 September 1981, one series of 26 episodes. Revived for a further 26 in 2005.

  3. David

    May 17, 2022 at 8:58 pm

    Arthur the caterpillar reminds me on the buses Arthur was that the in joke

  4. Tom Ronson

    October 25, 2022 at 6:24 pm

    God, I was obsessed with Willo the Wisp when I was seven years old. Imagine my delight when my dad told me that Kenneth Williams was a regular member of Tony Hancock’s supporting cast as well as a Carry On stalwart – and because my dad owned several old Hancock albums and the Carry On films were seldom off the telly for very long, I was able to put a name to the face very quickly, and Williams became a lifelong hero and inspiration. I still have my childhood scrapbook, containing a picture of your man cut out of the Radio Times with the words ‘I LIKE KEN’ written underneath in my shaky seven-year-old handwriting.

    I don’t even acknowledge the 2005 episodes. No Williams? Not arsed, mate.

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