Lizzie Dripping

1973 | United Kingdom

BBC children's series set in the imaginary village of Little Hemlock about a mischievous 12 year-old girl, Penelope Arbuckle (played by future Blue Peter presenter Tina Heath), and her imaginary witch friend (Sonia Dresdel), who only Penelope (and the TV audience) could see. 

Penelope was the Lizzie Dripping of the title, the name being a provincial term in the Nottingham area for a plucky girl who has difficulty in telling the difference between fact and fiction. The character was created by Helen Cresswell for a single Jackanory Playhouse presentation, a departure for the series as it had only previously adapted already published titles. Entitled 'Lizzie Dripping and The Orphans' it was broadcast in 1972 and commissioned as a full series the following year. 

Told entirely from the young girl's point of view with a narrative supplied by Heath for moments when Penelope was thinking (Hannah Gordon did the honours in the pilot). The series was filmed in the Nottinghamshire village of Eakring, where Cresswell lived at the time. Only eight episodes were made, the first four in 1973 were written directly for television and the other four episodes came two years later after three 'Lizzie Dripping' books were published in 1974, and this latter series was based on those books. Both series were released on DVD in 2017 excpet for the original pilot which no longer exists in the BBC archives.

Published on December 31st, 2018. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.