Sara and Hoppity

1962 | United Kingdom

Popular black and white children's puppet series that was shown as part of the children's television slot Small Time about a young girl (Sara Brown) whose parents run a hospital for toys. One day an old man brings in a broken toy and Sara decides to adopt him as her very own. His name is Hoppity (because he has one leg shorter than the other) and he was found in a Goblin Ring, which means he tends to be very very naughty. Sara & Hoppity was based on characters created by Roberta Leigh (Twizzle, Torchy the Battery Boy) and had appeared in print in four titles, the first of which was written in 1960. The puppets were made by Jack Whitehead, who had previously worked on Muffin the Mule and The Invisible Man. Associated Rediffusion paid £700 per episode and the first was broadcast in early 1962. New episodes ran for a year but the series was then shown in repeats until around the early 1970s. The first episode still exists, having been stored with the entire series of Roberta Leigh's next project Space Patrol. For those (and there have been many) who have requested the words to Sara's song ... it goes like this:

Sarah Brown has a toy as naughty can be
And he'll start to sing if you wind-up his key
He'll sing and he'll dance, all over the floor
And when he stands still then you wind him some more

Dear old Hoppity, naughty Hoppity
There is no toy more naughty than he
Dear old Hoppity, lovely Hoppity
He sings 'Diddly-Dum' and he sings 'Diddly-Dee' 

Published on January 27th, 2019. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.