Former ATV continuity announcer Jean Morton received two koala-bear stuffed toys in 1962 and created a series around them that became a massive success.
When The Tingha and Tucker Club was formed it attracted 750,000 members until finally, ATV, unable to cope with the volume of mail, were forced to close it. The original toys were replaced by puppets and Peter Harris, one of the puppeteers, went on to direct The Muppet Show as well as creating another children's favourite Tiswas.
In 1964 there was a single released by Pye Records; "Woomerang Boomerang" b/w "Over the Rickety Bridge" and inexplicably a release from Century 21 (the record label that released episodes of the Gerry Anderson series such as Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons), entitled Tingha and Tucker present the New Wombaville Band, which included the puppets covering several Beatles songs!
In the late 1960s there was a Sunday series, called The Tree House Family, a programme with a religious tilt featuring Tingha and Tucker and Willie the wombat reading bible stories.
In 1970 the show was finally cancelled and soon after Tingha and Tucker were stolen from a store cupboard at ATV, never to be seen again. Very few tapes of the original series, which varied in length from ten to twenty minutes and preceded early afternoon children's programmes, five days a week, were thought to have survived. But a discovery of a cache of film material was discovered allowing three more editions to be reconstructed and presented on a DVD which included a host of extras such as a Tingha and Tucker promotional film, a live stage performance in Blackpool, an interview with "Auntie" Jean (Morton), and PDF materials including the Tingha and Tucker annuals (which were issued each year between 1967 and 1971).
Published on February 7th, 2019. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.