Round the Bend

"Round the Bend" was a British children's television series, which ran for three seasons on Children's ITV, beginning in 1988. It was cancelled, supposedly following complaints from Mary Whitehouse's National Viewers and Listeners Association about the coarseness of the humour and for being politically incorrect. The show was a Hat Trick production for Yorkshire Television. The show was later repeated on Channel 4 and Nickelodeon UK.

Created by the team behind the comic "Oink!" - Patrick Gallagher, Tony Husband and Mark Rodgers, the puppets were made by the team who made the puppets for "Spitting Image". "Round the Bend" was a parody of Saturday morning magazine shows — with a host providing linking material between cartoons, music videos and news sections - albeit set in a sewer. The title of the show is a reference to a toilet U-bend, with the opening titles beginning with the camera being flushed down a toilet and ending up in a sewer.

Regular cast

* Doc Croc - The show's host and a temperamental, rude, and overbearing crocodile. He ran the operations of the sewer and took command of the rats who worked (unpaid) for him:
* Jemimah Wellington-Green - The cleverest of the three rats, she was often sarcastic and miserable about the fact that she worked in a sewer with no hope of a boyfriend. She spoke with a accent, a parody of Janet Street Porter.
* Vaudville Vince Vermin - A cockney rat and the resident comic who always tried to see the bright side of every situation. He hosted his own joke segment of the show. The jokes were intentionally bad, which was the reason for them being funny. At the end of each segment Doc Croc would ask an "Opinion poll" what he thought of them, and the talking barbers pole would say "Rubbish!". There was at one point a talking piece of furniture, the 'Armchair Critic'.
* Luchetti Bruchetti - an Italian rat and the show's resident artist. Not as intelligent as the other rats, and usually the rat that Doc used to take most of his problems out on.

Teddy Bear

On occasion, the cast would be plagued by a shade-wearing teddy bear which, despite it's diminutive size, would inflict great physical beatings to Doc Croc and the rest of the crew. The cast was also visited by the small teddy's (much larger) father.

Parodies

Other non-regular cast members were often parodies of real people or existing TV shows, including:
*A music video segment featuring: Michael Jackdung, Kylie Manure and Jason Dungovan - parodies (in name only) of Michael Jackson, Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan. Each was a hand puppet designed to look like a pile of manure, but with a mouth that would sing along to parodied versions of pop songs.
*The news segment: John Potato's Newsround - a parody of "John Craven's Newsround", but presented by a potato. The sports section was presented by David Colemole - a glove-puppet of a mole who wore round glasses and had a voice very similar to David Coleman.
*Vegetables - a parody of "Neighbours". All the parts were played by vegetables with Australian accents.
*Wee-man and the Masters of the Looniverse - a cartoon parody of "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe".
*Nursery Crimes - a cartoon parody of "Jackanory".
*Teenage Mutant Ninja Toilets - a cartoon parody of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles", using animated toilet characters, lampooning the turtles.
*Teenage Mutant Ninja Teddies - another cartoon parody of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles", but using teddy bears.
*Old Age useless Nitwit Tortoises - yet another cartoon parody of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles". Their nemesis was Bottom Brain, a parody of Krang.
*Attack of the Atomic Banana - a B movie/serial parody with a 50ft. banana rampaging through New York City. King Kong made a cameo, and the "banana problem" was solved by a group of teenagers in a style similar to "Scooby-Doo". This section was (fictionally) produced by Stubby Broccoli and Samuel J. Greengrocer, a play on the names of Cubby Broccoli and Samuel J. Briskin. These segments were made with stop-motion animation.
*Thunderpants - a parody of "ThunderCats".
*Octopus Slime - a parody of "Transformers", featuring the eponymous octopus-headed transforming robot, who, on at least one occasion, went up against his arch enemy, Armadillotron. The name is a reference to Optimus Prime, leader of the Autobots in "Transformers".
*Wooly The Wonder Sheep - a parody of both Champion, the Wonder Horse and heroic dog Rin Tin Tin.
*Botman - a parody of "Batman", with the lead character having an abnormally huge bottom.

Other sections

Other sections included:
*The Son of, The Return of, The Revenge of.... The False Teeth From Beyond The Stars. Another B-Movie parody, featuring a character named Roger Prentice, the apprentice Dentist. A crossover between the Atomic Banana ensued, entitled False Teeth From Beyond the Stars Meet Atom Banana.
*Pzycho the Magnificent - an animated section in which Pzycho would attempt to use magic for his own personal gain, but would get caught by the police every time.
*The Oddbod Family - animated shorts, each week centred around a member of a family who all have abnormal abilities.
*Tommy's Magic Time Trousers - animation about a boy who can travel through time whenever he drops his trousers. Many trouser puns were used, such as in the time-travel sequence Tommy would say "The flies the limit!", with the trousers replying "Brace yourself Tommy!!". The segment always ended with the trousers saying "If only he knew Tommy!, if only he knew!".
*Cosmic Comprehensive - animation about a school of aliens.

Merchandise

Due to the popularity of the show, a computer game was created for the ZX Spectrum and was later ported to the Commodore 64, Atari ST, Amiga and Acorn Archimedes. A preview of a sequel was also released but the sequel was never finished. A one-off magazine special was also published.

ee also

*"Thunderpants" is the name of a 2002 film, which is unrelated to the "Round the Bend" animation of the same name.

External links

*imdb title|id=0331398|title=Round the Bend
* [http://homepage.ntlworld.com/orgers/rtb/index.htm Unofficial fan page]


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