The brainwashing of a generation

Firstly, I see only a couple of you have signed up for my life changing new blog, there’s a new post up there now (ok it’s not a recipe but I only had a couple of free minutes to do something).    I suggest you go follow it now to save me linking to each post from here,  I’ll wait here while you do…..

….all done?   Then we can continue.


This post is inspired by the childhood reminiscences of Lily and Mooselicker at their joint blog Kidz Showz.

I’ve really struggled to add many comments to their posts as we never saw most of the tv shows in the UK.

But it did get me thinking about the ones I grew up on, which being a child of the seventies were heavily influenced by drugs and sexual connotations as I will detail below.

In a TV show?!  You exclaim.   Well, this is the nation that allowed a serial paedophile his own TV show and free access to the hospital children’s ward.

British readers may be able to add to these selections and offer their own take, but since most of you who read this are American I hope this gives you an insight into the British psyche.


Show: Rainbow


Theme: Homosexuality

The title alone gives you a clue of what’s to come, the rainbow, immortalised on banners proudly displayed at gay marches across the globe.

Characters included George, a limp-wristed pink hippo, Bungle, the giant bear, and Zippy who had to be restrained via being gagged every episode, an S & M fetishist.

Jeffrey resided over proceedings, if you are named Jeffrey, there is only one road your life will take – the one tiled in yellow bricks.

They all slept in the same bed, and occasionally they were joined by dance troupe Rod, Jane and Freddy (swingers if ever you saw them)


Mr Benn


Theme: Drug abuse

The basic premise involved Mr Benn visiting a local fancy dress shop and having an adventure based on the outfit he tried on.

Mr Benn was never at work so he was probably laid off and couldn’t tell his family so he left home in his City gent’s suit and bowler hat and had a little adventure until he could go home and pretend he had been at work all day.  The shop owner’s store was a front for drug dealing, he dealt Mr Benn LSD which helped him realise his adventures.

Witness the actual synopsis of episode 1:

In this very first episode, Mr Benn has been invited to a fancy-dress party. He dislikes parties, but enjoys dressing up, so he looks round the shops for a costume to wear, but everywhere he finds only ordinary everyday clothes. Turning into a small lane on his way home, Mr Benn comes across a costume shop where he chooses an outfit of red knight’s armour. Changing into the armour, Mr Benn passes through another door in the shop’s changing room and finds himself in another world. He stumbles upon a dragon, and at first thinks it is someone else in fancy dress. He soon realises his mistake. He learns that the dragon used to be the King’s pet, until an evil match-seller started a fire and made sure the dragon got the blame. Mr. Benn helps the dragon regain the King’s favour. On returning to his own everyday world, Mr Benn decides he has had enough excitement and won’t be going to the fancy-dress party after all. But he tells the shopkeeper that he will be coming back to the shop again soon to try another costume and have another adventure.

He’s shit-faced!

They never did make any cross-dressing episodes which is a shame as I’ve already thought of a title – Mrs Benn.   In episode 1, Mrs Benn tries on stockings and suspenders, necks a tab of acid and stands around Kings Cross station looking for trade.


Over to my fellow Brits who may recall some equally messed up kids shows from our side of the pond….

Leave a comment


  1. These do feel rather disturbing. Was Rainbow big? Another blogger did a post about it. The show never made it over here and you can understand why, we hate anything even remotely not macho, straight, and manly. Why do you think professional wrestling is huge? Naked muscular men fighting is the most testosterone thing humans have ever thought up.

    Mr. Benn’s animation looks familiar. I think it’s just the typical 70s/80s I’ve seen clips from before. He seems like quite a character.

  2. Shit! That show sounds awesome! Sorry I missed it…I liked HR Puff n’ Stuff (?)…that was pretty whacked out, too….just sayin’….

  3. Are you forgetting The Magic Roundabout – theme throughout that one was drugs.

    • Of course, but I don’t recall watching it, maybe my parents figured the hidden messages in that one out

  4. I like to watch the news, synced to a very sped-up chipmunks version of Dark Side Of The Moon.

  5. I love this! England was so ahead of the times with their kids shows! Rainbow seems like something I would’ve enjoyed. And been super terrified of when I got older.

    You need to save some of these gems and write a guest post for Kidz Showz!

  6. Awesome. But too many people are doing too many blogs now and I don’t get extra free time just because yopu all decide to be extra clever… so stop it…

  7. Rainbow was one of my favourite shows when I was little. I remember the episodes where George was only a guest character, before he became a regular! I think in those days, they had Rod, Jane and Roger, though, not Freddy, but don’t quote me on that one!!!

  8. Gosh I love Mr. Benn. He would fit right in over at my blog. I’d really like to introduce him to Ed Poe. I think they might make a pretty good team. HA! I wonder if any of the kids knew what the rainbow show was trying to say? I was a pretty clueless little kid so everything would have gone right over the top of my head. Oh who am I kidding? Everything still goes over the top of my head!

    • IN a way it encouraged liberalism, or maybe it was the root cause of my life now, thanks Rainbow!

  9. Mary, Mungo and Midge – now that was a kiddie’s TV programme!- they lived in a Tower Block and used the lift! Jeez excitement or what! I had a crush on Mary.

    Captain Pugwash – wank references aside a stunning excoriation of capitalism

    Cloppa Castle – wank references aside – a stunning excoriation of socialism.

  10. Us Aussies were spared any sexually charged kids shows … unless you count Mr Squiggle where a puppet with an 8 inch, ahem, pencil for a nose drew pictures for a young lady.

  11. Wildly entertaining kiddie shows you get over the pond. All we got was Sesame Street, and the Bullwinkle Show. Not nearly as much fun as yours.

  12. All you have to do to educate a child is leave him alone and teach him to read. The rest is brainwashing. Excellent post!


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