I’ve had a rather nostalgic weekend revisiting some old TV via YouTube.
Spent some time watching a couple of documentaries on Rod Hull, a childhood hero of mine, whose Emu puppet terrorised all and sundry. In many ways it was a brilliant act – he involved whoever was nearby in it, even if it meant you ended up on the floor fighting off an emu puppet:
It lead to watching several episodes of Emu’s World (including the All Live Emu’s World series in which attempting to phone people was an absolute disaster week after week ) which brought back a lot of good memories.
It made me appreciate the work that Rod did as both performer and writer, along with Carol Lee Scott as Grotbags and Freddy Stevens as Robot Redford. Oh, and David Tate as Croc. Imagine putting a pantomime on every week – live. That took guts and hard work. And the prizes were also pretty decent too. Walkmans, latest LPs, radios, BMX bikes – all good stuff.
Rod Hull had a thing for the ladies, and it was interesting to watch two different documentaries about his life. The second one, from 2003, mentioned two different girlfriends towards the end of his life (he was still married at the time – with the missus back in Australia) and there were some serious vibes when one girlfriend mentioned the other. Blimey.
But he was very good with kids. They liked him, and he got on well with them. It is said that Rod hated Emu, but I honestly think it was a very good, very funny and very clever act. And looking at his earlier work in Australia, he definitely had that Stan Laurel look and work ethic about him. I really do think people should have given him the chance to do more writing – which is what he wanted.
Rod Hull was a genius and is greatly missed.
The other thing I came to, thanks to YouTube algorithms, was this compilation of Office Crabtree’s greatest lines from the BBC sitcom, ‘Allo ‘Allo which I also loved as a kid. I still laugh like a loon at some of these.