producers: Woodland Animations Ltd for the BBC animation: stop-motion animation episodes:
13 x 15mins
Chalk, Charlie Chalk,
Got a funny way of walking
and a funny way of chalking...."
Charlie is indeed a funny-walking circus clown
who falls asleep one day in his row
boat and finds himself drifting towards the uncharted
desert island of Merrytwit.
This tropical shangri-la is home to a motley crew
of eccentrics, amongst them
Captain Mildred who lives with Mary the Hover
Fairy onboard her washed-up boat The Buttercup, Louis T Duck, Trader Jones,
a snoozy shuffling monkey-dog-thing
called Edward, Arnold the clumsy pink elephant
("Sorry!"), Litterbug and a
bizarre teddy-bear-mouse-head-thingy called Bert...
Here is another of those classic shows which
one assumes was a "long-stayer"
but whose notoriety is actually based on one season
of episodes being frequently
repeated. That single season is actually very
tidily book-ended. The first episode,
depicts his arrival, whilst the last "Goodbye,
concerns his decision to leave Merrytwit
and return to the circus on the
Interesting to note that Charlie's voice wasn't
actually as funny as the title
song implied. He was voiced rather normally
by Michael Williams. His friends
were the ones with funny vocal inflections.
He did have a funny way of walking,
though. On occasion he would tumble in an
frame, around obstacles, or just to show folks
how happy he was. And he
could do a little magic too. In "Arnold's
Night Out" he magically rustles up a
camping stove and kettle from out of Louis'
This is another bright and jolly show from
Ivor Wood and his Woodland Animations.
Merrytwit has some fab fun foliage and the
characters are typically "Woodian"
and hugely appealing. In the 'noughties Charlie
featurexd on the children's
menus and play area equipment at the Brewsters
and Brewers Fayre pub
restaurants found all round Britain - and fun rides,
too. Before that, in the
1990s, he had his own comic strip in the pages of
"Postman Pat Weekly".
With remakes currently all the rage, isn't it time
we returned to Merrytwit?
The series premiered on BBC1, on 20th October
Shipwrecked Charlie The
Arnold's Night Out There
are no Roads on Merrytwit
Coconut Harvest Mildred's
The Sneezes Bert's
Return of the Litter
The Mountain that Moaned Goodbye,
Edward Keeps Fit
dir of animation: Derek
Mogford writer: Jocelyn
Stevenson music & lyrics: Mike
Redway sung by: Ken
Barrie film editor: Martin
Brian Driver voices: Michael