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Toonhound presents...






It's A Puppet!

    Lizzie Leek  in "The Munch Bunch"

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  Munch Bunch    
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  producers: Mary Tuner and John Read
                      for ITC Entertainment
       puppets: string and radio-controlled

series one                series three
                             1980 / 12x10mins    1981 / 21x10mins

                             series two                 series four
                             1981 / 13x10mins    1982 / 6x10mins

   "The Munch Bunch have run away,
    The Munch Bunch are here to stay,
    The Munch Bunch have found a home,
    With a garden..."


    The Munch Bunch were a group of unwanted fruit and vegetables who fled
greengrocer's shop and found happy new homes for themselves, in and
    around an old garden shed...

    This was Mary Turner and John Read's fourth and last series for ITC, following
    on from Rupert, Mumfie and Cloppa Castle. It was adapted from a series of
    picture books devised by Angela Mitson, who was only fourtenn at the time, and
    written by Denis Bond, working under the pen-name of Giles Reed. The books
    were published in the UK by Studio Publications between 1979 and 1984,
    and the first wave of small stories focused on individual Munch Bunch
    characters, much like the Mr Men books. Bond re-wrote these for the
    Turner/Read series, this time writing under his real name, together with 
    Rosemary Kingsland, and others.

    "The Munch Bunch" may not be quite as charming as Rupert or Mumfie,
    and it's not as knockabout-brilliant as Cloppa Castle, but it's still got bags
    of good heart. It's fun. It's memorable. It's got a poptastic theme song from
    Brian Wade that you won't forget in a hurry, and it really wants you to be

    Casper Carrot and Spud in "The Munch Bunch"   The Banana Bunch and Pedro Orange in "The Munch Bunch"

    Know your onions

    Here are the Munch Bunch. Most of the names correspond quite neatly
    with their vegetable type....

    Spud (potato)                  Wally Walnut
    Olly Onion                       Tom Tomato
    Casper Carrot                  Adam Avocado
    Lizzie Leek                      Button & Tiny (mushrooms)
    Pippa Pear                      Pedro Orange             
    Sally Strawberry              Lucy Lemon              
    Olive                              Emma Apple
    Bounce (spring onion)       Professor Peabody
    Supercool (cucumber)      Peanut

     Suzie Celery                        Corny On-the-Cob
    Billy Blackberry                Pete Pepper
    Scruff (gooseberry) 
    The Banana Bunch

     The Munch Bunch  - promotional artwork   A crew photo from "The Munch Bunch"


    Gangs and bunches

    The Munch Bunch are often confused with a similar gaggle of fruit and
    vegetables known as "The Garden Gang". These characters starred in a
    series of stories created by Jayne Fisher. She was just nine years old when
    they were published by Ladybird Books in 1979, and thus she became
    Ladybird's youngest ever author.

    Given the timing, there was clearly some publishing rivalry going on
    between these two fruity groups, and their two young creators. Harry
    Hill would have had a field day pitching them against each other....
    Collector's Corner

    If you can't get Brian Wade's theme out of your head, you might want to track
    down a tie-in LP with lots more musical goodness to savour.
"The Munch Bunch
    Stories and Songs" was released by Tempo Records in 1980. It featured
    original songs from the series, and stories narrated by members of the
    "Blue Peter" team. Here's the full track listing:

      Side A
      Munch Bunch Theme (song)
      Meet the Munch Bunch (narrated by Lesley Judd)
      Pedro Orange (narrated by Peter Purves)
      Come and See Our Castle (song)
      Casper Carrot (narrated by John Noakes)
      All Aboard the Munch Bus (song)
      Emma Apple (narrated by Lesley Judd)
      Spaceship Countdown (song)
      Wally Walnut (narrated by Peter Purves)
      Swing Your Brolly (song)

      Side B
      Scruff Gooseberry (narrated by John Noakes)
      There's Gonna Be a Hoedown (song)
      Lucy Lemon (narrated by Lesley Judd)
      Banana Rock, Banana Roll (song)
      Supercool Cucumber (narrated by Peter Purves)
      Come to School (song)
      Olly Onion (narrated by John Noakes)
      Ship Ahoy (song)
      Pippa Pear (narrated by Lesley Judd)
      Munch Bunch Theme

    Broadcast info

    All four series were first shown on ITV.

    Series One premiered on 24th September, 1980.
    Series Two premiered on
25th March, 1981.
    Series Three premiered on 30th September, 1981.
    Series Four premiered on 7th April, 1982


    Munch Bunch episodes

    Meet the Munch Bunch
    School's Great
    Emma's Portrait
    A Clean Story
    Madam Suzie
    The Corn Exchange


      from ITC Entertainment

     director:           Mary Turner
     photography:    John Read
     music:              composed and performed
                             by Brian Wade 
                             produced by ITC Filmscores Ltd
     writer:              Denis Bond
                             based upon the series of books
                             by Studio Publications (Ipswich) Ltd
                             Rosemary Kingsland and others...

     The Munch Bunch brought to life by:
     Christine Glanville,
Sue Dacre, Joyce Wren,
     Ann Brandon,
 Francis Wright
     settings:           John Jelly
     assisted by:       Bogus Machnik
Paul Marwaha   
     sound:              Clive Coker, David Holmes
    David Ross
     voices:              Judy Bennett
                             Charles Collingwood


     On the web

     Off the Telly 
     TJ Worthington has contributed this excellent Rupert/Mary Turner article
     to an equally-excellent tv site - well worth a read....

     Denis Bond
     Info on Mr Bond's tv and publishing careers...

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© ITC Entertainment / Mary Turner & John Read / F2010