Charlie Chalk

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Charlie Chalk
Format Stop Motion
Created by Ivor Wood
Directed by Derek Mogford
Starring Michael Williams, John Welles, Barbara Leigh-Hunt
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of episodes 13
Production
Producer(s) Ivor Wood
Running time 15 minutes per episode (approx)
Production company(s) Woodland Animations
Broadcast
Original channel BBC (Terrestrial)
TCC - Tiny TCC (1995) (Cable)
Original run 20 October 1988 – 19 April 1989

Charlie Chalk is a stop motion animation series produced in 1987 in the United Kingdom by Woodland Animations, from the creators of Postman Pat and the two other children's television programmes that are Gran and Bertha.

Synopsis[edit]

It tells the story of Charlie Chalk - a jolly clown who, after falling asleep whilst fishing out at sea, ends up on a strange island by the name of Merrytwit (as explained in the title sequence before each episode). Characters had to be aware of coconuts which constantly fell from the trees on the island.

The pilot episode of the series (entitled 'Shipwrecked Charlie') finds Charlie having just landed on Merrytwit, and after making friends with some of its inhabitants, decides to stay and build a home there. The following episodes follow Charlie and his new friends on various adventures on the island.

Main characters[edit]

  • Charlie Chalk: A good natured and friendly peaceful clown, he was out on a fishing trip, when he ended up on Merrytwit Island. In the theme tune, he is described as having "a funny way of walking and a wacky way of chalking". He was voiced by Michael Williams. His 'funny way of walking' is demonstrated when on occasion he tumbles in an acrobatic circus-style through frames, around obstacles, or just to show folks how happy he is. He also has the ability to do magic tricks.
  • Captain Mildred: The boss, who loves to see everyone hard at work and has the practice of listing things that have to be done: "a: do this; b: do that" etc. She lives on the beached ship Buttercup. She shows strong influences of Margaret Thatcher.[citation needed]
  • Mary the Hover Fairy: An old fairy who often proves useful due to her ability to cast spells, provided her magic wand, Houdini, has not wandered off again. She is getting old, so has decided to settle down on Merrytwit. She now lives on Buttercup, serving as Mildred's first mate.
  • Lewis T. Duck: A small duck with a short temper. He is full of ideas, and believes them to be the best, so is quick to inform people that he is "always right". He can be quite friendly but lacks patience. The 'T' stands for 'The'.
  • Arnold the Elephant: A pink elephant, who is quite jolly, but also very clumsy, much to the annoyance of Lewis, who always seems to be on the receiving end of Arnold's bouts of clumsiness!
  • Edward: A monkey who spends his time sleeping and has quite a dislike for work.
  • Trader Jones: Trader is the island's odd job man. Not only does he drive a bike which acts as a taxi and a means of transporting goods, he also owns a general supplies store on the island: 'if you want it, he's got it.' He never accepts money; he trades. A supply of bananas may cost a day's beachcombing.
  • Bert: A giant monster, discovered by Charlie, Arnold and Lewis in The Mountain that Moaned episode. He lives inside a cave, and whilst an extremely friendly monster, he is quite lacking in intelligence.
  • Litterbug: A tiny little bug who is kept busy tidying up litter around the island. He often complains about the amount of litter, but does not realise there would be far less litter if his sack did not have a hole in it. Being so tiny, he is not always noticed, a fact which further frustrates him.

Episode list[edit]

The series consisted of 13 original episodes, as listed below:

# Title Summary Broadcast Date
1 Shipwrecked Charlie Charlie Chalk lands on Merrytwit and meets Edward, Trader Jones, Captain Mildred, Arnold and Lewis T. Duck. They all agree that the first thing Charlie must do is build a house but choosing the best location proves difficult. 20 October 1988
2 Arnold's Night Out Charlie finds a treasure map and he, Lewis and Arnold decide to go looking for the treasure but become confused and fall out with each other. Arnold ends up finding the treasure after walking through the night. 27 October 1988
3 The Coconut Harvest In the middle of the coconut harvest, Trader Jones makes a wish and, before anyone knows what has happened, Mary the Hover Fairy appears. She grants Trader's wish but he discovers that the magic may not be the best way to harvest coconuts. 3 November 1988
4 The Sneezes Charlie unfortunately has to cancel the big expedition to find the Bye Bye Beast because he has got the sneezes. But when Trader Jones' cure for the dread disease happens to include the elusive Beast's favourite food, Charlie's luck changes. 10 November 1988
5 Jumping Bananas Litterbug, on his constant quest for tidiness, picks up Mary the Hover Fairy's wand when she puts it down half way through a spell. When the poor creature is chased by a crowd of jumping bananas, he finds out that there could be such a thing as being too tidy. 17 November 1988
6 The Mountain That Moaned One day Arnold claims that the mountain moaned and no one believes him. So Charlie and Lewis decide to set off and see why the mountain moans. The mountain leads them to a new friend. 24 November 1988
7 Edward Keeps Fit It is inspection day on Merrytwit and Captain Mildred decides it is time lazy Edward took some exercise. 1 December 1988
8 The Feast Charlie is helping Trader Jones beach combing when they stumble upon a cookery book. Trader decides to prepare the first Merrytwit feast, but when coconuts and bananas are the only ingredients available, the feast does not quite work out as planned. 8 December 1988
9 There Are No Roads On Merrytwit Lewis T. Duck, who is always right, is dismayed to discover that there are no roads on Merrytwit. So he decides to build one. 15 December 1988
10 Mildred's Day Off Captain Mildred is becoming bored of her day-to-day life of living on her boat she calls a home, so she decided to take her best friend Mary the Hover Fairy with her on a short holiday. 22 December 1988
11 Bert's Boring Day The cave monster Bert is having a boring day, he has run out of interesting things to do in Merrytwit, but his day soon livens up when his friends plan a day full of fun. 5 April 1989
12 Return Of The Litter It will soon be Litterbug's birthday; Charlie and the other inhabitants of Merrytwit cannot think of a gift to give Litterbug for his birthday, they decide to explore the island for the perfect gift. 12 April 1989
13 Goodbye, Hello Although Charlie is enjoying his new life on Merrytwit, he also misses the circus and his old friends back home, so Charlie decides to say goodbye to Merrytwit and his newfound friends and go back to his old life as a clown, but in the end decides to stay on Merrytwit. 19 April 1989

Merchandise[edit]

  • Charlie Chalk - The Complete Collection features all 13 episodes and is currently available in the UK on a single DVD release. It was made by Right Entertainment plc in 2005.
  • In 1994, Redrock Records released a Charlie Chalk LP. It included the several incidental songs played on the show and the full Charlie Chalk theme song which includes some previously unheard lyrics.
  • A new Charlie Chalk CD has been developed in America.
  • The UK based restaurant chain Brewers Fayre originally used Charlie Chalk as their mascot, but this image has since changed to the firm's own 'Brewster the Bear' who has from the early-2010s been replaced with new kids character called 'Penny the Pineapple' and nowadays to be replaced by the famous spooky cartoon character Scooby Doo for children's menus.
  • Charlie Chalk Fun Factory was a play area for little kids, found in large Pubs across the United Kingdom, now only found around Aberdeen!

UK VHS releases[edit]

All 13 episodes were released on three BBC Videos in the UK between 1988 and 1991.

VHS video title Year of release Episodes
Charlie Chalk - Shipwrecked Charlie (BBCV 4195) 7 November 1988 Shipwrecked Charlie, Arnold's Night Out, Coconut Harvest, Sneezes, Jumping Bananas
Charlie Chalk - The Mountain That Moaned (BBCV 4427) 5 November 1990 The Mountain That Moaned, Edward Keeps Fit, The Feast, There are No Roads on Merrytwit.
Charlie Chalk - Mildred's Day Off (BBCV 4636) 15 July 1991 Mildred's Day Off, Bert's Boring Day, Return of the Litter, Goodbye Hello.

In 1995, a WHSmith Exclusive Children's Video by Tempo Video/Abbey Home Entertainment was released in store.

VHS video title Year of release Episodes
Charlie Chalk - Jumping Bananas (975927) 1995 Sneezes, Return of the Litter, Mildred's Day Off, The Feast, Jumping Bananas

Also in 1995, two 'Tempo Kids Club' videos (each with two stories on each tape) in the Abbey Home Entertainment series were released.

VHS video title Year of release Episodes
Charlie Chalk - There are No Roads on Merrytwit (978225) 1995 'There are No Roads on Merrytwit' and 'Edward Keeps Fit'
Charlie Chalk - Coconut Harvest (986725) 1995 'Coconut Harvest' and 'Goodbye, Hello'

In 1999 The Contender Group released two videos under the 'Nippers' children's video label.

VHS video title Year of release Episodes
Charlie Chalk Bumper Video (NIP11063) 1999 Shipwrecked Charlie, Arnold's Night Out, The Coconut Harvest, Sneezes, Jumping Bananas
The Adventures of Charlie Chalk (NIP11085) 2000 The Mountain That Moaned, Edward Keeps Fit, Mildred's Day Off, Return of The Litter

References[edit]

External links[edit]