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George (first from left) appearing on TV show Rainbow.
George is an effeminate anthropomorphic pink hippo and a character of the popular children's television programme Rainbow in the 1980s, voiced by Roy Skelton and operated by Malcolm Lord, Tony Holtham and later Craig Crane.
Sporting long eyelashes, George often appeared to be initially outwitted by the more extrovert and egotistical Zippy. However in the manner of The Tortoise and the Hare, George normally won through in the end.
George was noted for his fondness of stories from the Rainbow book.
George was initially created on the 23rd April 1972, St.George's Day in England, by Majorie Lord as a present to her son Malcolm, who operated George throughout his tenure at the BBC, the puppet can still be seen in the BBC Archive gallery.
George's "catchphrase" was his own delayed and elongated goodbye at the end of the show, i.e. Geoffrey, Zippy, Bungle, Rod, Jane, Freddy would say "goodbye" normally, followed by a one-second pause and then George's own "good by-eye".
In December 2007, Zippy and George appeared on a puppet special of the Weakest Link hosted by Anne Robinson which was originally broadcast on Friday, December 28, 2007 at 18:00 GMT on BBC1. They were third to be eliminated.
George makes an appearance alongside Zippy in the premiere episode of BBC television series Ashes to Ashes. He was operated by Mark Mander on that programme, although Skelton continued to provide his voice.
- Ashes to Ashes episode 1.1, at 57:59
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