Gordon the Gopher

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Gordon the Gopher
Portrayed by Paul Smith[1]
Information
Species Gopher
Gender Male

Gordon the Gopher, also known as Gordon T. Gopher, an English puppet gopher who first appeared on Children's BBC (CBBC) between 1985 and 1987, presenting television shows with Phillip Schofield on the interstitial or in-vision continuity programme The Broom Cupboard.[2] His main puppeteer was Paul Smith, who would later go on to a career as a BBC executive.[3]

Personal[edit]

In the early 2000s (decade), Schofield stated in interviews that since his television work of the 1980s/1990s, Gordon has had a tragic (fictitious) life. In an interview on Channel 4's Zippy and George's Puppet Legends (2005), he revealed that Gordon is now an alcoholic. In an interview with Heat magazine (27 May – 2 June 2006 issue), Schofield revealed that Gordon had died in a ram-raiding accident. This claim, however, was belied by Gordon's later television appearances.

On 9 June 2008, Schofield commented on his television show This Morning that Gordon was back in rehab.

Career[edit]

Early work[edit]

Gordon's first appearances were on CBBC between 1985 and 1987, presenting television shows with Phillip Schofield on the interstitial programme The Broom Cupboard.[2]

In 1987, Gordon and Schofield, with Sarah Greene, went on to present the Saturday morning show Going Live!. On one occasion, Gordon was famously attacked by a puppy that had been brought on to the show. In 1988, Gordon and Schofield were replaced on The Broom Cupboard by Edd the Duck and Andy Crane.

In 1991, Gordon had a series named after himself which was shown on CBBC on BBC One and BBC Two and ran from 3 January 1991 to 28 March 1991 only lasting a series of 13 episodes, appearing with his friend and colleague Phillip Schofield. The series was shown twice on BBC One, the first time being in January to March 1991 and again from 26th October to 21st December 1992 continuing where BBC Two left off at lunchtime repeats in Summer 1991, BBC Two have also repeated the series at lunchtimes four times from 18th June to 23rd July 1991, 20th September to 6th December 1993, 9th March to 1st June 1994, The Christmas season of 1994 from 22nd and 23rd December 1994 and 17th January 1995 to 28th March 1995. It has not been repeated since 28th March 1995 on the BBC.

In 1990, he appeared on a children's programme called Scrooge – A Christmas Sarah.

Later work[edit]

During his 2005 Room 101 appearance, Schofield made an attempt to place Gordon in Room 101 (i.e., consign him to the past), but in an audience vote Gordon was spared.

On 26 February 2006, Gordon briefly appeared at the end of Channel 4's The 100 Greatest Funny Moments.

In December 2006, he returned to the screen in the Going Live! segment of the BBC special It Started With... Swap Shop.

Gordon also made a brief appearance with Schofield during a 1980s-themed edition of Dancing on Ice in February 2009. He also made a brief appearance on 5 February 2012 edition.

Gordon appeared on This Morning on 13 September 2010 to celebrate Phillip Schofield's 25th anniversary of first presenting CBBC. Schofield said "I miss him".[4][5]

In September 2013 Gordon appeared on an episode of Celebrity Juice.

Puppeteers[edit]

Gordon was operated by several people in The Broom Cupboard, but the person who did it longest was BBC TV executive Paul Smith who also operated Gordon for the whole run of Going Live!.

Influence[edit]

Gordon's famous leather jacket was a gift from Adam Ant, who made and decorated the jacket himself. Ant had befriended Gordon while being interviewed on Going Live! in February 1990 to promote his new single, and described Gordon as "one of the most interesting people" he'd met.

Gordon was parodied by comedian Brian Conley as "Larry the Loafer," puppet sidekick of sarcastic children's TV presenter Nick Frisbee. The skit is one of Conley's most widely remembered, along with its catchphrase "It's a puppet!"

In 2006, Gordon was mentioned on Little Britain Abroad in the first Lou and Andy sketch. Lou tells Andy that he's planning to take Andy to Disney World. When Lou asks Andy who he's looking forward to meeting, Andy replies "Gordon the Gopher."

References[edit]