|This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2009)|
|Created by||Anne Wood|
|Developed by||Ragdoll Productions|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of episodes||82|
|Original channel||Channel 4, PBS, CBC, Fuji TV (Japan)|
|Original run||1985 – 1990|
Pob's Programme is a children's television programme which was broadcast in the United Kingdom on Channel 4 between October 1985 and November 1987. The programme is presented by a puppet named Pob (played by puppeteer Robin Stevens), who speaks a primitive version of English and who supposedly lives inside the viewer's TV (the casing and red, green and blue electron guns visible behind him). Music was composed and performed by Mike Stanley. The opening titles of the show consist of the character breathing on the camera lens (this breathing was often mistaken for spitting, given the loud noise accompanying it and the thick condensation appearing on screen), and tracing his name in the condensation. Each week on the programme, a celebrity guest visits Pob's garden, and entertains him — though Pob and the guest never appear on screen together.
In a typical episode, the celebrity visitor to the show finds a label attached to a piece of string on the gates of Pob's garden;
- If in my programme you would be,
- Wind the wool and follow me.
- Follow where the wool is led first the Yellow then the Red
The celebrity guest then follows the woollen string, winding it as they go, and encountering a second label;
- Wind it slowly, wind it fast,
- A secret you will find at last.
Ultimately the wool is found to be Pob's unravelled jumper, and he is awoken to trace his name on the screen. Over the course of the programme, the celebrity guest reads a story, and solves a word puzzle with Pob.
Before the end of the programme, the celebrity guest gives Pob a gift, usually related to their story, which they attach to the woollen thread of Pob's jumper. Pob retrieves the gift, and plays with it, stopping periodically to wipe the programme's end credits from the fourth wall. The Ragdoll logo follows at the end of every episode, another ragdoll appears, but as a toy and Pob blows out the candle held by the toy ragdoll while the cartoon ragdoll stays on screen. The next celebrity visitor is seen arriving at Pob's garden, realises they are a week too early, and leaves.
Over 24 celebrity visitors appeared on Pob's Programme, some appearing twice. The visitors, many of them well known as actors, included Roy Castle, Madhur Jaffrey, Brian Blessed, Hannah Gordon, Su Pollard, Kathy Staff, Spike Milligan and Toyah Willcox. One episode was filmed on location at Birmingham Children's Hospital with Polly James as a patient.
Various celebrities had recurring segments on Pob's Programme, including Nigel Kennedy (who would attempt to teach Pob to play the violin), Dick King-Smith (who would follow nature trails based on clues that Pob would send him), Alan Dart (who would be seen, hands only, doing a different handicraft project each episode) and Rod Campbell (who would devise different ways to open a mystery box).
Pob was often accompanied in his mischief by a silent teddy bear called Teddy, operated by Bob Berk and Wanda Szajna-Hopgood.