Emu's TV Series

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Emu's TV Series
Genre Children's television
Created by Rod Hull
Written by Rod Hull
Directed by Colin Clews (ITV shows)
Presented by Rod Hull
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
Production company(s) Central Independent Television, BBC
Original network ITV Network (CITV), BBC

Emu was an anarchic British television puppet of Rod Hull, and after successfully appearing on a number of variety shows, he was given his own television series on the BBC, then on ITV.


Emu's Broadcasting Company[edit]

Emu's Broadcasting Company (1975–1980) was a children's television series featuring Rod Hull and Emu running their own television station, which parodied many BBC series of the time. Supporting Rod Hull and his emu puppet were Billy Dainty who played a James Bond pastiche called Captain Perceval and Barbara New who played the tea lady.


  • Series 1: 6 editions from 18 November 1975 – 23 December 1975
  • Series 2: 6 editions from 12 November 1976 – 17 December 1976
  • Series 3: 6 editions from 10 October 1977 – 14 November 1977
  • Series 4: 8 editions from 26 October 1978 – 14 December 1978
  • Series 5: 8 editions from 2 December 1979 – 27 January 1980
  • Christmas Special: 24 December 1977

BBC Specials[edit]

Rod and Emu soon became staples of early-evening variety entertainment on or around Bank Holidays, and the following one-off specials were made for the BBC:

  • Emu's Blackpool Walkabout: 29 August 1977 (30 Minutes)[2]
  • Emu's Cornish Walkabout: 28 August 1978 (30 Minutes)[3]
  • Emu's Scottish Walkabout: 27 August 1979 (35 Minutes)[4]
  • Emu's Magical Music Show: 27 December 1980 (35 Minutes)[5]
  • Emu's Magical Christmas Show: 27 December 1981 (35 Minutes)[6]
  • Emu's Magical Easter Show: 12 April 1982 (35 Minutes)[7]

Rod and Emu's Saturday Specials (BBC)[edit]

  • Series 1: 6 editions from 1 January 1983 – 5 February 1983[8]

The Rod & Emu Show (BBC)[edit]

  • Series 1: 6 editions from 28 January 1984 – 10 March 1984[9]


Emu's World[edit]

In 1981, Rod Hull was offered the opportunity to make a series for younger children by the newly-awarded ITV franchise Central Independent Television. This led to the birth of the Pink Windmill in which Rod and Emu lived, the green witch named Grotbags (played by the singer and comedienne Carol Lee Scott), and her hopeless assistant Croc. The premise of the show was simple: each week Grotbags attempted to steal Emu so that, once captured, (in Grotbags's own words) she would be able to use its "special powers" to control all the "brats" in the world. Children from the Corona Theatre School – referred to collectively as the Pink Windmill Kids – were on hand to offer protection and break into one or two song and dance routines per episode.

One of the best-remembered moments of the show is Rod Hull's chanted catchphrase "There's somebody at the door, oh, there's somebody at the door" every time a visitor rang the doorbell of the Pink Windmill – which 'sneezed' loudly when pressed.


  • Series 1: 6 editions from 5 January 1982 – 9 February 1982
  • Series 2: 6 editions from 20 October 1982 – 24 November 1982
  • Series 3: 6 editions from 2 March 1983 – 6 April 1983
  • Series 4: 6 editions from 7 September 1983 – 12 October 1983
  • Special: Emu's World at Christmas – 21 December 1983
  • Series 5: 6 editions from 9 March 1984 – 13 April 1984
  • Special: Emu at Easter: 20 April 1984

Emu's All Live Pink Windmill Show[edit]

The success of Emu's World led to the series being expanded in mid-1984 from 20-minute to 42-minute episodes and re-branded as the Pink Windmill Show. The target age range was broadened, and the programme now featured viewer phone calls, a studio audience, games such as one in Grotbags's grotto based on the format of the "take the money or open the box" segment of Take Your Pick!, the Post Office (for viewers to send their letters and pictures), and Boggle's Kingdom – a mini-series featuring Rod's ancestor who is trapped in Tudor times. A subsequent addition was the Twin Schools section, which aimed to pair British schools with similar ones in Australia, Canada, or the US.

The singing and dancing of the Pink Windmill Kids was retained, extra character Robot Redford introduced, and the show in this format achieved enormous popularity (evidenced by being broadcast in the coveted Children's ITV slot of last thing on a Friday). Three series were broadcast live from 1984 to 1986 (despite the third run dropping "All Live" from the title), and in 1987 two series of Emu's Wide World were made. These followed a similar formula to the Pink Windmill Shows, but were pre-recorded, resulting in the phone-based Spin Quiz being replaced by Emu's Bargain Basement – an obstacle course in a supermarket. A final series of Emu's World aired in 1988, which retained Boggle's Kingdom and introduced an outdoors obstacle course despite being cut to a 20-minute run time. All series were produced and directed by Colin Clews for Central Independent Television and broadcast from the now-defunct East Midlands Television Centre in Nottingham.

A clip from the very first live episode, which saw the Pink Windmill Kids enthusiastically introducing themselves before launching into a rendition of the song "Can't Stop the Music", became an Internet meme in late 2016, and not long after, nine of the ten reunited to remake the segment for 2017's Comic Relief.[10]


Emu's All Live Pink Windmill Show

  • Series 1: 7 editions from 13 July 1984 – 24 August 1984
  • Emu at Christmas – 25 December 1984
  • Series 2: 13 editions from 12 April 1985 – 5 July 1985

Emu's Pink Windmill Show

  • Series 1: 10 editions from 14 February 1986 – 25 April 1986
  • Emu at Easter – 29 March 1986 (repeat of 1984 special)
  • Emu at Christmas – 26 December 1986 (repeat of 1984 special)

Emu's Wide World

  • Series 1: 9 editions from 3 April 1987 – 5 June 1987
  • Series 2: 8 editions from 3 November 1987 – 4 January 1988

Emu's World

  • Series 6: 13 editions from 12 May 1988 – 4 August 1988


Following the demise of Emu's World, Rod Hull went to Canada and recorded a single series of EMU-TV, based heavily on his earlier Emu's Broadcasting Company series. His co-stars this time were Murray Langston and Carolyn Scott, while Les Foubracs made regular guest appearances. These episodes were brought back to the UK and re-edited for a British audience by Central Independent Television, with a small number of additional segments featuring Grotbags and the Pink Windmill Kids also being shot.

Episode 5 of this series features future England international footballer Emile Heskey running an obstacle course and accidentally being called "Emily".[11]


  • Series 1: 22 editions from 15 March 1989 – 20 September 1989

Rod 'n' Emu[edit]


See also[edit]