Otis the Aardvark
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Otis the Aardvark was a puppet presenter on Children's BBC. Otis mainly presented the afternoon links on BBC One alongside the main CBBC presenters. Otis was thought[who?] to be inspired by the 1992 Children's BBC idents which ended with a voice proclaiming "Tell that aardvark it's a wrap". These idents led to much speculation as to what the phrase meant. However, these idents were dropped just before the character of Otis appeared in late 1994.
Otis is said to have obtained his name from the OTIS Elevator in the CBBC building at BBC Television Centre. Dave Chapman was the puppeteer. He also performed in a number of other Children's BBC programmes, notably as The Cat from Dick and Dom in Da Bungalow.
In 1996, he presented CBBC on Nickelodeon during school hours on Nickelodeon alongside Nick Junior and his co-presenter was mascot Arthur the Ant in front of an ice cream parlour. He left in 1997 and was replaced by his cousin Marvin who presented from a shed until the strand finished on 16 July 1999. After leaving CBBC in late 1999 Otis appeared on a puppet based quiz show before the puppet was finally laid to rest, with the announcement given claiming that the character had gone to work at the BBC canteen, although Otis made appearances on other CBBC shows including Insides Out and Live & Kicking and Clever Creatures until 2001. Otis was followed by another puppet called Emlyn the Gremlyn, who supported the live human presenters on the early afternoon links for a further two and a half years .
On 28 December 2007, Otis reappeared on a special 'puppet' edition of The Weakest Link for the BBC. He was voted off in the second round by Roland Rat (who hilariously nicknamed him as "Otis The Anteater"), Nobby The Sheep, Jelly and Jackson, Zippy and George and Soo (puppet), while he, Roly Mo and Nev the Bear voted off Zippy and George.
In a 2009 interview BBC Presenter Kirsten O'Brien revealed that she has the Otis the Aardvark puppet and once used it unsuccessfully to impress a date.
On 1 April 2010, Otis appeared on the ITV2 show Celebrity Juice.
Otis made another appearance along with other former presenters and puppets on 9 September 2015 to mark the 30th anniversary of CBBC.
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