Stoppit and Tidyup

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Stoppit and Tidyup
Title screen showing the series' logo and two main characters - Stoppit (left) and Tidyup
Created byCharles Mills
Terry Brain
Written byCharles Mills
Terry Brain
Steve Box
Narrated byTerry Wogan
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Producer(s)John Howson
Editor(s)Robert Copeland
Running time5 minutes
Production company(s)CMTB Animation, The Tidy Britain Group, Queensgate Productions
Original networkBBC1
Original release12 September[1] – 5 December 1988[2]
Preceded byThe Trap Door (1984–1986)
Followed byBump (1990–1993)

Stoppit and Tidyup was a British children's animated cartoon series originally broadcast by the BBC in 1988. The stories feature two protagonists, Stoppit and Tidyup, interacting with various other characters in the mythical land of Do As You're Told. Each episode was five minutes in length and narrated by Terry Wogan. The series was created by Charles Mills and Terry Brain, and was partly funded by The Tidy Britain Group.


The short-running series features cartoon characters who live in the land of Do As You're Told, a strange and colourful place whose inhabitants are named after orders directed at children by their parents. A single series of thirteen episodes was produced. Each episode is named after a new character that features in the episode. (There is one character who does not have an episode named after him — Not Now, who is I Said No's pet).

The series follows the exploits of the frequently immature Stoppit and the hard-done-by Tidyup in their native land, which is filled with giant gherkins. None of the characters actually speak decipherable words as such. Instead they gabble, grunt, squeak, and hum whilst series narrator Terry Wogan unravels the tale for viewers.

The storylines are notable for their random, abstract nature, and the fact that an episode will frequently end without any moral message at all. For example, in the twelfth episode, Clean Your Teeth, snow falls in the middle of summer, and Stoppit is left behind on his own while Tidyup and Clean Your Teeth play on sledges at the end, even though he loves the snow.


The creators Charles Mills and Terry Brain had previously created the claymation The Trap Door. Stoppit and Tidyup was cel-animated, unlike its stop-motion predecessor. The third member of the team was animator Steve Box, who later gained success after moving to Aardman Animations.


The eponymous protagonists were Stoppit, a red ball of fluff with arms and legs, and Tidyup, a necktie-wearing purple creature shaped like a bowling pin. Supporting characters include Comb Your Hair, Wash Your Face, Hurry Up, Go and Play, Calm Down, Not Now, Say Please And Say Thank You, BeeHave, BeeQuiet, Go to Bed, Don't Do That, Take Care, Eat Your Greens, Clean Your Teeth, and I Said No. There are also groups of unnamed characters referred to as Naughties and Sit Downs.


There were also twelve tie-in books published by Price Stern Sloan Ltd, and an illustrated annual was released in 1989. All thirteen episodes were released a VHS by BBC Video (Cat No. BBCV 4207) in that same year, but this is now out of print. All thirteen episodes were later re-released on DVD by Universal Pictures in 2004.

Episode list[edit]

# Title Air date Summary
1 BeeQuiet and BeeHave 12 September 1988 The two bees, BeeQuiet and BeeHave, accidentally carry away the roof of Tidyup's house.
2 Eat Your Greens 19 September 1988 Eat Your Greens loves eating flowers and gherkins — which is bad news for Tidyup and his garden.
3 Comb Your Hair 26 September 1988 Stoppit and Tidyup head for their favourite picnic spot — and what better way to get there than riding on Comb Your Hair?
4 Wash Your Face 3 October 1988 It's a rainy old day in the land of Do As You're Told, and Stoppit and Tidyup have forgotten who comes out after it rains.
5 Go And Play 10 October 1988 Go And Play decides to do something exciting, and rounds up everybody in the land for a great game of football.
6 I Said No 17 October 1988 It's the Day of the Great Gherkin Feast and everybody is out collecting gherkins. But I Said No, along with Not Now, is out to ruin things for everyone.
7 Hurry Up 24 October 1988 When Tidyup catches Naughtypox, Stoppit and Hurry Up have to race to the valley of the Sit Downs to find a cure.
8 Calm Down 31 October 1988 It's a windy day in the land of Do As You're Told and Calm Down is being blown about all over the place, until Tidyup has one of his famous bright ideas.
9 Don't Do That 7 November 1988 There's something nasty in Tidyup's garden, and it's making rude noises. It's Don't Do That. Whenever Don't Do That is around, that means trouble.
10 Go To Bed 14 November 1988 Go To Bed just can't stay awake. But today he can't find anywhere to sleep without being disturbed — or can he?
11 Say Please And Say Thank You 21 November 1988 Tidyup meets Say Please And Say Thank You (a single creature, albeit with two faces) at the bottom of a hole. Say Please And Say Thank You is the only character with an episode who is not mentioned in the programme's opening sequence.
12 Clean Your Teeth 28 November 1988 Tidyup likes Clean Your Teeth because he can do clever things — but Stoppit thinks he's just a big show-off!
13 Take Care 5 December 1988 It's Birthday Day in the land of Do As You're Told, and Take Care has the job of delivering the presents — but unfortunately, he mixes them all up.


  • Narrated by: Terry Wogan
  • Series Devised by: Charles Mills, Terry Brain
  • Written and Directed by: Charles Mills, Terry Brain, Steve Box
  • Animation: Charles Mills, Terry Brain, Steve Box
  • Editing: Robert Copeland
  • Dubbing: Glentham Studios
  • Produced by: John Howson
  • Copyright owned by: CMTB Animation/Queensgate Productions 1987

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Radio Times 10–16 September 1988, pages 35, 86
  2. ^ Radio Times 3–9 December 1988, page 62

External links[edit]