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 by Charles Mills
Terry Brain
Written by Charles Mills
Terry Brain
Steve Box
Narrated by Terry Wogan
Country of origin United Kingdom
Producer(s) John Howson
Editor(s) Robert Copeland
Running time 5 minutes
Production company(s) CMTB Animation, The Tidy Britain Group, Queensgate Productions
Original network BBC1
Original release 12 September[1] – 5 December 1988[2]
Preceded by The Trap Door (1984–1986)
Followed by Bump (1990–1994)

Stoppit and Tidyup is a British children's animated cartoon series that was originally broadcast by the BBC in 1988. The series was created by Charles Mills and Terry Brain, the duo behind CMTB Animation, who had previously created a claymation called The Trap Door. Apart from the main characters Stoppit, a red ball of fluff with arms and legs, and Tidyup, a necktie-wearing purple creature shaped like a bowling pin, the supporting characters include Comb Your Hair, Wash Your Face, Hurry Up, Go and Play, poor little Calm Down, nasty little Not Now, the two bees, BeeHave and BeeQuiet, sleepy old Go to Bed, Don't Do That, Take Care, Eat Your Greens, Clean Your Teeth, and the big, bad I Said No; not to mention Say Please And Say Thank You. There are also extra characters called Naughties and Sit Downs, and they all live in the mythical land of Do As You're Told. Each episode was five minutes in length. The series was partly funded by The Tidy Britain Group, a Wigan-based organisation whose aim was to reduce the amount of unsolicited rubbish in and around the United Kingdom.

General information[edit]

The short-running series is about cartoon characters who live in the land of Do As You're Told, which is a strange and colourful place whose inhabitants are named after orders directed at children by their parents. The episodes in which these characters appear are named after their character; only one series of thirteen episodes was produced. Stoppit, Tidyup and their friends were cel-animated, unlike its stop-motion predecessor. The third hand in CMTB Animation was animator Steve Box, who has since had independent success via Aardman Animations, animating Wallace and Gromit's penguin nemesis Feathers McGraw for The Wrong Trousers and directing the BAFTA-winning short film Stage Fright. Both he and Terry Brain were also key animators for Aardman's first feature film, Chicken Run.

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. (There is one character who does not have an episode named after him — Not Now, who is I Said No's pet).

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.

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 on VHS by the BBC (Cat No. BBCV 4207) in that same year, but this is now out of print. All thirteen episodes were later rereleased on DVD by Right Entertainment 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 at the bottom of a hole.
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]