Wizadora

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Wizadora
Wizadora.jpg
Cover of one of the Wizadora video releases, showing Tatty Bogle and Wizadora
Created by Don Arioli
Carolyne Cullum
Starring Cathy Lawday (1991–92)
Wendy van der Plank (1993–96,98)
Lizzie McPhee
(1997)
Steven Ryde (1994–98)
Brian Murphy
Tessa Hatts
Joe Greco (1993–94)
No. of series 8
No. of episodes 204 (18x15mins, 186x9min.)
Production
Producer(s) Janie Grace
Running time 9 (15 minutes for first ITV Series)
Release
Original network SWR (1991) ITV Network (CITV) (1993-1998)
Original release 15 September 1991 - 10 November 1991 (Oxford series) 5 January 1993 – 29 January 1998 (CITV)

Wizadora is a children's television programme originally broadcast on SWR in 1991 and then ITV in the United Kingdom from 5 January 1993 to 29 January 1998. The series was created by Don Arioli and Carolyne Cullum.[1] The title character, Wizadora, is a trainee wizard who is always trying to solve problems using magic. The episodes all took place in or around Wizadora's cottage.

Originally wizadora was used as an English language tool for non English speakers. The title role of wizadora was initially played by Connie Booth for an un aired pilot before Cathy Lawday was commissioned for the series. Wendy van der Plank then took over as 'Wizadora' when the series was picked up by ITV Two years later between 1993 and 1996. From 1997, Lizzie McPhee took over the role, as Wendy was away on maternity leave. Wendy came back for the last set of episodes from 29 January 1998 up to the end of the show's run.

Development[edit]

A pilot show starred Fawlty Towers writer and actress Connie Booth, who had been alerted to the character by John Cleese who had taken an interest in the production. The pilot was never broadcast.

The concept was then developed into a language teaching tool for children to learn the English language published by Oxford University Press in 1991. Cathy Lawday starred as the title character in the 1991 series.

Two years later it was taken up by ITV.[1]

Characters[edit]

  • Wizadora - the title character, a trainee wizard who receives her magic wand in the pilot episode, but she initially has problems with getting her spells right. Some of the things in Wizadora's kitchen are able to talk due to stray spells. Wizadora often breaks the fourth wall and talks to the viewers, and usually asks for their help when casting her spells. Wizadora's catchphrases include, "Oh, botheration!" and "Time for a bit of wizification".

Wizadora's companions included –

  • Tatty Bogle – a dim-witted scarecrow who lives in Wizadora's back garden and continully gets words muddled up. Played by Joe Greco (1993–1994) and Steven Ryde (1995–1998). Ryde was the voice-over announcer between programmes for the CITV service during the same period.
  • Stan the Shopkeeper, who regularly takes delivery of new magical catalogue items, played by Brian Murphy
  • Pippa the Postwoman, played by Tessa Hatts
  • Top/Sticky/Bottom – three talking drawer people. Once described as "a real nuisance" by Wizadora, they are very naughty, usually teasing Hangle and/or Filbert, and are always attempting to steal food or getting up to some kind of mischief whenever Wizadora's back is turned. Their antics usually end up causing a lot of trouble; one time Top invented a Grub Grabber to try and steal some food, but the device frightened Filbert who accidentally knocked over some potions, some of which got into Very Old Fish's tank and turned him into a purple blob. Wizadora usually punishes them by zapping them back into their drawers with her wand.
  • Phoebe – a talking telephone. Early in the series, Phoebe was pink with a yellow headset, but later on, she's orange while her headset turns red. Phoebe answers calls, takes messages, and speaks lots of different languages.
  • Filbert – a squeaking vegetable and a fellow trainee wizard. He is also regularly seen gardening. He loves to water the plants. He also talks in gibberish and English.
  • Dog Doormat – a barking doormat
  • Hangle – a purple coat hanger (but who insists on calling himself a cloak hanger) with a yellow rain coat, glasses and a purple moustache, with a crude sense of humour.
  • Very Old Fish – a cryptic talking male fish
  • Poot – Wizadora's computer
  • Nigel the Snail
  • The Crows – Two crows which cause mayhem for Tatty Bogle in the garden
  • Roxy – a quite friendly talking spider
  • Dusty – A creature who lives under the fridge, he has a very loud operatic voice and is usually sleeping

Other cast and credits[edit]

Puppeteers Phil Eason, Francis Wright, Michael Bayliss, Sue Dacre, Don Austen, Brian Herring, Neil Sterenberg, Rebecca Nagan, Debbie Cumming, and Sheila Clark worked on the series.

The series was made for Meridian Broadcasting by production companies Workhouse and North Pole Productions at The Fountain Studios in New Malden and directed by David Crozier. Fifteen episodes of Series 3 were directed by Wendy J. Dyer. The theme music was composed by Dave Hutton who was also the Senior Cameraman on the first four series of the show. The theme tune was recorded at Gordon Thrussell's studios at Ashford in Kent and the credits show music by 'Hutt and Thrust'. This was because the director, David Crozier, did not want the same name for two different credits on the programme (i.e.: Snr Cameraman and Music). The other cameramen were Roger Backhouse and Angus Macmillan and sometimes Steve Leach. The vision mixer was Julie Miller.

Jill Golick wrote several episodes.[citation needed]

Transmission guide[edit]

The programme ran for seven series:

  • Running time Series 1: 15 minutes, Series 2 onwards 9 minutes.
  • Series 1: 18 editions from 5 January 1993 – 4 May 1993
  • Series 2: 30 editions from 7 September 1993 – 21 December 1993
  • Series 3: 30 editions from 6 September 1994 – 15 December 1994
  • Series 4: 32 editions from 5 September 1995 – 21 December 1995
  • Series 5: 30 editions from 3 September 1996 – 19 December 1996
  • Series 6: 32 editions from 7 January 1997 – 24 April 1997
  • Series 7: 32 editions from 7 October 1997 – 29 January 1998

One episode of Wizadora was broadcast on CITV on Saturday, 5 January 2013 (the show's 20th anniversary) as part of a CITV anniversary special.[2] This was the first time the show has been broadcast in the UK since it was shown on Living TV in the early 2000s.

Oxford Series (1991)[edit]

  • Phoebe Calling - September 15, 1991
  • A Red Banana - September 22, 1991
  • Happy Birthday - September 29, 1991
  • The Magic Cloak - October 6, 1991
  • Can You Fly? - October 13, 1991
  • Where Is Katie? - October 20, 1991
  • The Picnic -October 27, 1991
  • Hangle Is Lost - November 3, 1991
  • Episode 9 - November 10, 1991

Series 1 (1993)[edit]

  • The Magic Parcel - 5 January 1993
  • Time For Tidying - 12 January 1993
  • Hello Filbert - 19 January 1993
  • A Colourful Day - 26 January 1993
  • Lovely Weather - 2 February 1993
  • Picnic Problems - 9 February 1993
  • The Purple Powder - 16 February 1993
  • Wellingtons & Snails - 23 February 1993
  • Tea Troubles - 2 March 1993
  • Mops & Bicycles - 9 March 1993
  • Hangle In Charge - 16 March 1993
  • A Very Special Day - 23 March 1993
  • Wellingtons and Snails - 30 March 1993
  • The Purple Powder - 6 April 1993
  • Tea Time Troubles - 13 April 1993
  • Mops and Bicycles - 20 April 1993
  • Hangle In Charge - 27 April 1993
  • A Very Special Day - 4 May 1993

Series 2 (1993)[edit]

  • Poot Saves The Day - 7 September 1993
  • A Change for Filbert - 9 September 1993
  • Somethings Old, Somethings New - 14 September 1993
  • Five Carrot Pie - 16 September 1993
  • The Number Spell - 21 September 1993
  • "She's So Wizadorable" - 23 September 1993
  • Music Band - 28 September 1993
  • Lemonade, Ginger Beer and Rhubarb - 30 September 1993
  • Tea Troubles - 5 October 1993
  • Round and Round the Garden - 7 October 1993
  • A Super Wand - 12 October 1993
  • Thignbury Jig - 14 October 1993
  • Soft Strong Brittle and Weak - 19 October 1993
  • Cheers and Tears - 21 October 1993
  • The Squeaking Door - 26 October 1993
  • Magical Music - 28 October 1993
  • Be Careful, Wizadora! - 2 November 1993
  • Episode 218 - 4 November 1993
  • Episode 219 - 9 November 1993
  • Episode 220 - 11 November 1993
  • Episode 221 - 16 November 1993
  • Episode 222 - 18 November 1993
  • Episode 223 - 23 November 1993
  • Episode 224 - 25 November 1993
  • Episode 225 - 30 November 1993
  • Episode 226 - 2 December 1993
  • Episode 227 - 7 December 1993
  • Episode 228 - 9 December 1993
  • Episode 229 - 14 December 1993
  • Christmas Day - 21 December 1993

Series 3 (1994)[edit]

1. A Message from Max - 6 September 1994

2. Pips and Plants - 8 September 1994

3. Sneezeberries - 13 September 1994

4. Too Big, Too Small - 15 September 1994

5. Bubble Trouble - 20 September 1994

6. A Sing Song For Stan - 22 September 1994

7. Sixies and Nines - 27 September 1994

8. All Together Now - 29 September 1994

9. I Smell a Lie - 4 October 1994

10. Pippa's Surprise - 6 October 1994

11. Cheer Up, Filbert! - 11 October 1994

12. Let's Dance! - 13 October 1994

13. The Shopping List - 18 October 1994

14. Tatty's Tablecloth - 20 October 1994

15. The Tantrum Spell - 25 October 1994

16. The Great Flood - 27 October 1994

17. Buttons and Holes - 1 November 1994

18. The Litter Spell - 3 November 1994

19. Fun With Books - 8 November 1994

20. No Time for Tea Time - 10 November 1994

21. Hard, Soft, Smooth & Rough - 15 November 1994

22. The Grabber - 17 November 1994

23. Pedal Power - 22 November 1994

24. The Mud Monster - 24 November 1994

25. Wool Trouble - 29 November 1994

26. Pots and Spells - 1 December 1994

27. That's What Friends Are For - 6 December 1994

28. A Stuck Sticky - 8 December 1994

29. Use Your Imagination - 13 December 1994

30. Beginnings and Endings - 15 December 1994

Series 4 (1995)[edit]

1. Beside the Seaside - 5 September 1995

2. Sounds Brilliant - 7 September 1995

3. Bless You! - 12 September 1995

4. You Can Count on Poot - 14 September 1995

5. Follow That Track! - 19 September 1995

6. Here's One We Made Earlier - 21 September 1995

7. Who's Afraid of the Dark? - 26 September 1995

8. Good Winners and Bad Losers - 28 September 1995

9. Communication Break Down - 3 October 1995

10. Snow in July - 5 October 1995

11. Making Pippa Strong - 10 October 1995

12. Glad Rags - 12 October 1995

13. Shape Up - 17 October 1995

14. Tatty's New Boots - 19 October 1995

15. Mirror, Mirror - 24 October 1995

16. Hangle Takes a Trip - 26 October 1995

17. Inside Out - 31 October 1995

18. Stan's the Man - 2 November 1995

19. I Spy With My Little Eye - 7 November 1995

20. Filbert's New House - 9 November 1995

21. Top of the List - 14 November 1995

22. It's a Good Job - 16 November 1995

23. Shadow Monsters - 21 November 1995

24. Boots, Beads and Beards - 23 November 1995

25. Watch Out Below - 28 November 1995

26. Sharing Magic - 30 November 1995

27. Big 'Uns and Little 'Uns - 5 December 1995

28. Sticky Moments - 7 December 1995

29. Too Full - 12 December 1995

30. Making and Breaking - 14 December 1995

31. First Things First - 19 December 1995

32. Fish Alive - 21 December 1995

Series 5 (1996)[edit]

1. Tatty Town - 3 September 1996

2. Wizadora Plays Football - 5 September 1996

3. Drawer People Behaving Badly - 10 September 1996

4. Aunt Dora's Parcel - 12 September 1996

5. Bottom Gets Lost - 17 September 1996

6. There's No Place like Home - 19 September 1996

7. The Music Spell - 24 September 1996

8. Something Fishy - 26 September 1996

9. Take Care - 1 October 1996

10. Wizadora's Bad Dream - 3 October 1996

11. Sentimental Journey - 8 October 1996

12. I'm in Charge - 10 October 1996

13. What's Yours is Mine - 15 October 1996

14. What about Me? - 17 October 1996

15. Hurry Up! - 22 October 1996

16. Jungle Fever - 24 October 1996

17. Roxy's Web - 29 October 1996

18. What Did You Say? - 31 October 1996

19. Old Habits Die Hard - 5 November 1996

20. A Moving Story - 7 November 1996

21. Safety Last - 12 November 1996

22. Stan's Difficult Day - 14 November 1996

23. Bending the Rules - 19 November 1996

24. The Crows - 21 November 1996

25. You Are What You Are - 26 November 1996

26. A Rainy Day - 28 November 1996

27. Hangle's Big Day - 3 December 1996

28. Bubble Trouble - 5 December 1996

29. Knit Twits - 10 December 1996

30. The Jealous Queen - 12 December 1996

Series 6 (1997)[edit]

  • Wizadora Gives Up - 7 January 1997
  • Down Goes Top - 9 January 1997
  • Things That Go Bump In The Night - 14 January 1997
  • Stans the Man - 16 January 1997
  • Episode 605 - 21 January 1997
  • Episode 606 - 23 January 1997
  • Episode 607 - 28 January 1997
  • Episode 608 - 30 January 1997
  • Episode 609 - 4 February 1997
  • Episode 610 - 6 February 1997
  • Episode 611 - 11 February 1997
  • Episode 612 - 13 February 1997
  • Episode 613 - 18 February 1997
  • Episode 614 - 20 February 1997
  • Episode 615 - 25 February 1997
  • Episode 616 - 27 February 1997
  • Episode 617 - 4 March 1997
  • Episode 618 - 6 March 1997
  • Episode 619 - 11 March 1997
  • Episode 620 - 13 March 1997
  • Episode 621 - 18 March 1997
  • Episode 622 - 20 March 1997
  • Episode 623 - 25 March 1997
  • Episode 624 - 27 March 1997
  • The Useful Spell - 1 April 1997
  • Episode 626 - 3 April 1997
  • Episode 627 - 8 April 1997
  • Episode 628 - 10 April 1997
  • Episode 629 - 15 April 1997
  • Episode 630 - 17 April 1997
  • Episode 631 - 22 April 1997
  • The Jumble Sale - 24 April 1997

Series 7 (1997–1998)[edit]

  • Arty Party - 7 October 1997
  • Episode 702 - 9 October 1997
  • Who is important? - 14 October 1997
  • Episode 704 - 16 October 1997
  • No Doughnuts For Breakfast - 21 October 1997
  • Episode 706 - 23 October 1997
  • Doughnuts For Supper 28 October 1997
  • Episode 708 - 30 October 1997
  • Episode 709 - 4 November 1997
  • Episode 710 - 6 November 1997
  • No More Miss Nice Wiz - 11 November 1997
  • Episode 712 - 13 November 1997
  • Wizadora Disappears - 18 November 1997
  • Episode 714 - 20 November 1997
  • Episode 715 - 25 November 1997
  • Good Manners - 27 November 1997
  • What About Me - 2 December 1997
  • Episode 718 - 4 December 1997
  • Episode 719 - 9 December 1997
  • Episode 720 - 11 December 1997
  • Wizadora's Christmas Carol Part 1–16 December 1997
  • Wizadora's Christmas Carol Part 2–18 December 1997
  • Sentimental Journey - 23 December 1997
  • Episode 724 - 25 December 1997
  • Episode 725 - 6 January 1998
  • Episode 726 - 8 January 1998
  • Episode 727 - 13 January 1998
  • Episode 728 - 15 January 1998
  • Episode 729 - 20 January 1998
  • Episode 730 - 22 January 1998
  • Episode 731 - 27 January 1998
  • Goodbye Wizadora - 29 January 1998

Home video and DVD[edit]

The earliest version of the show has been on DVD (oxford press). However, this is not the ITV version, and is instead an educational package.

Some VHS cassettes were released in the mid-1990s with episodes from series one and series three are on The Video Collection International.

1. Wizadora – The Magic Parcel (22 February 1993) Includes: The Magic Parcel, Time For Tidying, and Hello Filbert.

2. Wizadora – A Colourful Day (12 July 1993) Includes: A Colourful Day, Lovely Weather and Picnic Problems.

3. Wizadora – Wellingtons and Snails (11 July 1994) Wellingtons and Snails, The Purple Powder and Tea Time Troubles.

4. Wizadora – Mops and Bicycles (13 August 1993) Mops and Bicycles, Hangle In Charge and A Very Special Day.

5. My Little Wizadora – The Magic Parcel/Time For Tidying (1993)

6. My Little Wizadora – Hello Filbert/A Colourful Day (1993)

7. My Little Wizadora – Lovely Weather / Picnic Problems (1993)

8. My Little Wizadora – Mops and Bicycles/Hangle In Charge (1993)

9. Wizadora - A Message from Max (18 December 1994) Includes: A Message of Max, And More

10. Wizadora – Sneezeberries (9 January 1995) Sneezeberries and 5 other stories

11. Wizadora - Too Big, Too Small (18 August 1995) Too Big, Too Small and 4 other stories

UK VHS releases[edit]

VHS Title Release Date Episodes
Wizadora – Mops and Bicycles (VC1308) 11 October 1993 Mops and Bicycles, Hangle In Charge, A Very Special Day
Wizadora – The Magic Parcel (VC1297) 1 March 1993 The Magic Parcel, Time For Tidying, Hello Filbert
Wizadora – A Colourful Day (VC1304) 12 July 1993 A Colourful Day, Lovely Weather, Picnic Problems
Wizadora – Wellingtons and Snails (VC1328) 11 July 1994 Wellingtons and Snails, The Purple Powder, Tea Time Troubles
My Little Wizadora – The Magic Parcel/Time For Tidying (ML0019) 1 April 1996 The Magic Parcel, Time For Tidying
My Little Wizadora - Lovely Weather/Picnic Problems (ML0020) 1 July 1996 Lovely Weather, Picnic Problems
My Little Wizadora – Mops and Bicycles/Hangle In Charge (ML0021) 1 July 1996 Mops and Bicycles, Hangle In Charge
My Little Wizadora – Hello Filbert/A Colourful Day (ML0031) 7 October 1996 Hello Filbert, A Colourful Day

DVD releases[edit]

  • "Wizadora – A Message From Max"
  • "The Best Of WIZADORA- 90's TV HITS COLLECTION!"

References[edit]

External links[edit]