The Wombles on Jackanory

Long before the animated series of The Wombles, stories from the first two books were broadcast on Jackanory. In the storytelling show which ran from 1965 to 1996, more than 400 presenters read children’s books to camera with illustrations, in daily 15-minute episodes (from Monday to Friday).

Bernard Cribbins may hold the record for his 111 Jackanory appearances, but he didn’t read the Wombles books. They were read both times by Ronald Hines, a British actor who had appeared in a range of television programmes and several films since 1957. He continued acting until 1997, when he appeared in Casualty aged 68.

Sadly these programmes aren’t in the BBC archives, as tapes were often wiped and reused or disposed of during the 1960s and 1970s.

The Wombles

Ronald Hines
Ronald Hines
  1. Bungo and Orinoco (29 December 1969)
  2. The Great Flood (30 December 1969)
  3. The Snow Womble (31 December 1969)
  4. Bungo’s Great Adventure (1 January 1970)
  5. The Midsummer Party (2 January 1970)

“Bungo Womble has never seen a dog before or even a human being; all his life he has lived with the other Wombles in a burrow underneath Wimbledon Common. So when Bungo goes into the outside world for the first time, he finds it all rather exciting, and dangerous too.”

Read by Ronald Hines
Written by Elisabeth Beresford
Illustrated by Allan Stomann
Adapted and directed by Jenny Nimmo
Produced by Daphne Jones (producer) and Anna Home (series producer)

The Wandering Wombles

  1. The Enormous Lorry (22 March 1971)
  2. Fresh Fields and Pastures New (23 March 1971)
  3. Great Uncle Bulgaria’s Great Idea (24 March 1971)
  4. The Monster in the Loch (25 March 1971)
  5. The New Burrow (26 March 1971)

“The Wombles live in a burrow under Wimbledon Common, and keep themselves busy cleaning up the litter untidy humans leave behind. One day, something disastrous happens at the burrow…”

Read by Ronald Hines
Written by Elisabeth Beresford
Illustrated by Peter Rush
Adapted and directed by John Prowse
Produced by Anna Home (series producer)