Tidy Bag

Radio Times: Vote for the best kids’ TV characters

Radio Times cover

Orinoco Womble appears on the cover of this week’s Radio Times magazine - along with Tinky Winky, Bob the Builder, Dougal and Shaun the Sheep.

The cover stars represent some of the choices in a new poll to find our “favourite BBC children’s TV character - ever”.

In Radio Times tradition, the cover image is repeated in a smaller version of the magazine, which Shaun the Sheep is reading - but this time the small version is hand-drawn.

Designer Stuart Manning tweeted: “I designed (and even drew a bit of) this week’s classic children’s TV cover for @RadioTimes. Dougal is best, clearly.”

I asked him for a close-up of the drawn cover, and he replied: “Here’s the original sketch, complete with a ropey first-attempt logo. Pretty rough and ready…”

In the online poll you can vote for your favourite show or characters from each of the last six decades, based on a shortlist of 50 programmes featuring animated and puppet characters chosen by Radio Times and the British Film Institute (BFI).

In the 1970s category, the Wombles are competing with Bagpuss, Emu, Ivor the Engine, Morph, Mr Benn, Paddington Bear, and Roobarb and Custard.

The poll closes on 30 June, and the most popular character from each decade will be announced on 13 July at the BFI’s Favourite BBC Children’s Characters event.

The overall winner will be revealed in the Radio Times on 15 July, and will take pride of place in an exhibition exploring the story of BBC children’s broadcasting. The exhibition, Here’s One We Made Earlier, runs from 19 July to 12 October at The Lowry in Salford.

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