Oh, what a day for two little bears 

27 October 2016 tbs.pm/9514

From TVWorld magazine for 26 September to 2 October 1964

TVW1964 1It all started as a joke … the day a Birmingham studio engineer held up two toy koala bears to peep over announcer Jean Morton’s shoulders while she was on the screen.

Jean, ATV’s first regular woman announcer, had just mentioned that the engineer had become the father of twins, and to give his wife an extra surprise he slipped the bears into the picture.

They were an immediate hit with viewers and the start of the Tingha and Tucker Club, which has become probably the most successful children’s programme —and led to a booming industry.

October 5 will be a great day for the two little bears; the once-a-week club opens as a daily Monday-to-Friday feature.

It was first launched in the autumn of 1961 and today it has an active, cardholding membership of 50,000 youngsters.

Each week brings a postbag of between 500 and a thousand letters.

A toy firm has taken over the manufacture of Tingha and Tucker puppets, a shoe firm is turning out Tingha and Tucker slippers, and the club’s Woomerang-Boomerang song has been recorded.

Latest achievement of the bears is that they have been seconded to the 183rd Birmingham Boy Scout Group.

JEAN WITH TINGHA AND TUCKER: 'You realise how much you mean to a child'

JEAN WITH TINGHA AND TUCKER: ‘You realise how much you mean to a child’

Jean Morton, wife of Midland businessman Robert Daniel and mother of a 16-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son, said: “Being a mother myself has helped I enormously with Tingha and Tucker, an the programme has done a lot for me. Until it came along I never knew about the thousands of little heart cases who are never able to leave their chairs.

“You come to realise how much you mean to a child who just has to sit there every day. It gives you a terrific feeling of responsibility.”

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1 response to this article

Alan Keeling 9 November 2016 at 11:40 pm

I am the proud owner of a Tingha & Tucker Club badge, I wasn’t a member, I found this one at a local antique fair. Each weekday programme included a cartoon featuring famous characters such as Huckleberry Hound, Tales of the Wizard of Oz, Heckle & Jeckle, The New Three Stooges, Yogi Bear, etc.

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