he l950s. height of the Cold War. Britain does its bit

for world puppetry by granting political asylum to

Czechoslovakian couple Jan and Vlasta Dalibor. London landlords and landladies at the time were much given to the phrase ‘No Blacks. Micks or Poles‘. The Dalibors found it easier to settle in Pernbrokeshire.

I956. Pinky and Perky are born. The idea of Mrs Dalibor. they would be she was convinced —— a success. Both from showbiz and theatre backgrounds. Jan and Vlasta had puppet and performance experience. and pigs were a good-luck symbol in their native country. The idea of singing and dancing pigs could only be a blessing. Mr Dalibor set about making them.

After a few years of sitting on a shelf. Pinky and Perky were granted their own TV series from a burgeoning industry desperate to fill the gaps between the potter‘s wheel and the white dot. The series ran in the UK between I957 and 1968 on the BBC with a prime teatime slot and then transferred to lTV between 1969 and I972.

In the series itself. they ran their own television station. PPC TV. where they were joined by actors including John Slater on Cars fame (this is like Tosh the ex-copper from 771? Bill hanging out with the Tweenies). The Dalibors were on a roll. Support puppets started appearing at PPC: Basil Bloodhound. Morton Frog. Horace Hare. the Beakles (a singing bird group). Ambrose Cat. Vera the Vixen. Bertie Bonkers (a baby elephant) and Conchita the Cow. as well as an endless supply of mice.

The series was syndicated. being shown in the States. Australia. New Zealand and several countries across littrope. An odd mixture of music and chat. the programme boasted some phenomenal guest spots that included Frank Sinatra. Tom Jones and the Beatles. The porky duo also made records. starting off with 78—speed releases such as Tom Dooley's

'Velvet Glove‘. inducing brain tumours among the parents of

suburban Britain while encouraging their children to behave like filthy beasts.

For a while they were unstoppable. They played Vegas regularly. appeared on the lid Sullivan Show in I960 and returned six more times. They played the London Palladium eleven times and even shared equal billing with the Beatles. Harry Secornbe and Marlene Dietrich at the 1963 Royal Command Performance. They were the l-lear‘say of their day. The muted red tops of the mid-60s covered with great relish the operation on Pinky's broken trotter at Great ()rmond Street Children‘s Hospital.

But all candles eventually burn themselves out. By I973. Pinky and Perky were an anachronism; bigger. more colourful

Hour of the

Crack open the Dandelion and Burdock! PINKY and PERKY are back. And this time they’re vulgar. Words: Paul Dale


madcap kiddie programmes had stolen their thunder. They weren‘t prog and they weren't punk enough. They were swing. They were a reminder that. for a while. we had never had it so good. As we grappled with blackouts. limited coal resources and non-existent bin men. we didn't want our children listening to the post-war voice of prosperity. Axed and shunned by just about every network. Pinky and Perky allegedly retired to the Bahamas.

January 2000. Wilf and Paula Shorrocks of Just Group Plc announce that they are now the proud owners of Pinky and Perky. who they have purchased from Jan and Vlasta Dalibor. 'Just (iroup are delighted to own the rights to Pinky and Perky and plan to

‘espite wilt-tail: the fiabioidg

re-establish them on the global scene as the gay? MiG?

superstars they are.‘ states Shorrocks. E3@Epfi.n 1:) CI aj ,j E, July 2001. Talking Loud announces a twenty- y H \ (if - n ma”:

minute live show with the resurrected pigs at this mfimfi '?L'la:@ My 73/13 i1 1

year‘s Fringe. Fearful of some kind of cynical attile

Keith Harris and ()rville dirty student celebrity- pfisfigmwi‘ 1.31;“.

circuit show. we requested an interview with the my" ENE/{15" ‘“

pigs. which they grunted. er. granted us. 71:}; l li‘fl I

So where have been?

We‘ve been in showbiz as long as Bernard

Manning's jokes. We met when this little pig went to market and this little pig went widdly widdly all the way home. What’s this new show then. Is it rude ?

Despite what the tabloids say. we are not porno pigs. ()ur new show will be adult. late-night entertainment: something you can show your granny. unless she‘s a vegetarian.

Will you re-release any of your classic albums? Baconfat Boy Slim is remixing them for a Best Of album this Christmas released on the Apple Sauce Label.

Are you looking forward to playing the Edinburgh Fringe?

Very much; in fact. we're hoping to win this year’s Bisto Award for Best Animal Stand-Up . . . provided we can learn to stand-up. What do you think of the current trend of jumping on the 705 children TV bandwagon? lilobadob. lilobadob. lilobadob as the lilower Pot Men used to say. Are we allowed to say ‘pot’?

Do you have any plans to make a new TV/cable/internet series?

We‘re planning a 432-part series with Planet 24 which will be a deeply intellectual and serious examination of life in the new millennium as fourteen girls wrestle naked in cherry- flavoured. fat-free yoghurt.

Do you still stay in touch with the Woodentops? We stay away from splinter groups.

Any heroes, major influences?

Hamlet. Francis Bacon. the Duchess ()f Pork and Pygrnalion. Any chance of getting any information about

the people pulling your strings, writing your material, etc?

Steven Spielberg. Bridget Jones and that gang from the tongue-in—sheep show. Harv I (in! [firms [in litre.

Do you have anything else to add?

()1in that this will be the greatest comeback ever . . Tony drags Peter back in the Cabinet.

. unless

Pinky and Perky will perform Sex, Drugs & Bacon Roll as part of Best of the Fest, Assembly Rooms, 25 Aug, midnight; they also appear on 100 Greatest Kids TV Shows, Channel 4, 27 Aug.

1’3 Aug; (5 Sop! 7001 THE LIST FESTIVAL GUIDE 9