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The Mr. Men and the Long Hot Summer of 1976

Welcome back to “My 70’s TV Childhood,” where we take you on a nostalgic journey back to being a child in 1970s Britain, and the special place television had in defining our early years. 

In today’s episode, we’re journeying back to the legendary summer of 1976. For those of us who experienced it, this was more than just a season; it was a backdrop to some of our fondest childhood memories. The heatwave that summer was unprecedented, with temperatures soaring into the 90s (Fahrenheit, of course, because that’s how we measured things back then). It was a time when the sun seemed endless, and the days stretched on forever.

During that summer, my family and I found ourselves in Terrington, near York, escaping into the countryside to a quaint cottage that held a magical surprise – a colour television. For a child whose only window to the TV world was a black and white set at home, this was nothing short of a revelation.

One of the shows that took on a new life in colour was “The Mr. Men.” Watching the mischievous Mr. Tickle, with his extraordinarily long arms reaching out to tickle unsuspecting victims, was a delight. The vivid colours brought a new depth to the storytelling, making the characters’ antics even more engaging. Mr. Tickle’s naughtiness, paired with Arthur Lowe’s impeccable narration, not only entertained but also sparked a sense of rebellion and fun that was irresistible to us kids.

The Mr. Men series was a staple of our childhood, with each character offering a unique story that was both simple and profoundly engaging. Mr. Happy’s infectious joy, Mr. Bump’s clumsy adventures, and Mr. Silly’s absurdity were just a few examples of the show’s ability to capture our imaginations. But seeing them in colour for the first time made the experience all the more special. The bright, bold hues made the characters leap off the screen, transforming familiar black and white episodes into something entirely new and exciting.

I’d love to hear your memories of the summer of ’76, your favourite Mr. Men characters, and how television shaped your childhood experiences. Did you also have that moment of awe when you first saw your favourite show in colour? Share your stories with us on our blog at www.my70stvchildhood.com, or email me directly at oliver@my70stvchildhood.com.

Don’t forget to tune in for our upcoming quiz show next week and stay tuned for another exciting 70s TV deep dive in a fortnight.

Take Care, 

Oliver

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