1980s – The Early Years
The first creation of the new company was broadcast from 1985 to 1988. He was a sort of ‘goblin baby’ who lived in the TV and interrupted normal transmission. Pob knocked on the back of the screen and then introduced himself by writing his name on the screen. He created his programme by interacting with his special adult guests. Guests for the series included fans of Pob such as Spike Milligan. This was Ragdoll’s first collaboration with skilled puppeteer Robin Stevens. Robin went on to work as Jim in Rosie and Jim, Tom in Tots TV and co-created Boohbah.
Meanwhile, Ragdoll had been asked to produce Playbox, a pre-school educational series for Central TV. The 34 x 15 minute programmes were first shown on ITV from October 1988 and proved something of a watershed for Ragdoll in that it demonstrated the need for the company to create and own its own characters.
From the mid eighties Ragdoll continued to produce a series of collaborative programmes.
The Magic Mirror (ITV) – Animated fairy tales a showcase for new animators. 13 episodes x 15 minutes. Broadcast December 1989.
Boom! (Channel 4) – Programme featuring children with special needs. 20 episodes x 15 minutes. Broadcast March 1990 (series 1) and February 1991 (series 2).