OTIS THE AARDVARK
2000 - Aladdin at the Lyceum Crewe
2000 - Jack and the Beanstalk at His Majestys Theatre, Aberdeen
1999- Jack and the Beanstalk at the Wolverhampton Grand
1999 - Cinderella - New Theatre, Hull
1998 - Robin Hood at The Hawth, Crawley
1998 - Robin Hood at the Theatre Royal, Hanley
1997 - Robin Hood at the Cambridge Corn Exchange
1997 - Robin Hood at the Darlington Civic
1996 - Jack and the Beanstalk - Derngate Theatre, Northampton
Otis the Aardvark was a puppet presenter on Children's BBC. Otis mainly presented the afternoon links on BBC One alongside the main CBBC presenters. Otis was thought to be inspired by the 1992 Children's BBC idents which ended with a voice proclaiming "Tell that aardvark it's a wrap". These idents led to much speculation as to what the phrase meant. However, these idents were dropped just before the character of Otis appeared in late 1994.
Otis is said to have obtained his name from the OTIS Elevator in the CBBC building at BBC Television Centre. Dave Chapman was the puppeteer. He also performed in a number of other Children's BBC programmes, notably as The Cat from Dick and Dom in Da Bungalow.
When Fully Booked moved to Sundays on BBC2, the extended Saturday CBBC was renamed Saturday Aardvark, with Otis being a key feature. In 1996, he presented CBBC on Nickelodeon during school hours on Nickelodeon alongside Nick Junior and his co-presenter was mascot Arthur the Ant in front of an ice cream parlour. He left in 1997 and was replaced by his cousin Marvin who presented from a shed until the strand finished on 16 July 1999. After leaving CBBC in late 1999 Otis appeared on a puppet based quiz show before the puppet was finally laid to rest, with the announcement given claiming that the character had gone to work at the BBC canteen, although Otis made appearances on other CBBC shows including Insides Out and Live & Kicking and Clever Creatures until 2001. Otis was followed by another puppet called Emlyn the Gremlyn, who supported the live human presenters on the early afternoon links for a further two and a half years .
On 28 December 2007, Otis reappeared on a special 'puppet' edition of The Weakest Link for the BBC. He was voted off in the second round.
In a 2009 interview BBC Presenter Kirsten O'Brien revealed that she has the Otis the Aardvark puppet and once used it unsuccessfully to impress a date.
On 1 April 2010, Otis appeared on the ITV2 show Celebrity Juice.
Otis made another appearance along with other former presenters and puppets on 9 September 2015 30th Anniversary of CBBC.