Playbus / Playdays

1997 - Peggy Patch & Why Bird in Aladdin at the Theatre Royal Bath

1999 - Poppy in Peter Pan at the Princess Hall in Aldershot

2000 - Why Bird in The Wizard of Oz - Princes Hall in Alldershot

Playdays (known as Playbus until 25 December 1989) was a British pre-school children's television program that ran from 17 October 1988 to 28 March 1997 on Children's BBC (CBBC), and was aired in reruns until 2002 (From 2002 to 2004, reruns were aired on CBeebies). The show was the successor of Play School and, like its predecessor, was designed as an educational programme. The creator Cynthia Felgate had been executive producer of Play School.

 

In 1989, the BBC insisted that the independent production company which made Playbus (Felgate Productions) change the programme's name, after they had received a complaint from the National Playbus Association.

The main characters of Playdays were puppets known as Why Bird (voiced and manipulated by Fiona Beynon Brown and later by Ellie Darvill), Sam Patch, who was later replaced by Peggy Patch (initially mute but later voiced by Sally Preisig) and Poppy, a cat (voiced by Sue Monroe). They were also accompanied by Mr Jolly (Robin Fritz, later Clive Duncan and then Andy Hockley), who would usually end each programme with a song (usually a nursery rhyme). There were also a number of human presenters including Zoë Ball, Trish Cooke and Dave Benson Phillips.

The show would begin with an animated title sequence of the Playbus driving along to the theme tune until it reached the bus stop, where characters on the bus were Why, Peggy, Poppy, Dot, Humphry, Lizzie, Wobble and Mr. Jolly (From 1988 to 1991. The bus stopped at a different place each day. It was effectively several different television series, under one single branding.