Spotty Dog marionette (replica)


Reproduction of Spotty Dog for BBC 'Small People' children's television on-screen promotion (1998-1999).

The Woodentops first aired on 9 September 1955, as part of the 'Watch With Mother' strand of children’s television. Each day featured a different segment, The Woodentops aired on Fridays, taking the programme to five days a week for the first time.

The show was written by Maria Bird and produced by Westerham Arts, which she had established with friend and Head of BBC Children’s Television, Freda Lingstrom. Unlike earlier puppet shows the characters in The Woodentops spoke and episodes featured simple narrative stories based on the family farm. Spotty Dog was the family pet and was introduced as the ‘very biggest spotty dog you ever did see’ at the beginning of each episode. The show was produced from Lime Grove Studios, shot on film in a tin shed.

The original Woodentops puppets are now in the collection of the Museum of London.

These replicas were produced for the BBC promotional film 'Future Generations: Small People' which premiered as part of Children in Need in 1998. The film was a successor to the BBC’s 'Perfect Day' promo celebrating music at the BBC. 'Small People' highlights the importance of the licence fee in funding programming for young people. The film follows child actor Scott Chisholm through memorable scenes from children’s television history by superimposing the actor or recreating famous scenes. This puppet was made at a larger scale and appears with other puppet characters from the 1950s.


Object Number:
felt, paint and wood (unidentified)
The BBC Collection