I hope Monday finds you well. Monday finds us at the letter J in this A-Z blog challenge for April, and with it one of the most bizarre children’s TV programmes from my own youth.
Today the letter J is for…
Jigsaw is one of those programmes that if it wasn’t for the Internet I may have thought I had been on some hallucinogenic drug back when I was five years old. Also my memory seems to have been pretty much internally wiped of much which happened to me before I was six, so I always wondered if I’d dreamt it. But as with many TV programmes aimed at pre-schoolers, Jigsaw seemed as though it was on speed, rather than the viewers. However, clearly, as the Internet tells me (along with four shaky vague memories I have), it did exist!
So what do I remember?
- I remember the little animated jigsaw piece, Jig, who would talk to the viewers from the corner of the TV screen. He had a cute voice.
- I remember having a Jigsaw annual at some stage with Jig and (a very young) Janet Ellis on the front. It was yellow, I distinctly remember that. Oooh and here it is! Good old Google! But if it was from 1984, then blimey I would have been 9! Pre-school?! I really was a backward child, late developer and all that!
3. I remember a character called Nosey Bonk. (Yes, you read that right – his name was Nosey Bonk)
I did wonder if I’d (we’d) imagined him, (and if I had have done, he would have been the stuff of nightmares! Just look how bloomin’ sinister he looks), but it seems we didn’t imagine him. Thanks to You Tube, I have discovered he did indeed exist and so Nosey Bonk really was a character who had, for whatever reason, stuck in my brain. Maybe I hated myself, I don’t know. I do recall myself and my sister jumping around the bedroom, our feet planted in pillowcases, pretending to be Nosey Bonk, but have never been able to work out why we should have done this. Until I Googled it that is, and found Nosey Bonk boinging up and down in a postal sack! Yes, it is as bonkers as it sounds, BONKers being the operative word. How we didn’t have nightmares over this character is beyond me. Evidently kids were made of sterner stuff in the late ’70s/early ’80s, because I know if my 7 year old saw that now, he’d freak right out. Behold, dear reader if you’ve no idea about just how odd and down right weird Nosey Bonk was, click here at your peril!
4) There was an inventor with a boater hat whose name was Hector, I think!
What I don’t remember at all is what the whole point of Jigsaw was. I know I just remember it and really liked it. However, my research tells me that the basic premise of Jigsaw was that in each episode we, the viewer, would be given clues as to 6 letters of the alphabet through mime, picture clues or even Nosey Bonk giving clues, and then those 6 letters would spell out a word for that episode, such as flower. Knowing me, this type of thing probably appealed to my know-it-all, bossy-boots, teacher-to-be, five year old self. Either that or it was the early days of my obsession with detective shows!
Anyway, that was pretty much it. Adrian Hedley was the mime artist who gave clues (and played the character of Nosey Bonk) whilst Janet Ellis (later of Blue Peter fame) made things seem almost normal.
I hadn’t remembered the opening credits music until I watched it again, but instantly it sparked familiarity, as did the Nosey Bonk theme tune, so I guess was a big part of my early viewing. Definitely a great one to look back on!