Pinky & Perky were very popular with young and old alike, real family entertainment. Jan Dalibor, a painter and sculptor, with his actress wife, Viasta, created the loveable puppets in 1957. They recorded their own peculiar cover versions of popular songs, with their high voices and half speed backing tracks, soon becoming one of the most popular TV shows of the decade. Part of the fun was to present themselves as a pirate TV channel PPC tv and the shows began with a sequence of them arriving at BBC TV Centre in a miniature car and entering the building through a secret underground entrance.
They released many of their cover versions of popular songs and parodies on singles and LP’s, like this one from 1961. (Image courtesy of wikipedia – more details in their article here.)
They even managed to follow the success of British music in America, making several appearances on The Ed Sullivan show. In their last appearance on the show in Feb. 1964, they shared the bill with The Beatles and Morecombe & Wise (very popular British comedians of the day). Their musical style was imitated from 1958 on, by the American parody band Alvin & The Chipmunks, who also recorded cover versions of popular songs, with similar success.
Pinky & Perky were banned briefly by the BBC in 1966, due to a planned satire of politics in the midst of a General Election. The huge public outcry meant that they were soon back on air. Their satire of the election ended up with more viewers than the Prime Minister, Harold Wilson and his election broadcast, which was shown on ITV at the same time!
The only real way to share memories of Pinky & Perky is with a clip of them, so if you remember them fondly you will enjoy the video below. If you have never heard of them, well, you are in for a typically British comic treat! 😉
Thanks to Matthew Lowe on YouTube for sharing this episode.
By the end of the 1968, their popularity fading, they moved to Thames TV, part of ITV and in 1971, they finally ended their run of fame. In 2007 an all new digitally animated version was commissioned and from 2008 the BBC showed the 52 episodes, with many of the original characters making an appearance. I will always prefer to remember the original series, even if it was in black & white and now seems very dated.
Main picture at the top of this article courtesy of Television Heaven a source of much wonderful TV nostalgia.