Up above the streets and houses,
Rainbow climbing high,
Everyone can see it,
Smiling over the sky,
Paint the whole world with a
...... So went the theme tune of Rainbow, a much loved children's tv programme that was broadcast here in the UK twice weekly between 1972 and 1992.
Intending to develop language and number skills in pre-school children, each episode of Rainbow revolved around a particular activity or situation that would arise in the Rainbow House where the main characters lived. Usually involving a dispute between the puppet characters George (a shy, pink, ever so slightly camp hippo), Zippy (a loud mouthed, domineering, hand-operated character) and Bungle (a large, clumsy bear played by a man in bear suit) it was left to Geoffrey (along with musicians, Rod, Jane and Freddy, a human) to calm things and keep the peace.
"The mystery surrounding Zippy is to be laid bare in the latest book by a north publisher, Blaydon-based Stu Wheatman of Tonto Books.
Master puppeteer Ronnie Le Drew is to tell all about being the man behind the loudmouth creature in Rainbow in Unzipped: Life On The Inside - a 'behind-the-scenes story which is set to lift the lid on what really went on behind the puppet suits, including the creative struggles, conflicts with the network, fights for control of the scripts and public scandals.
Ronnie's work on Rainbow also provided him with a passport to hit feature films of the 80's and 90's, as a puppeteer on Little Shop Of Horrors, Labyrinth and the Muppet movies, working with the likes of David Bowie, Michael Caine and Frank Sinatra amongst others.
In 2008 he received the prestigious Harlequin Award, the Oscar of the puppetry world".
SOURCE: Coreena Ford, reporting in the Sunday Sun.
PETTY WITTER SAYS: Due to be released next summer, I can see this being popular with many Rainbow fans though I'm afraid that I, for one, shan't be putting it on my wish list for I have such fond memories of watching this alongside my (naughty) little sister and have no desire to spoil that memory.