With Crackerjack bursting back onto our screens after more than 35 years’ absence, here’s the full story of the show that ran from 1955 to 1984 before its lengthy hibernation.
Crackerjack (the TV show with the built-in echo) gave us two enduring icons of Children’s Television … one long and thin, one round and plump. No, not Leslie Crowther and Peter Glaze! The Crackerjack pencil and the Double or Drop cabbage.
If you were a child in the late ‘50s, the ‘60s, the ‘70s or early ‘80s you’ll have your own memory of TV’s longest-running teatime variety show. Eamonn Andrews piling prizes on the clever-clogs and cloth cabbages on the chumps … the pompous and perpetually heckled Glaze Lectures … those slapstick silent movies … historical finales with anachronistic pop songs … or Stu Francis splattered with garish gunge.
Alan Stafford has traced the 29-year history of 20th century Crackerjack from the very first cabbage to the last crushed grape, recalling the best of the onscreen fun while revealing loads of backstage secrets. All the triumphs and tiffs, the perils and pranks. This Crackerjack celebration is packed with anecdotes from cast and crew – including Michael Aspel, Pip Hinton, Jillian Comber, Christine Holmes, Rod McLennan, Little and Large, Jacqueline Clarke, Don Maclean, Jan Hunt, Bernie Clifton, The Krankies, Stu Francis and many more.
It wasn’t always on Fridays, it wasn’t always at five to five, but it was – and ever will be – Crackerjack. CRACKERJACK!!!