Andy Pandy first aired on Tuesday 11 July 1950 and became
very popular straight away. Further episodes followed
and were soon heavily repeated, rounding off programmes
for housewives and mothers every Tuesday (and on Thursdays
from Summer 1952).
The programme became the cornerstone of the Watch
With Mother strand which began in 1953. Made on film rather
than broadcast live, surviving episodes are therefore
now among the earliest relics of British television history.
In each episode, the narrator spoke directly to both
the audience and Andy, mediating between them: 'Andy
Pandy, the children are here' or 'we must sing something
for the children first'. Andy and the friends who later
joined him, Teddy and the rag doll Looby Loo (who only
came to life when Andy and Teddy weren't around), were
Episodes were a collection of unrelated songs and games
with no ongoing narrative. Viewers were invited to sing
or dance along with what was going on on-screen. Each
episode ended with a variation on the famous song: "Time
to go home / Time to go home / Andy is waving goodbye."
The original black and white episodes - perhaps fewer
than forty in total are thought to have been made up
until 1959. Shown weekly in an almost unbroken run until
1969, the film prints eventually became too damaged to
broadcast so Westerham produced another thirteen episodes
in 1970, now in colour but otherwise virtually unchanged.
These would be shown right through the 70s.
In March 2002 Andy, minus his strings, returned to entertain
yet another generation of children world-wide, as a modern
stop motion series made by Cosgrove Hall.