Wednesday 27 May 2009

The Programmes That Influenced My Reading.

I have been reminiscing this week and I though I would share some of my memories with you. Whilst watching Skellig with my family this weekend, I tried to remember what programmes influenced my reading as a child. I came up with the following three and I wondered if anyone else remember them.

The first one I remember showing on ITV when I was a child was The Storyteller. This was a series which was narrated by Tom Hurt and retold classic German, Russian and Celtic folk and faerie tales . These were always stories considered to be obscure in the Western culture. The tales were either shown as mini films featuring young actors such as Sean Bean and Joely Richardson, or they were told using puppets created by Jim Henson.

I think what really sticks in my mind about this programme was it's theme song. The first two lines I can actually remember but I struggle with the rest.

It went like this.

'I'm a story teller and my stories must be told.

I have many stories, tales for both the young and old.'

I remember constantly singing this song as a child and hoping that they would bring all the stories out as a book.

Another favourite of mine, was The Book Tower. I absolutely loved this programme as a teenager and I can remember often buying books that I had seen featured on the show.

The Book Tower ran from 1979 until 1989. The first presenter was Dr Who's Tom Baker, however the presenter that sticks in my mind is the actor Stephen Moore. The theme tune was Toccata by Bachs, arranged by Andrew Lloyd Webber and you can listen to it here.

The most popular book orientated programme of my generation would have to be BBC 1's Jackanory. This was one of the BBC's long running children's programmes which first aired in 1965 and ran until 1996. In the last couple of years, the BBC have revamped it and brought it back for my daughters generation.

This programme always had the same format. There would be a famous actor sitting in a chair, reading famous children's novels. A single book would be read over the course of a week in daily fifteen minute episodes.

So these programmes definitely had an influence on the type of books that I read as a child, however they were far from the only ones. I vividly remember lots of books being serialised and I would often buy the book after the series had finished.

Here are a few that I remember.
  1. Stig of the Dump by Clive King

  2. The Children of Green Knowe by Lucy M. Boston

  3. Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce

  4. Moondial by Helen Cresswell

  5. Flambards by K.M Peyton

I hope you enjoyed my blasts from the past.

What programmes influenced the books that you bought as a child?


  1. I don't think I can remember any programs like that. In fact I dont think they had anything like that here. Sounds like great programs for kids though.

  2. I don't remember any programs like that either but they sound wonderful.

  3. OMG! Moondial! I was addicted to the tv series, and I remember getting the book straight afterwards and loving it. What a blast from the past!

  4. Oh yes Flambards will always be a part of my childhood..but honestly I can't remember anything from it

  5. I havent heard of these programs, but they sound like fun.
    I didnt have any programs that influence my book buying, but when I was little I loved watching Sesame Street, which is educational, and got a kick out of my kids watching it when they were little too. They still play that program, its nice to see it still going.

  6. I love The Storyteller's second season, which retells Greek myths, but sadly I haven't been able to find the fairy tales one on DVD :( I bet I'd love it too.

  7. Good stuff, Viv! I don't remember programs like this, though...

    I'm commenting from Singapore -- still there until Sunday. I've finished presenting at the conference and what a relief! :D

  8. I really have no idea what TV I watched as a small child. I think I was always too busy reading to watch much television. Or maybe our family just watched a lot of movies? I don't remember. I wonder what TV programmes will affect our children and their reading habits?


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