July 8 on TV

40 years ago today, Bill Oddie brought you The Saturday Banana

The Saturday Banana (1978-1979)

The Saturday Banana (1978-1979) was a Saturday morning children’s television show produced by Southern Television for ITV and presented by Goodies star Bill Oddie. Oddie also wrote and sang the theme tune. The series ran through the summer, continuing up to December, with a Christmas Special.

According to a TV Times interview with presenter Bill Oddie when the show was aired, it was to have been named The Saturday Bonanza, but was renamed due to poor handwriting being mis-read.

For its first run, the series was available to ITV companies at the same time as the popular Tiswas, so whether the viewer saw Tiswas or The Saturday Banana was up to their regional ITV station. For the series’s second run in 1979, only Southern and Anglia broadcast the show while most other regions screened Tiswas.

The robot Metal Mickey first appeared on The Saturday Banana and went on to star in his own sitcom. Bill Oddie returned to The Goodies.

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