Back around the time we were celebrating Thanksgiving over here, the UK was in the midst of their big annual charity cause, "Children In Need". In the past there has always been a real attention-grabbing video to really stir people into digging deep into their pockets to help out Pudsey the Bear's cause. (For those who don't know Pudsey, he's the Teddy Bear who's playing the guitar solo.)
In the past there was the bridge between the last of Christopher Eccleston's run as the Doctor and David Tennant's ascension to the TARDIS, in which Rose tried to adjust to the Doctor's new form. And then there was the 10th Doctor's encounter with the Fifth Doctor in "Time Crash". There have also been music videos by casts from various shows like the one from 'EastEnders' which was all sixties pop.
But this year the big event was the music video produced by Peter Kay in which most of the beloved children's TV characters all joined in to sing a medley of songs including "Jai Ho", "Don't Stop", "Tubthumping", and "Hey Jude".
In my research into British TV, I've become familiar with a lot of the classic characters - Bagpuss, Andy Pandy, the Flowerpot Men, Muffin the Mule, Postman Pat, Bob the Builder, Thomas the Tank Engine and the various Gerry Anderson supermarionettes. And who could avoid recognizing the Tele-Tubbies? But there were so many more that I just had no clue about. For instance, those rat-like creatures known as the Wombles? I thought they were connected somehow to Roland the Rat. (O'Bviously I knew the American visitors like Ben Ten, Spongebob Squarepants, and Shaggy and Scooby-Doo.)
Luckily there's a Wikipedia page that gives a run-down of all the characters with links to their own entries. (I just wish those pages included pics of them all. For instance, who was the guy whose head was a tied off sack, and who had a carrot for a nose? And who was the young kid playing the drums? I liked them.)
So, for those of you who haven't seen it yet, here's the Children in Need music video:
For those who like to know some of the actors involved, I'm pretty sure that was Jane Horrocks (best known over here for Bubble in 'Absolutely Fabulous) singing the lead on the "Jai Ho" segment. Bernard Cribbins (who narrated the story of the Wombles), 'Doctor Who' voice man Roy Skelton, and some guy named Ringo Starr are also in the mix.
There were two characters I wish had been involved - Danger Mouse and Basil Brush......
I think since I first saw this on Wednesday, I must have watched it twenty times. And I've ordered a couple copies of the CD. I'm hoping a Region 1 version of the DVD might become available over here as well!
By the way, I think it safe to say that this is going to be a Toobits Awards winner....
My very big thanks go out to Andrew Brook, who gave me the head's-up not only to the video, but also to the Wiki key to the identities of everybody concerned.