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Rod, Jane and Freddy

Rod, Jane and Freddy was the most famous name for a singing trio who appeared in children's programming on the British TV channel ITV in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s. They starred both in the long-running series Rainbow as well as their own 15-minute show, The Rod, Jane and Freddy Show. The trio have also made numerous guest appearances in several other children's TV shows including The Sooty Show.

The original trio consisted of Rod Burton, Jane Tucker and Matthew Corbett, when they were known as "Rod, Matt and Jane". Corbett left the trio in 1976 to continue hosting The Sooty Show after his father retired. Corbett was replaced by actor Roger Walker, whereupon the trio became known as "Rod, Jane and Roger". When Walker left in 1978 to continue his career in acting he was replaced by Freddy Marks, leading to the most famous incarnation of the trio. During their 3 decades working on children's television they managed to write over 2500 songs on various topics using many different music styles, Most were comedic and fun but some had deeper meanings. Overall they have written and produced 10 albums and 24 videos. Conceived and performed countless jingles for commercial radio, theme and title music for TV and songs for Pantomimes.

The Rod, Jane and Freddy show

Due to the their popularity on Rainbow in 1980 Rod, Jane and Freddy were approached by ITV to make their own show. Plans went through and The Rod Jane and Freddy show aired its first episode on 15 January 1981. Rod Jane and Freddy appeared in both their own show and Rainbow until 1991 when they left their position as musicians on Rainbow to focus solely on The Rod Jane and Freddy Show.

Their show often followed a certain format:

  • Opening with a big song, giving you an idea of the theme of this particular show (music and Song, pets, moving house, etc)
  • Rod, Jane and Freddy would usually have solo songs
  • There was often a sketch, but these were generally rarer than songs
  • They would close with a final song
  • As the credits rolled, the first or last song would be sung again.

Episode List

The following is a list of Episodes. (Fremantle archive episode list use master tape titles where available, if unavailable they use the episode titles as they appeared in T.V Guides)
TITLE AIR DATE INFO
Pantomime Island(pilot) 1981 Rod, Jane and Freddy act out the story of Jack and the beanstalk. (The TV Times has no record of its transmission. It may have been shown, unlisted, within RAINBOW.)
Wobbyland 1981 Series of musical stories for children.
Slumberland 1981 Rod Jane and Freddy Sing about sleeping and the land of nod.
Castaways 1981 On a desert island there is buried a treasure - will castaways Jane and Rod get there before pirate Freddy?
On The Moon 1981 Jane and Freddy go to meet the `Man in the Moon'.
By The Lake 1981 Rod, Jane and Freddy sing songs about water and fishing. Jane falls asleep and dreams about the ugly duckling.
Under The Sea 1981 songs about life under the sea.
Clock Land 1981 This edition is about a boy and girl who live in a special clock.(now a lost episode - Master and all known copies destroyed.)
Nursery Rhyme land 1981
Cowboyland 1981 This week features a Wild West Show with Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakleigh and the Big Indian Chief.
Snowland 1981 Rolly is a lonely snowman who wishes that Jack Frost would come and build him a friend
Circusland 1981
Toyland 1981
Picturebook Land 1981 A girl who doesn't like her nose goes to see a wizard to get it changed.
The Wobblies (1) 1983 The story of wobblyland and the wobblies who live their. When our 3 wobbly friend's houses melt away in the sun they must go to the jelly mine to make another jelly house.
Comics 1983 The story of punky Pam and Horris blot in a comic strip find out that the colours from their page had been taken (or rather borrowed) by Ted the tealeaf.
The Chinese Plate 1983 The story of the Princess and the gardener who live on the Chinese willow plate.
Dolls 1983
Germs 1983 A sung story about three germs, Susie Squidge, Grott and DK - who live in Mrs Jones' bathroom.
Weather 1983
Opera Singers 1983
The Fox 1983 The story of a fox (Played by Freddy) who is a day dreamer of goes outside in the day and goes to sleep at night.His friends Badger & Hedgehog (played by Rod & Jane) who know that a hunt will come to their wood if they find him so they do a plan to stop fox going out in the day will all go to plan.
The Lost Toys 1983 One Christmas eve Father Christmas was in such a rush he dropped to presents in the snow that forget one house altogether.Pero the clown doll & Captain Neutron have to find their home before Christmas day they go to a house and meet Christmas fairy who helps them get to the sirring room where the Christmas tree is can they get there in time before the big day.
The Vegetables 1983
The Three Gnomes 1983
The Big Mouth 1983
The Evil Garden 1983
Nursery Rhymes 1984 The story of a dame who lives in a shoe. She opens a milk bottle and gets three wishes and one day to spend them.
Red, Green and Witch Hazel 1984
Musicland 1984 Tom Tom the drum wants to play with the other instruments in the parade to celebrate the King's birthday, but he is told he is too loud
Games 1984
The Toy Museum 1984
Garden Gnomes 1984
Tricky Tommy 1984
The Grubs 1984
On Top Of The Table 1984
The Story Of Tristan 1984 This is the original Version, it was remade in 1989. This version is filmed without the footlights and theatre effects. Also Jane's character has no name - she simply said "I'm me... we don't have names in the land of nod".
The Lost Note 1985
Charlie's Story 1985
The Bees 1985
The Wobblies (2) 1985
The Wobblies-Olympics 1988 The Wobblies get ready for the Wobbolympic Games and hope to win a medal.
The Alley Cats 1988 Two friendly cats, Tom and Tom, live in the alley. When Siam gets lost they help her find her home.
Top Of The Table 1988 Trouble is in store for Sunny the character on the butterpack wrapping, and Stodgy the breadboy, when Mrs Jones the lady of the house goes on a diet.
The Dragon in the Dungeon 1988 The tale of Princess Angelica, Peterkin the librarian and the brave but boring knight, Sir Brian de Bolfrey. One of them will kill the dragon, to win the hand of the beautiful princess but who will it be?
The Ship In The Bottle 1988 The story of a fishing trip which suddenly changes course when Red Beard the pirate appears.
The Man With No Shadow 1988 What happens to the man with no shadow and how can he discover a way to get it back?
The Weathervane 1988 The story how Mr and Mrs Corkinbottle lose their home in the weathervane, and how Hieronamous the gnome comes to the rescue.
The Adventures of Mary Mary 1988 Mary Mary from the nursery rhyme meets Zap and Zoom the space heroes and they have adventures together.
The Scarecrow 1988 The story of the scarecrow who asks Mr Sun and Mr Cloud to give him a change of weather.
Small World 1988 The story of how Cob the Cobbler and Thimble the Tailor help a fairy go to the Springtime Revels.
The Magic Socks 1988 The magical musical story of the wizards socks.
The Riddle of the Clock 1988 Young Alice pays a visit to Old Father Time, and arranges some extra time for the Mad Hatter and March Hare to prepare tea for the Queen of Hearts.
The Funny Shape 1988 It's strange and a bit frightening when you can't find anything or anyone that looks like you. But the Square and Triangle come to the rescue.
Mirrors/Dressing Up 1989 The setting is a theatre where our three musicians are into Dressing Up, helped by their dressing room mirrors. Having braved the stormy seas as sailors, and with a few pieces of clothing and some grease paint, Rod becomes a clown and Jane a fish, a princess, a great explorer and a ballet dancer.
The Attic/Looking Back 1989 Rod, Jane and Freddy sort through there things and remember the past.
Domestic Animals 1989 Rod, Freddy and Jane sing about all the different kinds of pets they have met.
The Farmyard 1989 All about animals you may find on a trip to a farm.
Wild Animals 1989 Rod, Jane and Freddy go exploring in the jungle.
Counting 1989
Nursery Rhymes (1) 1989 Rod, Jane and Freddy sing various nursery rhymes in modern and traditional styles.
Day Out/The Seaside 1989 Rod, Jane and Freddy go on an adventure.
Vegetables 1989 Featuring songs about vegetables.
Colours/Shapes 1989 Featuring songs about balloons and colours.
London Town 1989 Take a trip with Rod, Jane and Freddy to old London town.
Illusions 1989 Can you believe your eyes?
Tramps / Riff Raff 1989
Putting On A Show 1989
Hats 1989 Featuring songs about hats.
Daytime/Night-time 1989 Rod, Jane and Freddy sing songs about both day and night.
Books and Words 1989 Let Rod, Jane and Freddy show you what kinds of adventure you can have when you read.
Entertainment 1989 A musical themed episode.
Nursery Rhymes (2) 1989 Rod, Jane and Freddy sing various nursery rhymes in modern and traditional styles.
The Street 1989 This episode is all about life on the street.
Party/Fancy Dress 1989 Rod Jane and Freddy get dressed up for a party.
Emotions (1) 1989 Rod, Jane and Freddy explore all different kinds of emotions.
Fast and Slow 1989 Featuring songs about fast and slow people and animals.
Moving - Decorating 1989 Rod Jane and Freddy have lots of fun with boxes
Sounds 1989 Featuring songs about all various kinds of sounds.
Emotions (2) 1989 Rod, Jane and Freddy explore all different kinds of emotions.
The Girl With The Long Nose 1989 The story of a girl who doesn't like her nose goes to see a wizard to get it changed but he can only a cast a spell if she meets someone with an even longer nose.
Colours (1) 1989 Featuring songs about colours and painting.
Food - Sweets 1989 Featuring songs about sweets and fruits.
Food - Normal 1989 Featuring songs about different kinds of food
Paper (1) 1989 Featuring songs about paper.
Suitcases (1) 1989 Rod, Jane and Freddy make a train and car out of suitcases.
Tristan 1989 Nod is the keeper of all the dreams in the land and is writing a dream for a boy called Tristan. Nod's assistant Dreamboy meets Tristan and takes him to many different places in his dream,but he ends up not liking any of them. Will Nod manage to finish writing his dream?
A Day in the Country 1989 Rod, Jane and Freddy have a musical day in the country. As well as having an enjoyable picnic, there are some strange and exciting animals, birds and insects to meet.
Snow and Ice 1990 A winter themed episode.
Dressing Up 1990 Rod, Jane and Freddy are dressing up and pretend to be in the theatre.
Houses and Homes 1990 Featuring songs about the different kind of homes where people and animals live.
Suitcases (2) 1990 Rod, Jane and Freddy make a boat and a desert island out of suitcases using a green umbrella for a palm tree.
The Garden 1990 Featuring songs about the garden, gnomes and different seasons.
Games 1990 Featuring songs all about games.
Cowboys 1990 This week features a Wild West Show with Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakleigh and the Big Indian Chief.
Music and Song 1990 Rod, Jane and Freddy perform a musical themed episode.
The Chinese Plate 1990 The sung story of the Princess and the gardener who live on the Chinese willow plate.
Pets 1990 Rod, Freddy and Jane sing about all the different kinds of pets they have met.
Flowers 1990 Featuring songs about flowers and the garden.
Paper (2) 1990 Featuring songs about paper.
Time 1990 Featuring songs about the time and clocks.
Faces 1990 This episode is all about different faces.
Feelings 1990 This episode is all about Feelings and thinking about how others feel.
Colours (2) 1990 This episode is all about different colours.
Mechanical 1990 This episode is all about with machines.
Moon and Stars 1990 Featuring songs about nighttime.
Improvisation 1990 The trio make many different things such as a music machine from bottles and saucepans.
Dots and Dashes 1990 Featuring songs about dots, dashes and dice.
Costume 1990 Rod, Jane and Freddy dress up in different costumes.
Daytime 1990 This episode is all about getting up and parts of the day.
Boxes 1990 Rod, Jane and Freddy make various things from boxes.
Toys 1990 A Christmas themed episode.
Children's Favourites 1990 Classic nursery rhymes given new tunes.
Entertainers 1991 The trio are in the theatre today.
Light 1991 Featuring songs about lights and the stage.
Funny Noises 1991 This episode is all about different kinds of noises.
Musical Instruments 1991 Featuring songs using different instruments.
Body Movement 1991 Featuring songs about movement.
Tricks of the Trade 1991 Featuring songs about tricks and magic.
Country Matters 1991 Featuring songs about the farm.
Rhythm 1991 This episode is all about different kinds of rhythms and sounds.
Due to a fire at the ITV vaults in 1992 many of the master tapes from 1981 - 1982 have been destroyed, the fire also damaged a few other masters including, LIGHT (1990) and PUTTING ON A SHOW (1989).

Touring

In 1990 Rod, Jane and Freddy toured all across the country until 1996, their stage show followed the same format and the 15 minute ITV show, filled with songs, dancing, mime and their general comedy routine. In 1996 they won a Gold Badge Award from The British Academy of Composers and Songwriters.

Videos

The trio released a number of videos in the late 80s and early 90s. These include:

TITLE Date Info
Meet Rod, Jane and Freddy 1984 Contains 2 episodes of The Rod, Jane and Freddy Show, plus an introduction by the trio. -Episode list
 Castaways
 By The Lake
Notes - This is the only Rod, Jane, and Freddy video tape to have a newly recorded introduction by the trio. “By The Lake” has been edited and only contains 3 songs, the mime and middle section is cut. It’s unknown why but it is possibly due to damaged masters or to fit two episodes and the introduction onto a 30 minute tape.
Rod, Jane and Freddy 1987 Features 5 musical stories from the early 80s. -Episode list
 Comics
 The Fox
 The Chinese Plate
 The Wobblies (1)
 The Lost toys
Rod, Jane and Freddy's Stories and Rhymes 1990 Features 5 musical stories from their 1987 series. -Episode list
 The Adventures of Mary Mary
 The Dragon in the Dungeon
 The Riddle of the Clock
 Magic Socks
 Small World
In A Winter Wonderland 1991 The trio perform a special Christmas themed show.
Live on Stage 1992 The trio perform a live stage show from their 1992 stage tour.
Say No! To Strangers 1992 Highlights the important message of saying no to strangers, through song and roleplay.

Present Day

Although the trio no longer regularly appear on television (apart from repeats of Rainbow from the early 1980s on the UK digital TV channel Nick Jr.), they remain a popular attraction in British children's theatre and in pantomime. The trio can also be spotted in Peter Kay's video for his 2007 Comic Relief release of I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles).

In January 2008, Jane announced that She, Freddy and Rod are currently working on putting together a "greatest hits" CD.

In June 2008 Rod, Jane and Freddy appeared on the show '50 Ways To Leave Your TV Lover' on Sky and talked about newspaper claims that they were involved in a love triangle.

See also

External references

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