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Rag, Tag and Bobtail

Rag, Tag and Bobtail was a BBC children's television programme that ran from 1953 to 1965 as the Thursday programme in the weekly cycle of Watch with Mother.

  • Produced by: Freda Lingstrom and David Boisseau
  • Stories: Louise Cochrane
  • Narrated by: Charles E. Stidwell, David Enders and James Urquhart
  • Glove puppeteers: Sam Williams and Elizabeth Williams.

There were three main characters: Rag, a hedgehog; Tag, a mouse; and Bobtail, a rabbit. Occasionally five baby rabbits appeared. The stories were simple and there were no catch-phrases like the other programmes in the cycle, but the series is still remembered with affection. Twenty four episodes were made, plus two others that were untransmitted. Each episode was shot as a single 13 minute take.

In the dictionary, the term "rag-tag and bobtail" is a disparaging remark to describe people as just common country folk, riff-raff. An 1811 dictionary has it as tag-rag and bobtail.

In 1987, a Watch with Mother video was released by the BBC. The episode of Rag, Tag and Bobtail featured a scene where Bobtail discovered that the baby rabbits had been playing with mud-pies and they had turned black. He was unable to clean them, but in the end the mud was washed off.

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