In 1988 (after over 20 years) the BBC took a decision to scrap the programme. I'm not sure why they reached the decision, I guess it's pretty old fashioned in format and the more trendy CBBC that in part replaced it may (or may not) be more in keeping with today's generation of pre-schoolers.
In Australia however the show is still going strong. It's kept the format of Jemima, Big Ted, Little Ted and Humpty (the big four) and there's a host of presenters and songs.
As with the show I remember as a child, a lot of the things they do is based around home-made things (wooden spoons, plastic bottles, cardboard boxes etc) and sometimes you get the feeling they've thrown things together five minutes before the show goes to air, but to be honest it all adds to the charm of the programme.
On Sunday Play School came to Canberra. The ABC tour the show around the country and take the big four to the masses. Sunday's show featured guest presenters Teo and Abi. The two of them energetically danced and sang their way through 50 minutes of songs taking the packed hall of kids with them on an adventure to Humpty's picnic.
Audrey and Eli were enthralled. It was a really well put together show and the presenters hung around after the show to meet the awe-struck kids. As is the way with these things the merchandise table at the back took us for $30 for a Big Ted and $20 for a couple of Play School plates. Personally I'm sure any yellow teddy would have sufficied but even at 3 Audrey is wise enough to know the difference. Big Ted is now toy no.1, probably until next week sometime when something else catches her eye and both Audrey and Eli have taken to sweeping their food off the plates to see the picture of Jemima et al underneath. Still, it's a small price to pay for a good morning's entertainment!
Here's some pics.
Teo and Jemima look out into the audience
Audrey and Eli look back agog - expressions they maintained for 30 minutes or so
Teo and Abi meet Eli and Audrey.