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Thursday, 12 July, 2001, 16:53 GMT 17:53 UK
Rainbow figures fetch £7,990
Geoffrey Hayes and the Rainbow characters
Rainbow presenter Hayes gave his old pals a good send off
Characters from the children's television series Rainbow have been sold for £7,990 at auction.

The costume of Bungle the bear and the puppets of George the pink hippopotamus and Zippy were bought by Pearson TV at Christie's in London on Thursday.

Only four or five sets of these characters are thought to have survived from the ITV children's show.

We are completely thrilled to have secured the costumes and look forward to finding a suitable home for them

Frances Bromley, Pearson

Pearson owns the rights to the show, which was first made and broadcast in 1972.

Frances Bromley, creative development manager for Pearson TV said: "Given the tremendous affection which people still have for Rainbow we had anticipated that bidding for the costumes would be hard fought.

"We are completely thrilled to have secured the costumes and look forward to finding a suitable home for them."

She added that Pearson would probably consider donating the Rainbow characters to a museum.

The three characters were sold by a fancy-dress shop owner who bought them during a studio clear-out at Thames in the 80s.

George from Rainbow
George came complete with a mask

They came with costumes, including a turquoise and silver tutu for Bungle and a superhero costume and mask for George and Zippy.

Rainbow was produced by Thames TV, a Pearson TV company.

Rainbow ran on ITV until 1992 when Thames TV lost its ITV franchise, although it was revived briefly in 1994 on HTV.

The human face of Rainbow was Geoffrey Hayes, who was involved in the show for 20 years.

The continued popularity of the show has since spawned a successful line of Rainbow products, such as soft toys, stationery, clothing and DVDs.

See also:

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12 Jul 01 | TV and Radio
Rainbow figures go under the hammer
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