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Friday, 11 October, 2002, 13:53 GMT 14:53 UK
Rainbow set for 'saucy' revival
Geoffrey Hayes and Bungle
Bungle was among Geoffrey Hayes' puppet co-hosts
Characters from the classic 70s childrens' show Rainbow could be revived as late night chat-show hosts.

Fremantle, the production arm of RTL, is developing a programme aimed at adult audiences, which will feature puppets Zippy, Bungle and George.

The trio, together with Rainbow host Geoffrey Hayes, have a cult following among adults and are especially popular on the college circuit.

The channel on which it would go out has not been confirmed but the show is expected to play upon Rainbow's reputation for innuendo and camp humour.

"Puppets can say things a real person would never dare say," said Alan Boyd, president of worldwide entertainment at Fremantle.

"We would revive Rainbow as a straight kids' programme or we could take the retro element and keep it naughty for a late-night chat show."

Rainbow, which ran from 1972-1992, celebrates its 30th birthday next Wednesday.
Zippy from Rainbow
Zippy was one of the most popular characters

Nostalgia

It was one of the most popular children's shows of the 70s but has recently undergone a revival, with a comedy nostalgia act, The Rainbow Disco Roadshow, and Zippy starring in an ad campaign for Marmite.

Hayes also made a recent appearance at the Edinburgh Festival, presenting the one-man show Over The Rainbow.

The stage show, set in 1992, featured Hayes reminiscing about the Rainbow family and how he discovered that the show had been dropped by Thames Television.

It hit the headlines when puppets used in the original TV show that were to be used in the stage show were stolen from the back of a car in Berkshire.

They were returned anonymously a few days later.

Rainbow's forthcoming anniversary will be celebrated with the release of a new DVD featuring highlights from the show, and a book, Rainbow Climbing High.

A Christmas novelty single is also being planned.

See also:

13 Aug 02 | Entertainment
26 Jul 02 | England
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