Friday, October 15, 1999 Published at 17:04 GMT 18:04 UK
Stop, Look and Listen again
Rocker Alvin Stardust had a simple message for young people
Throughout the 60s and 70s public information films, warning of such everyday hazards as crossing the road, were as much a part of British television as the National Anthem played at the end of transmission.
These masterpieces of kitsch from the archives of the Central Office of Information may even again fulfil their original purpose by preventing accidents.
The brief gems of official wisdom were screened to fill the gaps in the TV schedules, but became particularly associated with Saturday morning children's TV.
To get the message across to their young audience, the makers made extensive use of animation.
Charley's incomprehensible pronouncements on water safety and the dangers of teapots even inspired a Top 10 hit by controversial UK dance act Prodigy.
The films also employed the services of established stars such as Jimmy Savile, Rolf Harris and Dr Who actor Jon Pertwee.
Heroes of road safety
In a series entitled Children's Heroes, soccer ace Kevin Keegan, boxer Joe Bugner and leather-clad rocker Alvin Stardust all excelled at telling careless children "you must be out of your tiny minds".
Perhaps the most famous of the public information campaigns involved David Prowse as the Green Cross Code Man.
As well as saving lives, the films also kept the wolf from the door for countless struggling actors and stuntmen between episodes of The Sweeney.
EastEnders star Gillian Taylforth and John Altman, the soap's Nick Cotton, were among those who served their apprenticeship on such shorts as Stupid Git and Forget It.
Although to modern viewers the films may seem patronising in the extreme, the passage of time has given them a certain charm.
With advice to turn the gas off in the event of a nuclear attack and reminders to decide who you want to vote for before polling day, the films may seem ridiculous but they often did the job.
Along with the success of the Green Cross Code mantra, Stop, Look and Listen, the films were also partly responsible for drink-driving becoming a social stigma in the UK.
TV and Radio