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Tuesday, 23 July, 2002, 20:26 GMT 21:26 UK
Rainbow puppets stolen from car
Geoffrey Hayes with Zippy (centre), George and Bungle
A 5,000 reward is offered for the puppets' safe return
Thieves have stolen the original puppets of Bungle, Zippy and George, used in the hit children's television show Rainbow.

The costumes were taken from the back of a car parked in a service station in Berkshire.

They had been taken to Bristol to film scenes for a new stage show Over the Rainbow, starring Geoffrey Hayes - the presenter of the children's show.

Hayes was said to be very distressed by the loss of the costumes, one of only a handful of original sets used during the filming of the programme.


I'm willing to pay a reward of 5,000 to anyone who can return Zippy, George and Bungle to my office intact

Richard Temple

The puppets were taken from the back of the estate car when the production manager stopped at Membury Services in Berkshire for a snack on Tuesday afternoon.

Hayes' new show is due to premiere at the Edinburgh Festival on 2 August.

He had only just bought the Bungle puppet at an auction at Christie's for 3,760.

All three puppets are thought to be worth many thousands of pounds.

Producer devastated

A spokesman for the production said: "It can only have been about 10 minutes that they were left in the car.

"No-one could possibly have known it was them - it must have been opportunistic.

"We desperately want them back. They are due on stage in a week's time.

"Geoffrey worked with them for 20 years so they are quite close to his heart, plus the fact that he had only just got Bungle back and two weeks later he does a runner."

Show producer Richard Temple, whose company owns the other two puppets in this set, said he was devastated.

"I'm willing to pay a reward of 5,000 to anyone who can return Zippy, George and Bungle to my office intact.

"The costumes bear unique markings which means that we will be able to instantly know whether our three friends are the genuine articles."


Click here to go to Bristol
See also:

12 Jul 02 | Entertainment
12 Jul 01 | Entertainment
30 May 01 | Entertainment
Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.


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