* Commissioned by the BBC,both were devised & written by "Paddington Bear" author Michael Bond. ( "author-pre herbs" page )
* They were shot by the Filmfair production company under the auspices of legendary animator Ivor Woods.
And both used stop motion animation,with actual 3D models & sets. ( "making of" page ) * Both series are set in the same,ostensibly normal,Victorian walled garden.But it's a surreal world co-inhabited by some classic British human caricatures and some animals with distinctly human characteristics.And all named after garden herbs,whose traits they were supposed to share.Although,names aside,the botanical connection was always somewhat tenuous and had disappeared completely by the time of the sequel -amongst some other significant changes (all outlined on the "characters" page) (note:- the stills above come from the original,and the ones below,the sequel)
* The series were contemporaries of other BBC animated kids classics like The Clangers (first shown 1969),Camberwick Green (1966),Trumpton (1967),The Pogles (1968),and Mary Mungo & Midge (1969).But despite being just as popular at the time they struggle to get similar recognition now for some reason.
* Most widely remembered bit ? Probably "Herbidacious" -the magic word used by the narrator at the start of every Herbs episode to open the garden gate.Although it wasn't used at all in the sequel. And here it is as an
* Current exposure ?
Abbey Home Media secured the rights to bring out the entire Filmfair back-catalogue on dvd (from main rights holder Cookie Jar Entertainment) And various piecemeal releases were finally capped off with a full boxset in 2008. ( "dvd" page )
* UK TV exposure is currently courtesy of NickleOdeon. Details at nickjr.co.uk under "classics"
* Spin-off toys,books etc ? There hasn't been any for years -reflecting it's absence from mainstream terrestial tv. But there was a fair bit produced from 1968 to the early 70s ( "memorabilia" page )
The Herbs and The Adventures of Parsley Classic BBC kid's animation by Michael Bond
On this page..... A brief introduction to the series,how you can contribute and some site information.
If you have any questions or anything you'd like to add to the site then please do.
There's an email link on the Home page (where you might also like to take pity on the under-used Guestbook)
All friendly correspondance is guaranteed a friendly reply.And I look forward to hearing from you.
I've put all this together purely to help anyone in search of a bit of Herbal enlightenment.
Why The Herbs ?
Well,you know what it's like.
You reach 'a certain age',whistful nostalgia kicks in and rational thought goes out the window !
I was looking to build a site and chose a kids' tv programme because I was practically weened on all those classic Watch With Mother animated series.
And I enjoyed too many of them to honestly say The Herbs were "my all-time favourites".But they ultimately got the nod simply because they had the poorest online presence,despite being one of the most popular.So there seemed to be the most point in doing it.
Which really isn't the under-whelming endorsement it sounds.But just a realisation that if you're asked to choose your favourite sweet of all time,then you're going to need something more than the taste to seperate them.
So here we are. And I'm still adding and tweeking all the time.
Hopefully most visitors get at least something out of it,no matter how small. And thanks for taking the time to find out. Jay
"The Herbs" (the original series) 12 x 15 minute episodes.
First episode broadcast on BBC 1,February 1968,in the lunchtime "Watch With Mother" slot.
"The Adventures of Parsley" (the sequel) 32 x 5 minute episodes.
First episode broadcast on BBC1,April 1970,in the slot previously occupied by The Magic Roundabout just before the early evening news