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Wednesday

Chock-A-Block


In the 80's, what was yellow, hard to control and sent millions of youngsters into hysterics when it appeared on their TV screens? No, not Oliver Reed after a few shandies too many, I'm talking about the Chock-A-Block car.

'Chock-A-Block' was a children's TV show which ran in the 1980s, right before Family Ness (Brilliant cartoon.) The 'Chock-A-Block' car was a Sinclair C5-alike machine which transported either Carol Leader or Fred Harris into the studio.

Both were former 'Playschool' presenters who looked as though they were destined for bigger things. You could almost see the cogs of ambition in Leader's mind turning as she presented the show. While she was singing 'Jack and Jill went up the hill', you knew that she had her eyes on a big headlining chat-show slot. 'That's right', she thought, 'One day, I will be the female Wogan. I'll be there, introducing Rick Astley to sing his latest song, and asking Miriam Stoppard what she thinks about rheumatism.

I feel as though she can be proud to be part of such a professional and valuable TV show. Hell no, its was more than a TV show. 'Chock-A-Block' was a LIFESTYLE for the under-5's of Thatcher's generation.

With absolutely no attempts made to disguise the dingy studio that it was filmed in, the programme educated a huge number of children, who hung on the words of Fred Harris and Carol Leader like the miners did to Arthur Scargill.

The aim of the show was to teach children about inane nursery rhymes. As far as I can recall, each rhyme was introduced through a big yellow machine with a huge mangle-like handle of some description.

After alighting from the car, the presenter would load a giant cartridge thing into the machine, and we would lick our lips in anticipation of what would emerge from it. I remember rushing home from play school to settle down in front of the TV to see what would happen on 'Chock-A-Block' - would Carol Leader get her hair caught in the yellow machine? Would someone sabotage the brakes in the Chock-A-Block car, maiming Fred Harris for life?

Well, I don't think anything quite as dramatic happened (I hear Harris was a lovely man, so who would want to sabotage the brakes anyway?), but I still remember it as being extremely entertaining. Each episode used to end with the Yellow car driving away, leaving the Chock-a-Block machine to power down on its own.

I learnt lots of nursery rhymes and developed a love of the yellow car, and was gutted when it was taken off air.

Obviously the car had finally conked out...

Click Here to hear the start music. Brilliant.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fred used to get out of the car and say 'chock-a-bloke checking-in' which sounded great to my young ears.

Carol used to get out of the car and say 'chock-a-girl checking-in' - hmmmmmm somehow that just didn't cut it in the same way!

=)

Anonymous said...

wow listening to that theme tune bought back a few good memories...thanks

Sarah said...

wicked!! hardly anyone i know remembers this show. i used to LOVE it. so good to hear that music again....im thinking of creating a drum n bass version.

Anonymous said...

HA HA HA, I love it. I'm 30 years old now and instantly remembered that tune.....good stuff!

Anonymous said...

I have asked so many people if they remember Chock a block and they look at me like I have two heads so I said I would google it and prove that I wasn't some crazy child with an over-active imagination. I'm so pleased I got to listen to the theme tune, it bought tears to my eyes!!!!

Anonymous said...

LOL when I asked people if they remember this they dont. i do i use to watch this all the time. I am also now 30 lol sooo long ago he he great to refresh up on the music

spooner said...

Check this bad boy out!!

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=uyfNRMmJlxo

That little truck wasn't arf nippy. It's like one of those SMART cars!!

Memories....like the corners of my mind.....!

Anonymous said...

i have been trying for years to remember what this show was called. nobody else remembered it and it was starting to drive me nuts! finally!

Sumedha Mane said...

I used to love this show so much! I think it was all the buttons and different coloured thingies! Just goes to show-we are a lot more simple as kids!

Anonymous said...

Wow.....nobody i know remembers it either and yet it's like i watched it yesterday! ACE!!!! LOL

Anonymous said...

I used to watch this show with my two sons who are now nearly 27 and 23, I will be 51 this year and I enjoyed it at the time!!!

Anonymous said...

I absoloutely loved this show as a kid. I would pretty much say it was my favourite show, up there with POB on Channel 4. Thanks for writing about it, it has bought back some good memories.

Anonymous said...

Like everyone on here, it seems, I've been trying to remember what this show was called for years and when I described it others they looked at me as though I was nuts! That music takes me back to our wood-panelled, brown-carpeted front lounge on weekday afternoons after play school....loved it! (Er...the programme that is, not the decor!)

Viagra Sex said...

everything in the past was better than now, I love old music, old stuff and everything, I also absoloutely loved this show as a kid, the was really amazing, thanks for the post.

Anonymous said...

It was ace seeing this again. Dad used to come home from work for lunch and would sit down with me to watch it. He was always rather glad when it was chock-a-girl checking in. I loved this show!!

Anonymous said...

I always used to think that Fred Harris looked like a gnome, with his big nose & large ears. Even more worryingly, I remember how I used to think at the time that he resembled Peter Sutcliffe the Yorkshire Ripper.

Kerajinan Jati said...

Thanks for marvelous posting.! I quite enjoyed reading it

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