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.
Posted by Life in the 80's at 8:40 AM