Millions of children loved watching Geoffrey, George, Zippy and Bungle on Rainbow
Geoffrey Hayes, aka Geoffrey from Rainbow, achieved legendary status presenting the children’s favourite from 1973 to 1992. Rainbow saw Geoffrey accompanied by puppet Zippy, who had a zip for a mouth which could be used if he was talking too much, loveable pink hippo George and friendly bear Bungle.
There was also music from Rod (Burton), Jane (Tucker) and Freddy (Marks). Dame Judi Dench actually featured on some early episodes as a storyteller, but Geoffrey was the real star of Rainbow, making sure George, Bungle and especially Zippy behaved themselves.
Did you know?
Geoffrey also featured in another iconic TV series Z Cars. He once recalled of his Z Cars experience to the Express: “I played Detective Constable Scatliff in Z Cars between 1971 and 1974. It was a great series to work on. There I was, a young actor from Stockport, working alongside such great actors as John Slater, who played Detective Sergeant Tom Stone.” Geoffrey also popped up in an episode of another police classic, Dixon of Dock Green.
Geoffrey has done lots of things since including appearing in the pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk alongside EastEnders favourite Shane Richie. He also did some work as a taxi driver, something that was played up upon in some TV adverts Geoffrey did, and he was once a guest on Nevermind the Buzzcocks. In 2005 Geoffrey featured in Peter Kay’s Comic Relief version of Is This the Way to Amarillo.
And more recently…
In 2015 Geoffrey appeared on Celebrity Pointless alongside another children’s favourite, former Tiswas presenter Sally James. Among the stars he was playing against were Andy Crane, Anthea Turner and Justin Fletcher, aka Mr Tumble.
Geoffrey still gets recognised for Rainbow
Geoffrey, who celebrated his 76th birthday in March, recalled that he’s still getting recognised for Rainbow: “It’s so humbling, even now, all these years later somebody occasionally stops me in the street or the supermarket and talks about Rainbow. We loved doing it; I certainly did. Twenty years of happiness, it really was.”
And what about Zippy, George and Bungle?
The trio featured last year in a Pizza Hut advert!
Rainbow pics: FremantleMedia Ltd/REX/Shutterstock Geoffrey Pic: ITV/REX/Shutterstock