CBBC, Children's BBC, the Broom Cupboard - whatever you may remember it as - is celebrating its 35th anniversary this week. The presentation links in between much loved kid's TV shows has made stars out of everyone, from Phillip Schofield and Andi Peters, to Zoe Ball and Fearne Cotton.
To celebrate, several classic shows from their archives are being made available to watch on demand again from today. It's got us feeling a bit nostalgic here at Driving Experience, so we thought we'd take a look at some of the most iconic cars and vehicles of kid's TV (and their number plates) that have graced our screens over the last 35 years - and the driving experience days and venues we offer that get you close to the shows from your childhood...
Created by the team behind Teletubbies and Rosie and Jim, Brum, a small vintage yellow car based on a convertible variant of Austin’s 7 Chummy model, first drove onto our screens in 1991.
The original model used in the show is still on display at the Cotswold Motor Museum in Bourton on the Water, Gloucestershire, featured in each episode, from which he would magically come to life and leave the museum to go on adventures in 'The Big Town' (Birmingham).
Brum was designed and built by the late Rex Garrod, who was also responsible for many of the machines seen on the TV series Robot Wars. Interestingly, one of the episodes of the show, titled 'Wheels', was filmed on the same site at what is now Birmingham Wheels Raceway, one of our Driving Experience venues that hosts drifting and stock car racing experiences.
Don't deny it, you started singing the theme the second we said it. Postman Pat first started delivering the post to the fictional Cumbrian village of Greendale with his black and white cat, Jess, in 1981.
His aforementioned 'bright red van' is believed to be based on the old box style Freight Rover Sherpa vans, which were a common sight on British roads in the late 70s and early 80s, and were actually used by Royal Mail themselves for delivering and collecting the post.
A later series in the mid-90s saw Pat gain another vehicle, his Royal Mail Post Bus (PAT 2), which he would sporadically use to pick up and take passengers to nearby towns as well as carry out his mail duties.
Our Kirkbride Airfield venue, set in the same beautiful Cumbrian countryside and rolling hills of the Lake District where the show was set, hosts a range of supercar driving experiences that’s a little bit more high octane than a postal van.
However, given that Pat's subsequently been seen in a motorbike and helicopter since being promoted to the ‘Special Delivery Service’ in a later 2008 series, it’s probably only a matter of time before he adds a set of hot wheels from Ferrari or Lamborghini to his fleet!
Fireman Sam - or Sam Tân as he is known to our friends in Wales - has been putting out fires all over the fictional Welsh village of Pontypandy since 1987.
The brainchild of two former London firefighters, the main vehicle of 'The hero next door' for much of the original series was Jupiter, a Bedford TK fire engine, driven under the watchful eye of Station Officer Steele.
When new recruit Firefighter Penny Morris was introduced on the show in 1990, she also bought her own firefighting vehicle along - a six wheeled Range Rover Rescue Tender, called Venus.
Again, much like Postman Pat, the later CGI animated series from 2008 onwards has also seen Sam dabbling in aviation for certain emergencies, with a rescue helicopter.
But for those longing for a go in a classic fire engine just like Wales’ best known face, Bicester Heritage Centre offers both passenger rides and driving days in a Dennis Sabre XL fire engine from as little as £29.
“5...4...3...2...1. Thunderbirds are go!” So rang out the announcement at the start of each episode of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s classic puppet action series from 1965.
Whilst the assorted rockets of the Tracy brothers - the FAB International Rescue team - were stars in their own right, so too was the pink Rolls Royce, the wheels of choice for the team’s London secret agent, Lady Penelope.
Thunderbirds gained new popularity when repeats of it were aired in the early 90s, leading of course to that now much talked about episode of Blue Peter, where Anthea Turner created a model of Tracy Island out of household junk at a time many parents were struggling to find the then newly released toy set of the show’s main location for Christmas 1992.
Just as luxurious a drive as FAB 1 is our equally FAB range of Bentley Continental driving experiences, at venues including Prestwold Hall in Leicestershire, which undoubtedly offers just as much style, class and performance as the Rolls can.
And we’ve got plenty more driving days in the vehicles of classic kid’s TV to satisfy your retro craving at venues and locations across the UK on Driving Experience, including the A Team van, the Transformers ‘Optimus Prime’ truck and Batman’s Batmobile to name but several. Head to our dedicated TV and Movie Cars page today to book yours through dates or our open gift vouchers.