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  • Am I the only American who remembers this T.V. show? I remember watching this show Sunday mornings back in the 70's. I used to look forward to watching it regularly. I seemed so cool to have a bus for a clubhouse. I would certainly like to see a release of this show again on video or dvd in the future. Loads of fun. Hail, hail to British television!
  • For some time now, I have been plagued by vague memories of a kids' TV show with an English double-decker bus, and a clubhouse with a secret entrance, through a fence opening. I could never remember the title, since I saw it when I was very young. Then, lo, I found the answer in a book about the Harlem Globetrotters (of all places). I knew I wasn't imagining things! The book talks about the Globertrotter cartoon, at one point, and mentions the competition, including a show called "Here Come the Double Deckers." That really sounded familiar. After a quick jaunt here and to the fan website, I have confirmed my memories. The show existed! I was only 3 or 4 when the show appeared on US TV, which is part of the reason I had a hard time remembering. I vaguely remembered the bus and the secret fence entrance, although I thought they might be two different shows. I really don't remember the episodes, but I do remember that I never missed the show, if I could help it. It seemed very imaginative and entertaining. The only other live shows of that era, that I can still recall, are The Monkees, HR Puffenstuff, and Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp. The American shows had the advantages of repeats, which is why I remember them with more clarity.

    I would love to see this again, to see if any more neurons are shaken loose. It had to have been good to leave that much of an impression; nagging images from 35 years ago.
  • I too have fond memories of this marvelously-slapstick children's show that debuted in the dawning 70's - a joint amalgamation of a venture between US television and the BBC. It dealt with the madcap exploits of a group of London children with a great den (a large red London double-decker bus in a disused works yard). Each week saw the gang in hilarious and ludicrous adventures - a runaway home-made hovercraft, invading "Martians", a haunted house and so on. Film-goers who recall the Children's Film Foundation productions may well recall also the adventures of 'The Magnificent Six-And-A-Half' - which was the mold for the TV series to come. Made by the CFF, with I believe Roy Simpson & Harry Booth at the helm it had seven children (the half was the youngest girl - as with "Tiger" being the youngest when it transferred to the small screen). Various insanely silly adventures made enjoyable children's stories - and included Michael Audreson and Brinsley Forde among the cinema cast - later to be members of the TV series gang. Mervyn Hayes who also became a stalwart member of the TV series also appeared in the cinema originals. The stories in fact were also re-worked for the TV series: "Ghosts & Ghoulies" transferred to become "Happy Haunting", "Bob A Job" became the TV episode "A Helping Hand" and so on. I believe the CFF story "Kon-Tiki Kids" may also have been the base for the TV story "Tiger Takes Off" (hovercraft adventure). Other TV ep's were derived from other productions by the CFF - such as 'Go-Kart-Go!' - a go-kart racing adventure - which transferred to the small screen with the episode "Go-Karters". Three of the TV cast (Michael Audreson ("Brains"), Gillian Bailey ("Billie") & Brinsley Forde ("Spring")made an appearance on French television in 2000 for a small re-union. Peter Firth - who became an established TV and film actor was unable to attend - nor was Debbie Russ ("Tiger") - she now works for a radio station in Hong Kong. There was no mention of Bruce Clarke ("Sticks") or Douglas Symmonds ("Doughnut") - or indeed Mervyn Hayes - now better known for his role in 'It Ain't 'Alf Hot Mum'. A full re-union would be good to see - though it's unlikely. I don't know for example whether all members are now still alive. Douglas Symmonds is the one who first springs to mind because of his massive appetite for food - but if he is - and if ever the series gets a DVD release (long-overdue!) - it would be immensely satisfying to hear the old gang (and "old" perhaps being the more operative word - they are all well-past their childhood days!) - seeing the old gang make a narrative track for the old TV episodes - to enlighten us with comical anecdotes and past memories of their time on the marvelous old show that was uniquely a British institution - British to the core - 'Here Come The Double Deckers!'...

    Paul-Hillam1
  • icreeem24 August 2007
    I too am an American with a good memory and I remember this TV show on one or both weekend mornings. I was 6 or 7 years old and I remember having a little crush on Tiger. Their accents were not all that strange to me and had me questioning that awful Boston accent I was afflicted with at birth. I believe this show was my original inspiration to train my own diction toward being less distinguishable from my region. The characters were great and varied and I remember seeing a kid in my school who had a Double Deckers lunch box, which would imply a greater popularity than the show had actually obtained. I would love to see it somewhere again, on DVD or in a Nickelodeon feature...or perhaps even TV Land. I'm sure my kids would enjoy the show, as their Daddy was exactly the age of the characters when it was being shown. I vaguely remember the theme song, can hum the melody but would love to hear it again!
  • 'Here Come The Double Deckers!' premiered on B.B.C.-T.V. in 1970 and was repeated virtually every summer for years thereafter. Nobody objected because it was a thumping good show; a high-spirited comic version of Enid Blyton's 'Secret Seven', replete with singing, dancing, and lots of slapstick. If anyone fell over, they'd never be hurt. The gang came in all shapes and sizes, so the viewers could find at least one kid to identify with. I used to wonder how the gang had gotten together, and why we never saw their parents. A show like this could never be made now. With the Government getting tough on obesity amongst children, Doughnut would be out for a start. Secondly, parents would be bound to object to the sight of children in an old bus, clearly in imminent danger from the exhaust fumes. As for Albert the road sweeper, he'd probably be targeted by a 'News Of The World' style witch hunt. 'Double Deckers' is a charming relic from a bygone era when kids were allowed to be kids.
  • aash-215 May 2006
    This was one of my favorite shows when I was eight. In fact, the summer I turned 9, my family and I went to London, and at the Bank Holiday Parade, the Double Deckers were IN THE PARADE!!! For an 8-year-old to unexpectedly get to see her favorite TV actors in the flesh, that was quite a moment! They were of course riding in a double decker bus, hanging off the sides and waving and smiling. I was jumping up and down, a complete hysterical screaming mess. My mom fumbled with the camera and able to get one good picture. I wish I could see this show again. I was very tickled to see how most of the actors have gone on to bigger and better things.
  • "The Double Deckers" was a highly popular comedy series which was televised by the BBC on Saturday mornings. There was the attractive use of good natured banter as a group of friends were able to 'go and do their own thing'. It was outright escapism and for viewers such as myself who were under ten years old in age, it was a welcome delight to meet up with our friends. We used to identify with the characters. The cast were good and individually they still linger in one's memory. The songs and dance routines were light hearted and I guess that with the hindsight of a certain nostalgia, this has become a cult classic. Several of the actors have grown older and have progressed to successful adult acting careers.
  • Seven kids hang out in a junkyard with an abandoned double decker bus; Brains, the brainy one; Doughnut, the obese one; Spring, the Black one; Scooper, the leader (was he?); Sticks, the drummer; and two girls, Billie and the young girl named Tiger, as she carried around that stuffed tiger toy. There seemed to be more adventures with trying to retrieve the tiger toy than anything else. One episode, Doughnut dreamt he ate an invisible formula. Another involved a chocolate factory and a gun that shot out candy pieces. The gun was set on a radiator and later when fired, it spewed chocolate sauce all over the bad guys. My brother and I still can sing the fat ladies song, but I don't for the life of me recall what that one was about. There was a teacher all the boys fell in love with and saw as his ideal woman; Doughnut saw her as a chef, Brains as a scientist and so on. Billie sees her as a witch. One of the wildest adventures for me was that camping mishap when it started to rain and everyone climbed into the car and knocked the car out of gear. The only one who didn't get wet was Albert, who I take it was the adult who usually accompanied the kids on their adventures. Albert was asleep under the wagon. Very similar to what I have seen of the 'Carry On' movies in the UK, Double Deckers must have been a juvenile version. Nevertheless we never missed it when it aired. We loved this show.
  • This is a part of English TV heritage. For myself it holds a lot of memories especially the theme tune. I was 8/9 at the time the show was on and always made sure that I was able to watch it when on. I wish that one of the satellite stations would repeat it.
  • What an absolute gem of a programme this was. It doesn't seem to have been repeated on British TV, but Youtube has the start sequence http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7Etul2mGxU 70's kids programmes were never better than this! The programme had an excellent 'feel good factor', the plots were totally geared to kids and it seems a shame that they didn't make more. Peter Firth (Scooper) has been a very successful actor, with Brinsley Forde (Spring) going on to form 'Aswad'. None of the other actors have done much beyond the early seventies. There does not seem to be too much information on the net regarding this programme, which is a real shame as I am sure that a lot of 40 year olds would like a trip down Memory Lane
  • spike1-24 November 2006
    IMDb claims Pat Coombs only appeared in one episode, but she actually appeared in two.

    "Happy Haunting" where the gang go to a stately home was the first.

    "United We Stand" in which a developer wants to turn their yard into a car park is the second.

    (I think she was the caretaker's wife or housekeeper in happy haunting and the secretary of the developer in united we stand)

    I've just seen them all again (after 20 or more years and they're still brilliant. If a little dated now.

    Bet if you showed them to kids today though, they'd still like it.

    I agree with the other poster, it's well deserving of a repeat.
  • A fun, fast moving British children's comedy littered with singing, adventures, Heath Robinson style inventions and a great great theme tune/song. I loved it and so did my siblings and friends. Wonderful and at the age of 41 I'd watch it again!

    Favourite episodes (lordy, I'm digging deep here) are Brains robot invention, donut going invisible, a kind of war involving aliens and some kind of gun firing something or other.

    Memorable stars were Scooper, Melvyn Hayes, Brains, doughnut, Sticks, the girls. I have a strange feeling Derek 'Washboard' Guyler may have been a regular.

    In glorious colour too.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I know that they show debuted in 1970 but I think that in Scotland we did not get Here Come The Double Deckers until early 1971 when it aired on Friday afternoons- possibly in the classic 5 to 5 Crackerjack slot- though on its reruns it was very much a staple of Saturday mornings. It disappeared for year after the late seventies before it turned up again, on Saturdays and on ITV in the early 1990s.

    The premise of the show was an appealing one - a gang of children who meet up in a junkyard that is filled with all sorts of , well, junk as well as what remains of a red London bus. The gang of seven has a natural leader, Scooper, ( with Spring as his second -in-command), a mother hen, Billie, a nerdy clever-clogs, Brains, a butt of the jokes called Doughnut, and a mascot figure, the much younger Tiger. There was one other Double Decker, Sticks, whose role was less defined - he was American and that was it for him. The one adult who appeared in almost every episode was Albert who was a street sweeper who seemed to be the kids main contact with the outside world.

    The children existed in a world that was their own- they seemed to have no parents, siblings or school and many of the episodes are confined to the yard and the street outside. Two of the best episodes were when the gang venture into the wider world - once when they visit a country house that seems to be haunted and another when they enter a go-cart designed by Brains in a race against some young bikers. I was surprised to learn that there were only 17 episodes made although reading the synopsis of each I realise I can remember bits of almost all of them. The two worst episodes were the one when they encounter a protest singer and reinvent him as 'The Cool Cavalier' and another where Tiger befriends a One Man Band who eventually plays the Royal Variety Performance. The good episodes were funny and spirited but the bad ones were cloyingly sentimental.

    The show was set in London and aside from Sticks - Bruce Clark- the cast and guest actors were all British but at times the show has a distinctly American feel. Confectionery is referred to as 'candy' and not 'sweets' as it would have been in early 70s Britain whilst in one episode Scooper returns to the the lair from a game of football in the park carrying a helmet used in the American version of the game- in 1970 American Football was hardly known in Britain with the round ball game if anything even more popular than it is now. The music and the relentless cheeriness of the actors never quite sat right with me in grey, cynical Britain and the tone was more Southern California than Sarf London.

    And yet despite the misgivings I had then (and now) it is hard not to think fondly of the show. The cast was often better than the material- Peter Firth (Scooper) became a fine actor in adulthood and Gillian Bailey ( Billie) as the feisty, tomboyish Billie was a decent actress too- and the casting of a black actor- Brinsley Forde as Spring- was a bold move for its time.

    Here Come the Double Deckers was very much of its time I suppose but it was fun all the same.
  • Man I had such a crush on her. I seem to remember that it came on in my area at the time on Sundays at 11AM. I would get ticked if the minister ran a little long, or my folks wanted to stop and visit after the service. Gilli was so much cooler than the 'dumb girls' that I went to school with. Of course in 1970 I was 9, and she would have been 15, so there you go. She could sing, dance, hang out with the guys and not be obnoxious. Looked up her photo on the fan site and found that she matured to a good looking though not overwhelming beauty. Couldn't find any pictures in between DD times and now though. Thanks for the memories. A 10 for those.
  • I hated this show as a kid - I was about 11 in 1970 - I remember being acutely embarrassed by it. I haven't thought about it for years and was prompted to look it up here after a post on one of the message boards, but I remember that even at the time it struck me as being so phony - like a kid's version of the whole phony "Swinging London" scene.

    I was surprised to find it was made in the UK because I have the memory of it being so American. Even back then it felt to me like an American idea of what British kids would be like. (Sort of like a lot of bonzaid Dick Van Dykes from Mary Poppins.

    Even worse than it's American gloss I remember hating it for the fact that it had Melvyn Hayes in it. I'm sure Melvyn is a very nice man and gets on well with his neighbours but there was something about him that made me want to throw the TV out the window and scream obscenities at it as it plummeted to the ground. Especially in that damn commercial where the girl in the mini-moke takes an apple from his stall.

    Argh!
  • I was only 4 when this was on TV here in Britain, on Saturday mornings, but I remember this VIVIDLY!

    Here Come the Double Deckers was bright, colourful FUN! Even if in places it was a little cheesy & sickly sweet, but every kid of my generation could identify with the characters as this was a time when us kids were allowed to be kids. Sure, some episodes were better than others & everyone has their own personal opinion, but I really don't get why this has not been re-run for children today. It seems a shame somehow. Anyway each episode is well paced, the stories are well thought out & most episodes included a song & dance routine. The kids are diverse & their characters work very well together. Peter Firth who played "Scooper" went on to have a highly successful acting career & is currently starring in the series "Victoria" while the other young actors appear to have retired from acting by the late 70's. The show featured many adult stars of the day including Melvin Hayes & Jane Seymore. & it was written to appeal to both British & American audiences. Overall it was a great, highly entertaining kids show filled to the brim with innocent fun, sadly something that todays children are not allowed to have....an actual childhood!
  • How well I remember this show even though it didn't last very long. I was about 9 years old in 1970 and on weekends you'd usually find me in my pajamas on Sunday mornings watching shows like "The Double Deckers" while slurping down a bowl of Cheerios. These kids had great times along with singing some pop songs and a little dancing. They were in the same genre as shows like H.R. Puffinstuff. Pure fluff and pure fun.