Comments from 10/98 to 7/99


Have just discovered your DD website - it's first class! I have a couple of bits of info for you on the series: 1) I had the pleasure of meeting Melvyn Hayes last March. He was in attendance at the Memorabilia '99 convention in Birmingham, England with one of his daughters. He was signing photographs for charity - and one of the photos just happened to be a behind-the-scenes shot from DD! I asked him about the series, and he said he had a marvellous time making it. When the rights to remake it were bought up by a production company a few years ago, he offered his services as a consultant, but he heard nothing more. He also would like to see the episodes released on video, but he thinks that side of things is all tied up with the remake deal. (Melvyn is best known in the UK (to non-DD buffs anyway!) for his role as Bombadier 'Gloria' Beaumont in IT AIN'T HALF HOT MUM, a sitcom set in WW2 India. These have just started coming out on video in the UK. Melvyn can also be spotted as the young Baron Frankenstein in Hammer's CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN, and in the body-snatching tale THE FLESH AND THE FIENDS, both with Peter Cushing. He tends to work mainly in the theatre now, appearing as Pantomime Dame around the country at Christmas, but does make the odd cameo appearance on TV (the sitcoms THE THIN BLUE LINE and DRESSING FOR BREAKFAST being just two recent examples). He is married to actress Wendy Padbury (ex-Dr Who assistant). 2) You may not be aware of this, but the DDs had their own two-page cartoon strip for a year, in a British comic called 'Whizzer and Chips' from 22 May 1971 to 13 May 1972. Drawn by artist Roy Davis, each week's episode would feature the gang in a typical escapade, which closely followed the format of the TV series. Although the comic didn't have the rights to portray the faces of the actors concerned, the individual shapes and sizes of each character were more or less adhered to. This gave the series a little extra boost in terms of its popularity, and certainly kept my nine-year-old self e from cancelling my order for the comic at my local newsagents until the strip had run its course. 7/99 - Lydon writes: Hi, you probably already know about the 1973 movie "Go for a Take" which features Debbie Russ as Tiger.
The film starred Reg Varney, who at that time was in the TV show "On the Busses." He plays a hopeless compulsive gambler who along with his partner ends up in debt to gangsters and on the run. After a long chase the two men hide away in a lorry returning props to a film studio. Fearing the gangsters and finding easy money to be made as extras and stuntmen they hide out at the studio actually living on one of the sound stages. Because they are not supposed to be there they have to hide every night. On one occasion they are almost discovered by some stagehands who are redressing the set for "that bus program." At first it seems it's an injoke for "On the Busses" but when Reg and his friend return they discover that it's actually the DD bus.
Tiger is in residence. "Hello," she says, "My name's Tiger and this is my Tiger!"
She hangs around with our luckless hero's for most of the film, looses the Tiger and forces them to go back and get it dispite the danger and generally acts like Tiger. I think she mentions Brains at one stage and my somewhat faulty memory of the end of the film I think involves someone trying to break into the bus where she is hiding..... as we all know that is a very bad idea.
Hope this helps.
Lyndon

7/99 - Jim writes: Dear Fellow DD Fans,

It is with great sadness that I have to inform you that I can not supply any more videos of the DD.

Two contacts of mine who also supply rare films/TV shows have been brought down with a heavy fine. Without going into too much detail & not to name names, it was to do with a British TV company & one of their many properties. With all this happening within a month, I want to cover my back & stop all trading as from now.

I know the DD's is a lesser known show & has no mainstream interest, it is however owned by 20th Century Fox. I could carry on trading, but all it takes is some little weasel who has nothing better to do than grass people up, as this is what happend to two of my fellow contacts.

With this in mind, I would like to publicly announce that I shall cease all trading over the internet & other media. This message will also be displayed on other trading pages that I have delt with in the past.

Jim Fielding.

7/99 - Alan from Perth, Australia writes: Wonderful site David
I remember watching the DD's in the very early seventies (I was born in '64) and had a huge crush on Billie. Beano and Dandy just didn't rate I'm afraid (UFO was pretty good though...it must have been the green haired girls from moonbase). Anyway, just thought I'd drop a line and say thankyou very much for bringing back the memories and creating a lasting tribute to a show very fondly remembered and missed. Well Done!!
Have you thought of putting biographies on the site for each character, you know date of birth, lived at such and such, school, acting work, and then linking in with what they are doing now with current photo's?
Kind regards

7/99 - A fellow DD fan writes: Bless you for all the hard work you've done on the Double Deckers website. My wife is seven years younger than me, and has no memory at all of the show :(. Finding your site was a godsend, as it allowed me to prove to her that I wasn't hallucinating about the DD's existence. :) By the way, www.soundamerica.com has a .wav version of the DD theme song, although it's in mono and a bit scratchy. It did however get me searching for other DD resources, which led me to your site, so it wasn't all bad. FYI, I grew up in Louisville, KY, USA which put the DDs on Saturday morning. I seem to remember there being something of a British TV craze at the time, leading to HR Pufnstuf's Jimmy and others. Mayhaps a little more surfing is in order. Thanks again for all your efforts.

6/99 - Ricky writes: I saw your website, quite a few months ago, but I haven't been able to write until now, although I did manage to get copies of Double Deckers videos, thanks to it ( Thanks also to J Fielding for supplying them). I was a fan of the series when it came out over here in 1971, although I grew to hate it when I got older to the extent that I avoided it like a plague. My own 1972 Christmas annual suffered a terrible fate at the hands of a compass point as I tried to eradicate their memory. Anyhow perhaps this spite (itself now eradicated) has been useful, because it means that it was a show that I could never be ambivalent about, and certainly watching it now ( in colour) the memories just flood back. For example on the last show, they sang 'See you Next Week!"... and they didn't.
By the way, before I'd clocked the page, I'd written to TV zone in the UK about the availability of the programme on tape, and they just recently replied to it in their magazine. presumably to coincide with a mini-review of the stars in a programme called 'After they were famous'. The suggested date must be wrong, although I'll be keeping a look out for it. If you want a copy of the article, I can send it to you just as soon as I can figure out how to attach scanned images to my E-mails.
Many thanks again, and all the best
PS. Brinsley Forde is now the presenter of Soul Vibration on VH-1

6/99 - David writes:Thanks for the page Dave. I've grown a little tired of surfing the web to be honest, and searched for the Double Deckers with little hope of finding anything, then up pops the gang!
I was only seven when the series was cancelled, and I still remember blubbing at the thought of not hearing "See you next weeeeeeeeeek!" again.
Though I haven't heared those dulcet tones since 1972 they still ring in my ears, so thanks for the memories, and good luck finding Sticks.

6/99 - BJ writes: Absoo brill, I use to love the program. It was great. I wish they would re-run the whole the lot of them.

6/99 - Andy writes: Great site - fabulous nostalgia.
Will pass on web address to friends.

6/99 - Jeannette and Jerry write: I cannot begin to tell you just what a very huge thrill it was to find a page about the DD show. My name is Danny Hutchins. I still can remember to this day seeing the show when it aired on Sunday mornings on ABC from 1971 to 1972. I could not stand to miss it. It was my all-time favorite show at that time. Certain moments during the episodes of the show have stuck out in my mind for so long and they still stick out in my mind to this day. One moment in particular is when Doughnut was looking for something to eat--as usual--and he got a spoon and dipped it into a bowl of something yellow-- and it turns out to be some VERY HOT AND SPICY MUSTARD!!!!! He started running all over everywhere, going crazy and screaming because his mouth was on FIRE!!! Finally he found a pot with some cold water in it I think. He started gulping it down like crazy and then he opened his mouth to exhale and white smoke came blowing out of it. I laughed so hard, I was crying!!! I don't remember which episode it was, but I still remember that moment. Another moment in particular which I do remember which episode it was in was the episode "Man's Best Friend" where Spring was saying the following remark to Doughnut: Spring: "You know, Doughnut, you ought to consider eating more spinach. It puts color on your cheeks." Doughnut: "Who wants green cheeks?" Those are the two moments of the show that stick out most in my mind to this day. There are many others as well. I just thought I would mention that. It sure was great to see some information about where they all are now. I have wondered about that for quite some time. I sure hope you will be able to find info on Bruce Clark and what he is doing now. I always thought that cast members of shows would continue to stay in contact with each other as time passes along, but I guess it's not always like that. One last thing, can you tell me if there are any video tapes of the show in existence? I sure would like to have all the episodes on video. I haven't seen the show or heard any reference on the show since ABC stopped airing it on Sunday mornings at 9:30 a.m. EST back in 1972. If you can tell me how or where I could find video tapes of the show, I sure would appreciate it. I would also like to know where or how I could find the DD record album as well. It sure would be nice if they would re-release it on a CD. Please write me back whenever possible. Thank you very much.

5/99 - Jane from TV Zone magazine writes: I have some news about the Yorkshire TV Double Decker "Reunion show" you mentioned on your Website. I rang Yorkshire TV who said the filming they did on April 13th was for an edition of "After They Were Famous" which will be shown on June 16th on ITV in the UK. The press officer wasn't too sure of the details, but thought it mainly dealt with the person who went on to be in Aswad - that'll be Brinsley Forde, then. She is getting some more details and will call me - I'll forward them when I know.
For your information, the show mentioned basically asks what happened to various people after they had their fifteen minutes of fame, with clips from the show and their current life etc. It is *not* a reunion of HCTDD. The show is a follow on from the successful series "Before They Were Famous" in which film was shown of well-known people in - usually - embarrassing programmes they did in their youth.
I found your site while looking for information on any HCTDD videos released in the UK. Do you know of any released in the past or due to come out in the future? Your help would be appreciated. This is for my a question and answer column in TV Zone magazine, a monthly publication on Cult TV.
I heard about your site while at a party at the weekend - it came highly recommended!
Jane Killick
- TV Zone magazine

5/99 - Steven from the UK writes: It took me ages to find your site, but it was well worth it. It brought back sooooo many happy memories, all it needs now is pictures of what the cast look like today! many thanks for what you've done so far!

5/99 - Laura Slanley writes: My name is Laura Slaney, and I am the daughter of Ivor Slaney who comoposed and directed the music for the Double Deckers. Unfortunately Ivor died last March, I am sure that he would have loved to have seen your website.

5/99 - Cindy writes: I was having a bit of a laugh with my girl friend yesterday about old shows on TV and we both said at the same time - do you remember the double deckers?
This was unbelievable as we both live in Australia and they never had it over here (I think) She was brought up in Wales and I am from Portsmouth. So I thought I'd see if there was anything on the internet. What can I say. Great web site!!!!
It's wonderful to know that these programs, which were so much fun, are not forgotten. Can you tell me, was the reunion shown in April this year?
Many thanks
Cindy

4/99 - Mark from the UK writes: Brilliant web site. Good to see increasing numbers of sites covering 70s UK TV nostalgia. I think my main reason for tuning in was a crush on Tiger! It would be interesting to see how her (and the others) look now too.

4/99 - Roger from the UK writes: Hello. First off what a great site - found it purely by accident and it brought back many memories, thanks! Secondly - do you have a better version of the theme tune, e.g. MP3 or WAV. if so and it's not to much trouble please could you send me a copy for I think it's a great tune and would love to add it to my collection of classic theme tunes (450 and rising). Thank you very much.

4/99 - Roger Haddock writes: David, have only just found web site, oh what a joy. I remember the series as though it was yesterday. I have one of the Double Deckers books as well as the L.P of the music. I also have a set of sheet music for the series given to me by the producer it is now quite a collectors item I should think. I have just retired after 32 years in the entertainment industry, and was lucky enough to work on a film called the "Flying Sorcerer" which was directed by you have guessed it......... Harry Booth and starred a still young and lovely Debbie "Tiger" Russ. I still keep in touch with her mum and family she is still my favourite i`ve followed her career with great interest. Perhaps someone can answer a question for debbies mum, we know Harry Booth went to Australia, but what ever happened to my other dear friend Roy Simpson who produced the series. The last timeIi caught up with Roy was at Pinewood Studios when his production company Century films was based there but that is a few years ago and I have lost touch with him. Unfortunately no one knows where he is now, and Debbies Mum would like to make contact again to say hello. All information gratefully received and I will pass it on. Many thanks for all your hard work getting this absolutely splendid site up, to remember this wonderful kids show.
Keep up the splendid work ------ with all best wishes, ROGER
PS, I wish they would repeat them again on tv,who holds the rights?

4/99 - Neil from the UK writes: Thanks for being able to hear the DD theme tune again after many years. I did happen to notice however that it sounds strangely like "Rollercoaster" by B*Witched. I know the 70's is back, but this is pure plagiarism.

4/99 - Greg from London writes: Fantastic site - well done.
I'm co-ed of WATCHED IT!
(http://www.geocities.com/TelevisionCity/1011/index.html), the mammoth classic kids tv site. I've added a hyperlink and hope that's OK.
Greetings from London!

3/99 - Iain M. of London writes: Unbelievable. You go searching for info on Ace of Wands, which no-one I know seems to remember, and up comes the Double Deckers. Did everyone (male, now mid to late 30s) have a crush on Billie? Now I'm 37 and a grown up, responsible journalist, maybe it's time for that Gillian Bailey interview... Fab site - I'm off to tape the sound file to play in the car.

3/99 - Leise writes :I loved the Double Deckers when I was a kid but my memory of the show was only in bits and pieces. I was so thrilled to find this web site.
Thank you so much!

3/99 - Paul from Chicago writes: I-yi-YI! The dust came flying off my cerebral Rolodex when I came across your DOUBLE-DECKERS page!!! Thanks so very much! I remember watching the DOUBLE-DECKERS on Saturdays at noon on NBC during the early 1970's! Thanks again.
Good luck finding Bruce Clark!

3/99 - A fellow DD fan writes: I really enjoyed your web site. I remember the Double Deckers vividly, because I had a Double Decker's Lunchbox - the same one you have pictured in your collector's section. Also, I had a huge crush on Billie at the time. I think she was my British equivalent of the Brady Bunch's Marcia Brady, another girl I had a crush on. Hearing that theme song for the first time in almost 30 years really made my day! Thanks so much for all the great info on this site! Excellent job.

3/99 - Dave from the UK writes: Thanks for a great site, which I found via a recommendation on the 'TV Cream' website. 'Here come the Double Deckers' was one of my favourite series of the time, and I especially liked the wonderful theme. I remember bouncing up and down madly on the sofa when it came on, singing along with the gang, driving my poor Mum mad. I was another one with a huge crush on Tiger! I don't think I caught the series' original screening, but I always made a point of seeing the repeats, even when I had seen a particular episode numerous times - the familiarity added to the enjoyment, making me feel a part of it all. About eight years ago, whilst idly browsing some television listings, I noticed TVS (ITV for the South of England, at the time) were showing an episode on Sunday morning ('The Pop Star', if I remember correctly). It was the first time I had seen anything of 'Double Deckers' in about seventeen years. Hearing the theme caused a wave of fond nostalgia to sweep over me (being about twenty-eight years old at the time, I didn't bounce up and down on the sofa!) The series had retained all its sparkle and sheer joi de vivre, being both very much of its time, yet timeless in its appeal. It was really quite a clever marrying of the 'let's put on a show right here!' style of 'Summer Holiday' late50s/early 60s film, blended with madcap comicsstrip humour, all cannily updated for the psychedelic generation. The fashions still look good, being essentially late 60s - had the series been made five years later it would have been a different story.
As well as the moments which your other correspondents have recalled, I remember the extended party/dance sequence which was the climax to one episode, with everyone dancing furiously and the camera zooming and backtracking rapidly to the faces of each in turn - also lots of very groovy psychedelic music. I remember Billie dancing away in a wonderful fringed waistcoat! I don't know if this track crops up on the album?
Many thanks, again.

2/99 - Jim writes: Chuffed to bits to discover your site. Fellow subscribers to the TV-Cream mailing list will doubtless have been flocking there in droves.
More than 25 years on, there's still a frisson of excitement at the sight of Gillian Bailey as Billie; and I thought I'd got over her! I remember once plotting to enter some competition or other in `Look-In', solely because the prize involved a visit to Pinewood Studios, where I might perhaps be lucky enough to glimpse Gillian/Billie in person; yes, that's how starry-eyed about her I was. And judging by the screen-grab from the French TV interview, she's no less lovely now. Can you tell me any more about her work nowadays? Is there a way of getting a letter to her - perhaps an updated version of the blush-making letter I wrote in my rough-book all those years ago, but never got the courage up to send?
Meanwhile, I'll contact the man with the episodes on tape. It's great to think I'll be able to watch my favourite show from childhood again.
Thank you -

1/99 - Brian from the UK writes: Superb site. It brought back some memories, I'm 34 now. The theme tune was good to hear again and I couldn't believe there were only 17 episodes made. My favourite character was Brains because I've always been a gadget man myself.
Cheers

1/99 - Steve from the UK writes: Hi David, Can't thank you enough for putting a DD presence on the net. I remember the show on its initial run in the UK. I think it went out on Friday afternoons, but it could just be my old memory playing me up. I too had something of a crush on Debbie Russ, just like a few others who've contacted you have stated! I was about six years old at the time, so Debbie was something of an "older woman"!
One thing I do remember is a British comedy film called "Go for a Take". This film is significant as it featured Debbie Russ actually as Tiger in a small cameo. If memory serves, the bus also featured as did the "cuddly" Tiger. The film was directed by Harry Booth, which may explain Debbie's presence as Tiger. The film has entries in Halliwell's Film Guide and the CD-ROM guide issued by Blockbuster. The film is certainly not available on video in the UK - at least not to my knowledge - but it does surface on TV here occasionally.
Hope this information is of interest to you. Best Regards

1/99 - Simon wrote: Absolutely brilliant!!! Loved it all. Thank you very much.
I was saddened to think that Bruce may no longer be with us (one of your guests mentioned this). He was my favourite. I thought he was so cool and I wanted to be like him. If anybody knows anything about him, I'd like to know.

11/98 - Stuart from the UK writes: Nice one. Thanks for the memories.

11/98 - Caroline from Belgium writes: I watched this TV show when I was a child and loved it so much. Did it show again on some TV channels in Europe ? I liked to see them again.

11/98 - Dave from the UK writes: Loved your pages, brought back a lot of memories.

11/98 - Anthony from California writes: Boy, your site brought back memories. Do you know how one can get a letter or something to Gillian? I used to have such a big crush on her, wanted to write from Southern Cal where I now am and tell her so!

10/98 - Crystal wrote: Hi, I used to love this series as a kid and I`m quite disappointed that most of my friends don`t remember it! I must have been about 6 when I was really into it .It`s brilliant you have your website. It`s bought back so memories of the series, keep up the good work.


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