CBBC - afternoons

1985 - present

With CBBC recently celebrating its 15th anniversary, what better time to reminisce about the glory days of those honourary SatKidders in the Broomcupboard (later Studio 9)?

Our comrades at Watched It are preparing an homage to the Cupboard, but in an attempt to complement this, we've set about trying to compile a list of everyone who has ever presented the BBC's Afternoon linkages. The result is the following difficult-to-read chart:



1985 Philip Schofield (from September)
1986 Philip Schofield (CBBC not aired during the summer) Debbie Flint (April-May)
1987 Philip Schofield (until August)
Andy Crane
(from September)
Andy Crane (April-May?)
1988 Andy Crane Simon Parkin (8 weeks in summer)
1989 Andy Crane
1990 Andy Crane (until April; Jan-April: Mon/Wed/Fri only)
Andi Peters (from April. and Jan-April: Tue/Thu)
1991 Andi Peters
1992 Andi Peters
1993 Andi Peters (until Sept; Jan-April: M/W/F only)
Toby Anstis (from September)
Phillippa Forester (Jan-April: Tue/Thu only)
1994 Toby Anstis
1995 Toby Anstis (until September)
1996 Josie D'Arby
Simeon Courtie
1997 Josie D'Arby (July 1994-1996/7?)
Chris Jarvis
1998 Kirsten O'Brien (1996-99)
Richard McCourt
Steve Wilson
Ana Boulter
1999 Michael Underwood; Ana Boulter
2000 Michael Underwood; Ana Boulter; Angelica Bell; Adrian Something;
2001 Michael Underwood; Ana Boulter; Angelica Bell; Adrian Something; Liam Whatsisname

Pip was replaced for eight weeks in April 1986, whilst he presented Take Two, by Debbie Flint. In April 1987 Andy Crane did the same for six weeks. The last new presenter to do the actual broom cupboard was Zoe Ball, who did two weeks as a stand-in in July 1994.

The Broom Cupboard

Children's BBC's origins were simple but genius. The broom cupboard was simply the existing continuity studio redressed at little expense and with a camera in it. The set became more elaborate over the years, but essentially it was just a way of paring down the old Swap Shop format to its essentials: a likeable presenter behind a desk, a few puppets and off-screen sidekicks, and a wall to pin kids' drawings to. Magic.

From September 1994 the broom cupboard was dropped and CBBC moved to a much larger, more high tech set in Studio A (one of the presentation studios in the old transmission area). The move was necessary because the area was to be closed down, except the studios. Then in 1997 Studio A was closed and CBBC moved to Studio 9 (formerly the Make-up store) at TV Centre.

What made the Broom Cupboard great?

"Not just the studio itself, but the manner in which things came from there, the sole presenter entertaining us, complete with puppet, the monitor in the corner and the back wall clad with viewer's pictures and drawings (I seem to remember Andi Peters telling us to draw our pictures on brown paper, because on white paper it didn't show because of the lighting!). And of course the presenter always used to be allowed to introduce Neighbours, rather than the BBC1 continuity announcer. For me, it was much more homely and more personal than today's 'lets do everything in a massive studio with our giant video screen and super-hi-tech graphics' approach." - Jason Crawley


Gordon T. Gopher (1986 - 1987)

The classic double act with Pip Schofield. Followed him onto Going Live.

Edd the Duck (late 1988 - 1993?)

Appeared first with Andi Crane and stayed on to partner Andi Peters. Crane was also joined by Bobby the Banana.

Wilson The Butler (1990 - 1993?)

Fuedal pal of with Andi Peters'.

Ratz (93? - 94)

The computer generated 'Ratz' character "may have been quite advanced, but he lacked the immediate appeal of a 'real life' puppet." Ratz did mostly Sunday mornings with Phillippa; he was also on Live and Kicking for the first series.

Otis the Aardvark (94 - 99?)

Was unveiled during the Andi Peters era -just before the big move to Studio 9 - but his current incarnation was only present during the Kirsten and Richard era. At first he did not speak much, being restricted to the odd laugh or face reaction to viewers' mail. It was much later that he learned to talk and present segments on his own.

Emlyn The Gremlyn (2000-)

Thanks to all the SatKidders who contributed, in particular the worryingly knowledgable Steve Williams for help with the dates, and Stuart from Studio 9.