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Thursday, 13 November 2014

Arthur Lowe and The Mr. Men

I posted the blog post below on my other blog back in August 2012. Linus was 5 months old. After having spent half an hour or so watching some of the Arthur Lowe Mr. Men I thought I'd share it here. It's odd that I can't really remember reading to Linus as a five month old. He never did eat a Mr. Men book.

Arthur Lowe and The Mr. Men. 

I've always been a fan of The Mr. Men by Roger Hargreaves. They are such fun stories with a unique humour. I remember reading them and also watching the short animations, I can also remember reading them to my niece and nephew. My five month old son doesn't yet appreciate the nuances of my reading of the stories in fact after my latest effort he just wanted to eat the book when I'd finished reading.

In the early 1970s they were made into simple animations, the type of animation that is too unsophisticated to be made now. The narration was by the marvellous Arthur Lowe, most famous for playing Captain Mainwaring in Dad's Army. He also appeared in Coronation Street as Leonard Swindley who was jilted at the altar by Emily Nugent (now Bishop). This inspired casting gave the stories an extra dimension, a faux pomposity that brought the characters to life and made them a hit with adults and children.

In 1970 Lowe had narrated a story on the BBC's much missed story telling/book reading programme Jackanory, the fabulously titled The Emperor's Oblong Pancake by Peter Hughes. Prior to the Mr Men there doesn't appear to be any other narration or voice over work for Arthur Lowe.

Over 30 years after I first watched them I often have Arthur Lowe in my head when I'm telling a story, I do hope he never goes away.

Here's my favourite, Mr Topsy-Turvy

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