Television TV

Bill And Ben The Flowerpot Men

Bill And Ben The Flowerpot Men was another programme born in the Watch With Mother era, like Pogles Wood and Joe.

Bill and Ben were identical, with bodies and legs made out of flowerpots, hobnailed boots and gardening-gloved hands. It was only possible to tell them apart by their names written across their backs and by their voices - Bill's high-pitched squeak contrasted with Ben's lower tones. They lived in a pair of flowerpots at the bottom of a typical suburban English garden, unknown to the gardener. When he approached, Little Weed that grew in between the pots would warn Bill and Ben when the gardener was coming, upon which they would quickly disappear back into their pots.

Each programme featured reassuring rituals, from the appearance of Bill and Ben from their pots to the closing caption of 'Goodbye'. In between were various capers involving slapstick antics with mud pies, paint pots and even ice-skating. Sometimes, the three main characters were also visited by a tortoise named Slowcoach. Bill and Ben are known for their bizarre language - a variation on English known as Oddle Poddle - which to viewers only enhanced the entertainment even more. You may be interested to know that the creator of Bill and Ben's Oddle Poddle language was Peter Hawkins, who later went on to create a similarly bizarre language for the 90's Teletubbies.

Little Weed tested viewers' memories by asking which of the flower pot men had done a particular thing in the preceding story. On the whole, though, The Flowerpot Men was more about simple entertainment than interaction.

In 2001, the programme made a comeback, but this time in full-colour stop-animation on CBBC. Weed has morphed into an 'Earth Mother' like Sunflower, while new characters include a magpie, hedgehog and a horrid rosebush.

Author of this article:

Contributors to this article:

  • There are no contributors yet

Do You Remember Bill And Ben The Flowerpot Men?

Do You Remember Bill And Ben The Flowerpot Men?

  • jimshorts
    At the time Bill & Ben caused a bit of an uproar. They were criticised because of the way they spoke, which was thought by some people to be a bad example for young children to copy and would hamper their development. If I remember rightly Bill & Ben was part of the Watch with Mother series. Included was Picture Book presented by Patricia Driscol, Andy Pandy, Bill & Ben, Rag,Tag & Bobtail and The Woodentops. Great stuff.
    • Anonymous user
      I fondly remember them all and I'm sure Oddle Poddle did not stunt my linguistic development, at least I think ooblog nudiglobipop.