Top 10 Scottish Kids’ TV Shows

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Let’s rewind the VHS tape and take a trip down television memory lane. Here are some of our favourite old Scottish kids’ TV shows from over the years.

Did you love these shows as much as we did?

Share your favourites and any we’ve missed with us on social media.

1. Balamory

It had to be, didn’t it?

We’ve had some great Scottish kids’ TV shows, but none are so universally loved as Balamory.

The colourful houses and catchy theme songs formed a magical world for pre-schoolers (and, let’s be honest, not just pre-schoolers) with clues to follow and riddles to answer.

Most of the show was set on Tobermory on Mull, which still gets a significant tourism boost from the show!

2. Glen Michael’s Cartoon Cavalcade

Glen Michael’s popular self-written, produced and presented show began in April 1966 and ran for a record-breaking 26 years. It was the first time many Scottish children had the chance to see cartoons like Asterix and Bugs Bunny so it was a firm hit.

Another popular feature was when Michael read out children’s birthday cards that had been sent in, and it was the dream of many to have their read out. Let us know on social media if you were one of the lucky few!

3. Super Gran

Super Gran is exactly what you’d expect: an octogenarian with super powers saving her hometown from villains with the aid of her grandson.

The best thing about this Scottish kid’s TV show, though, was the theme song. Written and sung by Billy Connolly it was even released as a single in 1985 although it just fell short of the UK Top 30.

Although the tartan-clad Super Gran was played by a Scot, Gudrun Ure, the series themselves were filmed in North England – which is still a bit of a sore point with Scottish fans today.

4. Stookie

There weren’t many children’s dramas set in Scotland, but the Glaswegian accents and setting of Stookie more than filled the gap.

When Kirsty and her brother David stray into the territory of “Big” Harper’s gang, they’re “in for it” until the brave Stookie Doyle steps in.

Although the show only lasted for six episodes, it became a bit of a cult classic.

5. Katie Morag

Mairi Hedderwick’s picture books have been well-loved since their first publication in the 1980s, and in 2013 they were given life onscreen with a TV adaptation.

The feisty wee redhead, Katie Morag and her magical Scottish Island of Struay has captured the nation’s hearts – and a couple of BAFTAs, too.

Cherry Campbell became the youngest ever BAFTA Award winner when she picked up Best Performer at the Children’s BAFTAs last year.

The series also won Best Programme, and who are we to argue?

6. The Family Ness

The world’s most famous monster without a doubt is our Nessie and she’s been the focus of several children’s series, but none quite so ridiculously brilliant as The Family Ness.

In this show there were a whole host of Loch Ness Monsters, who could be called from the loch by two local children, Elspeth and Angus MacTout, by means of their “thistle whistles”. Aye, we know. But it’s still a bloomin’ good show.

“You can knock it, you can rock it, you can go to Timbuktu, but you’ll never find a Nessie in the zoo!” – although, they might be a bit miffed to discover that Edinburgh Zoo now keeps dinosaurs…

7. Fraggle Rock

OK, so we know Fraggle Rock was a British/American/Canadian collaboration and starred a loveable bunch of muppet creatures, but the only human in the show was a Scot, so we’re claiming it for Scotland, too.

Doc, or the Captain to American audiences, lived in the island’s lighthouse with his pet dog, Sprocket. He was played by Fulton MacKay from Paisley until his death in 1987, when the post was then taken up by Glasgow-born John Gordon Sinclair, star of Gregory’s Girl – number 3 on our Top Ten Most Scottish Films!

8. The Singing Kettle

Cilla, Artie and Gary were the household names of the 1990s with their catchy theme songs and irrepressibly cheesy banter.

The TV series was popular in itself, but it was the Singing Kettle tours that most children will remember the most. Cilla and Artie retired from the stage in 2014, and in February 2015, after 32 years on the road, the show closed to many a teary eye.

Sing it with me: “Spout, handle, lid of metal…”

9. Dòtaman

The longest-running Gaelic TV programme for pre-school children, Dòtaman helped keep the language alive.

It had a string of main presenters, but it was singer, Donnie MacLeod, who became a cult figure in Gaelic communities across Scotland, armed with his endless supply of silly hats. A firm favourite had a red telephone perched on the top of it.

10. Raven

Scotland’s answer to The Crystal Maze was the adventure game show Raven, which ran from 2002 – 2010, earning a place in children’s hearts and winning several BAFTA Awards.

Guided by an ancient, immortal Scottish warlord (war-laird?) named Raven, the competing children, or warriors, had to battle their way through difficult challenges to be crowned the victor. The challenges were so tricky that only four victors were ever crowned in its eight-year run.

“May the luck of the Raven’s Eye be with you…”


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