Barking Blondes: ‘Never work with children or… animals?’
Wish us luck, this Tuesday, as we join Alan Titchmarsh for a weekly look at pets on his ITV daytime show. It’s not just our own roles that we must concentrate on but those also, of our two bull breeds, Molly and Matilda. (We are hoping viewers have forgotten Molly’s dash towards the floor manager on a previous mainstream chat show!)
Maybe it’s this unpredictability that led to pets always being popular on TV… Rin Tin Tin’s landmark series in the Fifties won awards globally.
Who can ever forget Barbara Woodhouse, with her stern expression, dressed in tweed, ‘barking’ her signatory command ‘Walkies’ at us?
Perhaps Blue Peter is best known for bringing pets into the lives of many who are unable to own their own dog or cat. They first went on air in the 60s and the show continues to highlight the many ways animals enrich our lives.
Another TV show was Animal Magic with Johnny Morris. His love of the animal kingdom also brought us Tales of the Riverbank voicing the antics of ‘Hammy’ the Hamster and his rodent friends. Both shows were educational, reaching out across generations.
Over the years a raft of TV shows have highlighted how to train your dog, how to groom your dog, how to solve behaviour problems. Then in the 80s, emergency vet programmes began to take the lead on our screens. Maybe it’s due to all these shows that’s led to a massive surge in pet ownership recently.
Dogs and cats rallying for pole position at approximately 10 million each, rabbits and ferrets vying for third place at about two million. It can’t be ignored that there are actually more goldfish in the UK than people – so technically they’re our most popular pet!
Turn on the telly for an evening and you will notice that dogs and cats are being used more and more in TV commercials selling anything from the iconic toilet roll to beer… Dogs alone are championing everything from spectacles, washing powders, lawn mowers, car insurance as well as the more obvious dog foods.
Perhaps these commercials have literally helped ‘commercialise’ dogs, making them even more popular as a “must have” lifestyle accessory. What all these features have in common is how easy it looks working alongside animals. Let’s hope that’s true.
Connecting to millions of viewers, The Alan Titchmarsh show is again embracing pets as a weekly item and we’re delighted to have been invited to co-host this popular feature.
‘Barking Blondes’ by Anna Webb & Jo Good, published by Hamlyn, £12.99
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