Chris Tarrant reunites with his Tiswas stars for a lifetime achievement award

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They brought anarchy to live children’s TV in the Seventies, flinging custard pies around with abandon and drenching anyone within throwing distance with buckets of water.

And while the stars of Tiswas were a little calmer as they reunited on stage 40 years on, they couldn’t resist the odd throwback to their wilder days.

In between reminiscing about the Saturday morning ITV show, Chris Tarrant, Sally James, Bob Carolgees and John Gorman treated a theatre audience to a soaking, while the programme’s Phantom Flan Flinger also struck during recreations of some of Tiswas’ best-loved sketches.

Back together: The stars of Tiswas (from L-R) Chris Tarrant, Sally James, Bob Carolgees and John Gorman reunited yesterday 40 years after the anarchic show was pulled from the TV schedules

Back together: The stars of Tiswas (From L-R) Chris Tarrant, Sally James, Bob Carolgees and John Gorman reunited yesterday 40 years after the anarchic show was pulled from the TV schedules

The presenters, known as the Four Bucketeers, were given a lifetime achievement award at the Slapstick comedy festival in Bristol.

Tiswas – which stood for Today Is Saturday: Watch And Smile – ran from 1974 to 1982. As well as Tarrant, 75, Carolgees, 73, Gorman, 86, and Miss James, 71, it helped launch the careers of Lenny Henry and Jim Davidson.

Its eight-year spell on ITV featured a mammoth 302 shows and was created by Peter Tomlinson, ATV’s continuity announcer, who later went on to become a regular presenter. 

The show featured competitions, film clips and pop promos, which were held together by sketches and links from the cast. The show also regularly covered spoofs of BBC children’s programming. 

Fan favourite: The TV show was renowned for soaking people with lots of water and custard pies

Fan favourite: The TV show was renowned for soaking people with lots of water and custard pies

Accolade: The presenters, known as the Four Bucketeers, were given a lifetime achievement award at the Slapstick comedy festival in Bristol

Going back: Sally's role on the show included conducting the'Almost Legendary Pop Interviews',  interviewing musical acts including Elvis Costello, Sting and The Clash (pictured above in 1975)

Accolade: The presenters, known as the Four Bucketeers, were given a lifetime achievement award at the Slapstick comedy festival in Bristol (Sally pictured right in 1975)

Blast from the past: The show helped launch the careers of people such as Lenny Henry, who is pictured getting hit in the face with a custard pie

Blast from the past: The show helped launch the careers of people such as Lenny Henry, who is pictured getting hit in the face with a custard pie

It was originally produced as a Midlands regional programme by ATV, and owing to the then federal structure of ITV, with its independent regional companies, not all of the stations broadcast the show.

Granada Television and Southern Television were the last to pick it up, three years before it went off air. 

The pioneering programme was popular amongst parents and children alike, and its logo appeared on a plethora of merchandise goods, including books, T-shirts and a regular magazine. 

Long-running: Its eight-year spell on ITV featured a mammoth 302 shows and was popular among children and parents alike (pictured Chris Tarrant and the Phantom Flan Flinger)

Long-running: Its eight-year spell on ITV featured a mammoth 302 shows and was popular among children and parents alike (pictured Chris Tarrant and the Phantom Flan Flinger)

Trip down memory lane: Bob was best known for appearing with a canine puppet named Spit the Dog (pictured right in the 1980s)

Iconic: In popular culture, Bob had cameo roles with his adored puppet

Trip down memory lane: Bob was best known for appearing with a canine puppet named Spit the Dog (pictured right in the 1980s)

Fun-filled: It was originally produced as a Midlands regional programme by ATV, and owing to the then federal structure of ITV, with its independent regional companies, not all of the stations broadcast the show

Fun-filled: It was originally produced as a Midlands regional programme by ATV, and owing to the then federal structure of ITV, with its independent regional companies, not all of the stations broadcast the show

Iconic: The show's popularity spoke for itself when its logo appeared on a plethora of merchandise goods, including books, T-shirts and a regular magazine

Iconic: The show’s popularity spoke for itself when its logo appeared on a plethora of merchandise goods, including books, T-shirts and a regular magazine

Reflecting on his main memories of the show, Chris, who recently admitted he spent the first decade of his TV career drinking on the job said: ‘We got away with murder… We were like pop stars for a while. Everywhere we went we were mobbed.’

Chris worked as a schoolteacher after leaving university before becoming a newsreader on ATV Today in the early 1970s.

The host admitted he would start his day with ‘livener’ pints from 10:30am. 

Looking back: Reflecting on his main memories of the show, Chris said:'We got away with murder... We were like pop stars for a while. Everywhere we went we were mobbed'

Honest: Chris recently admitted he spent the first decade of his TV career drinking on the job (pictured 1977)

Looking back: Reflecting on his main memories of the show, Chris said: ‘We got away with murder… We were like pop stars for a while. Everywhere we went we were mobbed’ (Chris pictured right in 1977)

Writing in his new memoir It’s Not A Proper Job, seen by the Daily Star, Chris said: ‘On the day I began, I met a lovely guy called John Swallow. His idea of showing me the ropes was to go to The Crown pub.  

‘It was just after half 10 and my new boss was pouring pints down my neck.   

‘This became the normal pattern for most of the next 10 years. We would take what we always referred to as the “livener”, then start our day.

Icon: As well as Tismas, John was also the founder of the comedy music group The Scaffold, best known for their 1968 hit single Lily the Pink

Appearance: He became a regular on Tismas in 1978 (pictured three years prior)

Icon: As well as Tismas, John was also the founder of the comedy music group The Scaffold, best known for their 1968 hit single Lily the Pink

‘We would almost certainly have a couple more at lunchtime and then there was the Green Room – open during transmission.’

This week also saw Phillip Schofield enjoyed a surprise reunion with his Going Live! co-star Sarah Greene in a snap he shared on Instagram on Tuesday.

The presenter, 60, shared a beaming selfie with his longtime pal, 64, 35 years after they first joined forces for the iconic children’s series.

Phillip and Sarah first presenter Going Live! together in 1987, and had previously reunited in 2017 when she stepped in for Holly Willoughby as host of This Morning.

Back together! This week also saw Phillip Schofield enjoyed a surprise reunion with his Going Live! co-star Sarah Greene in a snap he shared on Instagram

Back together! This week also saw Phillip Schofield enjoyed a surprise reunion with his Going Live! co-star Sarah Greene in a snap he shared on Instagram

Dynamic duo! Sarah and Phillip spent six years hosting iconic kids show Going Live! together from 1987 to 1993 on BBC

Dynamic duo! Sarah and Phillip spent six years hosting iconic kids show Going Live! together from 1987 to 1993 on BBC

In the snap, Sarah could be seen embracing longtime pal Phillip as they relaxed in the garden together.   

The This Morning frontman captioned his post: ‘The best day, chats and hugs with this gorgeous human, love ya Sarah Greene.’

Sarah and Phillip spent six years hosting Going Live! together from 1987 to 1993 on BBC, with the presenter meeting her eventual husband Mike Smith on the show.

She was married to BBC’s Breakfast Time host Mike from 1989 until his tragic death aged 59 from complications after heart surgery in 2014. 

Blast from the past! In 2017, Phillip and Sarah reunited to co-host This Morning, after his regularly presenting partner Holly Willoughby was forced to call in sick

Blast from the past! In 2017, Phillip and Sarah reunited to co-host This Morning, after his regularly presenting partner Holly Willoughby was forced to call in sick

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