Children’s Television

Host of Star Turn and Star Turn Challenge in the late 1970s, an occasional foe to John Pertwee’s Worzel Gummage, he appeared at the CBeebies Proms at the Royal Albert Hall as Old Jack, from Old Jack’s Boat, and performed more times on Jackanory than any other actor.

Bernard Cribbins as as Jack in Old Jacks Boat, 2013.

The Wombles

The voice of the TV animation, Bernard was a feature in every child’s life of the 1970s, just before the evening news for most of the decade and the into the decade after.

Made between 1973 and 1975, the adventures of Orinoco (Bernard’s favourite Womble), Uncle Bulgaria, Tomsk, Madam Cholet, Bungo and the never seen, rubbish collecting creatures that kept Wimbledon common clean, were a staple part of British children’s television of the era.



Storytelling to children has been a fundamental activity for Bernard in his career, and he was considered a master in this art – direct into the camera, to each individual child, he was the consummate storyteller. Bernard appeared in 112 episodes of the BBC’s Jackanory between 1966 and 1995 and one of the shows original narrators. His reading of Roahl Dahl’s Charlie and The Chocolate Factory in 1968, prompted Disney to look at Dahl’s work, and produce the 1971 Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Family, starring Gene Wilder.

Bernard read James and The Giant Peach, The Wizard of Oz, The Wind in the Willows and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Arable and Mortimer, to name a few. He was part of the ensemble that took on Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings in 10 episodes in 1979, celebrating 2,500 programmes of the series.