Happy Families

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Happy Families was based on the books written by Allan Ahlberg about a family of characters (A Father, Mother, Son and Daughter) which in turn was based on the Happy Families card game.

Each episode consisted of two parts which focused on one family the most memorable ones being Mr Creep the Crook, Mr Tick the Teacher, Mrs Wobble the Waitress, Mrs Plugg the Plumber and Mrs Lather. The cast played several different characters throughout the series with many recurring roles for the main cast including Milton Johns, Annette Badland and Elizabeth Estensen.

Happy Families ran for two series with a total of 12 episodes and was shown on Children's BBC in 1989 and 1990. The books were adapted for television by Vicky Ireland. As only 12 families had stories based on them throughout the two series some of Allan Ahlberg's books did not get a TV Episode counterpart these include Mrs Jolly's Joke Shop, Mr Cosmo the Conjurer, Miss Dose the Doctor's Daughter and Mr Buzz the Beeman.

Characters & Cast

  • Mr. Clarence Creep, Mr. Ding, Mr. Cross the Inspector, Mr. Alphonso - Milton Johns
  • Mrs. Wobble the Waitress, Mrs. Plug the Plumber, Mrs. Lather - Annette Badland
  • Mrs. Clara Creep, Mrs. Tick The Teacher, Miss Trump - Elizabeth Estensen
  • Mrs. Jump, Mrs. Bop, Mrs. Brick, Mrs. Salt - Tamsin Heatley
  • Master Money, Master Salt, Teddy Tick - London Kim
  • Mr. Brick, Mr. Bop, Mr. Toad, Mr. Wallis the Warder - Ben Thomas

These are only some of the cast and characters as many of the cast appeared as many different characters throughout both series.

Episode Listings

Series One (1989)

  • Mrs Wobble the Waitress
  • Mr. Tick the Teacher
  • Mr. Creep the Crook
  • Master Bun the Baker's Boy
  • Mrs Plug the Plumber
  • Mr and Mrs Hay the Horse

Series Two (1990)

  • Mrs Lather's Laundry
  • Master Salt the Sailors' Son
  • Miss Brick the Builders' Baby
  • Master Money the Millionaire
  • Mr. Biff the Boxer
  • Miss Jump the Jockey

Series & Episode Guide

Series One (1989)

Title Screen Episode Numbers, titles, air dates and descriptions
Happyfamilies mrswobble.jpg Mrs Wobble The Waitress Part One (Ep 1.1)
  • Aired 06 November 1989
  • Recorded on 17 August 1989

Everybody loves Mrs Wobble, the waitress at the Copper Kettle Cafe, even though she wobbles. When she is sacked by the new manager, Mr Alphonso, the Wobble family decide to turn their home into a cafe.

Mrs Wobble The Waitress Part Two (Ep 1.2)

  • Aired 07 November 1989
  • Recorded on 26 September 1989

The Wobble family are busy turning their home into a cafe - what will Mr Alphonso do now?

Happyfamilies mrtick.jpg Mr Tick the Teacher Part One (Ep 1.3)
  • Aired 13 November 1989
  • Recorded on 30 August 1989

All is peace and quiet in Little Happening until Mr Tick the teacher receives a phone call from the school's inspector. Will he have to close the school down? What will happen to all the little Ticks?

Mr Tick the Teacher Part Two (Ep 1.4)

  • Aired 14 November 1989
  • Recorded on 17 October 1989

Will Mr Tick's plan to save the village school work?

Happyfamilies mrcreep.jpg Mr Creep The Crook Part One (Ep1.5)
  • Aired 20th November 1989
  • Recorded on 1st August 1989

The Creep family are pretty hopeless crooks - they're always being caught and sent to jail. Their escape plans aren't much good either...

Mr Creep The Crook Part Two (Ep1.6)

  • Aired 21st November 1989
  • Recorded on 3rd October 1989

The Creeps busily practice their robberies before going into action. As usual, failure results. Back home they have a fool-proof plan for a burglary.

Happyfamilies masterbun.jpg Master Bun The Baker's Boy Part One (Ep1.7)
  • Aired 27th November 1989
  • Recorded on 23rd June 1989

Bertie Bun is browned off with bread and bored with baking. He'd rather be a butcher's boy or a barber's boy. In fact, anything but a baker's boy.

Master Bun The Baker's Boy Part Two (Ep1.8)

  • Aired 28th November 1989
  • Recorded on 23rd October 1989

Bertie discovers it's better to concentrate on who you are rather than worrying about who you're not.

Happyfamilies mrsplug.jpg Mrs Plug The Plumber Part One (Ep1.9)
  • Aired 4th December 1989
  • Recorded on 21st June 1989

Mrs Plug is always happy to oblige. She lives up to her motto 'when Mrs Plug is called for, Mrs Plug comes," and one day she receives a most unusual reward.

Mrs Plug The Plumber Part Two (Ep1.10)

  • Aired 2th December 1989
  • Recorded on 7th May 1989

The Plug family set off on their voyage round the world and Mrs Plug takes along her useful bag which is very much in demand!

Happyfamilies mrmrshay.jpg Mr and Mrs Hay The Horse Part One (Ep1.11)
  • Aired 11th December 1989
  • Recorded on 7th April 1989

When Harry meets Hilda Straw, it's love at first sight. They marry and want a job they can do together, so they become "Mr and Mrs Hay the Horse". But their children aren't sure it's a good idea.

Mr and Mrs Hay The Horse Part Two (Ep1.12)

  • Aired 12th December 1989
  • Recorded on 13th November 1989

The two Hay children are embarrassed when their parents turn up at the Parents Evening dressed in a horse-suit. However, they save the day by appearing in the school concert at the last minute.

Series Two (1990)

Title Screen Episode Numbers, titles, air dates and descriptions
Happyfamilies latherslaundry.jpg Mrs Lather's Laundry Part One (Ep 2.1)
  • Aired 12th November 1990
  • Recorded on 18th September 1990

Mrs Lather faces a busy week in her laundry.

Mrs Lather's Laundry Part Two (Ep 2.2)

  • Aired 13th November 1990
  • Recorded on 20th September 1990

Mrs Lather's Laundry now washes anything except laundry. She tries her hand at babies, dogs, people, cars and even elephants. She's very glad when Sunday arrives.

Happyfamilies mastersalt.jpg Master Salt the Sailors' Son Part One (Ep 2.3)
  • Aired 19th November 1990
  • Recorded on 27th June 1990

Young Sammy Salt stows away on his parents' boat.

Master Salt the Sailors' Son Part Two (Ep 2.4)

  • Aired 20th November 1990
  • Recorded on 29th August 1990

There are mysterious happenings on board the Jolly Jack as it sets sail for Coconut Island.

Happyfamilies missbrick.jpg Miss Brick the Builders' Baby Part One (Ep 2.5)
  • Aired 26th November 1990
  • Recorded on 30th May 1990

Mr and Mrs Brick hope baby Blossom will become a great builder, but she is very, very destructive. Will a pup help change her ways?

Miss Brick the Builders' Baby Part Two (Ep 2.6)

  • Aired 27th November 1990
  • Recorded on 25th September 1990

Baby Blossom and her dog are more destructive than ever. Mr and Mrs Brick, desperate for help, even travel with Blossom to Egypt to see Great Uncle Beaux for his advice.

Happyfamilies mastermoney.jpg Master Money the Millionaire Part One (Ep 2.7)
  • Aired 3rd December 1990
  • Recorded on 25th July 1990

Mickey Money is rich but Mr Creep isn't - so he decides to rob a bank.

Master Money the Millionaire Part Two (Ep 2.8)

  • Aired 4th December 1990
  • Recorded on 16th October 1990

Mr Creep has a plan to get Mickey's money, but his plans are rarely foolproof.

Happyfamilies mrbiff.jpg Mr. Biff the Boxer Part One (Ep 2.9)
  • Aired 10th December 1990
  • Recorded on 16th October 1990

The Old Boxers' Benevolent Fund is strapped for cash, so Miss Trump persuades Mr Biff and Mr Bop to take part in a charity boxing match.

Mr. Biff the Boxer Part Two (Ep 2.10)

  • Aired 11th December 1990
  • Recorded on 17th October 1990

The boxing match is arranged, but will Mr Biff be fit in time, and will Mr Bop be brave enough? Both families give them special training for the big day.

Happyfamilies missjump.jpg Miss Jump the Jockey Part One (Ep 2.11)
  • Aired 17th December 1990
  • Recorded on 13th June 1990

Josie Jump dreams of owning a race horse of her very own, and of becoming a jockey like all the other Jumps.

Miss Jump the Jockey Part Two (Ep 2.12)

  • Aired 18th December 1990
  • Recorded on 22nd November 1990

The day of the King's race approaches and the whole Jump family, except Josie and Uncle Shamus, expect to take part.

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