Metal Mickey

Metal Mickey is a fictional five-foot-tall robot, as well as the name of a spin-off television show starring the same character. The robot character was created, controlled and voiced by Johnny Edward.

The character of Metal Mickey first appeared on British television in the ITV children’s magazine show The Saturday Banana, produced by Southern Television in 1978. Humphrey Barclay saw Mickey on Jimmy Savile’s ‘Jim’ll Fix It’ television show. Seeing the children chatting in the marketplace with the friendly robot, this led to the creation of the Metal Mickey television show. Within a month the pilot had been video-taped and shortly after this the series went live with its first six episodes. 41 episodes were made in all, attracting around 12 million viewers. Micky Dolenz, formerly of The Monkees pop group, was brought in to produce and direct the series along with Nic Phillips and David Crossman.

The television show was created under LWT’s Humphrey Barclay who described Metal Mickey as a show “with the appeal of Star Wars, the Daleks and Mork and Mindy“. It ran from 1980 to 1983.

The series was set in the home of an ordinary British family, whose youngest child was a science boffin, who had created Metal Mickey to help around the home. The family consisted of a mother and father, three children and a grandmother. The show was made by London Weekend Television and shown on the ITV network, with the entire run of 41 episodes being written by comedy writer Colin Bostock-Smith.

British comedy actress Irene Handl played the grandmother, whom Mickey affectionately called “my little fruitbat”. He also referred to his inventor as “Clever Clogs”, his inventor’s sister as “Stringbean” and their father as “Bootface”. Handl was never at home with science fiction, either watching it or appearing in it. She famously told BBC presenter Noel Edmonds, when he asked her whether she cried over the death of E.T., “Why should I cry over a bleedin’ Hoover attachment?”

Metal Mickey’s catchphrase was “boogie, boogie”, and his favourite treat was Atomic Thunderbusters (which had the appearance of lemon bonbons).

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