The School Holiday TV Shows Every Kid of the 80s and 90s Was Glued to
When people think back to their school holidays, most remember the amazing summers they would have spent in the sun. However, if the weather wasn’t the best – which, let’s face it, often happened in Wales – there were also some amazing TV shows that would keep us entertained until the sun came up again.
Here, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best kids’ school holiday shows of the past – from 90s classics to even older shows a decade before that, they still managed to get a dedicated following years after their premiere. diffusion. If there are any favorites we missed, please comment below, as we’d also love to hear what you watched and liked.
Huckleberry Finn and Friends
This adaptation of the Mark Twain novels brought together The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn into one story.
Starring Ian Tracey as the title character with Sam Snyders as Tom Sawyer, the series ran for 26 episodes and was first shown in the UK on BBC One in 1982. repeated every year after!
Canadian Ian Tracey has been a regular in TV and film roles over the years, last seen in Bates Motel. Sam Snyders – also from Canada – left acting and is now a dance teacher.
Why not you ?
To give the show its full name, Why don’t you turn off your TV and do something less boring instead?, was the arts and crafts show that started it all for various personalities and renowned television actors such as Ant McPartlin and Alexandra Fletcher, star of Brookside and now Hollyoaks.
The show began in 1973 and throughout its 22-year run opened up regional “gangs” that were spotlighted and broadcast nationwide.
Throughout its 80s and 90s run, the main presenter was Cardiff’s Ben Slade, along with writer/producer Russell T. Davies who introduced storylines to the show and saw audiences go from 0.9 million to 2.9 million.
Now famous, Russell T. Davies returned to Doctor Who and recently penned the award-winning film It’s A Sin. Slade was most recently the CEO of SkillForce, which closed in 2019 due to the impact of Brexit.
The smallest Hobo
The Littlest Hobo was another Canadian TV show that always seemed to repeat itself throughout the school holidays of the 80s.
The show was about an intelligent stray German Shepherd, whose destiny was to help those in need.
The show was a huge success and saw two runs, the first of which ran from 1963 to 1965 and then from 1979 to 1985.
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Pugwall’s Summer / Pugwall
Pugwall was an Australian children’s show based on the novels by Margaret Clark.
On his 13th birthday Peter Unwin George Wall, the titular Pugwall, is given an electric guitar and forms a band – The Orange Organics. Each episode revolves around the band trying to make it big.
The show first aired on Channel 4 as part of its The Bigger Breakfast in the early 90s.
Jason Torrens, who played Pugwall, continued to perform and appeared on Neighbors in 1996 and from 1997 focused on music and currently owns Debasement Recording Studios.
saved by the bell
Originally launched in 1988 as Good Morning, Miss Bliss, the series was renamed and new characters added, becoming Saved By The Bell in 1989. The series follows students at Bayside High School, Los Angeles.
While it was primarily a comedy following Zack Morris and his friends, later episodes would come to address drug use, drunk driving, homelessness, and environmental issues.
The show ran until 1993, and a spin-off series and TV movies were made following Zack and his friends during The College Years. More recently, there was a reboot in 2020.
Screech star Dustin Diamond sadly passed away from stage four small cell lung carcinoma in February 2021.
California Dreams was another Peter Engel show, very much in the same vein as Saved By Yhe Bell. Much like Pugwall and Saved By The Bell, this show aired in the UK as part of Channel 4’s The Bigger Breakfast brand during school holidays.
The show ran for five seasons from 1992 to 1996 and featured the exploits of the band California Dreams and the trials and tribulations of being a teenager during that time.
Most of the actors have appeared in television roles since the series ended. With Jay Anthony Franke (Jake Sommers) now living in Australia, the cast reunited in 2010 on an episode of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.
Originally from 1966 to 1968, The Monkees followed the titular band’s adventures as they attempted to become a rock ‘n’ roll band.
The band, consisting of Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork and Davy Jones, captured the hearts of viewers, and the TV show gained a bigger cult following during rehearsals in the 80s and 90s.
This 1991 show saw Marshall Teller move to the town of Eerie, Indiana, with his family, only to find that all is not as it seems. Together with friend Simon Holmes, they deal with strange occurrences such as Bigfoot and a still-living Elvis Presley.
The show only lasted one 19-episode season, which spawned a spin-off with Eerie, Indiana – The Other Dimension in 1998. The original aired during Channel 4’s Ther Bigger Breakfast.
Marshall Teller was played by Omri Haim Katz who later played Max Dennison in Hocus Pocus, and also portrayed the on-screen son of JR Ewing and Sue Ellen Ewing in Dallas. He has now retired from acting.
boy meets the world
Boy Meets World tells the coming of age story of Cory Matthews, played by Ben Savage. Along with her family and school life, the show also highlights the influence of her friends, the blossoming relationship with Topanga Lawrence, played by Danielle Fishel and more specifically her teacher Mr Feeny, played by William Daniels.
The show originally ran from 1993 to 2000, and like Saved By The Bell, is now the subject of a spin-off/reboot with Girl Meets World and focuses on the life of Cory and Topanga’s daughter , Riley Matthews.
out of this world
Out Of This World aired for four seasons on ITV from 1990 to 1995. Although the show made its US debut in 1987.
The show was all about Evie Ethel Garland – who, on her 13th birthday, finds out her father Troy is an alien, voiced by Burt Reynolds. The show focuses on Evie becoming familiar with her new superhuman powers, such as the ability to stop time.
Although best known for her role as Evie, Maureen Flannigan has had a variety of roles over the years, including stints on 90210 and a starring role in 1998’s Push, which was canceled after three episodes.
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