It was the first BBC television programme specifically aimed at pre-school children, like its radio equivalent Listen with Mother that also started in 1950. (Muffin the Mule was broadcast on TV from 1946 but it was aimed at children of all ages).
Andy Pandy was first broadcast in July 1950. At first it was shown between 3:45pm and 4:00pm but was later moved to lunchtime. Later attempts to move it to the morning were met with fierce opposition. Eventually on each weekday a different programme was broadcast. The initial cycle of shows was:
- Picture Book - Mondays (from 1955), presented by Patricia Driscoll, and by Vera McKechnie in the 1963 series.
- Andy Pandy - Tuesdays (from 1950)
- The Flower Pot Men - Wednesdays (from 1952)
- Rag, Tag and Bobtail - Thursdays (from 1953)
- The Woodentops - Fridays (from 1955)
The original programmes had a loyal following and there was concern when it was learned that they would be replaced by new programmes, as in 1965 when it was thought that Camberwick Green would replace Andy Pandy and The Flower Pot Men. Eventually the new programmes were added including: Tales of the Riverbank, Pogles' Wood, The Herbs, Chigley, Trumpton, Moschops, Chorlton and the Wheelies, Mr.Benn, Crystal Tipps and Alistair, The Raggy Dolls, Barnaby, Mary Mungo and Midge, Fingerbobs, The Magic Roundabout, Paddington Bear, The Further Adventures Of Noddy, Clangers, Little Miss, Joe, The Little Green Man, Stoppit and Tidyup and Bizzy Lizzy.
By 1973, the Watch With Mother name had been dropped; by 1980 the strand had been named See-Saw. A Watch With Mother video became a best-seller in 1987, and was followed by a second in 1989. Since the shows were a great success and fondly remembered by many, modern incarnations of the shows Andy Pandy and The Flower Pot Men have been produced.
On the 1st March 2011, See-Saw will probably be on dvd with 15 Classics from the Past Year such as Postman Pat, Stoppit and Tidyup, Moschops, Chorlton and the Wheelies, Paddington Bear, King Rollo, Pigeon Street, Mr.Benn, Fireman Sam, Trumpton, The Flumps, Crystal Tipps and Alistair, The Raggy Dolls, Charlie Chalk and Henry's Cat.
- For The Children, a programme for school age children which ran from 1937.
UK VHS ReleasesEdit
|VHS/DVD Title||Release Date||Episodes|
|Watch with Mother (BBCV 4091)||1987||Picture Book, Andy Pandy, Flower Pot Men, Rag, Tag and Bobtail, The Woodentops|
|Watch with Mother 2 (BBCV 4286)||1989||Picture Book: Bush Baby, Andy Pandy: The Cart, Flower Pot Men: The Potato Man, Rag, Tag and Bobtail: Snowballs, The Woodentops: Horseshoe|
|Watch with Mother The Next Generation (BBCV 4280)||1989||Tales of The Riverbank: A Ride in Guineas Jeep, Pogles Wood: Honey Bees, The Herbs: Strawberry Picking, Mary Mungo and Midge: The Crane, Barnaby: The Circus|
|The Very Best of Watch with Mother (BBCV 4966)||1993||Andy Pandy: Tricycle, Flower Pot Men: Icicles, Camberwick Green: Mickey Murphy The Baker, Muffin The Mule: Muffin and the Sqeaking Shoes, The Woodentops: The Party|
|Watch with Mother The 3rd Generation (BBCV 5924)||1997||
Moschops: Tidiest Dinosaur, Mr Benn: The Cowboy, Chorlton and the Wheelies: The Great Drought, Crystal Tipps and Alistair: Birdie, The Raggy Dolls: The Royal Tour
|Watch with Mother: Favourite Firends (BBCV 7307)||2001||
Chigley: A Present for Lord Belborough, Little Miss: Little Miss Shy, The Further Adventures Of Noddy: The Great Car Race, Clangers: Fishing