OK I know that this will take a little explanation. The Brits know all about Dallas, and who shot JR. In Fact I seem to recall being on a flight to Dallas/Fort Worth and the pilot coming on the air to tell us!

So who are, or what were the Wombles? It was a delightful childrens program that aired in the UK between 1973-1975. The Wombles very likely were where  Jim Henson found the concept for the Muppets, and the hugely successful Fraggle Rock.

In simple terms, kids programs that had an adult appeal.

So I hear you grumble, whats a damn Womble?

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Oh, and they live in a burrow on Wimbledon Common. Yup there is more to Wimbledon than some silly Tennis thing.

A hit TV show needs a hit record. Right? Well the Wombles managed to get four hit albums released. These were so successful that a live appearance on Brit TV’s BBC hot music program Top Of The Pops was needed. It is one thing taking a bunch of session musicians into the studio, but it is a whole different world having a bunch of Wombles on a TV program playing a song.

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Who the stage Wombles were is still a closely guarded secret. But I think it is fair to say that several people became closet Wombles.

Today I discovered more about the great Womble mystery. There is evidence that the folk/rock band Steeleye Span  may have on at least one occasion have been Wombles on Top Of The Pops.

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This claim is backed uo by no other than Steeleye Span stalwart Peter Knight:

“It’s a bit embarrassing… but all my Wombles are in America,” was how Mike Batt had raised the issue. “He was producing one of Steeleye Span’s albums,” said Peter Knight. “And he was looking for someone to be the Wombles on Top of the Pops. We all jumped at the opportunity: Nigel (Pegrum), Rick (Kemp). I can’t remember whether Bob (Johnson) was involved. I think I was Great Uncle Bulgaria.”

Ya just gotta love the Wombles!

Simon Barrett

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