We haven’t quite reached losses to the same extent as in 2016, but there have been a few television personalities from my childhood who have passed on recently. Not content with taking original Batman Adam West and Blue Peter legend John Noakes from us recently, I was saddened to hear the news of Brian Cant’s passing this week.
Cant will be best remembered as the voice of animated 60s & 70s childrens’ shows Camberwick Green, Trumpton and Chigley, and were it not for him we would probably never had two classic songs, both of which reference said shows.
So, to quote: ‘Here is a box, a musical box, wound up and ready to play. But this box can hide a secret inside. Can you guess what is in it today?’
That’s right, kiddies, a couple of songs by Half Man Half Biscuit:
Half Man Half Biscuit – The Trumpton Riots
Half Man Half Biscuit – Time Flies By (When You’re The Driver of a Train)
Cant was also a stalwart of Play School and, for the slightly older kids, Play Away. Looking back now, Play Away featured a whole host of presenters who went on to bigger and, some might say, better things: Julie Covington, Tony Robinson, Anita Dobson, Jeremy Irons. But it’s Cant that I always remember from those shows.
Morten & Cohen – Play Away Theme
And yes, I really did already own that.
Cant himself managed to have himself a bona fide hit in the UK, kind of, when a sample of his voice was used on this Lemon Jelly tune:
Lemon Jelly – Nice Weather for Ducks
Not exactly topical, given the heatwave we’re having at the moment, and I do hope I haven’t jinxed the weather for those travelling to Glastonbury this weekend…
Me? Jealous?? Noooo……
Footnote: Alex G informs me that isn’t Brian Cant at all on the Lemon Jelly tune, I’ve checked and he’s quite right. It’s Enn Reitel. My apologies. That’ll teach me to write these on the hoof posts without researching them first. Still, nice to hear it again….
Footnote Part Two: Also by way of the Comments, C of Sun Dried Sparrows fame asked if I’d seen “that short clip of him [Cant, not Reitel] for Orbital’s The Altogether”? I hadn’t but have now:
And now you have too.