Metal Mickey

This article is about the 1980s TV show. For the Suede song, see Metal Mickey (song).
Metal Mickey, a robot character on UK children's television in the 1980s

Metal Mickey was a five-foot-tall robot (created, controlled and voiced by Johnny Edward), as well as the name of a spin-off television show starring the same character. He was essentially a modernised vision of a 1950s space toy with a voice reminiscent of the Cylons in Battlestar Galactica. 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.[1]

Micky Dolenz, formerly of The Monkees pop group, was brought in to produce and direct along with Nic Phillips and David Crossman.

Metal Mickey television show

Metal Mickey
Starring Metal Mickey
Country of origin United Kingdom
Producer(s) London Weekend Television
Original network ITV Network
Picture format 4:3
Original release 6 September 1980 – 15 January 1983

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".[2] 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.[3]

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).


Production credits

DVD releases

The first two series of Metal Mickey have been released on DVD. The third series was due to be released in mid-2009.


Metal Mickey was credited as artist on several record releases, some of them on his own label "Mickeypops":[4]

See also


  1. Jictar rating
  2. The Guardian, Situations vacant; 27 May 1980
  3. "The Den of Geek interview: Colin Bostock-Smith". Den of Geek. 2008-05-14. Retrieved 2012-09-24.
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