Gabriel: His Trial and Freedom

When I first launched this Bagpuss site way back in 1999 I ran a poll on whether or not Gabriel the Toad should be hung, just for a bit of fun. Although he received his pardon with a 60% not guilty verdict, many of the poll responders (made up of site visitors) chose to either hang him or shoot him. It was just a bit of silly childish fun that seemed to be a time-passer back then, but I actually got invited onto TV twice as a result.

First there was an offer to go on a nostalgia TV programme for Channel 4 by World's End Productions, then Open Mike Productions informed me that "Love the site. We're producing a new comedy pilot TV show called 'Does The Panel Agree'. We are looking for audience members who are prepared to put forward a controversial point of view and hanging Gabriel would certainly count! The chairman is Stuart Hall, with team captains Jeff Green and Richard Morton, with guest panellist Tara Palmer Tomkinson and a mystery guest. We're filming at the London Comedy Store on 1st December. Please get in touch if you would be interested in coming along."

It just goes to show that there's always interest in nostalgic kid's TV, as none of the other sites that make up The Anorak Zone have ever seen me get an offer of going on the telly. So did I go on? No, I lost my nerve... unlike Jill Pythian, who used to run her own Bagpuss site and has been on TV at least once talking about it, I just didn't have the confidence to go through with it. But this page can stand as an account of the time when a bit of silly fun marked the launching of this site.

At the same time I also ran other polls on this site, the results of which were that Bagpuss was the favourite character (with 55% of the vote), followed by the Mice and Yaffle. Altogether 382 people voted, only 6 of whom could be bothered to vote for Madeline. Sadly, the poll for favourite episode was hosted by a company that closed down, though I imagine The Mouse Mill won that one, eh?