Written, composed and presented by Mike Amatt
This series of 15 minute pre-school children's television programmes began when I made a simple tractor using Lego. With remote control technology I gave the tractor lip sync and eye movement and called him Max Tractor. The next step was to create an environment for Max Tractor. As is the case with many of these projects, one thing leads to another and I ended up introducing "Scarecrow" with Dandelion and Burdock, two crows perched on Scarecrow's arms. Eventually I persuaded Edward Pugh, who was then head of children's programmes at the BBC in Manchester, to make a pilot programme.
Mike Amatt as Scarecrow with Dandelion and Burdock
Celia Bonner produced and directed the series and because of her interest in the theatre, she became involved in the FORGET-ME-NOT FARM live touring stage production. She has recently been producing motivational and behavioral programmes for EBC Executive Business Channel.
The animation was done by LEGS Lyndon Evans Graphics. On the 20th anniversary of The Beatles "Sgt Pepper" album, Granada Television showed a sequence where the album cover came to life. This was re-created and animated beautifully by LEGS.
All the scripts, songs and incidental music were written and produced by myself. We wanted to reflect the comings and goings of a real working farm and not just the twee "west-country bumpkin" style of pretty farm. In each of the 13 episodes the "Scarecrow song" is employing a different musical style. There is reggae, rock, blues, folk, rap and even a song inspired by the wonderful lyrics of Noel Coward. "A monkey in Botswana may go perfectly bananas if he only had sultanas for a treat !!!"
All the incidental music and songs were written and performed by Mike Amatt.