Bash Street Kids promoting healthy eatingImportant BASH STREET KIDS news (following up on yesterday’s Lollards): it’s sadly too late – both in closing date and in age of readers terms – for FT staff to enter Blue Peter’s competition to “create a new Bash Street Kid”, but we are sure the nation’s nippers will prove themselves worthy of this awesome responsibility. According to Wikipedia, the most recent recurring character to show up on Bash Street is Olive the Dinner Lady, who is a 27-year veteran of Class 2B by now. In general Bash Street School is remarkably well-resourced for somewhere with a single class of ten pupils: as I mentioned in the pub afterwards, its Head-Teacher*-Janitor staffing triangle was lifted for the later Dandy strip Greedy Pigg, a pitiless gaze into the venal face of petty bureaucracy and school staffing politics in which none of the characters were remotely redeemable.

The fact about Bash Street I’d forgotten on the show is that it started life as a feature called When The Bell Rings, an excuse for Leo Baxendale to draw hilarious and colossal panels celebrating the untrammeled joy of kid energy at play – the whole dynamic with Teacher as authority figure (though implicit in the original title) was added later as the strip became more narrative.

*Teacher’s wife is called Mrs.Teacher! Hurrah!