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Hector’s House

Hector’s House is a children’s television series using hand puppets.

Like the better known The Magic Roundabout it was actually a French production revoiced for a British audience. A gentle, rather than subversive or outright bizarre, series, it was first broadcast in 1965. Its French title was La Maison de Toutou and the French version was written by Georges Croses. “La Maison de Toutou” translates as “The House of the Doggie” and in the French version, Zsazsa is known as ZouZou. In the UK, it was screened in the late 1960s and early 1970s for its 5-minute-long screenings on BBC 1 at 5.40 p.m. before the News.

The main characters, affable Hector the Dog and cute Zsazsa the Cat, live in a house and beautiful garden. Kiki the Frog, dressed in a pink smock, is a constant and at times an intrusive visitor, through her hole in the wall. Despite Hector’s willingness to endlessly help them out, Kiki and Zsazsa often played tricks on him to teach him a lesson, leading him to say his catchphrase at the end of the episode, “I’m a Great Big [whatever he was] Old Hector.

Hector’s voice was performed by Paul Bacon, who died in 1995. The voice of Kiki was by Denise Bryer, who also had roles in Noddy, Terrahawks and Labyrinth. The voice of Zsazsa was supplied by Lucie Dolène. About 78 episodes were made, each of 5 minutes’ duration. A DVD featuring some of these episodes has been released.

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