Says Marcus Clarke, "I
couldn't get cast as a puppeteer when I first took it up so 1986 I hit
the absolutely brilliant idea of getting my own TV Show and then
casting myself as
the main puppeteer.
I phoned the
figure of puppeteer Nigel Plaskitt, then the very doyen of the British Television
puppetry scene (Hartley Hare) and I asked him how I erm, got my own TV
He replied 'dear boy if I
knew that I wouldn't be......
all I can
suggest is that you write to all the heads of children's television.
I put the phone down and
straight away listed all the TV Heads addresses from my copy of
and I spent that weekend typing up a TV programme idea 'Hotdog'.
It was about a bunch of
Dog Puppet characters living in a House share
run by a Theatrical landlady.
You know what they say,
Write about what you know.
Having always drawn and
sculpted I decided to actually make most of the
myself too so I could add photo's of them.
These were the first
Puppets we made."
"Off it all went!
Horrox, Head of children's programmes at Thames TV was the only person
He put my programme idea and puppet characters
together with a brilliant writer David Stafford.
Plaskitt suprised at my subsequent endevours was non the less
pleased to subsequently
work on the show as puppeteer to 'Big Dog'
I played the central puppet character 'Hotdog' of course and got the
best puppeteers I could to play all the other puppet characters as I
wasn’t that good a puppeteer myself at the time.
This not only made the Puppets and the Show look good but gave me the
opportunity to learn at first hand from the best puppeteers around.
David Stafford was the real Star though and he wrote the most
wonderfully funny scripts.
'Hotdog' was commissioned as a Children's Entertainment Series for the
ITV Network and ran as a popular favourite until Thames lost it's
Underdog now lives in Hollywood.
The Hotdog Series Director Leslie Pitt now Produces and Directs 'The
|I have re-aquired the rights to my Hotdog TV
with a view to Producing a new and revamped version. Click here to see a video clip