logo My first TV Show
5 Series for Thames Television ITV

hd Hotdog
Says Marcus Clarke, "I couldn't get cast as a puppeteer when I first took it up so 1986 I hit upon the absolutely brilliant idea of getting my own TV Show and then casting myself as the main puppeteer.

I phoned puppeteer Nigel Plaskitt, whom I had met while in the original West End Stage version of Little Shop of Horrors, experienced and well known on the British Television puppetry scene (Hartley Hare) and I asked him how I "got my own TV show"?
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 Spotlights Contacts 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 puppets myself too so I could add photo's of them. With Helena's help we made them all.

These were the first Puppets we made and a few years later we formed Hands Up Puppets to make more.
"Off it all went!
Alan Horrox, Head of children's programmes at Thames TV was the only person to reply.
He put my programme idea and puppet characters together with a brilliant writer David Stafford.
Puppeteer Nigel Plaskitt was pleased to subsequently work on the show as the 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 franchise in 1990.
Underdog now lives in Hollywood.
The Hotdog Series Director Leslie Pitt now Produces and Directs 'The Softies." Hotdogs in a box.

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I re-aquired the rights to my Hotdog TV Series with a view to Producing a new and revamped version. We'll see.