Here Is A Musical Box – RIP Brian Cant

Sadly Brian Cant, a cornerstone of my childhood from Play School, Play Away, even Orbital videos has died aged 83. But I think his best work was on the Trumptonshire trilogy – people mostly remember his voice-over work on them especially Camberwick Green – “Here is a box, a musical box, wound up and ready to play” – but he also sang the songs, which as a musical blog seems pertinent. And like all ‘pastoral children’s series’ of the time, there was a psychedelic feel to many of the pieces – like this Fishing one:

And the Baker’s Van song, one of my favourites:

And of course, he’s most fondly remembered for his Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble, Grub for the Firemen, later sampled for a novelty Playground Rave track (as was the musical box speech on various things). I do think Brian Cant’s work will be well regarded in future generations – and live on, beyond it’s ‘kiddie TV’ ghetto, as with the composer of these pieces, Freddie Phillips who died in 2003.

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