Brum /ˈbrʌm/ was a British children's television series about the adventures of a radio controlled car of the same name across the city of Birmingham. It was produced by Ragdoll Productions for HIT Entertainment and first broadcast in 1991. It was initially directed, written and produced by Anne Wood, latterly directed and written by Vic Finch, Paul Leather, Emma Lindley, Morgan Hall, Brian Simmons, Nigel P Harris and others. It was initially narrated by Toyah Willcox and later by Tom Wright and Sarah Wichall. The show was first aired on Children's BBC on BBC One (later on CBeebies) and also aired in the United States on Discovery Kids as part of the Ready Set Learn kids block on the channel that lasted from 1996 to 2010. The show has also aired on ABC, ABC1 and ABC2 in Australia.
The series Edit
Brum has been written by a range of writers over the years. Anne Wood primarily wrote all the first series, whilst the second series was written by Tom Poole, Dirk Campbell, Andrew Davenport and Morgan Hall. The last two series were written by the existing Ragdoll team which included Alan Dapre, Vic Finch, Dylan Leslie Birch and Holly Elson. There were also episodes by writers and originators on Boohbah, Steve Dorrance and Will Miller.
The title character is a half-scale replica of a late-1920s Austin 7 "Chummy" convertible. He drives by himself (in reality by radio control) and can express himself in a number of ways including opening and closing his doors and bonnet, "bobbing" his suspension, flashing and swivelling his headlamps, rotating his starting crank, extending his turn signals, and using his horn.
The actors in Brum do not speak; mime and off-screen narration help propel the story. For this reason, it has been easy to prepare episodes for airing in other countries and Brum has been broadcast in many parts of the world and in many languages, including English, Italian, Dutch, Hebrew, Croatian, Arabic, Norwegian, German, Spanish, Chinese, Danish, Finnish, Swedish, Welsh, Polish, Portuguese, Thai, French, Hungarian, Catalan, Bulgarian and Japanese.
Each episode of Brum begins and ends in the same way - with Brum, sitting amongst the cars in a motor museum. When the museum owner's back is turned, he comes to life and heads out to go exploring in the "Big Town", but always returns to the museum at the end of each episode. The opening sequence and closing sequence was filmed at the Cotswold Motoring Museum in Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, England. The model car used in filming is kept on display there when not in use.
Originally the programme was set in the city of Birmingham in England, hence the name; in addition to its onomatopoeic nature of a car engine revving, Brum is a common colloquial name for Birmingham and its inhabitants are known as Brummies. Later series make no mention of Birmingham, calling it the "Big Town", but Brum still continued to be filmed there and many Birmingham streets and landmarks can be seen in each episode, including Aston University.
The show's original title theme and music were composed by Kjartan Poskitt for the first two series. The incidental music for the most recent series was composed by Daniel Jones (but not that of the end credits) and is consistently scored for piano, bass guitar, drums and saxophone ensemble, although it varies stylistically from big-band swing to disco, classical, reggae, and music-hall styles. This consistency of sound gives a very convincing and appropriate sense of a small pit orchestra or circus band, and is very much part of the series.
"Brum" is no longer produced by Ragdoll Productions. Production ceased on 4 November 2002. Following Brum's redundancy from Ragdoll, the little car is now on display at the Cotswold Motoring Museum in Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, England.
Brum was designed and built by Rex Garrod, and a very early prototype of Brum can be found in Rex's own series, Secret Life of Machines, dated about 1989. A radio controlled toy model of Brum is also seen in the music video for "Fireflies", the worldwide number one hit by Owl City.
- 7.Little Girl Lost
- 10.Removal Van
- 12.Runaway Pram
- 13.Safari Park
- 14.Brum and the Helicopter
- 15.Brum and the Big Crane
- 16.Brum is an Ice Skating Star
- 17.Brum and the Big Chase
- 18.Brum and the Wedding
- 19.Brum and the Big Town Race
- 20.Brum Goes Shopping
- 21.Brum and the Very Windy Day
- 22.Brum and the Surprise Party
- 23.Brum and the lost Kitten
- 24.Brum and the Little Drummer Boy
- 25.Brum and the Flood
- 26.Brum Goes House Painting
- Narrators - Tom Wright, Sarah Wichall
- Choreographer - Litza Bixter
- Writers - Ragdoll Team, Alan Dapre, Will Miller, Stephen Darrance
- Script Researchers - Emma Collins, Daniel Clarke, Heather Tyrell, Emma Collins,
- Casting Assistant - Duncan Nichol
- Brum Design and Team - Bob Berk, Rex Garrod, Mick Culler, Andy Spooner, Alex Hogg, Kevin Sear
- Art Directors - Zoe Bacharach, Tim Jones, Jane Holloway, Keith Maxwell
- Costume & Make Up - Gillian Sanderson, Carolyn Fleming, Janice Rider
- Production Co-ordinators - Frances Duncan, Rebecca Whyte
- Post Production Co-ordinators - Louise Neighbour, Lynne Hawkins
- Script Supervisors - Amanda Wasey, Alex Moat, Sylvia Ellis, Nichol Hoye
- Corporation Men - Kevin McGreevy, Adam Schumacher, Vince Williams, Sam McDonald, Dennis Herdman
- Corporation Women - Denise Dave,
- Props Buyers - Tom Beach, Simon Blackmore, Ray Purvis
- Unit Managers - Francis Duncan, Lee Smith
- Location Managers - Nick Eastwood, Ken Holt, Malcolm Walker
- Production Secretary - Sarah McKintosh
- Assistant Directors - Richard Lindsay, Steve Murphy, Martin Patience, Trudy Coleman, Rose Wilde, Philip Monks
- Cameras - Noel Paley, James French, Nigel Davey, Shelley Gibbs
- Editors - Dawn Mears, Lee Phillips, Nick Robins,
- Dubbing Mixers - Brendan Nicholson, Tom Sayers, Graham Peters, Tim Vine
- Production Accountant - Gary Phillips
- Line Producer - Nicky Barfoot
- Head of Production - Liz Queenan
- Director of Production - Sue James
- Production Designers - Helen Dagger, John Plush
- 1st Assistant Director - Richard Lindsay
- 2nd Assistant Director - Merlyn Rice
- Camera Assistant - Ben Reeves
- Runner - Paul Honeyghan
- Associate Producer - Jos Houben
- Brum Brum Gets Things Done - Beggs/Harris/Sheppard
- Music by - Paul Honey, Howard McGill
- Directors - Chris Bernard, Morgan Hall, Brian Simmons, Paul Leather, Emma Lindley, Nigel P Harris, Vic Finch
- Producers - Chris Wood, Crispin Evans
- Executive Producer - Anne Wood
other cast from Brum episodes:
- The Celebrity - Johnny Fori
- Baddies - Chakky Skywalker Chawner, Paul Jackson, Christine
Nayrolles, Daniel Lloyd, Jason Segade, Eric Mallet, Paul Filipiak, Julia West, Miles Anthony
- Traffic Policeman - Mark Powlett
- Granny Slippers - Linda Kerr Scott
- Gorgeous Gordon - Enoch White
- Max Speed - Christian Dixon
- Tramp - Gary Barber
- Mayoress - Lesley Stainer
- Yellow Coaches - Andrew Cullum, Malcolm Deathridge
- Bakers - Andrew Cullum
- Yellow Team - Daniel Applewaite, Curtis Applewaite, Alex Wedver, David Poynor, Jonathan Woolf
- Red Team - Julian Keane, Justyn Towler, Mike Peters, Mark Berryman, Paul Cox, Ron Hope
- Girl - Iesha Green
- Mum - Jo Bradford Mason
- Balloon Seller - Simone Rhone
- Workmen - Ian Harrison, Vince Williams
- Boyfriend - Rupi Lal
- Girlfriend - Cheryl Stott
- Scooter Girl - Lynsey Willmore
- Piano Delivery Men - Vince Williams, Ian Harrison
- Mr Brillo - Rob Thirtle
- Stall Holder - Roger Bill
- Jim - Adam Crinage
- Blue Coach - Kevin McLaughlin
- Red Coach - Denise Dave (Denise Dove)
- PC Plod - Mike Eastman
- Biker - Toby Sedgewick
- Biker's Girlfriend - Leeza Roche
- Window Dresser - Helene Pratrot
- Delivery Men - Kevin McGreevy, Rrenford Junior Fagan
- Ice Cream Wendor - Daniel Delgado
- Rickshaw Driver - Rrenford Junior Fagan
- Café Waiter - Pausto Sciarappa
- Mrs Posh - Iona Kennedy
- Busker - Barney Dee
- Pickpocket Polly - Catherine Marimer
- Girl Bowler - Katie Hardy-Lane
- Cashier - Sarah Mackintosh
- Runner - Vince Williams
- Weight Lifter - Steven Thompson
- Theme Park Manager - Gary Barber
- Mayor - Gordon Lea
- Mayoress - Lesley Stainer
- Binbag Man - Ian Harrison
- Bank Manager - John Woodford
- Mrs Bank Manager - Norma Cohen
- Policewoman - Maya Sondhi
- Shop Assistant - Rochi Rampal
- Teacher - Dawn Morris
- Museum Keeper - Brian Wilson
- Man Loading Lorry - Vince Williams
- Policeman - Pushpinder Chani
- Lady Behind Desk - Sharlene Rough
- With thanks to - Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
- Billy - James Smith
- Tilly - Laura Higgs
- Ballet Teacher - Sami-Saidi-Dubrevil
- Stall Holder - Roger Bill
- Policewoman - Lisa Allen
- Mr Brillo - Rob Thirtle
- Brum's Friend - Adam Morris
- Museum Owner (Mike Cavanagh) - The owner of the car museum
where Brum lives. He is the only human character who appears in every episode, and the only character who appears apparently oblivious to Brum's sentience. Despite the fact he always finds the item(s) in Brum's seats at the end of each episode, he never questioned it and simply take said item(s) away. However, in the episode Brum And The Car Breakers, there are hints that he knows Brum is sentient but pretends that he doesn't notice. Particularly in that episode when he finds Brum at the scrap yard and replaces Brums battery, and laughs at the scrap dealers when they can't find Brum who had escaped after waking up, unaware of his battery being replaced.
- Mike Cavanagh was the actual owner/curator of the museum in real
life until he retired after selling the museum to the CSMA Club in 1999.
- The Lollipop Lady (Shirley-Anne Bohm) - A lady who guides
traffic along through the big town, allowing Brum to cross on pedestrian crossings as and when appropriate.
- The Big Town Robber (Andrew Davenport)
- A robber who is usually always up to mischief, such as when he stole the trophy for the big race. Brum is usually the one that foils his plans.
- Mr and Mrs La-Di-Dah - A posh married couple who were regularly featured in season 2.
- Mr and Mrs Doolally (Mark Barnsley + ) - A friendly if slightly absent minded couple who were regularly featured in season 2.
- Vicky Spoon - A regular cast member of the second series, Vicky's Brum's special friend.
- Micky Mender - a handyman, a regular cast member of the second series.
- Granny Slippers (Linda Kerr Scott) — She wears slippers wherever she goes.
- Mr Brillo (Rob Thirtle) — He loves gnomes. He lives next door
to Granny Slippers and has currently been seen wearing a colourful waistcoat, black circle glasses, a tie and blue shirt. His favourite picture is the Gnoma Lisa. He has loads of gnomes in his garden.
- Scruffy - Brum's friend, a dog who loves burying things.
- Big Town Manager (John Woodford) — the manager of the town.
- Mrs Posh (Iona Kennedy / Carole Davies) - A posh lady who lives in the town.
- Traffic Policeman (Mark Powlett) - A 'knock-about' policeman. He owns a horse called Arrow.
- Gorgeous Gordon (Enoch White) - A self-centered, full of himself hairdresser.
- Bob & Job (Kevin McGreevy & Adam Schumacher) — The
two comically clumsy men who wear green dungarees and yellow T-shirts and help the town in a Laurel and Hardy style slapstick way.
- Rrenford Junior Fagan - A regular cast member of series 3, playing different characters.
- Rob & Nick (Daniel Lloyd now known professionally as Dan
Carey & Jason Segade) a bumbling pair of thieves also known as the big town baddies.
- Policewoman (Lisa Allen)
- Sally A woman in Big town who got her cake stolen by teenagers.
Brum has been repeated several times on BBC1 and BBC2 in the 1990's and 2000s, CBBC on Choice premiered Brum on the very first day along with several popular shows on Monday 29th November 1999, 20 minutes after Tweenies. They showed Series 1 until Friday 14th January 2000 and didn't premier Series 2 until a fortnight later because of Australian Open Tennis Championships Live taking place from Monday 17th January 2000 - Friday 28th January 2000, making it premiere on Monday 31st January 2000 and the series lasted until Friday 11th February 2000 and was shown at the same time. From Monday 4th September 2000, Gremlyn TV was launched at mornings and teatimes from 6.25am and 4.00pm every weekday, Brum was part of the strand alongside Superbods, Animal World on Mondays, Wednedays and Fridays, Animal Album on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Penny Crayon and Cookabit and were shown on a 4-month loop which brings the total to 8 months altogether. Series 2 was shown on Gremlyn TV but not Series 1 because Series 2 and Series 1 were sponsorised by different childcares. Series 1 was re-shown on weekdays from Monday 1st January - Friday 9th Febuary 2001, 15 minutes after Gremlyn TV. Gremlyn TV ended on Friday 30th March 2001 and most of the shows have continued to be repeated afterwards, It was also broadcast on Choosy Bits under viewer's request from 2001/02. Series 2 returned on weekday afternoons of summer 2001 at 2.30pm inside a double bill. A new series of Brum which was Series 3 launched on Monday September 3rd 2001 on BBC One at 3.55pm after a random repeat of Teletubbies, CBBC on Choice premiering it on Monday 1st October 2001, at 9.15am, then at 9.00am from Monday 5th November 2001 and until Friday 8th February 2002. Brum has continued to be shown on BBC1, 2 & CBeebies until 2012.