Growing up as a child there are few toys I remember, but one of them was Gordon the Gopher, a puppet made famous on television in 1985 in The Broom Cupboard and then on Going Live!
Both shows were hosted by Phillip Schofield, and the two of them made up one of the most iconic duos of the eighties. Gordon was well-known for his squeaking (he never spoke) and his strong fashion sense when it came to t-shirts. After more than 20 years out of the limelight, Gordon the Gopher returned today in the most 21st century way he could... online!
Over the years Phillip has mentioned Gordon a few times in interviews and on telly, claiming that Gordon was in rehab, and that he had a restraining order against the puppet.
That said, Gordon has made a couple of very brief appearances with Phillip over the years. In 2005 he tried to stick Gordon in Room 101, in 2009 Gordon popped up in Dancing On Ice, and in 2010 he appeared on This Morning to celebrate Phillip’s 25 years as a television presenter.
Gordon also made an appearance on Celebrity Juice in 2013, but apart from that, Gordon has been missing from our screens for over 20 years... and quite frankly that’s too long.
But not to worry, because today marks the day that Gordon returned to television, but not in the traditional sense. Instead, Gordon is the subject of his very own online comedy sketch for BBC Taster, the BBC’s home of new ideas. It’s a platform for new TV ideas and is full of watchable pilots, of which Gordon, the comedy pilot featuring Gordon the Gopher is one of them.
The pilot sees Gordon playing himself, straight of The Priory for alcohol affection, Gordon heads to BBC Media City for a meeting about a new job at the BBC. Understandably, his pass is out of date and no longer works, but Gordon is keen to turn his life around and sees this meeting as the triumphant return to the BBC that he’s been waiting for.
For the first time ever, Gordon has been given a voice, gone is the famous squeak, in is the voice of Warwick Davis. That’s right, Warwick is now the voice of Gordon the Gopher, and whilst he does a great job in the pilot, I couldn’t help thinking that perhaps his voice is too familiar, and they should have opted for an actor with a less recognisable voice.
Don’t get me wrong, the pilot works really well , it’s enjoyable and Warwick is great, but there were times when the voice was overly familiar, and knowing it was Warwick Davis at times proved distracting.
Gordon is only a pilot for now, but it’s been revealed that six episodes have been outlined, including one where Phillip Schofield and Gordon have a showdown. Now there’s an episode that HAS to happen surely?!
I for one hope this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Gordon, and it’s great to see him back. So whether you were a fan of Gordon in the past, or if this is the first time you’ve ever heard of him, watch the pilot in full here...