Gordon's alive! Phillip Schofield's puppet sidekick is back

Gordon the Gopher

After over 20 years in the TV wilderness and reports of rehab and resentments, the BBC broom cupboard’s iconic gopher looks set for a return

Gordon the Gopher, the 80s children’s TV puppet known for his irritating squeak and lively fashion choices, is to return to the BBC in a new web-only comedy pilot, according to the Sun.

The newspaper reports that Gordon will appear as a washed-up celeb who has has recently returned from a spell in rehab and is jealous of the success found by his former Children’s BBC co-presenter Phillip Schofield. For the first time, the rodent will also be given a speaking role, voiced by Life’s Too Short actor Warwick Davis.

See Gordon and the other guy in action.

Gordon first appeared with Schofield in the Children’s BBC broom cupboard between 1985 and 1987, before following his co-host to the popular Saturday morning kids TV show Going Live! He later starred in his own TV series, Gordon the Gopher, which ran for a single series in 1991.

Writer-director Ryan McDermott, whose credits include the webseries Staff Room, says he stumbled upon the idea of resurrecting the rodent after his grandmother found an old replica Gordon puppet in her loft. “She said: ‘I wonder what happened to him?’ It got me thinking,” he told the Sun. “Phillip and the puppeteer, Paul Smith, own Gordon and both really liked the idea, so they allowed us to do it. I think they like it because Gordon’s naughty and swears,” he added.

Schofield has long joked about Gordon’s tragic decline since his TV career ended. In 2006, he claimed that the gopher was in rehab. “It’s all gone horribly wrong for him,” he told Heat Magazine. “It’s a shame. I’ve got a restraining order against him and we don’t speak. He’s quite bitter and he has been ever since I got my role in Doctor Dolittle in the West End and he didn’t get offered the part. It was the straw that broke the gopher’s back.”

The pilot will air on the BBC website’s Taster section, where new show ideas are tried out, with the possibility of a full series if it’s a success. “We’ve outlined six shows,” said McDermott. “In one, Phillip and Gordon have a showdown. All the resentments come out, with Gordon asking him why he ditched him.”

Gordon the Gopher isn’t the only beloved 80s children’s TV star receiving a modern update. Earlier this year, the BBC announced that a new series of Danger Mouse was in development. Danger Mouse will feature the voices of Alexander Armstrong, John Oliver, Kevin Eldon and Lena Headey, among others, and will air on CBBC later this year.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Guardian TV, for theguardian.com on Thursday 6th August 2015 11.19 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010