Thunderbirds Is 50! Here’s 7 Other Kid’s Shows That Have Stood The Test Of Time

It’s hard to believe, but that infamous introduction of ‘5 – 4 – 3 – 2 -1 Thunderbirds are go’ is now 50 years old!


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There’s even set to be three new episodes to mark the occasion, using audio recordings from the 1960s.

Yes, you read that correctly! Thunderbirds is coming back, twinning the original voices with some incredible 21st century gadgets.

The first series used a mash up of marionette puppetry and scale-model special effects sequences and it proved so popular that it has since been shown in more than 60 countries!


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Thunderbirds in a nutshell…

Following the exploits of the Tracy family (philanthropist and former-astronaut Jeff Tracy and his five sons: Scott, John, Virgil, Gordon and Alan) who form International Rescue, Thunderbirds tells the story of their efforts to save human life.

All of them reside on Tracy Island – hidden somewhere in the South Pacific Ocean – with the engineer Brains and a handful of others. And who can forget Lady Penelope and her butler Parker zooming around in their modified Rolls-Royce!


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It’s safe to say that the show, first screened on ITV in 1965, has stood the test of time, but what other shows can claim to have done the same?

Here’s a selection of some of the best that we could remember…

Tom & Jerry

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The lovable cat and mouse pairing can trace their roots back to 1940, meaning Tom Cat and Jerry Mouse are now an increbile 75 years old!

The brainchild of William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, the original run saw 114 shorts produced for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer between 1940 and 1957.

Numerous other spin-off productions followed while the cartoon was regularly aired on the BBC from the late 1960s until 2000.



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While Pingu may not be quite as old as Thunderbirds or Tom & Jerry, it still dates back nearly 30 years, as the first episode appeared on Swiss TV in 1986.

The show, created by Otmar Gutmann ran until 2000, and focuses on a family of penguins living at the South Pole.

It quickly built up a cult following and is recognised by many different generations today!

Sesame Street


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The long-running American show first aired in 1969 and by the time it celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2009 it was being shown in more than 120 countries.

Using Muppets, animation, humour and short films, the show has been incredibly popular with younger viewers. A move to hot channel HBO in America this year highlights its success.

Postman Pat

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The nation’s favourite animated postal worker first hit big screen in 1981, with the tales of Pat Clifton and his black and white cat Jess in the village of Greendale proving incredible popular.

The first series lasted 13 episodes while a full-length movie was shot as recently as 2014 – showing that the passing of time has certainly not harmed Postman Pat!

Thomas the Tank Engine


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Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends (now Thomas and Friends) first appeared on screen in 1984 and is based in The Railway Series of nooks by Reverend Wilbert Awdry and his son Christopher.

British producer Britt Allcroft discovered the books series and set about bringing them to life. His works were a huge success and have remained popular ever since!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles



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Who can forget Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael – the slimy green foursome that specialize in the art of ninjutsu! Operating from their home in the sewers of New York City they wage war on evil lords and petty criminals to create a better society.

Success peaked in the late 1980s and early 1990s, although the franchise remains popular to this day with numerous remakes and spin-offs.

The Simpsons


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The final place on the list goes to a family from the town of Springfield, USA – known the world over as The Simpsons.

Homer, Marge, Bart,Lisa and Maggie, and thousands of other characters, including celebs, presidents and even the Queen have all featured since it first aired in 1989.

The 27th season got underway in September 2015 and the show holds the title of being the longest running American sitcom. To creator Matt Groening, we applaud you.

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