Brum is a British children’s superhero rescue television series about the adventures of a radio controlled car of the same name. 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. 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 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.
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 has also aired on ABC, ABC1 and ABC2 in Australia.
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.
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