15 kids TV icons and what they're up to now
We didn't just watch television, we were raised by it.
As kids, we grew to love the friendly faces on our screens as much, if not more than our own parents. Your mum and dad fed you, sure, but did they ever gunge Rachel Stevens? No, they did not gunge Rachel Stevens. But that was then, and this is now, so what are our favourite kids TV icons up to nowadays?
1. Dave Benson Phillips from Get Your Own Back.
Photo: Dave Benson Phillips
The self-styled 'Godfather of Gunge' is still going strong. He runs a live Get Your Own Back show (which actually looks like a right laugh), he's starred in any number of pantomimes, he has a removal trailer hire business, and apparently Dave will be appearing on Celebrity Pointless with Gaz Top from How 2. We're just gonna say it: we'd watch the shit out of that.
2. Mel from My Parents Are Aliens.
Photo: ITV / Danielle McCormack
Don't even pretend that Mel (real name Danielle McCormack) from My Parents Are Aliens wasn't your first crush, because she 100% was. Danielle went on to appear in Doctors, Casualty and other non-medical television shows. She's also a singer-songwriter, though the only evidence we've managed to find of that is this very noisy cover of 'Want You To Want Me'.
3. Raven from Raven.
Raven was by far the most badass kids adventure show ever to grace our screens, in part thanks to James 'Raven' Mackenzie. James has ditched the Way of the Warrior for nice, safe Glasgow, playing the role of Gary in Scottish soap River City. If you're wondering why you've never heard of River City, it's probably because you're an English piece of shit.
4. Fred Dinenage from How 2.
Photo: ITV / BMiz
Contrary to the photograph, Fred has not fallen on hard times and resorted to cleaning cars to pay his way. A Member of the Order of the British Empire, no less, Fred has had a long and distinguished career in television, most recently presenting Fred Dinenage: Murder Casebook for Crime & Investigation Network. He may or may not continue to wash cars for pleasure.
5. Kirsten O'Brien from SMart.
Photo: ITV / Piers Allardyce
Kirsten has had loads of odd jobs since leaving SMart, perhaps the oddest being presenting Kirsten's Topless Ambition, in which she decided whether or not she would strip off for lads mags to shed her child-friendly image. In the end she only got one offer, which she turned down. She also holds the record for most socks worn on one foot, which is nice.
6. Cat Deeley from SM:TV Live.
Photo: ITV / Frazer Harrison
Cat Deeley has outgrown us, people. In 2006 she started hosting So You Think You Can Dance in America, and ever since she's just not had time for little old Britain. Actually that's not true, she guested on Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's show Life's Too Short. But seriously, who would leave the glitz and glam of Wonky Donkey for grim old Los Angeles? It makes no sense.
7. Lizo Mzimba from Newsround.
Pshh, please. You know exactly what Lizo Mzimba is doing now: fucking killing it. When most people see a BBC reporter, the indifference is palpable, but when they see Lizo, they lose their shit. The best goddamn entertainment correspondent the world has ever seen.
8. Neil Buchanan from Art Attack.
Photo: ITV / pimpmasta
Though it's no longer on CITV, Art Attack is still going strong on digital channel Disney Junior, but our beloved Neil Buchanan is no longer at the helm. Instead, Neil has returned to his first love: heavy metal. In 1976 he formed the band Marseille, and 40 years later they're still going strong. They have four albums out and still tour the world, which is more than can be said for The Head.
9. The Sun Baby from Teletubbies.
Photo: BBC / SWNS
Original Sun Baby Jess Smith made the controversial decision to get older, making her unsuitable for the role. She was paid £250 and a box of toys for the job, which is more than any of you parasitic babies ever made. Now she's 21 and graduating from university. A pilot for a spin-off titled Sun Baby: The Later Years never made it to television, because it doesn't exist.
10. Konnie Huq from Blue Peter.
Photo: Jonathan Shalit / Stuart C. Wilson
Yes, yes, she's married to Charlie Brooker, let's move past that. Since Blue Peter she's popped up on pretty much every British panel show going and presented King of the Nerds for Sky 1, which Charlie would have been a shoo-in for had there not been an obvious conflict of interest.
11. Ade Adepitan from Xchange.
Photo: BBC / Garry Knight
Since Xchange, Ade has gone on to appear in EastEnders, presented the Paralympic Games, Britain on Benefits and The One Show. He's also an accomplished wheelchair basketball player and disability charity supporter.
12. Dick and Dom from Dick & Dom in da Bungalow.
Dick & Dom in da Bungalow was a landmark piece of television: a kids' TV show that was actually fucking hilarious. They currently present Absolute Genius with Dick and Dom, which has a lot less creamy muck muck than da Bungalow. Disappointing, to be honest.
13. Taj from Kerching!
Photo: BBC / Channel 4
Devon Anderson hustled his way into our hearts as dot-com entrepreneur Taj Lewis, but has since gone on to appear in Hollyoaks, EastEnders and even presented on CBBC. You can follow Devon on Twitter, where you'll see he's mainly into Harry Potter, Arthur memes and baby wipes.
14. Auntie Mabel from Come Outside.
Photo: BBC / Daniel Berehulak
Lynda Baron is the only person to have ever worked with two of television's biggest stars: Ronnie Barker and Pippin. From starring in Open All Hours in the 70s and 80s, to educating the youngsters of Britain about the world around them, Lynda's seen it all. She's been in EastEnders for the last 10 years, playing Linda Clarke.
15. Paul and Barry Chuckle from ChuckleVision.
ChuckleVision ran from 1987 - 2009, which is a hell of an achievement, no matter how you spin it. Contrary to many hoaxes, neither Paul nor Barry are dead. In fact, they've recently entered the mobile app world with Chuckle World, a quiz game. We already knew it, but this confirms our suspicion that the Chuckle Brothers will outlive and outdo all of us.
BONUS: Mr Blobby from your nightmares.
Photo: WikiMedia /@AmyLouRook
Nobody loved Mr Blobby. Even in his heyday, even at the height of his popularity, nobody loved Mr Blobby. It therefore gives us great pleasure to inform you that Mr Blobby is now a medium-sized duffle bag. There were no flowers at his funeral.