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Bananas in Pyjamas
Written by
  • Simon Hopkinson
  • Bob La Castra
  • Debra Oswald
  • Richard Tulloch
  • Kris Wyld
  • Tracy Moody (script supervisor)
Directed by
  • Michael Ailwood
  • Ian Munro
  • Ken Radley
  • Nicholas Opolski
  • Mary-Ann Henshaw
  • Taylor Owynns
  • Jeremy Scrivener
  • Shane McNamara
Narrated byKarina Kelly
Theme music composerCarey Blyton
Opening themeBananas In Pyjamas performed by Monica Trapaga
Ending themeBananas in Pyjamas instrumental version
Country of originAustralia
Original languageEnglish
No. of series8
No. of episodes456 (list of episodes)
Executive producerMark Barnard
ProducersHelena Harris
Virginia Lumsden (1992–2001)
Running time5 minutes (1992–2001)
12 minutes (2011–13)
Production companySouthern Star Group
Original networkABC (1992–2001)
ABC2 (2011–13)
Picture format4:3 (PAL) (1992–2001)
576i (SDTV) (2011–13)
Audio formatStereo
Original releaseOriginal series:
July 20, 1992 (1992-07-20)
December 14, 2001 (2001-12-14)
Revival series:
May 2, 2011 (2011-05-02) – July 3, 2013 (2013-07-03)

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Bananas in Pyjamas is an Australian children's television show that premiered on 20 July 1992 on ABC. It has since become syndicated in many different countries, and dubbed into other languages. In the United States, the "Pyjamas" in the title was modified to reflect the American spelling pajamas. This aired in syndication from 1995 to 1997 as a half-hour series, then became a 15-minute show paired with a short-lived 15-minute series The Crayon Box, under a 30-minute block produced by Sachs Family Entertainment titled Bananas in Pajamas & The Crayon Box. Additionally, the characters and a scene from the show were featured in the Kids for Character sequel titled Kids for Character: Choices Count. The pilot episode was Pink Mug.

The concept was inspired by the success of the song Bananas in Pyjamas, written by Carey Blyton in 1967, on Play School.[1][2] This song, which had become a regular item on Play School, became the theme of the new series.

In 1997, Bumping & A Jumping, an album based on the show, was released.[3] The series was revamped in May 2011 as a CGI animated series created by Southern Star Entertainment.


The main characters are two anthropomorphic bananas named B1 and B2. Other characters include the three teddy bears Amy, Lulu and Morgan, and Rat in a Hat. The bananas, the teddies and Rat in a Hat all live in the same neighbourhood, a cul-de-sac called "Cuddles Avenue". The bananas live next to the beach and serve as beach patrol. The teddies live next to and look after the park. Rat in a Hat works and lives at the community store. The characters enjoy eating "munchy honeycakes" and "yellow jelly".



The characters were inspired by a 1967 song written for children by British composer Carey Blyton (nephew of renowned children's author Enid Blyton). The jaunty song describes (an unspecified number of) bananas in pyjamas chasing teddy bears, with a slight twist at the end where a musical sting emphasises that the bananas like to "catch them unawares". The song was shown on the Australian version of Play School for many years accompanied by an animation depicting pairs of bananas in blue-and-white striped pyjamas. This led to a "banana" plush toy being created as part of the "toy cast", which formed the basis of the physical appearance of B1 and B2.


The show was performed using human actors in elaborate costumes, in the style of the British Tweenies and Teletubbies. In the show's early days, the voices of the bananas were provided by the same actors as were inside the costume, but the original actors eventually gave up that aspect of the show and substitutes manned the hot, stuffy costumes. The show aired new episodes from its 1992 debut to its eventual run in syndication in 2002. The show aired approximately three hundred episodes as well as four specials. Its debut in the United States was in 1995. It made videos and other media from 1995 to 1999. A toy line, developed by TOMY, debuted in 1996.


On 2 May 2011, a new version of Bananas in Pyjamas, produced by Southern Star Entertainment in full CGI, was premiered on ABC2 in Australia; it was shown in other countries soon after that date. It contains new songs, stories, and characters, including Topsy the cheeky kangaroo, Charlie the inventive monkey and Bernard the wise old dog. Development of the new series commenced in 2009, and production started in early 2010. The new series contains 104 12-minute episodes.[4][5]

In June 2011 B1 and B2 were kidnapped by two people from the ABC building in Adelaide and returned 3 days later. Police returned B1 and B2 to the ABC and charged the thieves.[6]

On 6 June 2013, there was speculation that production of the show was ceasing, as the animated version of the program had not produced enough revenue to justify the cost of making a fourth season.[7] The ABC quickly refuted the claims and a spokeswoman said a decision on whether there will be another series will be made towards the end of 2013.[8][9]


The bananas are noted for their common catchphrase, often said when the duo get an idea where they bump into each other and say: "Are you thinking what I'm thinking, B1?" "I think I am, B2! It's {Bananas' ideas} time!". Rat in a Hat also has three catchphrases, "Oh, cheese and whiskers!", usually stated when he has not succeeded at a task; "Trust me, I'm a rat!" when trying to deceive other characters; and "I'm a rat, I'm a rat, I'm a clever clever rat", which he sings when he thinks of a good idea. Given the age of the target audience, chasing teddy bears is not usually a plot line for the show itself, and when it is depicted, it is usually in a playful manner. More often, the bananas engage in activities in singing, dancing, and playing with the other characters, and bantering with each other.

Sydney Olympics[]

The Bananas in Pyjamas were featured among other famous Australians during the parade of the closing ceremony of the 2000 Summer Olympics.[10]


Main characters[]

  • B1 the Banana: Duncan Wass (1992), Ken Radley (1993–1999), Michael James (2001), and then Stephen Shanahan (2011–2013),[11] Richard McCourt (2011–2013)
  • B2 the Banana: Nicholas Opolski, Benjamin Blaylock, and then Dan Wyllie (2011–2013), Dominic Wood (2011–2013)
  • Amy the Teddy Bear: Sandie Lillingston (1992–1995), Mary-Ann Henshaw (1996–2001), and then Isabella Dunwill (2011–2013)
  • Lulu the Teddy Bear: Taylor Owynns (1992–2001) and then Iny Vas de Sousa (2011–2013)
  • Morgan the Teddy Bear: Jeremy Scrivener (1992–2001) and then Troy Planet (2011–2013),[12][13] Sophie Aldred (2011–2013)
  • Rat in a Hat: Shane McNamara (1994–2001, 2011–2013)[14]
  • Narrator Karina Kelly (1992–2001)

Recurring characters[]

  • Bernard the Dog: Keith Buckley (2011–2013)[15]
  • Charlie the Monkey: Matthew Whittet (2011–2013)
  • Kevin the Butterfly: Mal Heap (1992–1993)
  • Maggie the Magpie: Emma De Vries (1994–2002)
  • Mrs Rat the Rat: Georgina Symes (2011–2013)[16]
  • Tolstoy the Tortoise: Emma De Vries (1994–2002) and then John Leary (2011–2013)[17]
  • Tomasina the Turtle: David Collins (1999) and then Meaghan Davies (2011–2013)
  • Topsy the Kangaroo: Roslyn Oades (2011–2013)

Farm animals[]

  • Farm Animals puppeteer: Mal Heap and David Collins (2001)
  • Camembert the Cow: Taylor Sweeney and then Eliza Logan (2011–2013)[18]
  • Pedro the Pig: Michael Phillips and then Anthony O'Donohue (2011–2013)[19]
  • Gregory the Chicken: Matthew Hudak
  • Peck the Duck: Aaron Oberst-Horner
  • Dolly the Sheep: Maura McGinley and then Olivia Pigeot (2011–2013)[20]
  • Flash the Fish: Jacob Matta


Main article: List of Bananas in Pyjamas episodes

Home video releases[]

The series has been released to home video, originally for VHS, later also for DVD.

  • Birthday Special (1992)
  • Show Business (1993)
  • Hiccups (1993)
  • Monster Bananas (1994)
  • Big Parade (1994)
  • Special Delivery (1994)
  • Surf's Up! (1995)
  • Wish Fairies (1995)
  • It's Music Time! (1996)
  • Singing Time! (1997)
  • Dress Ups (1997)
  • Bumping-and-a-Jumping (1998)
  • Holiday Time (1998)
  • Fun Time! (1999)
  • Surprise Party (1999)
  • Rock-A-Bye Bananas (2000)
  • It's Games Time! (2000)
  • Story Time (2001)
  • Summertime (2001)
  • Celebration! (2002)
  • Dancing Daze (2002)
  • Farm Adventure! (2003)
  • Beat Box (2003)


Logie Awards[]

Year Nominated works Award Result Lost to
1996 Bananas in Pyjamas Most Popular Children's Program Nominated Agro's Cartoon Connection
2000 Most Outstanding Children's Program Nominated Hi-5

ARIA Music Awards[]

Year Nominated works Award Result Lost to
1994 Bananas in Pyjamas Best Children's Album Nominated Mic ConwayWhoopee
1996 It's Singing Time Nominated The WigglesWake up Jeff
1999 It's Showtime Best Original Cast/Show Recording Nominated Judi Connelli & Suzanne Johnston – Perfect Strangers
2005 Sing And Be Happy Best Children's Album Nominated The WigglesLive Hot Potatoes
2012 Playtime Nominated The WigglesSurfer Jeff

See also[]

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  • List of longest-running Australian television series


  1. "Plus Licens: Bananas in Pyjamas". Retrieved 8 May 2010.
  2. "Bananas in Pyjamas – About". ABC Television. Archived from the original on 19 May 2010. Retrieved 8 May 2010. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (|url-status= suggested) (help)
  3. "Bumping & A Jumping". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  4. "Bananas in Pyjamas- ABC for Kids". ABC Television. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
  5. "Southern Star and ABC Australia to launch Bananas in Pyjamas in May 2011". AnimationXpress Asia Pacific. 15 March 2011. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
  6. "Bananas safe after kidnapping". The Age. 22 June 2011.
  7. "ABC ends production of Bananas In Pyjamas". Herald Sun. 6 June 2013.
  8. "ABC refutes claims of axe for Bananas In Pyjamas". ABC News. 6 June 2013. Retrieved 23 June 2013.
  9. "Bananas in Pyjamas". ABC. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  10. "Bananas In Pyjamas". Australian Television Memorabilia Guide. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
  11. "Stephen Shanahan Bio". RMK Voices. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  12. "Filmography by year for Troy Planet". IMDB. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  13. "Troy Planet's Page". Voiceover Universe. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  14. Shane McNamara on IMDb. Retrieved 4 June 2013.
  15. "Keith Buckley". EMVoices. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  16. "Georgina Symes". Your BlahVoice. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  17. "Filmography by year for John Leary". IMDB. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  18. "Eliza Logan Resume". AFTRS. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  19. "Anthony O'Donohue profile". LinkedIn. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  20. "Porn Cake Show Programme". ISSUU. Retrieved 20 May 2013.[permanent dead link]

External links[]