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Rainbow Unzipped: Book review


Reviewed by tvnz.co.nz's Darren Bevan

There is a pithy little saying that goes something like this: "Nostalgia ain't as good as it used to be."

I remember Rainbow from my days as a wee kid, so it was with a hint of rose tinted nostalgia that I opened this book - a kind of autobiography about what happened to the three puppet mainstays of the show after it went off the air.

In the mid 70s and until the early 90s, Rainbow was the daytime lunchtime show of choice - a trippy hangover from the sixties, it saw various methods of learning and conflict dubiously acted out by Geoffrey, Rod, Jane and Freddy - and the puppet trio of Zippy, George and Bungle.

It's the latter three that this book concentrates on - right from the early days of George the pink hippo being taken in at the orphanage to Zippy's first trip into the stage - and onto Bungle's depression after the show was cancelled.

It's always pretty hard to write something like this book for what are essentially characters - you either throw yourself 100% in to what the author's decided to do - or you hold back and don't portray the characters accurately.

Tim Randall's done okay with this - and has embellished the characters well enough as he goes through the dizzying heights of fame and horrifying lows of cancellation.

The book's also littered with photoshopped pictures of the trio in such scenes as Live Aid, Princess Diana, or with UK prime Minister of the time Margaret Thatcher.

These, on the whole work, but there are a few (such as bright yellow Zippy stood behind PM Tony Blair and George with Susan Boyle) which don't - and when they don't work, they tend to jar and look a little too false.

Overall, Rainbow Unzipped! - The Autobiography is a fairly easy coffee table read; it's light, pithy and frothy; just a bit of fun for those who remember the good old days.

(Talking of which check out the opening titles of Rainbow here and bask in the 70s Televisual goodness)


Rating: 6/10


Title: Rainbow Unzipped! - The Autobiography
Author: Tim Randall
RRP: $47.99
Publisher: Hachette
Available: Now!


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