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DJ Kat
Format Children's television series
No. of episodes N/A
Production
Running time 60 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel Sky One
Original run 1985 – 1995

The DJ Kat show was a children's television programme presented by the puppet DJ Kat and his friend Linda de Mol, which ran from 1985 to 1995. The show was first broadcast to Europe on satellite and cable channel Sky Channel and later on Sky One and Sky Europe. The show was aired every weekday morning and afternoon (and in later years, at weekends), and throughout its life was home to a particularly large number of imported animated series. A separate version of The DJ Kat Show was later created for the United States where it was aired on stations affiliated with the Fox Broadcasting Company. This article focuses primarily on the original European version.

Contents

History

The original European version was produced by John de Mol's production house John de Mol Produkties, which later became the world-famous Endemol. Linda de Mol is John de Mol's sister.

DJ Kat

DJ Kat was a puppet with a black leather jacket who loved spinning his records. He also liked to eat junk from the trashcans. His favorite dish was actually a jar of peas and carrots mashed together. In the intro of the show DJ Kat would say the following line: "This is the DJ Kat show and I am DJ Kat...that's my name. Its a D and a J and a Kat with a K." The reason it is spelled with a K is because the Dutch spell cat with a k and Linda de Mol is Dutch. DJ Kat was originally performed by puppeteer Robert 'Robbie' Hahn. DJ Kat often claimed to be on a project for Millhouse. The Millhouse character is never shown on the show. British puppeteer Don Austen took over the character for a further 5 years (1989-95) for more than 2000 episodes on Sky One. The show picked up the PACE Satellite Award.

The Linda de Mol/Catrina Hylton-Hull years (1985-1992)

Linda de Mol was DJ Kat's side-kick when the series began in 1985. De Mol is a Dutch hostess who has done television shows in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands. Next to her native language Dutch, she speaks fluent English and German. After The DJ Kat Show, Linda did a similar show on a Dutch television channel called de Billy Hotdog Show; the cat was now replaced by a dog and performed by the same puppeteer as DJ Kat. She also presented some of Endemol's programmes, including the original Dutch version of Deal or No Deal. In the early days , Steffanie Pitt was often featured as a co-presenter as well.

Catrina Hylton-Hull (known in this series as "Treen"), daughter of the late Rod Hull of Emu fame, after numerous auditions, became a main co-presenter in 1989. The DJ Kat show did sketches around this time in an attempt to save the flagging format of the series - one of which was 'Jurassic Patio' which was obviously based on Jurassic Park but with toy dinosaurs and dolls. Another was a spoof of Star Trek called 'Star Truck' which saw DJ Kat and Catrina traveling the universe in a baby's pram collecting junk. Perhaps most memorable was the Aliens parody 'Teddys', featuring a stuffed teddy bear 'bursting' through DJ's chest.

Catrina Hylton-Hull lasted 3 years, but with viewing figures falling Sky 1 came close to pulling the plug on the series. The acclaimed UK production/direction team of Patricia Mordecai, John Northover and Gale Claydon (who produced many series on ITV in the 1980s and 90s) were tasked with the job of creating a new look for the series which began in 1992.

Re-vamp and new co-presenters (1992-1995)

After Linda de Mol and Katrina Hylton-Hull left the show in 1991 and 1992 respectively, the series was revamped, and a new studio set, theme tune and titles came into being. The revamped show aired for the first time on 13 July 1992. The regular co-presenters of the show's second incarnation were - initially - West End actor Simon Jermond and singer Marcelle Duprey (also known as "Marcie"), with Joe Greco as a stand-in host. Jermond left the series in July 1993 after just one year, having decided that TV presenting was not for him, and Joe Greco replaced him on a full-time basis until the series ended in 1995. Alison Way, Peter Corey, David 'Saint' Rubin and future British soap star Jacqueline Pirie were also regularly featured as "guest stars" in various different guises. New "game" slots (including 'Katz Alley' and 'Joke Machine') were also introduced for viewers to phone in and compete in, with prizes up for grabs.

The new format initially helped to revive the viewing figures with Don Austen, Joe Greco, and Marcelle Duprey continuing to perform through to 1995 with a now staggering output scriptwise. In September 1994, a Saturday spin-off show, 'KTV', was added to production, replacing Sky One's Fun Factory line-up. The new programme placed a greater emphasis on documentary-style features for kids and full-blown sketch parodies - most notably, the General Hospital spoof 'General Accident' and EastEnders take-off 'Arthur Square', both of which saw a then-unknown Jacqueline Pirie putting her acting talents (and flare for adopting English accents) to good use. A low-key Sunday DJ Kat Show was also eventually produced, featuring DJ Kat and usually just Joe Greco presenting.

Cancellation (1995)

By 1995, viewing figures had begun to fall once again, at which point series editor Michelle Kimber, writers Peter Corey and Dave Arthur, director John Northover and production team Patricia Mordecai, Michael Kerrigan and Gale Claydon reported that they all felt the series had now run its course; in August 1995 chief producers David Drewery and Paul Cole announced that they had decided against both revamping the format for a second time and re-commissioning the series, and Sky One announced that series would be cancelled at the end of the year.

John Northover has since cited that the main reason for the falling viewing figures was largely due to the fact that series writers had simply run out of ideas for new scripts and had begun recycling old ones.

The final episode was aired on 31 December 1995 and replaced in January 1996 by a short-lived new breakfast TV series, Boiled Egg & Soldiers, which sadly struggled to gain a foothold.

Cartoons aired on the show

External links








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