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Karl and Bod

Bod was a BBC children's animation first shown in 1975 which was based on four original Bod books by Joanna and Michael Cole. The cartoon comprised of thirteen episodes and was narrated by John Le Mesurier (Sgt. Wilson from Dad's Army) with music by Derek Griffiths and produced by David Yates. Bod is probably best known in Pilkington fandom for his striking resemblence to Karl Pilkington, as mentioned by Ricky Gervais in the first podcast (or bodcast) of Series 1.


The four books were published in 1966 in the United Kingdom and later in the United States and France.

  • Bod’s Apple
  • Bod’s Present
  • Bod’s Dream
  • Bod and the Cherry Tree.

The French version of Bod's Apple was called La Pomme de Gus.


In 1974, thirteen five-minute episodes were created for transmission on the BBC, it went on to be shown in many other countries. Notably, in the United States, Bod aired on Nickelodeon as a segment on the Pinwheel program.



The character of Bod is a boy who lives in a town with Aunt Flo, PC Copper, Frank the Postman and Farmer Barleymow. Each of the characters have their own theme music performed by Griffiths which is heard when they appear. Regular features are animal identification and Bod Snap.

There is also another set of characters who appear in each episode called Alberto Frog and his Amazing Animal Band. This section featured short extracts from famous pieces of classical music as part of the story, and always ended with Alberto choosing a different flavour of milkshake as his reward for solving a problem. The Alberto Frog segments were produced separately by the BBC and were originally shown alongside the Bod episodes; only five out of thirteen of these segments survive in the BBC archives, all these are present on the Bod DVD.

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