Zippy and Me: The Remarkable Life in Puppets of Rainbow’s Ronnie Le Drew
By Ronnie Le Drew and Duncan Barrett and Nuala Calvi
About the book
Over the course of almost half a century, puppeteer Ronnie Le Drew has worked with the greats - from David Bowie in Labyrinth to Michael Caine in A Muppet Christmas Carol. But the role that really defined his career was Zippy in Rainbow, a puppet which he operated for more than two decades.
During the show's heyday in the 1970s and 1980s, its stars found themselves catapulted into an exciting showbiz world - popular not just with the pre-school audience they were performing for, but with a generation of parents as well. They scooped a Bafta, appeared on late-night chat shows, and even performed for the Queen.
This book represents the first time a Rainbow insider has told the true story of what went on under the counter and inside the suits: the petty squabbles between performers, wrangling with TV executives, and scandals – such as the 'love triangle' between musicians Rod, Jane and Freddy and the now infamous x-rated episode shot for an ITV Christmas party, which subsequently found its way to the Sun newspaper.
In an accessible, humorous style, Ronnie dishes the dirt on what really went on behind the scenes at Rainbow. But this book is more than just a funny showbiz memoir. There is a strong emotional journey too: the story of a young lad from a South London council estate who defied his parents' protests that 'dolly-waggling' was not a viable career, and became one of the most respected puppeteers in the country.