Grim Tales

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Grim Tales
Directed by Bob Baldwin
Narrated by Rik Mayall
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 22
Production company(s) Central Independent Television
Original network ITV
Original release 14 April 1989 – 17 March 1991

Grim Tales is a British children's television program based on fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm, featuring Rik Mayall as the storyteller dressed in his pyjamas and dressing gown.[1] The twenty-two episodes were broadcast on ITV from 1989 to 1991. There was also a release on video and audio cassette, with the slightly different title Grimm Tales.[2][3]


Mayall tells the tales in his own inimitable way from his armchair, designed by David Barrington Holt, complete with paws and ostrich legs. The set was designed by building designer Julian Cripps. The Stories are almost all interspersed with animation, often fairly abstract, and are directed by Bob Baldwin, with music by composed by Ged Haney & arranged by Clive Bell.

The stories were adapted by Anne Caulfield and Anthony Horowitz.


Series 1[edit]

  1. The Three Feathers (First Broadcast 14 April 1989) Animation by Emma Calder Ivor Wood and Ged Haney Pearly Oyster Productions Woodland Animations Ltd
  2. The Spirit in the Bottle (First Broadcast 21 April 1989) Animation by Jonathan Hodgson Moises Macasinag
  3. The Hare and the Hedgehog (First Broadcast 28 April 1989) Animation by Mike Bennion Andrew Gentle & Keith Rogerson & David Hilberman
  4. The Valiant Little Tailor (First Broadcast 5 May 1989) Animation by Jonathan Webber Larry Scholl & Gary Hurst
  5. Rapunzel (First Broadcast 12 May 1989) Animation by Gill Bradley Derek Carter
  6. The Fisherman and His Wife (First Broadcast 19 May 1989) Animation by Andy Staveley Derek Mogford 3 Peach Animation
  7. The Three Little Men in the Wood (First Broadcast 26 May 1989)Animation by Anna Louise Roberts
  8. Hansel and Gretel (First Broadcast 2 June 1989) Animation by Mole Hill Ivor Wood & Julian Roberts & Steve Roberts FilmFair
  9. Rumpelstiltskin (First Broadcast 9 June 1989) Animation by Faulty Optics Theatre of Animation
    A miller boasts to a King that his daughter can spin straw into gold. The King promptly locks the daughter in a room full of straw, demanding she spin it all into gold or she'll lose her head. She bursts into tears, then a little green man appears saying he can spin it into gold in exchange for her necklace. He succeeds, but the King simply locks her in a bigger room, demanding the same. The little man appears again and spins the straw in exchange for the girl's ring. The King then repeats the deal with a still larger room, though this time if she succeeds he'll make her his wife. The little man reappears but the daughter has nothing left to give him. He then says he'll spin the straw in exchange for her next child, the daughter agrees, the straw is spun and she becomes Queen. Unfortunately, she has a daughter and the little green man appears demanding payment, she begs him not to, he compromises saying she can keep the baby if she guesses his name in three days. She tries dozens of wrong names-much to the little man's amusement. On the third day a soldier tells her she's seen a little green man dancing and singing a silly song about his name-Rumpelstiltskin. She gets the name right, the little man is so furious he stamps his foot so hard he can't get it off and pulls it off! She names the baby Phewww!
    Rik Mayell added a personal touch to this story by mentioning the names of his children in the list of the daughters guesses.
  10. The Twelve Huntsmen (First Broadcast 16 June 1989) Animation by Mike Smith Sahin Ersoz Derek Carter & Susan Young & Larry Scholl & Andrew Gentle
  11. Sweet Porridge (First Broadcast 23 June 1989) Animation by David Lodge Robert Clark Snapper
  12. The Three Doctors (First Broadcast 30 June 1989) Animation by Joan Ashworth Derek Mogford, 3 Peach Animation
    Three boastful Doctors stay at an inn, the innkeeper demands proof that they really are the cleverest Doctors in the world. They promptly cut off their own hand(doctor 1), heart(doctor 2) and eyes(doctor 3), keeping them in a fridge, planning to use a special ointment (given to them by a witch) to reattach them the next day. Unfortunately, the innkeeper's cat eats the organs. They are replaced by a thief's hand, pig's heart and the cat's eyes. After leaving the inn, one doctor finds himself pickpocketing, another wants to grunt and roll in mud, the third wants to eat mice and miaow. They all learn a bit of humility!

Series 2[edit]

  1. The Bremen Town Musicians (First Broadcast 13 January 1991)
  2. The Witch Among Thorns (First Broadcast 20 January 1991) Animation by Jayne Bevitt Thomas E.Decker & Hannah Strange Russ Mooney
  3. The Griffin (First Broadcast 27 January 1991) Animation by Jonathan Bairstow Robert Clark & Peter Richardson Derek Mogford
  4. The Frog Prince (First Broadcast 3 February 1991)
  5. The Boots of Buffalo Leather (First Broadcast 10 February 1991)
  6. The Gnome (First Broadcast 17 February 1991) Animation by Tobias Fouracre Munir Bhatti
  7. King Thrushbeard (First Broadcast 24 February 1991)
  8. The Turnip (First Broadcast 3 March 1991) Animation by Mike Walker Ivor Wood
  9. The Little Peasant (First Broadcast 10 March 1991)
  10. The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids (First Broadcast 17 March 1991)


  1. ^ "Tributes paid to comedian and actor Rik Mayall". Bath Chronicle. Retrieved 30 September 2014. 
  2. ^ "Go on Rik, Swear at Us!". TV Guide. April 14, 1989. 
  3. ^ Mzimba, Liza (September 1991). "A Mania for All Seasons!". Lime Lizard. 

External links[edit]