Welcome to the Cheeky Weekly blog!

Welcome to the Cheeky Weekly blog!
Cheeky Weekly ™ REBELLION PUBLISHING LTD, COPYRIGHT ©  REBELLION PUBLISHING LTD, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED was a British children's comic with cover dates spanning 22 October 1977 to 02 February 1980.

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Cheeky Weekly Index - Cheeky Annuals and Specials Index
Cheeky Weekly Artist Index
Features by Number of Appearances
Cheeky Weekly Timeline
Major Characters from the Cheeky pages
Features Ordered by Date of Commencement

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Sunday 24 December 2017

1981 - A Cheeky Christmas part 5 (conclusion)

Next up in my examination of the 1981 festive escapades of those characters from Cheeky Weekly who continued to appear in Whoopee! is Paddywack.

Paddywack Art: Jack Clayton

I like Jack Clayton's depiction of the laughing party guests in the final panel.

The remaining survivors from Cheeky Weekly at this point were Charlie Counter and his battery-powered buddy, Calc. UK television viewers in 1981 had a choice of three channels (Channel 4 would launch in November 1982), most homes had only one TV and less than one in ten households had a video recorder. Thus the Christmas day televisual dilemma looming chez Counter was a familiar one to comic readers of the time.

Art: Terry Bave

I found this to be a rather sad ending as the Counter family withdrew to separate rooms on Christmas evening, but no doubt they all gathered again once their respective programmes had finished. Terry Bave furnishes his customary Christmas embellishments. Always good to see Charlie's dad's extraordinary moustache.

If I may, I'll close this look back at the Christmas 1981 edition of Whoopee! with a couple of non-Cheeky related strips. Actually, the first does in fact have a link to the toothy funster, since it's drawn by the mighty Frank McDiarmid. The Spectacular Adventures of Willie Bunk first appeared (as far as I know but see my observation later) in the debut issue of Whizzer and Chips in 1969, drawn by Frank. You can see that strip on Peter Gray's blog. To me, it seems that there's evidence of re-sizing of artwork on those Whizzer and Chips pages, so I'm wondering if that strip was in fact a reprint. Anyway, Wikipedia tells us that Willie's Whizzer and Chips adventures ended in that comic's 26 December 1970 issue. However, Frank brought Willie out of retirement to begin a new run of adventures in Whoopee! dated 12 September 1981, and Peter posted the first of that new series here.

Here's the lad with the magic glasses as he appeared in Whoopee! dated 26 December 1981...

Art: Frank McDiarmid

Frank's less cartoony style in evidence here works very well with this kind of story. As Peter mentions on his blog, the Bunk strips made use of spot colour to denote the fantasy sequences where readers shared the world that young Willie was experiencing through his glasses.

Coincidentally, Lew Stringer recently posted a similar 'owner of enchanted eyewear' character's Christmas episode, namely Billy Binns and his Wonderful Specs, from Boys World in 1963. 'Bins' is of course slang for spectacles; I've seen speculation that it's short for binoculars, or that it's Cockney rhyming slang based on the phrase 'bins and receptacles' which I can only imagine was a term used in relation to refuse collections in days gone by.

My final selection from this festive Whoopee! is the back cover's Smiler story. If you remember from the first part of my look at the issue in question, Shiner featured on the cover, so this page nicely rounds off the issue. I always enjoy Nick Baker's artwork, and on his strips featuring the ever-smiling little lad there's the bonus of the descriptions of the various 'beams' issuing from the hero's gob as the story progresses. We join the family just as they've polished off their festive slap-up feed...

Art: Nick Baker
 I hope your Christmas and New Year are suffused with 'beams'.

Saturday 23 December 2017

Dummy Cheeky

Over at the nothingbutafan blog, Col is looking at the dummy version of Cheeky Weekly that was produced prior to the comic going on general sale. As I understand it, IPC would often produce early versions of their new comics as publicity material to be distributed to newsagents. It would seem that the publishers felt that a tangible copy of the proposed comic would be more likely to convince shop owners that the new publication was going to appeal to kids, thereby encouraging healthy orders, than some sort of flyer. I think the dummy issues were included in a pack containing information about the comic, and examples of the free gifts if I'm not mistaken. In later years, of course, preview copies were given directly to the readers of existing comics - I'm thinking of Oink! and others that I can't quite remember (Nipper, I think).

Col's posted an interesting examination of the differences between the dummy version of Cheeky Weekly number 1 and the issue that actually hit the newsagents shelves.

The dummy first issue was presented to newsagents in a cardboard sleeve containing details of the forthcoming comic, and including the first two free gifts (not sure whether the Friend of Cheeky badge was also included). Here are a few photos of such a pack which appeared on ebay some years ago (I didn't bid for the item so I don't have it myself!).

First issue was actually dated 22 October,
not 15 October as per the pack cover

Note reference to TV campaign

SOR = sale or return

See also downthetubes.

Wednesday 20 December 2017

1981 - A Cheeky Christmas part 4

My trawl through the pages of Whoopee!'s 1981 Christmas issue in search of the Cheeky Weekly survivors now arrives at pages 18 and 19, occupied by a character called Robot Granny. This is of course the aged automaton who Friends of Cheeky first knew as 6 Million Dollar Gran. On her transfer to Whoopee!, Gran's strips were for some reason given a numerically-focused change of title and she appeared as $6000,000 Gran, occasionally reverting to her former title, as was the case in her final outing before being given a more radical re-titling as of Whoopee! dated 09 May 1981, in which the synthetic senior citizen's strips were re-branded Robot Granny (not the last time her strip would undergo a title change). This new stage in Gran's career saw her become a nanny employed by Lord and Lady Swankly to look after their kids at Rottenrich Hall, which is where we find her on Christmas Eve, 1981...

Whoopee! 26 December 1981
Art: Ian Knox

As it's Christmas I'm not going to complain at the two references to Gran being bionic. Her debut in Cheeky Weekly made it clear that she was a robot but despite this she was often described as bionic during her run in the toothy funster's comic. It's surprising that the mistake was still being made when such descriptions of her attributes contradicted the strip's new title

Gran's abilities suit her to the oft-used 'Helping Santa out of Trouble' plot.

Sunday 17 December 2017

1981 - A Cheeky Christmas part 3

This third installment of my look through the Christmas 1981 issue of Whoopee! in order to observe the seasonal adventures of our Cheeky Weekly pals who had survived the cancellation of their comic brings us to page 13's Christmas Quiz Time, a workout for Xmas-pud-addled brains that featured the toothy funster and his chums (including Paddywack who was for some reason absent from the cover of that festive edition). I have already posted about this page, so I'll direct you here for the full info.

Next up is Cheeky himself, now in somewhat reduced circumstances. Once he was the star of his own comic, and had begun his Whoopee! run with 5 pages a week, but Christmas '81 finds our grinning pal confined to a 2-page centre spread, and even then he has to share it with strips featuring his slimy sidekick and a bearded, jolly fellow who gets very busy at the end of December. Nevertheless Frank McDiarmid packs the space with a welter of Yuletide gags, as Cheeky meets a good number of his Krazy Town pals. Sadly there's no slap-up feed but the feature concludes with a nice sentiment courtesy of the man with the sleigh and reindeer.

Whoopee! 26 December 1981
Art: Frank McDiarmid

More from Whoopee! at Christmas '81 soon,

Thursday 14 December 2017

1981 - A Cheeky Christmas part 2

In the second part of this look back at the festive frolics of the survivors from Cheeky Weekly who continued to appear in Whoopee! at the end of 1981, our attention turns to Stage School, where the eternal battle between the juvenile showbiz wannabes and their resolutely anti-theatrical tutor shows no sign of letting up as the season of goodwill approaches...

Whoopee! 26 December 1981
Art: Robert Nixon

I always feel a bit cheated if a Christmas story doesn't end with a slap-up feed, and Robert Nixon (who does some great seasonal border work) furnishes a sizeable festive nosh-up, complete with steaming turkey. The Christmas truce ending is suitably heartwarming.

Another look back to Christmas '81 coming soon.

Monday 11 December 2017

1981 - A Cheeky Christmas part 1

Art: Nick Baker

This issue of Whoopee!, the Christmas 1981 edition despite its Boxing Day cover date, features a Yuletastic cover by the great Nick Baker. Nick, who's probably most well known for drawing the ever-grinning little lad Smiler, endows the entire Whoopee! line-up of fun pals with Smiler-like 'beams' (well, apart from Frankie Stein). Mercifully, we are spared the full horror of Cheeky, whose gob could hardly accommodate a more fearsome set of gnashers than his own, with a mouthful of Smiler-alike dinner manglers, since the toothy funster is only seen in profile. However, Calculator Kid, Mustapha Million, Teacher and kids from Stage School and 6 Million Dollar Gran (survivors all from Cheeky Weekly which merged into Whoopee! when the toothy funster's comic ceased publication in February 1980) all get a dental upgrade.

Not seen on this cover is Paddywack, the other Cheeky Weekly survivor who continued to appear in Whoopee! at this stage.

Let's see what our mate Mustapha was up to as Christmas 1981 approached...

Art: Joe McCaffrey

Pity we don't get to see a slap-up feed at the end.

I'll be examining the 1981 festive doings of our other Cheeky Weekly pals soon.

Tuesday 5 December 2017

Profile - Buster the Busker

Before the rise in television ownership began to dent cinema attendances, it was common to see street performers attempting to entertain queues of eager film fans as they waited for the picturehouse to open. These musicians/dancers/escapologists etc would of course be hoping to raise cash from their captive audience. Krazy Town’s busker, Buster, was often seen performing to the queue of kids waiting to stampede over the Commissionaire and into the Saturday morning picture show, but his less-than-harmonious one-man-band stylings were never seen to result in donations.

Buster's debut in Cheeky Weekly issue 1
Art: Frank McDiarmid

The 03 December 1977 issue was the only edition in which Buster had two separate encounters with Cheeky – the first being in the usual pre-film show sequence, but the second occurring as Cheeky left the cinema after watching the programme. This 3-panel strip was constructed from images originally seen when Buster made his debut in issue 1 (above).

Cheeky Weekly 03 December 1977
Art: copied and pasted from above Frank McDiarmid artwork

It would seem that Buster’s absence during the 16 weeks between his 31 December 1977 and 22 April 1978 appearances (something that Cheeky remarked on when he returned) was due to a change in his choice of audience…

Cheeky Weekly 22 April 1978
Art: Barrie Appleby

In Cheeky Weekly dated 19 August 1978 the toothy funster got a glimpse of his life in the year 2038, where his bewhiskered future self met up with Buster…

Art: Frank McDiarmid
The final Saturday picture show sequence appeared in Cheeky Weekly dated 02 December 1978. A week later Buster was seen on Friday (the first time he had appeared on any day other than Saturday) departing for a new location…

More Frank
Buster was then absent from the comic until the 05 January 1980 edition where he was seen (or WAS he?) on Monday at Cheeky’s new year party. My original thought regarding the long gap between Buster's 09 December 1978 and 05 January 1980 appearances was that the January 1980 artwork was drawn a year earlier when Buster would still have been fresh in readers’ memories, but was not used at that time due to the industrial dispute which caused the comic to suspend publication for 3 weeks in December 1978. However, this is clearly not the case as Cheeky's new year 1979 party was depicted in the 13 January 1979 comic. This makes me wonder whether the one-man-band shown at Cheeky's 1980 Hogmanay bash was indeed Buster with his bass drum moved to his back to accommodate the accordion, or in fact a musician hired by Cheeky's parents. The fact that the partygoers seem to be enjoying the music (the way that Disco Kid is seriously getting down indicates some damn funky accordion) suggests that it isn't Buster.

Cheeky Weekly 05 January 1980
Frank again

Discounting the above as being a performance by Buster means that the incompetent instrumentalist appeared in a total of 32 editions of Cheeky Weekly.

The terrible tunesmith was featured on the Pin-Up Pal poster in Cheeky Weekly dated 25 March 1978.

Since the Saturday morning picture show sequence was never depicted in Cheeky’s strips in Krazy, it’s no surprise that Buster never appeared in that comic.

Character Total Issues First Appearance Final Appearance
Buster the Busker3222-Oct-197709-Dec-1978

Buster the Busker - Number of appearances by Element
Element Number of Appearances

Count of elements by artist

Character Artist Total Elements
Buster the BuskerFrank McDiarmid15
Buster the BuskerFrank McDiarmid pencils8
Buster the BuskerMike Lacey4
Buster the BuskerDick Millington2
Buster the BuskerJim Watson2
Buster the BuskerBarrie Appleby2

Tuesday 28 November 2017

Cheeky Weekly cover date 01 December 1979

Art: Frank McDiarmid
The latest Cheeky Catalogue of Jokes gets plugged in this week’s above-title banner while below, Gunga Jim joins Cheeky for a cover gag for the fifth (sixth if we include Jim's appearance in the Cheeky's Week strip on the front of the 17 March 1979 edition) and final time.

On page 2 Mike Lacey gets Cheeky’s week of gags rolling with the toothy funster’s traditional Sunday paper round, including a delivery to Constable Chuckle.

Art: Mike Lacey, who uses a different spelling of Chuckle's address to that he used in the 15 July 1978 comic

Page 4 is devoted to Paddywack who continues to confound in another 3 gags submitted by readers.

Art: Jack Clayton

This week we get to see the full complement of Stage School teaching staff; with ‘real’ teacher, headmaster and ‘showbiz’ teacher all taking part in the story.

Art: Robert Nixon

With an eye on Christmas sales, Palitoy place on page 8 a deftly-timed full-page ad for Action Man Transport Command vehicles. Evidently concerned about cheap knockoffs denting their profits, the toy manufacturer is keen to stress that their Transport Command rage is the ‘only kind’ of vehicle the mini military man ‘ever drives’ and that purchasers should ‘look for the picture of Action Man on every box’.

Poor old Auntie Daisy, the school meals lady, has her culinary skills called into question on two occasions this week…

Art: Mike

More Mike

On page 27 is the second ad this week placed by Palitoy, this time giving details of their Mainline Railways train sets, Big Loader battery-powered construction set and the Gargon, deadly alien monster adversary of Action Man Space Ranger.

Colin Whittock stands in for Jimmy Hansen on Speed Squad for the second (and final) time. The rarely-seen mum of Skipper and Skatie makes an appearance the end of the strip. 

Art: Colin Whittock

On the Chit-Chat page Cheeky continues his series focusing on the creative team behind his comic. This week ‘Uncle’ Joe McCaffrey is the subject.

On Saturday the toothy funster realises he hasn’t met many of his female pals so far this week (Ursula, Crystal Belle and the aforementioned Auntie Daisy to be precise), so sets about trading gags with Lily Pop, Do-Good Dora, GrannyGumdrop, Snoozin’ Susan, Petula, Gloomy Glad, Hypno-Tessa and one more of the female supporting cast who he professes to dislike, but we all know different...

Mike again
As has become the custom, the comic finishes with the back-page, back yard banter of Snail of the Century.

Mike Lacey handles all the Cheeky’s Week artwork this issue, with Frank McDiarmid providing the cover and Snail of the Century.

Cheeky Weekly Cover Date: 01-Dec-1979, Issue 108 of 117
1Cover Feature 'Gunga Jim' 5 of 5 - Art Frank McDiarmid
2Sunday - Art Mike Lacey
3Calculator Kid - Art Terry Bave
4Paddywack - Art Jack Clayton
5Monday - Art Mike Lacey
6Stage School - Art Robert Nixon
7Stage School - Art Robert Nixon
8Ad: Action Man (final appearance)
9Tub - Art Nigel Edwards
10Tuesday - Art Mike Lacey
11Soggy the Sea Monster reprint from Shiver and Shake - Art Robert Nixon
12Disaster Des - Art Mike Lacey
13Cheeky's Cut-Out Comedy Catalogue 'Doctor Jokes'
14Cheeky's Cut-Out Comedy Catalogue 'Doctor Jokes'
15Wednesday - Art Mike Lacey
16Mustapha Million - Art Joe McCaffrey
17Mustapha Million - Art Joe McCaffrey
18The Gang reprint from Whizzer and Chips - Art Robert MacGillivray
19The Gang reprint from Whizzer and Chips - Art Robert MacGillivray
20Thursday - Art Mike Lacey
21Why, Dad, Why? - Art John K. Geering
22Joke-Box Jury
23Elephant On The Run - Art Vic Neill
246 Million Dollar Gran - Art Nigel Edwards
25Ad: IPC 'Look and Learn' 15 of 16 Ad: 'Whizzer and Chips Annual'
26Friday - Art Mike Lacey
27Ad: Palitoy (final appearance)
28Speed Squad - Art Colin Whittock (final art on feature)
30Saturday - Art Mike Lacey
31Saturday - Art Mike Lacey
32Snail of the Century - Art Frank McDiarmid

Saturday 25 November 2017

Wednesday 22 November 2017

Barry Glennard and Robert Nixon's Cheekys

The management at comic publishers IPC were clearly convinced of the effectiveness of cut-out-and-collect promotions, which appeared incessantly in their comics during the seventies and eighties. This cover of Whizzer and Chips dated 30 August 1980 sees the comic in week 3 of its Book Snap promotion...

Citrussy Sid's Snake art - Mike Lacey
Parfum de Pongo Snodgrass art - Ian Knox

Book Snap added another level of marketing into the usual cut-and-keep scenario, as the images on each of the snap cards were re-drawn versions by Barry Glennard of the covers of that autumn's IPC annuals, including the 1981 Cheeky Annual (publication of the Cheeky annuals continued until 1984's 1985-cover-dated annual, despite Cheeky Weekly having folded in February 1980). The rather primitive printing process used at the time could not handle colour photographs, hence the need for these re-drawn, slightly simplified versions.

Art: Barry Glennard

Below is the actual cover, drawn by Robert Nixon. Unfortunately, the front and back of the annual both feature the same image. It would have been nice if the back cover showed a 'what happened next' pic of Cheeky, whose rather un-Christmassy intention would no doubt have backfired, leaving him liberally coated in custard, but the IPC budget clearly didn't stretch to such extravagances (they couldn't afford to waste the custard). I'll leave you to work out what (and more importantly who) is missing from Barry Glennard's version of the cover.

Art: Robert Nixon

A later example of Robert's renderings of Cheeky and pals can be seen here, while the entirety of this The Other Artist's Cheekys series can be tracked down here.

Tuesday 7 November 2017

Whizzer and Chips - The Cheeky Raids part 28

New readers start here... After Cheeky Weekly folded and was incorporated into Whoopee as of February 1980 six strips that had originated in the toothy funster's title survived the merge and continued to appear in the amalgamated comic. Whoopee itself foundered in March 1985 and was merged into Whizzer and Chips. Three of the surviving Cheeky Weekly strips successfully negotiated this second merge and went on to appear in the newly combined publication, rather inelegantly titled 'Whizzer and Chips now including Whoopee'. The survivors were Mustapha Million, Calculator Kid and (appearing only twice) Stage School. Cheeky continued to appear, but as a member of The Krazy Gang, who had moved into W&C when Krazy, the comic in which the Gang originated, expired in April 1978. However, the Krazy Gang's Whizzer and Chips run ended in the issue dated 08 February 1986. Calculator Kid survived a little longer, his run of reprints coming to an end in the 26 July 1986 edition and leaving Mustapha Million as the sole Cheeky Weekly survivor.

Can you spot the interloper in Mustapha's story from Whizzer and Chips dated 18 October 1986? Scroll down to discover the identity of the raider...

Whizzer and Chips 18 October 1986
Art: Barry Glennard

Yes, it's Winnie the Royal Nag, who made her debut in Whizzer and Chips dated 02 August 1986, to coincide (more or less) with that year's royal wedding. Here's her first appearance...

Whizzer and Chips 02 August 1986
Art: Ian Knox

It's good to see in Mustapha's story above that he remained pals with Jimmy, a friendship that developed way back in the early days of Cheeky Weekly, where Jimmy was first named in the 04 March 1978 edition.

By this point Mustapha was the sole survivor from the toothy funster's comic, so I won't be continuing to report an the tally of raids suffered and perpetrated by our ex-Cheeky Weekly chums since, with just the one representative remaining, there's no way our Cheeky pals can emerge triumphant.

But watch for more raiding fun soon!

Whizzer and Chips Cover Date Raider Raided
06 April 1985Mustapha MillionSuper Steve
04 May 1985Bloggs (Store Wars)Mustapha Million
11 May 1985JokerThe Krazy Gang (Cheeky)
18 May 1985Calculator Kid & CalcOdd-Ball
01 June 1985
Mustapha Million
The Krazy Gang (Cheeky)
Boy Boss
08 June 1985Odd-BallCalculator Kid
06 July 1985Toy BoyCalculator Kid
13 July 1985Pa BumpkinThe Krazy Gang (Cheeky)
27 July 1985JokerMustapha Million
24 August 1985CheekySid's Snake
14 September 1985
Calculator Kid
Calculator Kid
Store Wars
05 October 1985Mustapha MillionAnimalad
19 October 1985Odd-BallMustapha Million
23 November 1985
Sweeny Toddler
Sweeny Toddler
Sweeny Toddler
Calculator Kid
The Krazy Gang (Cheeky)
Mustapha Million
18 January 1986Mustapha MillionSuper Steve
25 January 1986
Mustapha Million
08 February 1986
The Krazy Gang ends this issue
AnimaladMustapha Million
15 February 1986Lazy BonesCalculator Kid
15 March 1986Odd-BallCalculator Kid
29 March 1986Calculator KidMaster P Brain
05 April 1986Bumpkin BillionairesMustapha Million
12 April 1986AnimaladCalculator Kid
31 May 1986Lazy BonesCalculator Kid
07 June 1986Mustapha MillionJoker
28 June 1986Sweet ToothMustapha Million
26 July 1986
Calculator Kid ends this issue
No Cheeky-related raid this issueNo Cheeky-related raid this issue
16 August 1986Mustapha MillionJoker
23 August 1986Sweet ToothMustapha Million
18 October 1986Winnie the Royal NagMustapha Million

Monday 30 October 2017

Profile – Square Eyes

The phrase, coined in the early years of TV, “You'll get square eyes if you stare at that telly much longer...”, was uttered by parents in vain attempts to dislodge their cathode-ray tube-obsessed offspring from the sofa where they sat entranced by Tiswas, Doctor Who, the test card and just about anything that emerged from the flickering 405-or-625 lined box in the corner.

Square-Eyes' first appearance.
Cheeky Weekly 09 September 1978
Art: Frank McDiarmid

Thus was named Square-Eyes, Cheeky Weekly's box-goggler, who made his debut in issue number 47. So enamoured was he of the small screen that a portable telly was in his grasp at all times. Such an item was, in the late 1970s when most houses had only a single TV around which the whole family would gather at peak viewing times, something that most Cheeky Weekly readers could only dream of possessing.

Square-Eyes made it to Cheeky Weekly's cover in the second week of the Friends of Cheeky Snap Game (13 January 1979). The juvenile TV addict was one of the characters featured on the cut-out cards, and one such card was included on the front page to promote the game. The same image of  Cheeky's TV-loving chum featured on the Pin-Up Pal poster included in the 17 February 1979 issue.

Art: Mike Lacey

In the comic dated 27 January 1979 we learned that Square-Eyes had a family connection to the TV industry...
Mike again

The avid small-screen viewer was the subject of The Burpo Special in the 17 March 1979 comic...

Frank McDiarmid
..and a page later Square-Eyes was the source of that week's edition of The Mystery Comic...

Square-Eyes' final Cheeky Weekly appearance was in the issue dated 19 January 1980, the 34th issue in which Krazy Town's telly addict had appeared, and just 2 issues short of the final edition. 

Square-Eyes' final
CheekyWeekly appearance
18 January 1980
Frank McDiarmid

As time went on, Frank McDiarmid's renditions of Square-Eyes emphasised the telly-watcher's front teeth, and facially he came to resemble Krazy Town's feeble fitness fanatic, Jogging Jeremy (aside from Jeremy's lolling tongue).

Jogging Jeremy from the same issue as above.

Square-Eyes was created for Cheeky Weekly and never appeared in Krazy.

Character Total Issues First Appearance Final Appearance

Count of elements by artist

Character Artist Total Elements
Square-EyesFrank McDiarmid19
Square-EyesMike Lacey9
Square-EyesFrank McDiarmid pencils8
Square-EyesDick Millington2
Square-EyesBarrie Appleby1

Monday 23 October 2017

The Cut-Out Features - Top Ten Poster

The above announcement was printed in Cheeky Weekly dated 18 November 1978, but there was no further mention of the popularity poll until the 27 January 1979 edition, in which the toothy funster updated us on the current state of voting...

Front-runner John Travolta was at the time cresting a wave of UK popularity following his Saturday Night Fever (1977) and Grease (1978) film roles, as well as featuring with his Grease co-star, the third-placed Olivia Newton-John, on the hit single from the latter movie, You're the One That I Want, which topped the UK singles chart for 9 weeks in summer 1978. Second-placed Roger Moore (later Sir Roger) was of course the then-current James Bond, his most recent suave outing as 007 at that time being 1977's The Spy Who Loved Me. In fourth place was Henry Winkler, who portrayed Arthur Fonzarelli in American nostalgia-com TV show, Happy Days, an import that was very popular with UK viewers. The above announcement appeared again in the 10 and 17 February editions of Cheeky Weekly, and either the votes received in the intervening period maintained the relative positions of the 4 celebrities or else no further counts had been undertaken, as the placings remained the same as they had been when the announcement first appeared.

Cheeky Weekly dated 31 March 1979 included the above ad, trailing the commencement of a promotion the following week that would encompass companion titles Whoopee! and Whizzer and Chips as well as the toothy funster's own comic. In terms of the characters featured, this ad is somewhat Whoopee!-centric, depicting as it does Sweeny Toddler and Daisy and Billy Bumpkin, all of whom were appearing in that title at the time. Why no representatives from Whizzer and Chips and Cheeky Weekly?

The constituent parts of Cheeky Weekly's Top Ten Poster appeared in the issues dated 7, 14, 21 and 28 April 1979, with the centre pages of each issue devoted to the poster. The parts were published in ascending order of popularity except in the case of the 7th position (Blondie) who were omitted from week 1 but included in the following edition.

Week 1 10 The Boomtown Rats
Week 1 9 The Two Ronnies
Week 1 8 Kenny Dalglish
Week 2 7 Blondie
Week 1 6 Elvis Presley
Week 1 5 Lewis Collins
Week 2 4 Cheryl Ladd
Week 3 3 Henry Winkler
Week 3 2 Olivia Newton-John
Week 4 1 John Travolta

Accompanying each instalment of the poster, but safely located towards the rear of each issue so that they would survive the extraction of the poster elements, were instructions on assembly, given by the toothy funster himself (along with Snail). Each of these instructions were slightly different to the others, beyond the expected adjustments relating to the part numbers. The 21 April 1979 instructions refer to the 'colour poster' which, although the pages featured coloured borders and text boxes, is not really an accurate description of the contents.

Cheeky Weekly 21 April 1979 - To describe it as a colour poster is pushing things a bit. In addition to providing the instructions, this page announces the launch of another
multi-comic promotion the following week, this time including Buster and Monster Fun.

Here's what the poster looked like once the assembly instructions had been followed...

With the final part, the poster now styles itself The Cheeky Weekly Personality Poster despite the previous references to the Top Ten Poster. Sadly, due to the limitations of the somewhat basic printing process and the poor quality paper, all the celebrities, with the exception of John Travolta for some reason, seem to be peering out through a thick fog (I'm surprised Kenny Dalglish's match wasn't postponed, and The Two Ronnie's TV studio wasn't evacuated on the instructions of the fire marshal). I doubt whether this dull, depressing poster stayed on many bedroom walls for long.

But the big question is what happened to Roger Moore? From being placed at number 2 in the 27 January 1979 comic, he has completely disappeared from the rankings.

Also lost to posterity - comics that were cannibalised in order to assemble the poster would be depriving future comic historians of...

  • 07 April 1979 - Tease Break puzzle filler and another appearance of the above 'Comics Go Pop' ad, & First page of Mustapha Million's 2-page adventure.
  • 14 April 1979 - Ads for Tornado, and Buster and Monster Fun Spring Special, & Disaster Des.
  • 21 April 1979 - Ads for Tornado, and Cor!! Holiday Special, & Why, Dad, Why?
  • 28 April 1979 - Ads for Jackpot (first issue) and Buster and Monster Fun Spring Special, & full-page ad for the Milkshake promotion shown above.