Timmy Mallett… acid house legend

Back in the 80s, breakfast TV may have been in its infancy, but it was truly a golden age, with Roland Rat, Ulrika Jonsson, Rustie Lee… and the ubiquitous Timmy Mallett.

For those unfamiliar with the name, Mallett was the Hawaiian-shirt bedecked host of the Wide Awake Club – later dubbed Wacaday – an anarchic blend of comedy skits, cartoons and a quickfire word association game, in which Mallett would bash children over the head with a foam hammer named Pinky Punky… something that would NEVER make it past the weekly production meeting in this day and age.

In 1990, at the height of his fame, Mallett formed a dance-pop outfit named Bombalurina, releasing a cover of the 60s Brian Hyland ‘classic’ (and I use the term loosely) Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini.

Having suffered through it at full blast in a Benidorm bar on countless occasions, I’ll refrain from reposting it here.

What Mallett aficionados (we know you’re out there) night not realise, is that one of Bombalurina’s other releases, also from 1990, Seven Little Girls Sitting In The Back Seat, includes an overlooked acid house gem.

L.E.D., written by Nigel Wright of the Jack Mix series (which warrants an article all of its own) and Robin Sellers, is a delicious helping of early 90s bleep techno, that could have easily been released on Warp Records – such is it’s likeness to classics such as Tricky Disco and LFO.

Had Mallett decided to ditch Pinky Punky there and then and dive headlong into music production, perhaps today we would be speaking of the Stockport native in the same hushed tones as Squarepusher or Aphex Twin.

But he didn’t, instead continuing his foam onslaught of the nation’s youth until 1992, when Wacaday was cancelled.

What’s even better is that you can now pick up L.E.D. for the princely sum of £0.01 on Discogs. “Utterly brilliant,” as the man himself might put it.

[Huge hat tip to Lea Shepherd for reminding me about this track]

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