Witch of the Week #2: Grotbags

When I was six, Grotbags was terrifying.
Stalking through children’s TV throughout the eighties, Grotbags (played by Carol Lee Scott) was originally the witch-nemesis of Rod Hull’s anarchic bird creation/companion Emu (a large bird puppet with an anger management problem*):

But back in the day, she used to be everywhere: she’d turn up on Crackerjack, in pantos… you name it. She was loud, she was mean, and she was bright green; her weapon of choice was the seldom-effective Bazzazzer, a severed arm painted gold and with an umbrella handle sticking out of the elbow end.* (She worked it by pointing it at things and shouting “BAZZAZZZ!”)
Here’s Grotbags getting into a pickle over a horoscope.


I mean, obviously she could never win. She was on a kid’s TV show, trying to catch kids in a “Brat Trap” for some unspecified magical reason, and dead set on gaining possession of Emu himself, for another nefarious purpose (presumably; no one ever really explained). But she was glorious, and, as with all good villains, you ended up secretly wishing that once, just once, she could catch a break—and at the same time being eternally grateful that she didn’t.

*And people wonder why I say I have trouble explaining British pop culture to North Americans.

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