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The Push Button Click History Back

Thanks to Will Hadcroft & Nigel Wren for providing the information used on this page

In 1980, Butlin's approached a company called Savage & Stratton Productions to supply children's shows at Skegness. Jean Wren worked for Savage & Stratton Productions at the time and came up with a format called The Peanut St Gang which ran for two years at four camps. In 1981, Jean left Savage and Stratton and set-up a production company, Jean Wren Productions with her children, Nigel & Loretta. Jean Wren Productions subsequently won the contract for the kid's shows at Butlin's and so Push Button Click (PBC) was born.

In 1982 the first PBC opened at the children's theatre in Minehead, with Nigel Wren playing Push Button Pete, George Castledine playing IQ and Vick Hazelwood playing Pammy Podge. The shows also opened at Skegness, Ayr, Barry Island & Pwllheli. Jimmy Jermain, now a well known Cliff Richard impersonator, was a big part of the original set-up, playing the role of Pete at Barry Island at one point aswell as being the lead singer in the PBC records. The idea of the Click being a kind of Fonz/1950s affair was not in place from the very beginning, but something that developed over time.

The original PBC song was written by Paul Goodman who is now known as Paul Scott Goodman, lives in New York and has several highly acclaimed rock musicals to his name. The theme song was released as a 7" single record in 1984, with one of the Click's original numbers, "The Name's Push", as the B-side. Both tracks were performed by Jimmy Jemain, with his wife Jae supplying the backing vocals.

By 1985, the keyboard music to which the cast members sang was enhanced by live drums (making the stage performance of the songs better than the record, in some opinions).

In 1986, a second single was released. Credited to Austin, Taylor, Dutton and Littlewood, it was entitled "P.U.S.H" and was performed by Jimmy Jemain and a backing group called Risky Business. The B-side was "Who's Your Best Mate? (The IQ Song)" and featured Vince Allen as IQ. To promote the new record, P.U.S.H was sung at the close of each show.

Jean Wren Productions had made great progress. An appearance on the BBC's magazine programme "Pebble Mill At One" had been mooted, with the best Pete, IQ and Keeley lined up to re-record the single for the mass market. JWP were also on the way to producing their first major London pantomime, a show based on the "Super Ted" stories.

Alas, none of this came to fruition. Jean Wren Productions hit upon hard times and went out of business in 1987. The effects were felt in the shows themselves, with the live drums being axed in favour of the lone keyboard player and synthesiser rhythms once again. Straight panto productions replaced the "Hold on to hats" time travel gimmick which had made the presentation so different and appealing.

Butlins apparently received over 700 complaints in 1988 when families turned up for a holiday to realise that PBC was no more!

Jean Wren now paints for a living and her website can be found at www.jeanpicton.com. She would love to hear from anyone who still remembers the Click from the 80's!

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