Timmy Mallett has revealed that more than 30 years after kids TV show Wacaday ended, people still regularly ask him to bash them on the head with his Mallet’s Mallet and he wouldn’t have it any other way.
The hit kids TV show ran from 1985 until 1992 on ITV with Mallett’s Mallet first introduced as part of a gameshow segment in 1986.
Two contesants would sit opposite each other linking each word they said to the last one. If a contestant stumbled, then they would get hit with what became the bespectacled presenter’s trademark, a huge pink and yellow foam mallett.
“I do remember my producer at the time when we came up with Mallet’s Mallet saying ‘are you alright with this cos you’ll have it forever?’” Mallett, 67, told the Standard.
“And I did laugh and said ‘oh don’t be silly, we’ll do it for a few months and then we’ll move on to something else. But he was absolutely right, the mallet is with me all the time and I still do go out and do shows with that big, soft lovely Mallet’s Mallet and people say ‘please hit me!’”
A big reason for its appeal he says is “nostalgia”, and as if proving a point, Mallett, who is speaking via Zoom, is briefly joined by house guest and former Wacaday co-host Michaela Strachan, which, as self-confessed former viewers, results in all of our Christmases being made at once.
The one-time I’m A Celebrity star recently became a grandfather for the first time and has even shared a version of the prized prop with him.
“I’ve just become a grandad, little Jack, has had a crotched mallet made for him and it’s just adorable, it’s generational,” he explained.
The power and appeal of Mallett’s Mallett is not one that he takes lightly and he recently wielded it for the campaign Pay Your Pension Some Attention, which saw him reboot his much loved gameshow, “bleugh!” catchphrase and all.
According to new research, £26.6 billion is currently sat in lost pensions across the UK because people aren’t tracking down forgotten pensions from previous jobs.
The special editon of the gameshow highlights this and directs the people to Pensionattention.co.uk and find out what they can do to claim back any money they might be owed.
“I suspect people in their thirties often think about their pension and feel they don’t need to engage, assuming it’s something to address as you approach stopping work. But trust me, careers aren’t linear, and you might wake up one morning and suddenly you’re 55 and you ‘go, crikey, what happened there?’ It zips along,” Mallett explained.
Adding: “That’s why it’s so important to think back to those different jobs over the years and think about any pensions that may be associated.