Remember Geoffrey from Rainbow? Whatever happened to him?

Remember Geoffrey from Rainbow? Whatever happened to him?
(Image credit: FremantleMedia Ltd/REX/Shutterst)

Millions of children loved watching Geoffrey, George, Zippy and Bungle on Rainbow. Geoffrey sadly died aged 76 on October 1st, 2018.

Geoffrey Hayes, aka Geoffrey from Rainbow, achieved legendary status presenting the children’s favourite from 1973 to 1992. Rainbow saw Geoffrey accompanied by puppet Zippy, who had a zip for a mouth which could be used if he was talking too much, loveable pink hippo George and friendly bear Bungle.

There was also music from Rod (Burton), Jane (Tucker) and Freddy (Marks). Dame Judi Dench actually featured on some early episodes as a storyteller, but Geoffrey was the real star of Rainbow, making sure George, Bungle and especially Zippy behaved themselves.

Geoffrey from Rainbow

Did you know?

Geoffrey also featured in another iconic TV series Z Cars. He once recalled of his Z Cars experience to the Express: "I played Detective Constable Scatliff in Z Cars between 1971 and 1974. It was a great series to work on. There I was, a young actor from Stockport, working alongside such great actors as John Slater, who played Detective Sergeant Tom Stone.” Geoffrey also popped up in an episode of another police classic, Dixon of Dock Green.

After Rainbow…

Geoffrey Hayes

Geoffrey has done lots of things since including appearing in the pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk alongside EastEnders favourite Shane Richie. He also did some work as a taxi driver, something that was played up upon in some TV adverts Geoffrey did, and he was once a guest on Nevermind the Buzzcocks. In 2005 Geoffrey featured in Peter Kay’s Comic Relief version of Is This the Way to Amarillo.

And more recently…

In 2015 Geoffrey appeared on Celebrity Pointless alongside another children’s favourite, former Tiswas presenter Sally James. Among the stars he was playing against were Andy Crane, Anthea Turner and Justin Fletcher, aka Mr Tumble.

In his later years Geoffrey still got recognised for Rainbow

Later in life, Geoffrey recalled that he was still getting recognised for Rainbow: “It’s so humbling, even now, all these years later somebody occasionally stops me in the street or the supermarket and talks about Rainbow. We loved doing it; I certainly did. Twenty years of happiness, it really was.”

And what about Zippy, George and Bungle?

The trio featured last year in a Pizza Hut advert!

Rainbow pics: FremantleMedia Ltd/REX/Shutterstock Geoffrey Pic: ITV/REX/Shutterstock

David Hollingsworth

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.

Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years working for TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 

David started out as a writer for TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.

Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!