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Budgie the Little Helicopter
Budgie the little helicopter.jpg
Budgie the Little Helicopter Titles
Genre Animated series
Created by Sarah Ferguson
Developed by Sleepy Kids
Written by Brian Trueman
Voices of Richard Pearce
Abigail MacVean
Jeremy Nicholas
Kerry Shale
Ray Lonnen
Tony Jackson
Melvyn Hayes
William Vanderpuye
Pippa Haywood
Peter Lloyd
Ania Sowinski
Zoe Hodges
Adrian Hansel
Jeff Rawle
Judy Bennett
Jill Lidstone
Eve Karpf
Gary Martin
Susan Sheridan
Frank Welker
Narrated by Jeff Rawle
Theme music composer Paul K. Joyce
Composer(s) Dennis C. Brown
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 39
Executive producer(s) Dan Maddicot
Martin Powell
Viven Schrager Powell
Fred Wolf
Producer(s) Michael Algar
Running time 10 minutes
22 Minutes (Christmas Television Special)
Production company(s) Fred Wolf Films
Sleepy Kids
HTV West
Sarah, Duchess of York
Scottish Television Enterprises
Flowco Animation
(Seasons 2 and 3)
Dai Won Animation
(Overseas Production)
Distributor Strawbugs Ltd.
Original network ITV Network (CITV)
Original release 4 January 1994 (1994-01-04) – 28 March 1997 (1997-03-28)

Budgie the Little Helicopter is a British series of children's books and animated television series relating to a fictional helicopter and his friends. The characters were based on the books by Sarah Ferguson. The show was coproduced by Fred Wolf Films Dublin, The Sleepy Kids Company and Sarah, Duchess of York for ITV Wales & West and Scottish Television Enterprises, and originally aired on British television in 1994 on CITV, where it ran for 39 episodes. A range of videos, books, and toys were released under the Budgie label.

The show aired in the United States on FOX as part of the Fox Cubhouse programming block from 1995 to 1996, and moved to the Fox Family Channel in 1998.

On release of the first book, the Duchess was accused by the media of copying the idea for the series from an out-of-print 1960 book Hector the Helicopter, by A.W. Baldwin, which she denied.


Aircraft characters

Main aircraft

  • Budgie the Little Helicopter (voiced by Richard Pearce) — Budgie is a small blue helicopter (that seems to resemble a Bell 206) with a big yellow cap covering his entire airframe (and a small tuft of brown hair underneath) and also speaks in Teenage Accent. He lives and works at Harefield Airfield, and he and Pippa are best friends. He can be cheeky and troublesome, but he works hard too, and continuously tries to please Lionel. He will also bravely come to the assistance of people in danger. He hates going through the heli-wash, and avoids doing so whenever he can. He also has a Phobia about Missiles. A white teddy bear named Snowy can almost always be seen carried in a pocket on Budgie's starboard. His catchphrase is "Rocketing Rotors!"
  • Pippa the Single-Engined Mono-Plane (voiced by Abigail MacVean) — Pippa (inspired by a Piper Warrior aircraft) is a small green single-engined monoplane with a tuft of blonde hair and a big pink bow on her top. She was the second aircraft to arrive at Harefield Airfield, and at first, teased Budgie and called him a yo-yo (snail later on). After a race and several comparisons about who was the best, they both became firm friends. She enjoys helping out, and also loves using the heli-wash/plane wash (as opposed to Budgie).
  • Chuck the American Helicopter (voiced by Kerry Shale) (was stated in the second TV episode as being a Boeing CH-47 Chinook) - is a twin-rotored helicopter, with what appears to be a crew cut under his cap. He comes from America and does not understand British English well. He sometimes gets cocky and likes to show off, but this led him to trouble when he disrupted an air show and finished up in a pond. He also has a bad habit of calling Lionel "Captain".
  • Lionel the Aircraft in Charge (voiced by Jeremy Nicholas) - Lionel is the senior helicopter in the series (influenced by a Westland Lynx), sporting a modern-era pilot's cap, mustache and a collar (with his front landing gear resembling a tie). He does not take kindly to Budgie, Pippa, or especially Chuck causing trouble and making themselves nuisances, but he keeps things in order with his patient but firm ways. He insists on cleanliness from all aircraft at all times, and is nicer than what he appears to be. His catchphrase is "Juddering joysticks!"

Other aircraft

  • Patsy the American stunt plane (was stated by Lionel as being a Pitt's Special).
  • Wally the old Supermarine Walrus
  • Jean Claude the pompous French Concorde
  • Jasper Jeer-jet the snobbish private jet. Jasper was a joker to start off and kept on radioing Harefield Airfield pretending there was an emergency, but when he really did need help in a storm, Budgie came to his rescue, and since then Jasper has realised it is not a good idea to play the fool all the time.
  • Henry the three-winged propeller-driven 1930s airliner
  • Olivia The Edgley Optica (only in Put Up or Stuck Up)
  • Dougie The Police Helicopter (only in Eye in The Sky)
  • The Emerald Helicopter (only in Eye in The Sky)
  • Unnamed Boeing 747 jet plane (only in Double Trouble)
  • A Very Naughtiest Version of Budgie
  • The naughty Piper plane, Pippa's "double" (only in Double Trouble)
  • Aircraft Carrier Helicopter
  • Gloria The Glider
  • Mini Planes (only appeared in Deep Sleep)
  • Three other gliders
  • Gus the Guppy (based on an Aero Spacelines Super Guppy), is a huge American transport aircraft.
  • Harvey the grey Royal Navy BAE Sea Harrier jet fighter. Harvey appeared in All at Sea and Boats, Boots and Budgie. His name was revealed in Blown Up Let down. He speaks with a traditional Royal Navy pilot voice.
  • Harvey's 2 BAE Sea Harrier brothers
  • Buddy the Sikorsky Skycrane, Chuck's old friend from the air force
  • 3 French Super Jets (from Budgie Barges In)
  • Genevieve – a French female Jodel D11 aircraft (The Air Show and Budgie Barges In)
  • White jet plane with blue line (only appeared in magazines)
  • Other planes and helicopters (only appeared in books)
  • Monsieur the Mime Helicopter (only appeared in books)
  • Bobby the Blue Helicopter (only appeared in books)
  • Western the Mexican Plane (only appeared in books)
  • Unnamed blue helicopter (only appeared in magazines)
  • Hot air balloons (only appeared in The Balloon Goes Up)
  • Spaceship (only appeared in magazines)

Non-aircraft/ground characters

  • Dell the yellow Baggage cart Towing Truck (voiced by Jeff Rawle, who also serves as the narrator)
  • Smokey the airfield fire engine
  • Don the blue stairs lorry
  • Ernest the tractor (In episode Silent Flight Gloria called him "Mr. Smelly Exhaust" when he was launching gliders using his winch.)
  • Julie the posh purple vintage car
  • Nosey the driller (spoofed on The Three Stooges)
  • Backhoe the Backhoe loader (spoofed on The Three Stooges)
  • Smashit the Bulldozer who gets Budgie in Trouble
  • Sonia The Limousine
  • Jake the Steam locomotive
  • Fred the Canal Barge
  • Harry The Inflatable Boat (only appeared in Blown Up Let Down)
  • Gimbus The Cement Mixer (only appeared in Budgie Sticks To It)
  • Cubey the Stuck Up ROV Submarine (only appeared in the Ups & Downs)
  • Sharkey The Aircraft Carrier (only appeared in the book Budgie Goes To The Sea)
  • Unnamed Blue Car (only appeared in Boom Boom Budgie)
  • Pirate Ship (only appeared in magazines)
  • Tugboat (only appeared in magazines)
  • Aircraft Carriers (only appeared in books)

Human characters

  • Mrs. Nancy Kitchen, the twins' mother
  • Ben Kitchen, Lucy's brother
  • Lucy Kitchen, Ben's sister
  • Mike Sprocket the mechanic, always making mistakes, to the disapproval of Ken. His catchphrase is, "Aw, man!"
  • Ken Wrench the mechanic
  • The control tower operator

Animal characters

  • Snowy the Teddy Bear
  • The Rabbit
  • Fergus the cat
  • Oliver the hangar owl
  • The Hangar mouse

Voice cast

  • Richard Pearce as Budgie the Little Helicopter (lead of the series)
  • Abigail MacVean as Pippa the Single-Engined Mono-Plane
  • Jeremy Nicholas as Lionel the Aircraft In Charge
  • Kerry Shale as Chuck the American Helicopter
  • Jeff Rawle as the Narrator and Dell the Baggage Truck
  • Ray Lonnen as Smokey the Fire Engine
  • Tony Jackson as Ken, Ernest the Tractor, and Don the Stairs Lorry
  • Melvyn Hayes as Nosey the Driller
  • William Vanderpuye as Mike
  • Pippa Haywood
  • Peter Lloyd
  • Ania Sowinski
  • Zoe Hodges
  • Adrian Hansel
  • Judy Bennett
  • Jill Lidstone
  • Gary Martin as Smashit the Bulldozer
  • Eve Karpf as Olivia The Edgley Optica
  • Susan Sheridan as Sonia the limousine

UK VHS Releases

VHS Title VHS number Release date Episodes
Budgie the Little Helicopter Pippa Arrives VA30318 7 March 1994 Pippa Arrives, Chuck Comes Unstuck, Budgie's Blizzard, Ice Work, Budgie, Budgie Takes a Catch
Budgie the Little Helicopter The Air Show VA30336 7 November 1994 The Air Show, All At Sea, Boats, Boots and Budgie, Copters and Robbers
Budgie the Little Helicopter Daydreams and Candy Floss VA30359 6 March 1995 Daydreams and Candy Floss, Flying in Arctic Circles, What's Bruin?, Down on the Farm
Budgie the Little Helicopter Budgie Sticks To It VA30372 3 July 1995 Budgie Sticks To It, Skids, Stunts and Soap, Aliens Have Landed, Who's A Clever Budgie?, Blown Up, Let Down
Budgie the Little Helicopter Wally Waddles In VA30394 6 November 1995 Wally Waddles In, The Balloon Goes Up, Surprise, Surprise, Deep Sleep
Budgie the Little Helicopter The Complete First Series VA30626 13 May 1996 Pippa Arrives, Chuck Comes Unstuck, Budgie's Blizzard, Ice Work, Budgie, Budgie Takes a Catch, The Air Show, All At Sea, Boats, Boots and Budgie, Copters and Robbers, Daydreams and Candy Floss, Flying in Arctic Circles, What's Bruin?, Down on the Farm
Budgie the Little Helicopter The Complete Second Series VA30647 7 October 1996 Budgie Sticks To It, Skids, Stunts and Soap, Aliens Have Landed, Who's A Clever Budgie?, Blown Up, Let Down, Wally Waddles In, The Balloon Goes Up, Surprise, Surprise, Deep Sleep, Bad News, Good News, Budgie Barges In, Dutch Courage, Budgie's Opening Goal
Budgie the Little Helicopter The Complete Third Series VA30680 3 March 1997 Boom Boom Budgie, Writers in the Sky, Double Trouble, Eye in the Sky, Chuck's Buddy, The Aqueduct, Plane Silly, The Plane Who Cried Wolf, The Runaway Train, A Tail of Woe, Put Up or Stuck Up, Silent Flight, Ups & Downs

US VHS Releases


Season 1 (1994)

title information
Pippa Arrives Pippa, the new arrival, comes to Harefield, but commentary sparks chaos with Budgie.
Chuck Comes Unstuck Harefield fete soon comes to Harefield, but Chuck's shenanigans cause many mishaps.
Budgie's Blizzard During a blizzard, Budgie has to take a pregnant woman to the hospital when she is about to have her baby.
Ice Work, Budgie After running out of fuel during the midnight hospital run, Budgie finds that the field he landed on is actually a frozen pond, and Pippa gets stuck in a snowdrift delivering his fuel. Luckily, the children are nearby and come up with creative solutions.
Budgie Takes a Catch After Budgie laughs at Lionel's mishap with a vacuum cleaner, the aircraft in charge takes him off the airshow and leaves him on lobster duty as punishment. He ends up losing the lobsters and doing a fog rescue.
The Air Show Budgie and his friends take part in the air show, but 2 suspicious men arrive on the big day and steal Genevieve.
All At Sea Budgie is delivering parts to a navy ship and has to spend the night on an aircraft carrier due to a storm.
Boats, Boots and Budgie The river overflows, flooding the airfield and a cow has to move to another field. Budgie then tries to fix the source of the flood.
Copters and Robbers The 2 plane bandits steal a truck with the twins as stowaways, forcing Budgie and Pippa to give chase.
Daydreams and Candy Floss Budgie ends up in Musselton after stopping the plane bandits, and has to wait for Pippa to guide him home. He helps some people after they get stuck on a broken roller coaster, getting a ride in the process while Pippa helps with a sand race.
Flying in Arctic Circles Budgie and his friends arrive in the Arctic Circle, and Budgie saves the professor after he slipped into the volcano.
What's Bruin? In the arctic circle, Pippa, Ken and Mike are stranded on an slab of ice broken off from shore and the mechanics are chased by a polar bear. Budgie also saves a baby whale.
Down on the Farm Farmer Hayes falls ill and cannot do his daily chores, so the aircraft decide to join in, but Lionel's engine overheats and a stray spark from it set the hay on fire, and Smokey's lack of water leaves Lionel in danger.

Season 2 (1995)

title information
Budgie Sticks To It While a new airport is getting built, Budgie decides to visit and gets stuck in cement.
Skids, Stunts and Soap Patsy makes a visit to Harefield, and chaos erupts when Budgie sets a prank for Pippa.
Aliens Have Landed While Lionel is on a job, Budgie hears that aliens are invading them thanks to a radio.
Who's A Clever Budgie? Chuck brings in loads of nuts from Brazil, and a stowaway parrot that proves quick to cause mayhem. Unbeknownst to them, the crates also contain stolen statues that are being targeted by thieves.
Blown Up, Let Down Pippa plays a retaliation prank on Budgie after a shape insult by pretending to be on a Super Guppy headed for America, but it backfires once Budgie gets lost at sea when he runs out of fuel.
Wally Waddles In Wally comes to Harefield and stops a boat thief during a visit to the beach.
The Balloon Goes Up A balloon festival is taking place near Harefield, but a balloon starts rising with the twins in it, putting them in danger. Budgie saves them after they land in a tree, and Chuck mistakes the animal balloons for monsters.
Surprise, Surprise Heavy pipes fall on the heliwash, damaging it, while Mrs. Kitchen is baking a cake for Ken's birthday, but the others mistake it for Budgie's.
Deep Sleep Wally recounts his time of saving a man from a shark on a stormy afternoon, causing Budgie to have a strange dream.
Bad News, Good News Harefield is about to be closed to be replaced by a factory, and Budgie rallies the gang to prevent it from happening.
Budgie Barges In Budgie and the other aircraft travel across to France for an airshow, but when Ken stops Mike from refueling Budgie before all go on a tour, he gets stuck on a barge and the race is on to stop him from crashing into a bridge.
Dutch Courage On the way back from France, the aircraft have to drop a delivery off in Holland, but Budgie experiences a problem when he accidentally mistakes a windmill for a helicopter and both he and Pippa delay flower pickers by mistaking them for thieves.
Budgie's Opening Goal The new Harefield is opened and Budgie aids the Minister for Airports.

Season 3 (1996)

title information
Boom, Boom Budgie Budgie tries to break the sound barrier during a tire mix-up.
Writers in the Sky Budgie and an Airship save the day when Chuck crashlands into a pond.
Double Trouble Budgie and Chuck discover that Pippa got replaced by a double in league with 2 criminals attempting to steal Harefield's business.
Eye in the Sky Budgie tasks as becoming a traffic helicopter for the day, but more trouble ensues in the process.
Chuck's Buddy When Chuck's old friend Buddy the Sky Crane arrives, he tries to remake things the way he knows... Only for disaster to strike.
The Aqueduct The aqueduct is under threat of collapsing due to erosion from a water pipe..
Plane Silly Budgie has to search for Ben and Lucy's lost model airplane while a statue is coming to Harefield.
The Plane Who Cried Wolf Jasper has been constantly lying, so no one believes that he is in trouble. Budgie then comes to his aid regardless.
The Runaway Train Jake is pulling the Royal Carriage and suddenly goes out of control on the track, forcing Budgie to try and out to stop him.
A Tail of Woe Lionel damages his tail rotor when he tries to avoid Ben and Lucy's rabbits. Budgie sets out to find a new replacement before the twins find the rabbits.
Put Up or Stuck Up The air museum has opened at Harefield and Budgie has to complete all his tasks on time for it.
Silent Flight The aircraft set out to rescue some skiers stranded on a snowy mountain while flying with the gliders, while Budgie helps Gloria take off on her own.
Ups & Downs Chuck is punished for mock imitation by having to pick up all the rotten vegetables on a ship. Budgie is delivering pieces for a new bridge, but he soon spots two people trying to catch a dolphin and has to rescue a construction scout submarine entangled in their net.
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