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Geordie Racer facts for kids

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Geordie Racer
Directed by David Meldrum
Starring Kevin Whately, Leon Armstrong,
Narrated by Sean Barrett
Country of origin UK
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 10 (list of episodes)
Producer(s) Sue Weeks
Running time 20 mins
Original network British Broadcasting Corporation
Original release 12 January - 22 March 1988
Preceded by Badger Girl (1984)
Followed by Through the Dragon's Eye (1989)

Geordie Racer is an educational BBC Look and Read production, which was first aired on BBC Two from 12 January to 22 March 1988.

The story was set in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and the surrounding area, and featured pigeon racers and runners competing in the Great North Run. The main character is Spuggy Hilton (Spuggy being a nickname – the Geordie word for sparrow), who isn't a runner like the rest of his family, but is a keen pigeon fancier and owns 'Blue Flash' – one of the best birds in Newcastle. He and his friend Janie observe some suspicious activity, and link a spate of local art robberies with obscure messages they find on some of the pigeons, but find they have even more problems when they go to spy on the crooks.

Geordie Racer was praised for attempting to bring a grittier edge to educational programmes shown in primary schools. The series also featured Geordie actor Kevin Whately as Spuggy's father. Whately, who went on to star in Inspector Morse, was joined on screen by his real-life wife, Madelaine Newton, who played his on-screen wife. This was not an intentional decision, but merely an accidental coincidence.


  • Leon Armstrong as Spuggy Hilton
  • Lien Lu as Janie Chung
  • Lesley Casey as Cath Hilton
  • Brian Hogg as Victor
  • Madelaine Newton as Bev Hilton
  • Fred Pearson as Baz Bailey
  • Peter Rowell as Mickey Stone
  • Kevin Whately as Ray Hilton
  • Bungo as Plod
  • Charles Collingwood as Wordy
  • Katie Hebb as Wordy puppeteer
  • Rachel Mackay as Bug-Bopper
  • Mary Edwards as Bug-Bopper puppeteer


1. Runners and Fliers

2. Down in the Cellars

3. Pigeon Post

4. This Is Radio Newcastle

5. Race Day

6. Light of St Mary

7. Lost Bird

8. Have You Gone Daft, Man?

9. If Only We Knew When...

10. Run!

Theme tune

The theme tune was sung by Derek Griffiths. The lyrics are:

Flying free, flying high,
Flashing wings across the sky,
Geordie racer, Geordie racer.

On the road, in the street,
Hear the sound of pounding feet,
Geordie racer, Geordie racer.

Don't wait, don't stop,
You're heading home.
Don't rest, don't drop,
You're heading home.

In the air, on the ground,
See them moving all around.
Running hard, flying fast,
See them all go rushing past,
Geordie racer – fly!

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