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50 Years of Grasshopper Island

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  2021 marks the 50th anniversary of Grasshopper Island! It was this grand milestone that led us to put together our brand new little blog - Grasshopper Island News .  It seems appropriate to mark the occasion and remember fondly the adventures of Smarty, Toughy and Mouse. We hope our blog will bring back happy memories for 'elderly boys' and girls wherever you may be. And moreover, we hope our blog can introduce curious new potential fans to this wonderful tale. The blog has been created by Uli and Chris after we realised that we shared a great fondness for the show, and indeed for times long since passed. And we think Grasshopper Island is deserving of a digital home on the internet. We hope that you will join us in celebrating the occasion and follow our blog, where over time we will share some wonderful - never seen publicly before -  facts, tidbits, photos and footage from the production all those years ago! We are honoured and fortunate indeed to have the supp

4. Finding the beach

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The beach is a location which features prominently in Grasshopper Island. The spot where Toughy, Smarty and Mouse are seen celebrating their arrival to the “uninhabited Island”. This beach first appears in Episode 2 entitled The Elderly Boy . So naturally, finding this location was uppermost in our minds. As it happens – this location was the easiest one to find. While building our fan website – grasshopperisland.net – Uli had the idea of writing to Joy Whitby and was delighted to receive her support. Over the course of several emails, both he and I had opportunity to ask some specific questions about the production. Joy was very amiable and gave us some insight into how the TV production and the storybook came about. We were fascinated to learn that the majority of the production took place in Haute Corse (Northern Corsica). However some of the very early beach scenes, those featuring tall sand dunes and a tumbling Charles Hawtrey ( The Elderly Boy ), were actually filmed on a beach

3. Lupus goes shopping

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The search for our next filming location took us high up the steep mountainside to the picturesque village of Monticello - or Monticellu - as it is in Corsican. We had noted this place name from our conversation with Jean (the owner of Café des Platanes ) and with Hilaire, Toussant and Pierre. They had given us a name: "Jo Jo" and probably a lot more detail which had become lost in translation. They had mentioned these details initially as we spoke at the pier of L'Île-Rousse. Now just an hour or two later, having shown the footage of Place Pascal Pauli , we finished our coffees and reviewed the notes that I had written in my notebook. We needed to visit this new place – Monticello . But how to get there? We thanked our new acquaintances at Café des Platanes for the coffee and for their help with our mission to find our next location and bade them farewell. We had noticed a street sign that advertised the location of a tourist office nearby. We decided to visit and t

2. The ice cream shop

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Our next location search took us to Place Pascal Pauli . This is a wonderfully open town square, with a beautiful church, and many cafés and restaurants. Local people played pétanque beneath the shade of the venerable platane trees. A handful of tourists looked on while they enjoyed a coffee, a beer or some ice cream. So it was with great enthusiasm, stemming from our success at the pier, that we scanned the establishments along the southern edge of the square for an ice cream parlour. To our surprise there on the corner close to where we stood was La Glacier. As a reminder - the reason for this interest in finding an ice cream seller was to attempt to identify both the person in the photo and the exact location. Once again without any hesitation Uli made a direct path to the doorway of La Glacier and engaged the gentleman standing there in conversation. “Excuse me sir, I’m sorry but I do not speak French”, in what I would find to be a recurring mantra throughout our expedition! The

1. Finding our first location .. and clues to the next

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The pier at  L'Île-Rousse in April 2024 © Grasshopperisland.net So where to start on our quest for filming locations? Luckily some years ago Uli had asked the author of Grasshopper Island - Joy Whitby - if she recalled where the filming had taken place all those years ago. Joy explained how the island of Corsica came to be selected. Frank Muir was a friend of hers and had suggested Corsica as the ideal location. Its sunny climate and the happy fact that he owned a holiday home there was instrumental in bringing the Grasshopper Island production to Corsica. Frank Muir would play the part of rival grasshopper expert Dr. Hopper and the cast and crew would stay in rented accommodation in the locality. Joy was able to recall that Franks home was in a village high above the idyllic French seaside town of L'Île-Rousse. Although she could not recall the exact name of the village, she did remember that the beach scenes took place close to L'Île-Rousse. The s

The Adventure begins

“ Adventure is the important thing. I’m always saying it to Cecil. And Cecil agrees with me. ” - The Elderly Boy We are proud to announce that our adventure has begun! We have finally landed on Grasshopper Island. Since we arrived we have had the opportunity to meet amazing local people who have helped us with our expedition.  In the next few days we will be searching far and wide to identify and visit as many of the places that Toughy, Smarty and Mouse discovered when they landed on Grasshopper Island.  Please come back and join us as we explore - we will have lots to share in the coming days!    1 - Finding our first location   2 - The Ice Cream Shop Then and now: Mr Button on "the mainland"

Blue Button Expedition 2024 !

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 Coming April 24th 2024 - A New Adventure !

A Mystery Lifeboat

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It's hard to conceive that 51 years have passed since Smarty, Toughy and Mouse searched the docklands for a boat. As luck would have it, they eventually found one captained by a flamboyant character who came to be known as The Elderly Boy.  Now I have more than a passing interest in seafaring. I have always been fascinated with boats. When watching the TV episode where the boys board the boat for the first time, I always found myself admiring this lovely craft with the wooden deck-house and brass fittings. A lifeboat you say?  During the many lock-downs of 2021, I found time to revisit the TV series again. I had asked my friend Uli to mention the lifeboat to Joy Whitby, should he write to her again. I thought it might be very interesting to discover the name. The news soon came back that unfortunately Joy could not recall the name of the boat. Furthermore, with the passage of time, those who might have recorded it in some written form for posterity are no longer with us. Happily Jo