The man with the most amazing laugh and crazy facial expressions, Dave Benson Phillips was the king of kid’s TV during the 90s, mainly for covering annoying adults with gunge on his show “Get Your Own Back”.
DBP was born in 1965 and struggled to find his feet in the entertainment industry, with his first jobs including being a Blue Coat at Butlins, a street entertainer and busking on the streets of London with Eddie Izzard.
He then landed a role with the BBC in 1989 where he started presenting the Playground Stop on “Playdays”, educating me in sign language. As I was about three years old I though he was some crazy guy just throwing his arms around the place like a Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man, or me busting shapes on the dancefloor.
Soon after he started on GYOB, and for those who have never seen the show two kids would nominate an adult who had committed a crime, usually something trivial like making them tidy their room. They would then partake in a number of wacky games until one kid won and their adult was thrown into gunge in the Gunk Dunk.
The show ran for an impressive 14 years from 1989 to 2003 and it was compulsive viewing for me when I got home from school and wanted some light relief. My favourite moment was when Dave himself got gunged on the Christmas special by Mr Blobby, as he got all his questions wrong as Blobby himself asked them.
Sadly Dave isn’t seen as much on telly these days, but there was a rumour that Dave used to do the links in a comedy style for the adult channel Babestation. After some research I have found this to be false, but I only wish that it did happen as it would give me a valid reason to watch it…
DBP currently sells a lot of products on his website such as a CD with times tables played to music and is on Twitter and Myspace. His website also allows toddlers to send in their pictures and have them uploaded in his art gallery, something I just had to try out in sixth form and got a bollocking from my head of year.
Unbelievably, it’s featured in this tribute video to the great man himself, pause it 0.55 in – a good effort don’t you think?
With Dave and his Gunk Tank now confined to television history (although he does tour university campuses gunging willing students) the world may be a cleaner place – but is indeed lesser for it.