The legendary ‘Tiswas’ presenter Sally James reveals the secrets of the Phantom Flan Flinger!


At a bit of a tangent to our film based features we know there’s a huge amount of interest in retro TV series and to that end we chatted to the legendary ‘Tiswas’ presenter Sally James about the Phantom Flan Flinger!

Now for anyone not in the know Tiswas was a hugely influential Saturday morning kids TV show from the later 1970’s into the early 1980’s hosted by Chris Tarrant and Sally James aided by Lenny Henry, Bob Carolgees and John Gorman. Ostensibly a kids TV show it gained a huge cult audience with students and adults alike and had an array of eclectic guests that included Bernard Manning, Michael Palin and bands as diverse as Motorhead and Top of the Pops dance troupe Pan’s People.

Phantom Flan Flinger - Tiswas star Sally James reveals all


So the links and sketches were often invaded by the Phantom Flan Flinger, an all in black masked character who covered guests and children with custard pies and buckets of water to the outrage of parents but the love of everyone else. It was a sharply marked contrast to the BBCs Noel Edmonds fronted Swap Shop where kids phoned in to… well swop their toys.  Tiswas was influential and years ahead of its time and the show’s impact reverberated throughout future kids TV most notably with Dick & Dom in da Bungalow, On Safari and Fun House

We chatted to the always delightful Sally James (and a favourite with the dad’s who for once were happy to watch the show with their kids) about a whole load of things and of course we could not let it pass without asking her about the identity of the  Phantom Flan Flinger.

related feature : The Railway Children Then and Now

related feature : The child stars of ‘The Railway Children Return’ tell us who was the naughtiest on set

Here’s what Sally told us…..


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