Mr Blobby gets into a spot (or blob!) of bother now and again. Mostly, these are caused by the costume’s restrictions and lack of peripheral vision. These are some notable occasions where Mr Blobby got too big for his blobs!
Heidi (in red) as Mr Blobby attempts to pick up the cake.
In February 1994, Heidi O’Callaghan’s sixth Birthday didn’t go to plan at Caesar’s Palace, Luton. Her family was asked if they’d like Mr Blobby to present her Mr Blobby birthday cake to her up on stage. The Mr Blobby costume is difficult to manage at the best of times, but holding a Blobby cake proved too much for him this time. The cake fell from Mr Blobby’s grasp, leading to a tearful Heidi. Her father “saw red” and lunged for Blobby. Later, Paul O’Callaghan claimed Mr Blobby deliberately “threw” the cake “across the room”, when in reality it slipped from his rubbery grasp. It didn’t all end badly though, the family were later invited to see Noel’s House Party being filmed. A BBC spokesperson stated: “It’s a nice happy ending. The whole family will be meeting Mr Blobby again at Crinkley Bottom.”
Ice hockey coach of the Durham Wasps, Paul Smith, had a rough encounter with Blobby at Durham Ice Stadium in 1994. Paul and Blobby were standing in front of a trophy cabinet posing for a photo when Mr Blobby’s arm sent Paul into the cabinet, breaking his nose. The incident wasn’t deliberate and no action was taken. Paul said in an interview: “Mr Blobby ought to carry a Government Health Warning - he’s a menace.”
Paul Smith just before his nose was broken.
Heidi and her father, Paul.
Singer Sam Perry, who played Mr Blobby at Cricket St Thomas.
In 1998, singer Sam Perry spent five months playing Mr Blobby at the Crinkley Bottom theme park at Cricket St Thomas. Aged 21, he took on the role during the summer before he was due to start music college. According to Perry, he was constantly dehydrated in the large suit and collapsed on one occasion. He said: I had a rich-toned tenor voice when I auditioned [for music college] but when I got to college, it had changed completely. I struggled through that first year but it was hopeless. My vocal cords had changed.” Despite these claims, Jeremy Taylor, one of the owners of Cricket St Thomas stated: This is complete nonsense. We will fight it all the way. Many people have worn the costume and played Mr Blobby. What makes Mr Perry so different? I think he has failed in his singing career and wants to blame someone else.”
“Blobby, Mr Blobby, you’re the one who bears the pink and yellow crest, Blobby, Mr Blobby, you’ll always prove that Blobby is the best.” These lyrics were heard by millions in 1993, when Mr Blobby’s self-titled hit single became Christmas No. 1. But it’s not Mr Blobby who sings the song, that was down to session singer Lynda Hayes.
Her smooth American voice combined with her fabulous energy brought the lyrics to life, yet very few associate the song with her. Even if you’ve not heard the Mr Blobby song, you’re likely to have come across Lynda’s voice before. “There’s a magical place, we’re on our way there, with toys in their millions, all under one roof…” remember that? She sang the infectious Toys R Us advert, Wham!’s ‘Young Guns (Go For It)’, and has performed in front of Princess Diana and Prince Charles at the Royal Variety Performance.
Working with the highly successful pop duo Wham! had been a bittersweet experience for Lynda, she provided and sang lyrics for the rap in their song ‘Young Guns (Go For It)’, but received no credit and was mimed to in the music video. She didn’t want to be taken advantage of again, hoping history wouldn’t repeat itself.
Mr Blobby, unfortunately, went a similar way for Lynda. The song was originally going to be a jingle to be played when Mr Blobby came on stage, however after recording the song, the BBC said they wanted to release it as a single. Michael Leggo, executive producer of Noel’s House Party explained:
‘I was rung up by a record producer, who said “can I make a single with Mr Blobby?” and we were on a bit of a role […] in a rather arrogant way. I said “well I’m only doing a single with Mr Blobby if he can be the Christmas number 1!” and the producer on the other end of the phone said “you’re on!”’ – Michael Leggo speaking in 2014
The BBC wanted to release the single, but as Lynda was only paid £150 (much less than a full single), she was underpaid and hadn’t even been told until the song was complete, so she refused to sign the release form. It was then a huge (and unpleasant) surprise for Lynda to hear the song being played on the radio despite not signing over the rights. She spent thousands in legal action against the BBC with no avail, so when it reached platinum in the UK, selling over 600,000 copies and became the record of the year, it rubbed salt into an already deep wound. Lynda refused to appear on Top of the Pops to perform the song, so backing singer of the song, Shezwae Powell-Gibbons, mimed to Lynda’s vocals on the show.
Though financially it was a terrible and long ordeal, we hope that now Lynda will finally get the recognition she deserves for bringing Mr Blobby’s song to life. Her career has provided many iconic adverts and songs over the years, some of which you can hear on her vocal showreel here.
If you’d like to show your support for Lynda, you can also visit her Etsy shops where she sells paintings, handmade jewellery, and hand-painted tambourines here.
(We interviewed Lynda in November 2020, all information was correct at the time of the interview)