Budgie the Little Helicopter

Budgie the Little Helicopter
Budgie the Little Helicopter Titles
Genre Animated series
Created by HRH The Duchess of York
(now Sarah, Duchess of York)
Developed by Sleepy Kids[1]
Written by Brian Trueman
Theme music composer Dennis C. Brown
Opening theme Paul K. Joyce
(Main Title Theme)
Ending theme Instrumental Theme
Country of origin United Kingdom
United States
South Korea
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 40 (39 episodes + 1 special)
Executive producer(s) Dan Maddicot
Martin Powell
Viven Schrager Powell
Fred Wolf
Producer(s) Michael Algar
Running time 10 minutes
22 Minutes (Christmas Television Special)
Production company(s) Fred Wolf Films
Sleepy Kids
HTV West
Sarah, Duchess of York
Scottish Television Enterprises[2]
Flowco Animation
(Seasons 2 and 3)
Dai Won Animation
(Overseas Production)
Original network ITV[3]
Original release 4 January 1994 (1994-01-04) – 25 March 1996 (1996-03-25)

Budgie the Little Helicopter is a series of children's books and animated television series relating to a fictional character 'Budgie' and his friends.[4] The characters were based on the books by Sarah, Duchess of York.[5] The show was coproduced by Fred Wolf Films Dublin, The Sleepy Kids Company and Sarah, Duchess of York for The west version of HTV for ITV and Scottish Television Enterprises, and originally aired on British television in 1994 on CITV, where it ran for 39 episodes and 1 Christmas Television Special, as an ITV Competitor to BBC's Oscar's Orchestra. A range of videos, books, and toys were released under the Budgie label.

On release of the first book, the Duchess was accused by the media of copying the idea for the series from an out-of-print 1960 book Hector the Helicopter, by A.W. Baldwin, which she denied.[6]


Aircraft characters

Main aircraft

  • Budgie the Little Helicopter (Voiced by Richard Pearce) — Budgie is a small blue helicopter (that seems to resemble a Bell 206) with a big yellow cap covering his entire airframe and also speaks in Teenage Accent. He lives and works at Harefield Airfield, and he and Pippa are best friends. He can be cheeky and troublesome, but he works hard too, and continuously tries to please Lionel. He will also bravely come to the assistance of people in danger. He hates going through the heli-wash, and avoids doing so whenever he can. A white teddy bear named Snowy can almost always be seen carried in a pocket on Budgie's starboard. His catchphrase is "Rocketing Rotors!"
  • Pippa the Green Plane (voiced by Abigail MacVean) — Pippa (inspired by a Piper Warrior aircraft) is a small green single-engined monoplane with a tuft of yellow hair and a big pink bow. She was the second aircraft to arrive at Harefield Airfield, and at first, teased Budgie and called him a yo-yo. After a race and several comparisons about who was the best, they both became firm friends. She enjoys helping out, and also loves using the heli-wash (as opposed to Budgie).
  • Chuck the American Helicopter (voiced by Kerry Shale) (was stated in the second TV episode as being a Boeing Boeing CH-47 Chinook Chinook) - is a twin-rotored helicopter. He comes from America and does not understand British English well. He sometimes gets cocky and likes to show off, but this led him to trouble when he disrupted an air show and finished up in a pond. He also has a bad habit of calling Lionel "Captain".
  • Lionel the Aircraft in Charge (voiced by Jeremy Nicholas) - Lionel is the senior helicopter in the series (influenced by a Westland Lynx). He does not take kindly to Budgie, Pippa, or especially Chuck causing trouble and making themselves nuisances, but he keeps things in order with his patient but firm ways. He insists on cleanliness from all aircraft at all times. His catchphrase is "Juddering joysticks!"

Other aircraft

  • Patsy the American stunt plane (was stated by Lionel as being a Pitt's Special).
  • Wally the old Supermarine Walrus
  • Jean Claude the pompous French Concorde
  • Jasper Jeer-jet. Jasper was a joker to start off and kept on radioing Harefield Airfield pretending there was an emergency, but when he really did need help in a storm, Budgie came to his rescue, and since then Jasper has realised it is not a good idea to play the fool all the time.
  • Henley the three-winged propeller-driven 1930's airliner
  • Olivia The Edgley Optica
  • Dougie The Police Helicopter (only in Eye in The Sky)
  • The Emerald Helicopter (only in Eye in The Sky)
  • Unnamed Boeing 747 jet plane (Only in The Plane that Cried Wolf)
  • A Very Naughtiest Version of Budgie
  • The naughty Piper plane, Pippa's "double" (only in Double Trouble)
  • Aircraft Carrier Helicopter
  • Gloria The Glider
  • Mini Planes (only appeared in Deep Sleep)
  • Three other gliders
  • Gus the Guppy (based on an Aero Spacelines Super Guppy), is a huge American transport aircraft.
  • Harvey the grey Royal Navy BAE Sea Harrier jet fighter. Harvey appeared in All at Sea and Boats, Boots and Budgie. His name was revealed in Blown Up Let down. He speaks with a traditional Royal Navy pilot voice.
  • Harvey's 2 BAE Sea Harrier brothers
  • Buddy the Sikorsky Skycrane
  • 3 French Super Jets (from Budgie Barges In)
  • Genevieve – a French female Jodel D11 aircraft (The Air Show and Budgie Barges In)
  • White jet plane with blue line (only appeared in magazines)
  • Other planes and helicopters (only appeared in books)
  • Monsieur the Mime Helicopter (only appeared in books)
  • Bobby the Blue Helicopter (only appeared in books)
  • Western the Mexican Plane (only appeared in books)
  • Unnamed blue helicopter (only appeared in magazines)
  • Hot air balloons (only appeared in The Balloon Goes Up)
  • Spaceship (only appeared in magazines)

Non-aircraft characters

  • Dell the yellow Baggage cart Towing Truck (voiced by Jeff Rawle, who also serves as the narrator)
  • Smokey the airfield fire engine
  • Don the blue stairs lorry
  • Ernest the tractor (In episode Silent Flight Gloria called him "Mr.Smelly Exhaust" when he was launching gliders using his winch.)
  • Julie the posh purple vintage car
  • Nosey the driller (spoofed on The Three Stooges)
  • Backhoe the Backhoe loader (spoofed on The Three Stooges)
  • Sonia The Limousine
  • Jake the Steam locomotive
  • Fred the Canal Barge
  • Harry The Inflatable Boat (only appeared in Blown Up Let Down)
  • Gimbus The Cement Mixer (only appeared in Budgie Sticks To It)
  • Cubey the Stuck Up ROV Submarine (only appeared in the last episode)
  • Sharkey The Aircraft Carrier (only appeared in the book Budgie Goes To The Sea)
  • Unnamed Blue Car (only appeared in Boom Boom Budgie)
  • Pirate Ship (only appeared in magazines)
  • Tugboat (only appeared in magazines)
  • Aircraft Carriers (only appeared in books)

Human characters

Animal characters


UK VHS releases

VHS Title VHS number Release date Episodes
Budgie the Little Helicopter Pippa ArrivesVA30318 7 March 1994 Pippa Arrives, Chuck Comes Unstuck, Budgie's Blizzard, Ice Work, Budgie, Budgie Takes a Catch
Budgie the Little Helicopter The Air ShowVA30336 7 November 1994 The Air Show, All At Sea, Boats, Boots and Budgie, Copters and Robbers
Budgie the Little Helicopter Daydreams and Candy FlossVA30359 6 March 1995 Daydreams and Candy Floss, Flying in Arctic Circles, What's Bruin?, Down on the Farm
Budgie the Little Helicopter Budgie Sticks To ItVA30372 3 July 1995 Budgie Sticks To It, Skids, Stunts and Soap, Aliens Have Landed, Who's A Clever Budgie?, Blown Up, Let Down
Budgie the Little Helicopter Wally Waddles InVA30394 6 November 1995 Wally Waddles In, The Balloon Goes Up, Surprise, Surprise, Deep Sleep
Budgie the Little Helicopter The Complete First SeriesVA30626 13 May 1996 Pippa Arrives, Chuck Comes Unstuck, Budgie's Blizzard, Ice Work, Budgie, Budgie Takes a Catch, The Air Show, All At Sea, Boats, Boots and Budgie, Copters and Robbers, Daydreams and Candy Floss, Flying in Arctic Circles, What's Bruin?, Down on the Farm
Budgie the Little Helicopter The Complete Second SeriesVA30647 7 October 1996 Budgie Sticks To It, Skids, Stunts and Soap, Aliens Have Landed, Who's A Clever Budgie?, Blown Up, Let Down, Wally Waddles In, The Balloon Goes Up, Surprise, Surprise, Deep Sleep, Bad News, Good News, Budgie Barges In, Dutch Courage, Budgie's Opening Goal
Budgie the Little Helicopter The Complete Third SeriesVA30680 3 March 1997 Boom Boom Budgie, Writers in the Sky, Double Trouble, Eye in the Sky, Chuck's Buddy, The Aqueduct, Plane Silly, The Plane Who Cried Wolf, The Runaway Train, A Tail of Woe, Put Up or Stuck Up, Silent Flight, Ups & Downs


Season 1 (1994)

Pippa ArrivesPippa, the new arrival, comes to Harefield.
Chuck Comes UnstuckHarefield fete soon comes to Harefield.
Budgie's BlizzardDuring an blizzard, Budgie Has to take a pregnant woman to the hospital when she is about to have her baby.
Ice Work, BudgieThe next morning Budgie finds himself on the frozen lake after he run out of fuel in the middle of the night after he taken the pregnant woman to the hospital through a snow storm.
Budgie Takes a CatchBudgie has to rescue 2 boys who are lost at sea.
The Air ShowBudgie and his friends take part in the air show.
All At SeaBudgie is delivering parts to a navy ship and has to spend the night on an aircraft carrier.
Boats, Boots and BudgieThe river overflows flooding the airfield and a cow has to move to another field.
Copters and RobbersBudgie and Pippa had to rescue Ben and Lucy after they are kidnapped by the two crooks.
Daydreams and Candy FlossBudgie has to help some people after they get stuck on a broken roller coaster.
Flying in Arctic CirclesBudgie and his friends arrived in the Arctic Circle and Budgie saves the professor after he slipped into the volcano.
What's Bruin?In the arctic circle, Pippa, Ken and Mike are stranded on an slab of ice and the mechanics are chased by a polar bear.
Down on the FarmFarmer Hayes falls ill and cannot do his daily chores, so the aircraft decide to join in, but Lionel's engine overheats and it causes a fire putting Lionel in danger.

Season 2 (1995)

Budgie Sticks To ItWhile a new airport is getting built, Budgie decides to stick to it.
Skids, Stunts and SoapPatsy makes a visit to Harefield.
Aliens Have LandedWhile Lionel is on a job, Budgie hears that aliens are invading them.
Who's A Clever Budgie?Chuck brings in loads of nuts from Brazil.
Blown Up, Let DownBudgie gets trapped in the sea when he runs out of fuel.
Wally Waddles InWally comes to Harefield.
The Balloon Goes UpA balloon festival is taking place near Harefield, but the balloon starts rising with the twins in it putting them in danger. Budgie tries to rescue them before the balloon gets away.
Surprise, SurpriseHeavy pipes fall on the heliwash, damaging it, while Mrs. Kitchen is baking a cake for Ken.
Deep SleepWally recounts his time of saving a man from a shark.
Bad News, Good NewsHarefield is about to be closed to be replaced by a factory. Budgie immediately gets into action to prevent it from happening.
Budgie Barges InBudgie and the other aircraft travel across to France.
Dutch CourageOn the way back from France, the aircraft have to drop a delivery off in Holland, but Budgie experiences a problem when he accidentally mistakes a windmill for a helicopter.
Budgie's Opening GoalThe new Harefield is opened and Budgie aids as the Minister for Airports.

Season 3 (1996)

Boom, Boom BudgieBudgie tries to break the sound barrier.
Writers in the SkyChuck is towing two kites through the air and he crashlands into a pond.
Double TroubleBudgie and Chuck discover that Pippa got replaced by a double.
Eye in the SkyBudgie tasks as becoming a traffic helicopter for the day, but more trouble ensues in the process.
Chuck's BuddyBuddy has to put Budgie in charge for a day, which leads to a disaster.
The AqueductBudgie discovers that the water has disappeared.
Plane SillyBudgie has to search for Ben and Lucy's lost model airplane.
The Plane Who Cried WolfJasper has been constantly lying, so no one believes that he is in trouble. Budgie then comes to his aid.
The Runaway TrainJake is pulling the Royal Carriage and suddenly goes out of control on the track. Budgie goes out to stop him.
A Tail of WoeLionel damages his main rotors, when he tries to avoid Ben and Lucy's rabbits. Budgie sets out to find a new replacement before the twins find the rabbits.
Put Up or Stuck UpThe air museum has opened at Harefield and Budgie has to complete all his tasks on it.
Silent FlightThe aircraft set out to rescue some skiers stranded on a snowy mountain.
Ups & DownsChuck is punished by having to pick up all the rotten vegetables. Budgie is delivering pieces for a new bridge, but he soon spots two people trying to catch a dolphin and has to rescue a submarine.


  • There's No Business Like Snow Business - Preparing for Christmas Day, Budgie manages to Rescue Mike Sprocket and Ken Wrench were both Trapped on Ice

Home video releases

In 1997, UAV Entertainment released some episodes of the series on individual VHS tapes and the complete series tapes were also released. Two DVDs were released in the UK in 2004 and 2006 with selected episodes. In 2007, Jigsaw Entertainment released the complete series on DVD in Australia and New Zealand.

International broadcast


  1. "Budgie boost for Kids". Independent. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
  2. Eadie, Alison (1993-12-04). "Fergie's Budgie Coming to the US". Sun Sentinel. London. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
  3. Shepherd, John (1994-03-17). "Shares in Sleepy Kids doze". Independent. London. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
  4. Dullea, Georgia (1994-02-16). "AT TEA WITH: The Duchess of York; Mercy, Mischief and a Royal Fiction". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
  5. "Fergie's soaring". Canoe. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
  6. Starting over at 40
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