What can you say about Rod, Jane and Freddy? They sang a lot. They also danced and played musical instruments and dressed in colourful clothes. Often R, J and F wore matching outfits, like mimes. But far from being quiet, Fred, Jane and Rod were always singing songs they wrote themselves. In 1974 two thirds of the trio first appearance on "Rainbow" as Rod, Jane and Matthew, but Matthew Corbett left to take over "The Sooty Show" from his dad. Replacement Roger Walkers arrived in 1977, but Rod, Jane and Roger just did not sound right. Luckilly in 1980 Freddy joined up and the threesome's dynamic became such that Thames Television granted them their own series within a year. The only condition was that Rod would cut his hippie length hair and shave off his goatee.
This meant R, J and F were on twice a week (Rainbow never stopped) and got to do more than just one song. Jane Tucker did the choreography, and had a great pair of legs she liked to show off. They also got to speak and act a bit, for now there was a whole ten minutes between the three of them to fill. This meant they could showcase a different fanciful story each week, playing all the parts, wearing all sorts of costumes. Each episode was something completely different, you never knew what to expect. That's the way I remember them best. The trio used to claim they wrote more than 1300 songs together, but truth be told they did recycle a lot of these between Rainbow and their own show.
And then in 1988, they became the subject of a scandal in the tabloids. A lot of people must have been wondering exactly how close Rod, Jane and Freddy were to each other, and those who saw that naughty Rainbow Christmas tape filled with innuendo already knew that Zippy wanted to play with Jane's maracas. But finally the the press found out that Jane used to be married to Rod, and was now living with Freddy. Unfortunately they made it sound a lot more sordid than it actually was. Rod and Jane were already in the middle of a divorce when Freddy joined the team, but still managed to remain best friends and colleagues. When both of them started dating different people, Jane found herself drawn to Freddy the most, and luckily Rod agreed with them 100%.
RJF left Rainbow in 1989 to concentrate on their own programme, which was expanded to 15 minutes. Instead of featuring one short story in each episode, it now became sort of a stage show (complete with canned laughter) in which our trio would perform songs, sketches and a bit of mime based on one particular subject each week. They also recycled their back catalogue quite a bit during these later seasons. In late 1990, Thames Television somehow lost the franchise and both Rainbow and Rod, Jane and Freddy were abruptly canceled. However Rod, Jane and Freddy the performers could not be stopped: the musical trinity began touring and doing Panto's and their own Christmas spectaculars. Their last appearance all together was for Comic Relief in 2007. Jane and Freddy are still together, and Rod remains a close friend of theirs.
8 out of 10
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