Geoffrey From Rainbow
For a whole generation of kids, the face of Geoffrey from Rainbow was arguably more recognised than their own parents.
As the only human face (not counting ‘dance’ outfit Rod, Jane and Freddy) of the bizarre children’s show, Geoffrey was there as the voice of sanity against three very weird things.
They were of course a monstrously camp bear called Bungle, an even camper pink hippo called George (the jury is still out on whether George was a girl or a boy) and Zippy a brown, er, we don’t actually know what Zippy, despite extensive biological testing at a secret government bunker…
Despite this freakshow Rainbow was incredibly popular, lasting two decades; it debuted on ITV in 1972 and bowed out gracefully exactly twenty years later after more than 1000 episodes.
Geoffrey Hayes wasn’t actually the first presenter of Rainbow – that was David Cook – but he was certainly the most well known.
A jobbing actor, Hays took over from Cook in 1973 but before Rainbow he had recurring roles in classic TV cops and robbers shows Dixon Of Dock Green and Z Cars.
So, Where Is Geoffrey Now?
Well, he’s not dead. As of writing he is currently enjoying his 67th year alive but when Rainbow came to an end he, shall we say, squandered his money so the odd celebrity appearance and pantomime wasn’t enough to sustain the presumably hedonistic lifestyle he had become used to with Zippy, George and Bungle.
According to a reliable source (well, the Internet), Hayes notoriously got a job at Sainsbury’s, which caused lots of people who had now grown up since watching the show gossip to each other in hushed tones something along the lines of “have you heard what’s happened to Geoffrey from Rainbow? He’s only stacking shelves in Sainsbury’s!”
After working at Sainsbury’s Geoffrey became a taxicab driver, which he is still doing today. However, he has apparently always kept his sense of humour and once starred in an advert about investing money, taking the mick out of his own mistakes.
In 2005, Geoffrey appeared on This Morning, talking about the heyday of Rainbow, and also popped up appeared in the video for Tony Christie and Peter Kay 's single Is This the Way to Amarillo?
In 2008, he was apparently part of an ad campaign for Monster Munch, when they rebooted the corn snack as it had been during the 70s.
So children, there’s a lesson here. If you become a successful kiddies’ TV presenter don’t squander your earnings, otherwise you’ll wind up standing behind a cheese counter in a silly paper hat.