Review: Olly the Little White Van

White van drivers have a, um, rather dubious reputation, I think you'll agree, renowned more for their lack of grace on the road and their taste for fast food, than their kindness and friendliness.  (Just don't tell my brother I said that!)  Luckily there is a certain little white van trying to change all that - the kind, generous and rather cute Olly!

Voiced by the irrepressible Justin Fletcher, the third series of ITV's pre-school hit Olly the Little White Van is now being broadcast.  I must admit we don't usually watch CITV so were unaware of this progarmme, but having been sent a sample DVD to review, Lara has become a big fan.

The theme tune is so catchy, and we all find ourselves singing or humming along to:

“Olly the little white van, helps his friends as much as he can
Olly the little white van, always around to give a helping hand..”

Olly is a really charming little character, always dashing about to help his friends, and performing good deeds.  He doesn't always get things right, but he tries his best, and is very thoughtful and considerate.  This conveys a lovely and important message to his pint-sized fans, but never comes over as either schmaltzy or patronising.

Everyone under the age of ten is familiar with Justin, whether via Something Special, Giigglebiz, or most recently, Justin's House, and his charm and good humour are showcased well here, where he provides the voice for the central character as well as some peripheral ones.

He also [cue Dennis Waterman] wrote the theme tune, citing the simplicity of both the words and the tune as key to its popularity in a recent magazine interview.

Each episode is just five minutes long, and always has Lara calling for 'more Olly!'  Even Sophia, wriggles when the music starts and sits transsfixed to the screen.  I like the caring nature of the characters and each little story has a lovely message for children.  Highly recommended.

Olly the Little White Van is on CITV at 9.45am and 1pm every week day, and you can also find him on demand on ITV Player.

You can find Olly on his website and Facebook page, and Hornby has recently launched a range of Olly toys, which you can see below.

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