Thursday, 1 June 2017

Monster Memories: Tommy Boyd: Monster Hunter?

Here is a clipping from Look-In magazine dated the 2nd of May 1992 that states that there was a new book out called Monster Monsters which sets out to educate its readers about, “the weird and wonderful monsters that are supposed to have existed around the world” written by then current face of Children's ITV Tommy Boyd and the article declared that Tommy was “actually a bit of a monster-mad boffin!”. The book, published by Boxtree was published as I immersed myself fully in my fascination with monsters, I was equally a fan of Tommy Boyd who was a regular face throughout my childhood be it from his days presenting Saturday TV-am show Wide Awake Club from 1986–1990 (and Sunday spin-off show WAC Extra) to the time he presented Children's ITV from 1991 to 1992. The book's back cover reads, “Calling... monster trackers everywhere. You come across strange giant footprints leading into a dark, clammy cave. Would you... faint with fright... quietly tiptoe away...or explore further? Tommy Boyd has collected fearsome facts and monstrous myths which will freeze the blood in your veins! Read about the huge body with a serpent's neck which emerged from the dark waters of Loch Ness, or a tentacle half the length of a football pitch which was found on a Florida beach and ask yourself: What is out there?” packed with stories, games, quizzes, trivia, things to do and monsters to make and priced £2.99 it was a terrific read to any budding monster hunter! This wasn't actually the first time Tommy put his name to a monster themed book, the Wide Awake Club released a book entitled Ghosts, Monsters and Legends in a 1986 tie-in with their segment on the show of the same name (although how much Tommy was involved in the writing process is unclear) what is especially interesting in this article however is the closing paragraph, “ By the way, did you know that Tommy's planning an expedition of his own to go off and find the Giant Buru Buru monster* (which you can read all about in the book) very soon and he wants volunteers! Watch out for more news soon.” Did this expedition ever happen? Even in the book he gives map references! Attempts to contact Mr Boyd directly have yielded no results, so does anyone out there know?

UPDATE: 29/03/2018 A gentleman called Darren a budding cryptozoologist in his "younger days" got in touch and shed further light onto the Giant Buru Buru expedition, “Tommy Boyd went on Pebble Mill at 1 to advertise his Monster Monster book and also to talk about getting an expedition up and running to go to Assam in Northern India to look for the Buru Buru. I contacted the show and ending up going on the training weekends and got picked. I think there was about 11 chosen in all. We only had a few short months to raise the money needed and only a handful could raise the needed amount, unfortunately i couldnt raise the funds and had to drop out along with a few others. The expedition to find the Buru Buru fell through as it had to be cancelled due to some form of terrorist activity in the area and people being warned not to go. The expedition was changed at the last minute to go to Cameroon in Africa to look for the Mokele Mbembe (a sauropod also mentioned in the book, actualy the front cover is the Mokele Mbembe) instead. As i said only a few went (i think about 5 and the two sas leaders. Tommy didnt go" So there we go thanks Darren!

* Buru Buru Monster: an aquatic cryptid reptile said to inhabit the Ziro valley, India.

© Arfon Jones 2017. All images are copyrighted throughout the world. 

8 comments:

  1. I've never even heard of the Buru Buru monster - that's a new one on me.

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    1. No? Perhaps I should write the entry about it? I'll revise it forthwith! :)

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  2. I got this book from the school book fair, way back when... Still got it obviously.

    I just remember reading it and getting it into my head that "monster hunter" was an actual job I could one day have. The "plan" in my seven-year-old mind was to travel the world with my box of Monster In My Pocket figures, and an empty box too, the idea being that every time I spotted one of the monsters I'd transfer its figure to the empty box, only going home when all the figures had been transferred.

    Making friends with an ogre was also on my bucket list!

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    1. Hmmmm, sounds like a blog idea to me sir (visiting monster sites not befriending ogres).... We could do a British Isles one at least!

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  3. Tommy Boyd went on Pebble Mill at 1 to advertise his Monster Monster book and also to talk about getting an expedition up and running to go to Assam in Northern India to look for the Buru Buru. I contacted the show and ending up going on the training weekends and got picked. I think there was about 11 chosen in all. We only had a few short months to raise the money needed and only a handful could raise the needed amount, unfortunately i couldnt raise the funds and had to drop out along with a few others. The expedition to find the Buru Buru fell through as it had to be cancelled due to some form of terrorist activity in the area and people being warned not to go. The expedition was changed at the last minute to go to Cameroon in Africa to look for the Mokele Mbembe (a sauropod also mentioned in the book, actualy the front cover is the Mokele Mbembe) instead. As i said only a few went (i think about 5 and the two sas leaders. Tommy didnt go. Hope this helps.

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    1. Oh wow! Thanks for that, how amazing (sorry you didn't get to do it) do you mind if I add this to the post itself? Any chance I can get your name so I con credit you? Many thanks

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    2. Hi, glad you found it interesting. I was quite the budding cryptozoologist in my younger days. You are welcome to add this to the post. Darren

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    3. Thanks Darren! I've updated the post with your information and credit :)

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