On 10 April 1986, Simon's beloved pet and the mascot of Simon Townsend's Wonder World! – Woodrow the Bloodhound – passed away.
Woodrow was so popular and loved by viewers and fans that his death was front page news on some of Australia's major newspapers. When the news broke, Simon and the team behind the show were overwhelmed by the outpouring of sympathy from people across the country.
This episode, which aired on Monday 28 April 1986, was dedicated to Woodrow and re-ran stories featuring the famous dog by reporters Jono Coleman, Angela Catterns and Alita Fahey. This excerpt includes the opening and closing of that episode in which Simon pays tribute to Woodrow, remembering him with a great deal of tenderness.
Simon often expressed interest in tackling more serious topics on the show but didn't always receive support from the network. Woodrow's passing afforded him that opportunity as many children watching the show would at some time have struggled with the loss of a family pet.
Simon shares his feelings directly to camera, bringing a genuine intimacy to these moments. The affecting air of solemnity to the clip and the inclusion of file footage featuring Woodrow makes it hard not to be moved by his tribute.