Theres somebody at the door! Grotbags actress Carol Lee Scott – from Emu to tragic death

Theres somebody at the door! Grotbags actress Carol Lee Scott – from Emu to tragic death

It was the kids' TV catchphrase copied by millions of children in the 1980s, as they excitedly chanted it whenever someone knocked as they came to visit. "There's somebody at the door! There's somebody at the door!"

And with it came a larger-than-life green witch, a strange pink windmill full of children and the infamous TV puppet-and-master duo, Rod Hull and Emu.

The TV show the catchphrase came from is ITV's Emu's World, while the strange green witch in the cape who we loved to hate is Grotbags – played by actress by Carol Lee Scott.

She lived in a castle, Gloomy Fortress, and haplessly tried to use her powers to control the children, also keeping a servant called Croc in line by hitting him with her bazazzer, an umbrella-shaped stick with a pointing finger on the end.

But what became of the actress behind such an iconic character?

To find that out, we have to go back to the beginning.

Carol, who was born in Somerset in 1942, began her career after moving to London, singing in local pubs while working during the day in a record store.

She then joined the holiday camp Pontins, performing for 19 years while also playing working men's clubs. A summer season in Cleethorpes led to a meeting with Rod Hull, who's been approached to make a new TV show.

Together they created Carol's Grotbags character, with the actress and singer first appearing on TV in 1982, alongside the cowardly crocodile, a mechanical butler and a fawning manservant in Emu's World. It ran for several series.

In 1991 she went on to be the voice of Grotbags in a cartoon spin-off, Rod 'n' Emu, and even had her own self-titled TV show in the early 90s.

Carol became a regular on the pantomime circuit, but sadly passed away from cancer on 4 July, 2017, aged 74.

Announcing the news on Twitter at the time, her niece Gina Mear wrote "My dear aunty Carol passed away yesterday, RIP #Grotbags, I will miss you."

Accompanying the moving caption were two separate photographs of Carol – the first image depicted her in her iconic green Grotbags makeup as she stood with what looked like family members.

Another illustrated a more rare side of the actress, as she relaxed in her own home with her niece and a gorgeous baby.

The post quickly went viral after being posted, with many fans rushing to pay homage to Carol.

"Carol Ann Lee was truly amazing as #Grotbags just the right amount of scary for young children," said one admirer.

While another added: "I'm so sorry for your loss. Grotbags was a fantastic part of my childhood. She was my favourite part of The Pink Windmill."

A third fan sent their condolences: "Sad to hear the passing of Carol Lee Scott who played #Grotbags on TV. Genuinely scary/entertaining to the young me. A great actress. RIP."

Some of the entertainment industry's biggest names also sent their wishes to Carol Lee Scott's family at the difficult time.

Comedian Rufus Hound added: "Very sorry for your loss. An icon for folk of my generation. Thank you for her."

Rod Hull had sadly died in 1999 at the age of 63, after he fell from the roof of his home while trying to adjust his TV aerial. He would have been 88 on Sunday, 13 August.

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