Small World, the kid's programme for the whole family, comes to Mushroom Escape this Sunday

It’s Jonathan Mosen, and it is my great pleasure and honour to introduce the latest show on the Mushroom Escape schedule, a show called Small World. Small World is the kids’ programme for the whole family, and you’ll be able to hear it starting this Sunday at 12, 4, and 8 AM and PM North American Eastern time. If you don’t know what that equates to where you are, we’ve got that covered, you can view the Mushroom Escape schedule in your time zone at

The story of this show, how it came to be revived, and the show itself, are all very special. So are you sitting comfortably? I have a story to tell.

In 1977, iconic New Zealand entertainer Don Linden was inspired by his three nieces to start a kids’ show that was lively and engaging. The management at Radio I in Auckland thought it was a great idea, and Small World was born.

Small World rapidly became the thing kids looked forward to on a Sunday morning. Sometimes the parents welcomed the break as the kids snuggled in bed glued to what was coming out of the radio. At other times, the parents couldn’t resist tuning in, and Small World became quality entertainment that grandparents, parents and kids listened to together.

Small World later enjoyed a long run on Auckland’s Radio Pacific and stints on other stations, finally ending in 2006.

Small World’s run was not continuous. At the beginning of the century, radio programme directors thought that the format had run its course. Don proved them wrong. He worked with EMI to release on CD some of the stories and songs he had lovingly collected. The sales were astounding, proving that the stories, songs, and Don himself had a very special place in New Zealander’s hearts.

For many years, Small World would often receive phone calls and even regular studio visits from a kid who had the gift of the gab and was crazy about radio. In 2020, after many years of not being in touch, Don saw that kid, now with adult kids of his own, on TV winning an award. That sparked an idea. Don called this kid, who even as an adult is still crazy about radio, and Don asked him how he would feel if Don donated his extensive collection of songs and stories to him, so they wouldn’t sit neglected in a museum or archive. Now it’s not often that this kid has ever been speechless, as a child or otherwise, but to quote him, his name is Jonathan Mosen by the way, he said it was like being offered the crown jewels. And Small World lived happily ever after.

So, with Don Linden’s blessing and advice, it is my true honour to bring Small World back after a 15-year hiatus, this time via the Internet so grandparents, parents and kids from all over the globe can enjoy what is so precious to us here in New Zealand.

We’ll bring you classic kids’ songs and stories, as well as some family-friendly comedy and novelty material thrown in for good measure. Whether you’re young or young at heart, it will be a fun listen that will make you smile.

There is plenty to enjoy on Mushroom Escape. You can ask Siri, Google or Alexa to play Mushroom Escape. You can find it in radio apps and apps for smart speakers like Sonos. It’s in TuneIn and even Apple Music. And you can listen online via our accessible player on the Mushroom Escape page.

Recently, I interviewed Don Linden about his life and work, with emphasis on Small World. You can hear that show in Mosen At Large episode 132, and it will also air on this Saturday’s Mosen At Large show on Mushroom FM. A Transcript of the interview is also available.

I hope you’ll enjoy Small World. Preparing for and now hosting this show has gladdened my heart and brought back special memories. I hope it either does the same for you, or that the show will create great new memories.

See you this Sunday for the first in this series.