The Roobarb cartoon character is loosely based on Calveley's own dog, a Welsh Border Collie.Custard was drawn after the huge cat who lived next door.
The Roobarb (1974) television series was commissioned by the BBC, who sold the series to more than 40 countries around the world. In his book, Roobarb: An Illuminated Biogwoofy, Calveley describes how the real dog would leap up into the fork of a tree and how the dog's antics became part of the cartoon's opening title. Roobarb was directed by Bob Godfrey, the series' music was by John Hawksworth and the stories were narrated by Richard Briers.
The characteristic bouncy wobbly style known as "boiling" was used as Calveley and the other animators did not have enough money to use traditional cel methods and used marker pens on paper instead.