Wednesday, 31 July 2013

The One with CBeebies

Amazingly I've not blogged about children's TV before. Remarkable really when you consider it's pretty much all I watch nowadays. By the time the boy has gone to bed and we've prepared, eaten and cleared up after dinner I'm too tired to watch anything that requires more than a modicum of brain power so I tend to just go to sleep. Or bugger about on Twitter. Either way I can't follow anything that requires me to think.

To be fair I've never had the patience for plot, so long films and 8 part dramas were never my thing. It's lazy of me I know, but I quite literally can't be arsed.

Maybe that's why I love CBeebies. Nothing's longer than 25 minutes tops and most shows are about 10. This is obviously meant to appeal to the short attention span of the average toddler but it's perfect for me too. Lemon Cake Lady says I have the brain of a four year old boy, certainly I have the same sense of humour, so she may well be right.

Remembering the childhood TV programmes of my era, they were an odd mix. We look back fondly at children's TV from the 70's and 80's and berate todays offerings as rubbish, but there are many similarities. You've only got to think about the iconic and seemingly drug fuelled "Magic Roundabout" and then look at current hippie yoga inspired "Waybuloo's" to realise very little changes.

They messed about with "Waybuloo" once. Never again. There was a national outcry. They used the voice over man from "Come Dine With Me" and apparently toddlers were screaming, crying and hiding behind the sofa for hours afterwards. They shelved the rest of the entire series after only one episode. They've never been shown.

That's the power of children's TV. Or more importantly the power TV has over children and the power children have over TV!

Along with "Waybuloo", another permanent fixture of the CBeebies bedtime hour is "In The Night Garden' - if you thought you'd taken LSD with "Waybuloo" you're in for the acid trip of a lifetime with this one! 

For a start nothing is to scale! One minute the teeny, tiny Pontipine family and their next door neighbours The Wottingers, (who I can only assume are part of the witness protection scheme they come out of their house so rarely), are bigger than the Ninky Nonk and the Pinky Ponk (are you keeping up there at the back?), then the next minute the much larger  characters of that hussy Upsy Daisy and those flashers who permanently lose their trousers (yeah that old story - sorry officer I lost my trousers) The Tomliboos are having a ride on them. 

If that not enough to do your head in after a day with a pre-schooler take a look at the hero of the piece, one Mr Iggle Piggle. Remind you of anyone?

Look at that face. He's the spit of someone isn't he....

Get that pint drunk or Makka Pakka's OCD will go into overdrive and he'll have cleaned your glass before you can say " Same again please Upsy Daisy you saucy wench and how about pulling that cord that makes your skirt go up and shows off your knickers for the lads? Oh and I appear to have left my kids in the pub toilet.. ah well never mind."

You never see them in the same room do you and now you know why.

Then there's Balamory! What's the Story in Balamory? I don't know about the story but I know  if you ply Lemon Cake Lady with enough Aspall's cider she's sing you the dirty words to PC Plum's song she made up.

It's starts,

"I'm PC Plum and I take it up the bum..." and basically goes down hill from there. Mind you I can talk as I find myself singing under my breath...

"Tree Fu Tom. Likes it up his bum.."

Never mind not letting children watch too much kids TV, it's has a funny affect on the adults too. And I haven't even started on Mr Tumble.....

Bedtime hour!!! It's enough to give you nightmares.....


  1. Kids TV today is very bizarre! Don't forget the Tellytubbies too with naughty noo noo and the Tubby Tustard! Not that I made a point of watching it of course... (looks innocent):) The favourite of my childhood had to be Postman Pat. For years whenever I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I replied with "a postman, like Pat" - I only wanted a black and white cat :)

  2. Oh I'd forgotten the Teletubbies. It's all completely bizarre on kids TV. I've only scratched with this one... he,he...

  3. Aw, as a Suffolk lady you should have mentioned Grandpa In My Pocket, always makes my kids smile on a visit to Aldeburgh! Kids Telly has always been thus of course, part of me feels it's lost some charm over the years. Would The Magic Roundabout, Mr Benn or even The Clangers ever get made today?