This week it was announced that the government is planning budget cuts to parts of the BBC and this is rumoured to include CBeebies. Rather than panic, let’s think about this…do we really need all these shows? If we had to, could we say goodbye to a few of them? Here’s Mummy Rules lowdown on the current programmes and suggestions on what should stay and what can go.
Bing: Series about an annoying rabbit who whinges CONSTANTLY in between wetting himself. Dad is a stuffed sock called Flop who is probably on valium (“it’s no big thing, Bing”).
Mike the Knight: Spoilt little boy with his own horse and a girl’s voice.
Baby Jake: Creepy baby jumps around in a psychedelic world whilst his annoying toddler brother keeps saying “goggy goo-ah” and “yakky yakky yakky”. Mother and Father have about 10 children and seem to be in state of domestic bliss: at the end they all gather round the table for a civilised dinner whereas in reality the teenagers would be out, the older children staring at their ipads, the toddler messing about with the cutlery; and Baby Jake would have exploded his nappy just as the potatoes were being served.
Furchester Hotel: Poor version of the Muppets with Cookie Monster working in the kitchen and stressful music about “catastrophies”.
Teletubbies: We didn’t need it in the 90s, we don’t need it now.
Peter Rabbit: A lovely show about an adventurous little rabbit and his friends but if Beatrix Potter heard the theme tune she would turn in her grave. Emo style band sings with extreme intensity: “Let’s GO! Run for your life…run wild and free, we’ll tear a hole in every fence, in every wall…and grab a piece of every radish that we’ll see…PEEEETER RABBIT! PEEEETER RABBIT, PEEEETER RABBIT…LET’S GO!” Cut to beautiful countryside scene and gentle flute music. Bizarre. Change the theme toon and it will flow better.
Topsy & Tim: From the popular books (started in the 60s), Topsy and Tim take children through the many big moments in life such as moving house, starting school, having a new brother or sister…great idea. However their Mum is way too cool and carefree ALL OF THE TIME. “Oh nursery isn’t on today? Well that won’t do, my Toptastic Twins, let’s have your whole class round our house for the day.” Rather than “nursery isn’t on today? (SHIT.) Ok I need to call grandma”. Or: “You want to try out your new scooters straight away? Sure, I’ll just grab my trainers and go for a run at the same time.” Rather than “Topsy and Tim, you can practice going round the garden whilst mummy quickly runs the hoover round the house, stuffs a biscuit into her mouth and attempts to boil the kettle for the tenth time today.”
I Can Cook: Pleasant cookery programme showing children how much fun it is to make healthy tasty meals and also gives the parents ideas on new things to tempt fussy eaters. However I’m not sure that the recent addition of Katy strumming a guitar and singing a happy song about cooking, is the best use of the budget. What are the children doing whilst she is pretending to be on Britain’s Got Talent? Eating raw egg mixture, rubbing runny noses with their hands, throwing flour on the floor and breaking her pink laptop…the cost of clearing up the mess afterwards can’t be worth it.
In The Night Garden: Perfect for winding down hyperactive toddlers and husbands at the end of the day. Points to improve: I blame the Tombliboos for the fact that my daughter keeps randomly taking her trousers off. Please could you just take them out (or keep their trousers on) and while you are at it, take Makka Pakka’s skanky sponge away from him and tell Upsy Daisy to stop flashing at everyone. The Pontipines are lovely but they get more showtime than the Wottingers…why? What are you holding back from us about the Wottingers? Are they dangerous? What secrets do these tiny people hold?
My Pets and Me: Great show: but for one thing. Shouldn’t it be “My Pets and I”?
The Clangers: Michael Palin narrates this gentle and charming show about knitted pink creatures living on another planet. Wonderful script and well worth resurrecting.
Hey Duggee: Duggee is a scout group leader who also happens to be a brown dog. The children in the group (“the Squirrels”), take part in activities, have adventures and earn badges for their achievements. Badges range from the Jam Badge to the Cardboard Box Badge. The Squirrels adore Duggee, who’s only communication is the occasional “Woof”. This show is watchable for both children and adults, even before 7am. Score.
Tinga Tinga Tales: Colourful programme inspired by folk tales similar to Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories – how the elephant got his trunk, why the giraffe has a long neck…Catchy theme tune and wonderful animations with a background of traditional African music.
Sarah & Duck: “Sarah and Duck. QUACK. Sarah and Duck. QUACK. Sarah and Duck…” Need I say any more?
Mr Bloom: Show about a jolly gardener growing vegetables. Such a likeable happy chappy; and apparent sex symbol. However I think he is already in a relationship: with Margaret the Savoy Cabbage.
So there you are. I do hope the BBC bear in mind my suggestions. Please let me know if I have left any out which you think should be included!
And if CBeebies goes altogether, remember this: we (and our parents) survived just on Andy Peters in the broom cupboard between 3.45pm and 5.35pm (after which was Neighbours, then Home & Away need I remind you all). In the words of Flop, perhaps “it’s no big thing”. After all, we still have Netflix.