Friday, 27 February 2015

CBeebies, I miss you...

One thing became apparent during last week's half term and that was that the children's television I have come to know and love over the past 14 years has well and truly gone from our home.

Even my five year old twins would rather stream Adventure Time on Netflix or watch the interminable Stampy Longnose on YouTube (seriously, doesn't he have the most annoying voice ever?) rather than watch CBeebies these days.

The thing is, I really miss it - CBeebies that is.

It isn't because of the educational benefits that the programmes might have (well maybe a bit) but because I have watched almost continuously with each of my children in turn since CBeebies first aired in 2002 and it has become a bit like a friend to me.

Thinking about it CBeebies presenters have kind of been like my office co-workers over the years (if by office, you mean once beautiful home, now wrecked by a constant stream of babies and toddlers over a 14 year period), and rather like working in an office with other adults I became used to doing certain things during my CBeebies watching day.

You know the sort of thing, checking out what the presenters are wearing.  Are they on trend?  Does it suit them?  I wonder where the wardrobe department bought that top from?  Could I get away with wearing that?  I like her shoes...

Appraising their performances - tbh nobody will ever be as good as Chris and Pui were, nobody.

Ogling the ever-fanciable Mr Bloom (who is the Diet Coke break man of CBeebies, let's be honest) or maybe, going back a few years now, the rather lovely Chris Corcoran from Doodle Do *sigh*

And, let's not forget

Where else does a television channel tell you when it is lunch time FGS?

But, the thing I loved most about watching CBeebies is the fact that no matter how hard a day I was having as a parent, there were CBeebies parents on my TV that were far worse/more irritating/had more annoying children than me.  And I took great pleasure from berating them from the comfort of my sofa for this.

Here are some of the worst offenders.

Mrs Pontipine

Binoculars - the most useful parenting tool

Ok, so she has eight children, 'nuff respect, but how does she parent them?  With the use of a pair of binoculars, that's how.  They climb things and they get lost but she is not bothered by this.  Just whips out her binoculars to locate them and somehow they return (this would never happen if she went to a National Trust property on a Bank Holiday weekend, that's for sure).  Added to that they all share a bedroom and nobody complains?  How can this be?  Incidentally, how do clothes peg people give birth even?   Frankly, the chaotic antics of the Pontipines give large families a bad name.  It's a wonder social services haven't been called.

Topsy and Tim's Mum

Just sort out the laundry!

Dear God.  She's very smiley and everything is "twintastic!" (Although if you hear me ever say that then please don't hesitate to punch/slap/throttle me). She is in fact possibly the happiest twin mother I have ever seen, or maybe she just takes some really great drugs, we'll never know.  She is exceptionally nauseating either way.  Aside from that she does need to sort out her washing a bit better.  All those clothes airers full of laundry are really annoying.  She should buy herself a tumble drier instead of the drugs.

Mike the Knight's Mum

Keep an eye on your son!

She seems to have spawned the world's most annoying child.  She doesn't appear to be concerned by this.  If he was my son, I'd lock him up or send him to a young offenders institute where he could learn to be less of an entitled little brat.

While we're on the subject, why is he called Mike the Knight?  He is not a knight, he is just a trainee, it even says so in the theme tune.  He should therefore just be Mike, or Mike the Squire maybe?

The Parents in Me Too

People with responsible jobs - but they can't remember the way to work?

Just where do I begin with this?

For a start there is a whole sequence based on the fact that nobody knows which way to go to get to work - are they really that stupid? These are supposed to be grown ups, in charge of small children.  Why can't they remember how to get to work?  It's a miracle their children even make it to the child minder every day.  Then they leave them all day with that woman, who I don't think is even a granny...

And, Bobby the bus cleaner in particular (although I LOVE her song*), how the hell does she afford a child minder at night?  She must be fiddling the system somehow - the DWP will be on to her for sure.

The whole programme is full of inconsistencies come to think of it.  Mickey John the Headteacher who can't manage a simple painting by numbers, Dr Juno who only makes beds and can't run an A&E department (although, I'm assuming NHS so maybe quite accurate), the list goes on and on...

What I always thought Cbeebies really needed was a bit of realism to make us all feel a bit better about the tough job of looking after children (because we all know that CBeebies isn't just for the kids, right?).

Tree Fu Tom's mum should be standing at the bottom of the garden yelling for him to come and do his homework (we've all been there), Grandpa in my Pocket should occasionally use his shrinking cap to sneak down to the pub for a quick pint (he looks like he could use one), and the parents of the children at Balamory nursery should stand outside the school gate gossiping about that Hoolie woman and PC Plum of a morning (I think they are letting the side down a bit tbh).

Had this happened I could have sympathised with them a bit more, but then I would never have enjoyed criticising it as much I suppose.

The halcyon days of CBeebies watching are over for me.  The presenter less channels of CITV and POP just aren't the same.

Sure, I used to think that most of the programmes were really irritating, but secretly I loved to hate them.  I needed them to get through the otherwise boring day of looking after small people.

Kind of like office gossip really.

CBeebies I miss you...

*  and totally used to sing it as I was cleaning the kitchen sometimes - so cheery.


  1. Love this! I, sorry, MY SON, started watching CBeebies in 2003, when he was coming up for 2. It helped us survive late pregnancy and the newborn stage with no2 son. We had it on all day. Remember how it had a 4-hour cycle, so the same programmes would be on at 8 as 12 as 4? I found Balamroy very therapeutic, although how did they know that this was the time when someone came into the nursery that it was the story? Maybe they were just popping in? It fuddled my brain.
    We watched CBeebies until my around 2010, when my daughter was 4, then it left our lives and I missed it too! I have never seen half of these programmes you refer to. Now my daughter records reality shows and watches them over and over again. Along with Tracy Beaker, which I love, but not when you've seen an episode 57 times!

    1. Thank you! :) The cyclical nature of the schedule was mind numbing wasn't it? You've had a very lucky escape over the last few years, some of the programmes are really irritating although with a 6 month sojourn already I don't recognise any of the new ones. On the bright side at least I don't have to watch the Tweenies any more - they proper got on my nerves!

  2. Do you remember Story Makers - used to love it myself!

    1. Ooh yes, Milton, Byron, Shelly and Rosetti Wordsworth (and others I can't remember) - brilliant! DS1 used to stick books down the back of the radiator and shout "Imagine, imagine, imagine a story!" We loved Blue Cow especially :)

  3. I love this post Philippa - really made me chuckle - so very true! Love your examples of poor parenting from CBeebies - those parents in Me Too! annoy me too (actually everything about Me Too! is quite annoying tbh) and social services should definitely get involved where Mrs Pontipine is concerned - the amount of times those parents go home and leave their children wherever they happen to be is quite worrying... :-) #BritMumsGoodReads

    1. Thanks! Me Too is ultimately the most annoying CBeebies programme ever, but I do miss it! x


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