Tuesday, 1 June 2010

This little piggy

Right, let me make two things quite clear at the outset:

1. This is NOT a 'sponsored' post. I bought the Peppa Pig DVD that Charlie's watching incessantly at the moment, using real money. And anyway, why would it be a 'sponsored' post if I hadn't? It's not as if I'm doing the London Marathon or anything.


2. I LIKE Peppa Pig. Really I do. But it's only in watching it endlessly loop round all fifteen (is that all? It seems like fifty!) episodes that I've realised how middle-class the whole thing is. I mean, you'd think at least Dr Brown Bear might have a Caribbean accent. But no. Every character - with the dubious exception of Madame Gazelle who seems to be the token foreigner - speaks so very nicely. And Grandpa Pig is by far the furthest back of the lot. 'It's all right,' he bellows when Mrs Rabbit's balloon gets stuck in a tree. 'I've got a lyadah!'

Excuse me?

Maybe I taught for too long. Scrub that, I DID teach for too long. But having to scrutinise each book in the library before Ofsted inspections, checking for political correctness and full multi-culturality has sharpened my radar. And I'm surprised that something as popular and current as Peppa Pig seems so white and middle class. You expect it of Trumpton; no-one then thought Captain Flack should be black, or that Mr Troop the Town Clerk should be petitioning the Mayor with equal opportunities legislation. But just a decade ago Dipsy's little Teletubby face changed hue as a token gesture after the initial episodes. And we've got the entire range In the Night Garden, including some whose characters might not stand up to the closest scrutiny. And now my own, my dear sweet Mama Mirabelle, Floella Benjamin has been enobled. Dame Floella! I mean, that's just so right. I used to love Floella in Play School. She's part of my childhood, along with Derek Griffiths (music for Bod, anyone?) and Brian Can't I mean Cant.  If you ask me, the whole lot of 'em should be elevated to the House of Lords. But no matter.

At least, through the round window, we've got Dame Floella.

Congratulations to her.

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