Saturday, 16 April 2011

CBeebies Bingo!

Well, folks, here it is - my 400th post. I thought I'd mark the occasion with a quick delve into the archives and an unscientific analysis of the topics of last three years (and two days) of blogging. Here are the results.

Unsurprisingly, books feature fairly regularly. I've read some, I've written a few and I hope to write more. You never know, one day I might write something that means I don't have to go back to work when Eloise starts school. The clock is ticking.

Next, comes cooking. Surpising, this one, but a fair number of my posts seem to deal with food. I've even published a couple of food vlogs - how to make the perfect spag bol and my very own recipe, Chicken a la Dotterel. But by far the largest number of references seems to be to that eternal parenting stand-by and sanity preserver. I refer, of course, to CBeebies.

Now I've something of a love-hate relationship with CBeebies. (Actually, I've something of a love-hate relationship with telly generally, but that's another story.) Anyway, I don't mind most of what CBeebies has to offer. At it's best it's educational, informative and entertaining in the finest Reithian tradition. And of course there are no ads for ridiculous, over-priced and tacky toys. At its worst, though, it can inflict otherwise unheard of levels of pain on innocent parents, as the likes of Waybaloo or Fimbles whine their way into your mind like some cruel and unusual torture long outlawed by the United Nations. Shutting your eyes at such a moment won't help; I've tried, and it doesn't. Because Alex's grin remains permanently visible, burnt into your retina and present - like the Cheshire Cat's - long after the rest of him has disappeared.

(Actually, I'm rather fond of Alex. He's a good sport. I insult him regularly on Twitter and not only does he seem to always read my tweets - he's not a follower - but he responds in perennially good humoured manner, which is more than either they or I deserve. I deserve his wrath; I deserve his anger; I deserve his vengeance. But he's not that kind of guy. He's nice. He's gentle. And he's Welsh.)

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes. The best and worst of CBeebies. I know I'm not alone in finding the entire offering of Waybaloo insufferable. It's partly the Piplings appearance: those ridiculously large eyes, for example. But it's mainly the way they all speak in that fake 'child-like' voice and talk about themselves in the third-person. It sets my teeth on edge and - like that infernal nonsense, Fimbles - seems to have sprung fully-formed from the brain of an adult who thinks he knows how children think and speak and what they'd like to see, but who succeeds only in patronising them. That's something you could never accuse In the Night Garden of doing. Ok, it's sometimes weirder than an acid trip but the dulcet tones of Derek Jacobi ensure the programme never talks down to anybody. We also quite like Katy, and her cooking programme. Personally I could do without the guitar interludes, but Charlie likes them and she's a darned site better than Big Cook, Little Cook for certain. There's a lot to love about CBeebies really: their old Spring Song, for example. And dear old Auntie Mabel.

But you can have too much of a good thing. And what all of us CBeebies parents have in common is the problem of how to overcome the eye-glazing boredom of yet another hour of captivating (for our offspring) children's television. Well, I've come up with a solution and it's my offering to you all on the occasion of my 400th post. It's called CBeebies bingo. You download your free card (below); you watch CBeebies and you at least partially stimulate your brain cells by searching for some of the sights, sounds and solecisms I've selected. And if anyone gets a full house, I'll be awarding points. And what do points mean?

That's right. Absolutely nothing. Just like my blog stats!


  1. Oh, thank you so much for bringing a smile to my face this morning! I am already playing CBeebies bingo as I try to grab a few more minutes in bed!

  2. Excellent! All part of the service, Mrs PInk.

  3. Alex is on Twitter? Oh Joy! Seriously - what's his moniker. Not that I'm going to maliciously stalk him or anything but the fact he can't say "remembering" but instead says "rememberin" really, really annoys me.

    More importantly though: is Cerry on Twitter?

  4. 'Fraid I don't know the answer to that question, Steve. But I suspect - what with being pregnant an' all that, she might not be tweeting at the moment. Alex, however, is @alexcbeebies... enjoy!

  5. Thank you for making some of the more irritating elements of Cbeebies palatable!

    Completely with you on Waybuloo, although it's still infinitely preferable to anything on Baby TV which we're currently trying to wean our little lad off. I think Rastamouse may well be our best friend in this respect - here's hoping he can make a bad ting good (sorry).

    Oh, and congratulations on your 400th post!

  6. No problem, Tom - and thanks! Just realised I've spelt 'Waybuloo' wrong and might have to go and correct that - if I can be bothered. Just shows how little attention I at least try to pay it. As for Baby TV, we've thankfully been spared that one. In fact, I'm not sure I've even heard of it. I'm tempted to ask you where to find it, but...

  7. I was going to tell you about the Waybuloo typo....I'm gutted we're away this week, so I won't be able to play CBebbies Bingo until after Easter. I will though ;-)

    Congratulations on your posting achievements!

  8. Thank you DG... and don't worry! There's plenty of time to play the game.

  9. Congratulations on your 400th post!! And a staunch well done for starting a cbeebies bingo (which I shant be entering because yippee! those days are sometimes gone! I say sometimes because occasionally my son likes to let his chicks watch it..I'm not allowed to say they are only stuffed toys and not real...!)
    Enjoy your travels to your 500th post!

  10. Thanks Stigmum! And well done on not being eligible for CBeebies bingo... I'm looking forward to the day I can say the same myself!

  11. great post - good old cbeebies!!! would be lost without it!

  12. We would indeed... I sometimes think it's worth the licence fee on it's own. Mind you, it's about all we ever watch so - to all intents and purposes - it IS the licence fee for us!

  13. I must be watching too much CBeebies... I even find myself doing it when George isn't there and I'm quite shocked at how many of the bingo squares I actually recognise. A full house looks pretty elusive though – I don't think Big Cook, Little Cook will ever make anything vaguely edible.

  14. Ah, you might be on to something there, Paul. Although they've been trying long enough - they were on when my thirteen-year-old daughter used to watch.

  15. Oh, I had forgotten. Oh how I had fogotten all about Cbeebies when Amy started school full time in January. I had mornings, whole mornings of veiwing stretching endlessly before me. Viewing where I could watch what I wanted, when I wanted and how I wanted.

    Then, then came the Easter holidays, but not just any easter holidays? No, these were super duper for an entire month because of the Royal wedding M&S Eatser holidays.

    I have since watched the exact same cbeebies episodes on the exact same day at least twice over. Pity me.

    Herding Cats

  16. Oh I do, I do PR... you'll be glad of that bingo card by the end of the holiday!

  17. Congratulations on 400 posts. Wow - that's a lot of posts.

    My husband said, of Waybuloo - it looks like a bunch of Glastonbury hippies who run a crystal shop got together and dreamt it up whilst stoned.'
    Hmm. Probably offended several people with that one.

    My friend devised and created Driver Dan so we watch that, we love Charlie & Lola and Rastamouse but I run screaming from the room at
    Mr Tumble and Gigglebiz and my child runs screaming from the room at Auntie Mabel - even though she has that nice dog.

  18. Thanks Alison! It's plenty, isn't it... and yet I'm still a baby compared to many.

    And tell your friend we love Driver Dan too!

  19. That's genius. I shall start tomorrow.

  20. Excellent John... and good luck!


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