Thursday, 2 June 2011

CBeebies Bedtime Hour

So, what do you think of the new CBeebies bedtime hour? Don't tell me you didn't notice!

Starting last night, Waybaloo is no more; 64 Zoo Lane is restored to its rightful place and In the Night Garden is retained. Personally, I think it could only have been improved by the return of Story Makers and I said as much (politely) on the CBeebies website when the news was announced. But my comment was mysteriously moderated out of existence 24 hours later. I received a rather Stalin-esque email informing me I'd broken some rule or other but they didn't say which one. I didn't swear; I wasn't rude about Waybaloo (and I could have been); I didn't even include a link back to my book on Amazon, still less give it a plug.  (Mind you, it is a snip at just £7.24 and the perfect gift for Father's Day!)

Anyway, in the interests of free speech I thought I'd reprise my opinion here, on my own blog, where big brother BBC can't get me. I like the new line-up. Didn't see much of that grinning fool Alex last night either, just the serene Makka-Pakka lookalike Ceri Burnell doing mystical (and clearly pre-recorded) links. And then there was Charlie Higson reading the bedtime story! And not once did he mention the drainage in the lower field. So all in all it was a great success. And as I said, in the absence of Story-Makers it probably couldn't get much better as far as we're concerned.

But what would be your ideal bedtime line-up? I'm happy kicking off with Charlie and Lola but I do think Brian Cant should be in charge of the proceedings. Which programmes would you choose? And who would you have presenting them? Be as creative and outspoken as you want. Here's your chance to be your own CBeebies fat controller. Think outside the box. So what if Thomas is currently on Milkshake? I promise I won't (unlike the BBC) delete your comments.

Unless, that is, you demand the return of that infernal nonsense Waybaloo, of course.


  1. Bedtime hour. Right.
    64 Zoo Lane. Octonauts. Storymakers (original series with The Cat from Red Dwarf). Bedtime story read by assorted cast members of Life on Mars, Dr Who, Torchwood and The Fast Show (because I find it brilliantly surreal to see Gene Hunt reading about bunnies and teddy bears!). Finish everything off with one of the Arthur Lowe-narrated Mr Men stories. Maybe put some Bod in there as well.

    Waybuloo can go into the same mass grave as the Tweenies, Tellytubbies and Night Garden dwellers. If there's a hell, then for the writers of those 4 programmes it's got to be making them watch nothing but their own works. Over and over again.

    I thought that I'd develop some kind of tolerance to kids TV over the past 11 years, but the opposite has happened.

  2. Charlie & Lola is a must. We love it in my house. Plus Little Charley Bear. And Alphablocks. 64 Zoo Lane and Night Garden are fine. We also like Something Special. Presenters? I'm with you - Ceri Burnell or even Katy from I Can Cook. Ideal presenters of all? Floella Benjamin and Johnny Ball.

  3. Delighted to hear 64 Zoo Lane is back. Personally, I'm totally with you on Storymakers - Blue Cow - genius! I also miss the Rubberdubbers - weren't they on bedtime hour for a while, or maybe that was DVD - it's all a bit of a blur really. Now, I'm afraid, I have to contend with Scooby Doo and Garfield :(

  4. That's depressing news John... I wonder how long it takes to build up a resistance?

    Oh yes Steve - Dame Floella. I forgot about her. She'd certainly be on my presenters rota.

    I'd forgotten Rubbadubbers Hazel. You're right - they were once on the bedtime hour and it was a wonderful way to broach the subject of bathtime.

  5. Heh, Harry loves Waybuloo and is indifferent to Charlie and Lola so I was dreading the change. However, he seems to love 64 Zoo Lane so that's made it all alright in our household. The main change I'd love to make is to make ITNG shorter – Harry likes it but completely loses interest by the end (and he's happy sitting through a film so it's not just that he can't concentrate for that long).

  6. Good point Rhian - it is rather long and Charlie's the same: gripped for the first ten minutes after which his attention starts to wander.

  7. Ah, CBeebies is a distant memory to me, but I did love StoryMakers and Charlie and Lola!

    I was not similarly enamoured of In the Night Garden though, so I'm very pleased that dauther has grown out of it just as In the Night Garden Live has set up its show near the Trafford Centre!

    And I'd quite like the gig of reading the bedtime story myself, I do a very good Daisy in "Yuk!"

  8. Waybuloo is gone? Hurrah! Finally we can return to the UK... (just kidding - but if we did, it would have a lot to do with that fact).

  9. You know WM, I think that's an excellent idea. We could all - parent bloggers - do a week. That'd be great fun. After all, there's plenty of experience!

    It has PM, it has. It's safe to come home!

  10. Personally, we watch everything on I-player so we can avoid all the annoying stuff (but unfortunately it means we can watch the same thing over and over again if LO wants too)

  11. That's not a bad idea Charlotte, and I once recorded several CBeebies programmes and edited them together so we had our own 'tailor made' bedtime hour... but that was just so I could continue to watch the cricket on the Sky box!

  12. All of the links are pre-recorded surely. One can tell by Sid's expanding, and contracting, and expanding waistline. Also, by Sid's extending, and shortening, and extending dreadlocks.

    Ideal line-up for the bedtime hour should be Carl Sagan's Cosmos, broken down into ten minute segments and linked with explanation by Johnny Ball.

  13. Well David, they do a live birthday link each day and name-check the date on a couple of other occasions, so I can't quite work it out. It'd probably require dedicated study of the entire day's output and I'm not sure my sanity is up to such scrutiny!


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