Wednesday, May 26, 2004
THE GHOST OF CHILDREN'S PRESENTERS PAST?
We had to breathe a long and discontented sigh this morning when we realised the fact we'd been in denial over for some time: the Internet does not know the answer to everything.
We were informed by someone over at the Popjustice messageboard that the actor playing Troy in Cutting It last night was none other than David of former-CITV-presenter fame. This was news of considerable excitement to us, because when we were at university and thus avid viewers of all forms of daytime television, we had something of a crush on David, and we were greatly distressed when one day he disappeared as soon as he arrived with no explanation of where he'd gone.
Unfortunately, we didn't watch Cutting It last night because we were too busy watching Gordon Ramsey's final nerve fraying on Hell's Kitchen and trying to recover from the astounding pile of shit that was Tru Calling. But enough about all these adult programmes, we're drifting away from our remit. We did a bit of research by going to the BBC's Cutting It homepage and watching a clip of last night's show, but our best googling efforts looking for irrefutable proof came to nothing. That said, a cursory glance at the Radio Times told us that the actor's name was David Leon, which was helpful in confirming that he is indeed A David, so we're pretty much prepared to put our hand on a stack of Balamory magazines and swear on Josie Jump's life that it is him.
If any of our regular readers - assuming we have any (our new link over at the mighty lowculture should hopefully be sending some new traffic our way, which we're very excited about) - can confirm this, or if you just have anything interesting to say about him, we'll love you forever. Have a look at the rather dashing picture just to the right, and try to imagine him with shorter hair (although we're really liking him with the long shaggy hair in much the same way that we're completely in love with Paul Rudd in Friends). Feel free to discuss in the comment box below.
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
THE MOST BIZARRE CHILDREN'S TELEVISION NEWS WE'RE EVER LIKELY TO REPORT
We read today that while ITV have reason to celebrate after Ofcom declined to censure it for the explicit sexual content of Footballers' Wives, CBBC has fallen foul of the regulatory body in the most unpredictable way possible.
Sketch programme Stitch Up! (which we gave a shout-out to a month or so ago for featuring the very ace Anne Foy) inadvertently broadcast a scene where a Greek tourist used a phrase which roughly translated means "I'm going to fuck your virginal mother".
According to broadcastnow.co.uk, "the production team said they had made enquiries to check the meaning of the phrase with a Greek speaker, but she did not recognise the words used."
That's her story.
Sunday, May 09, 2004
WE MOURN THE END OF AN ERA
We've heard some slightly disquieting news about the future for children's television as we know it. As we understand it, BBC One plans to improve its flagging Saturday morning ratings by moving the children's programmes over to BBC Two - indefinitely, as far as we know - and putting more competitive programming on BBC One, including allowing Saturday Kitchen a cross-channel transfer from BBC Two.
We can't even begin to predict what sort of impact this might have on the nation's consciousness. Several generations have grown up safe in the knowledge that sure as the sun rises in the east and sets in the wet, sure as eggs is eggs, sure as the words "starring Ross Kemp" are a portent of doom, Saturday morning on BBC One means kid's programmes. Saturday Superstore, Multi-Coloured Swap Shop, Going Live, Live and Kicking - they had a home on BBC One on Saturday mornings. Sure, occasionally they were booted over to BBC Two to make way for more serious public service broadcasting, like coverage of the Olympics or political marches in London, or the Lord Mayor's Show, but such transferrals were always made in the knowledge that normal service would be resumed next week.
We were under the impression that BBC One's Saturday mornings weren't really in that much trouble. Can Ministry of Mayhem really be posing much of a threat? We admit that The Saturday Show has become a shadow of its former self (mediocrity, thy name may well be Angellica Bell or Jake Humphrey), but The Mysti Show is a high-camp hour of postmodern genius, and Top of the Pops Saturday is streets ahead of its Friday evening big sister, and - dare we say it - giving the rather tired looking CD:UK a run for its money.
Saturday mornings on BBC One being an adult zone just seems all wrong somehow, like airing The Story of Tracy Beaker at 9pm on BBC One - just wrong. We can only hope that this aberration against all that is holy and sacred will soon be repealed and normality restored, like when Kellogg's realised that "we'd rather have a bowl of Choco Krispies" didn't fit in the jingle.
Saturday, May 01, 2004
THE FUNNY FEELING YOU'VE BEEN HERE BEFORE
We wouldn't dare to say that kids shows today are short on originality. For every tired Teletubbies clone (Boohbah, anyone?), there's a Fairly Oddparents to remind us that children's programmes can still be hilarious, satirical, and often far more valuable than what gets shown in primetime.
However, in the same way that no one would trust a news station that only reported good news, we feel it is our duty to point out when a duff-sounding idea pops up. And so it is that we come to report on Chalk Zone:
According to the trailers, Chalk Zone is about a young boy called Rudy, a boy in possession of a magic piece of chalk that makes drawings come to life. Incoming anvil: where have we seen this before?
Aside from a few minor details (in Chalk Zone it's the erased doodles that come to life), it seems to be an exact copy of Penny Crayon, and why try to improve on such genius? It was voiced by Su Pollard, for crying out loud. And Penny could draw anything she wishes, like horse and cows, rhinoceros, and plates of chips and fishes - what could be wrong with a cartoon whose theme song manged the English language like that? It only adds insult to injury that Rudy's best friend in Chalk Zone is called Penny. This leaves us wondering exactly who the international ombudsman for plagiarism is.