Welcome to what will be a semi regular feature of my blogs where I present to you a personal top five. The top fives could be themed around anything, so prepare yourself for some lunacy!
This one might seem like an odd top five but, as I’m the father of a young son, kid’s TV has become an everyday thing.
Naturally, this means that I’m seeing things that make me want to gouge my own eyes out or fill my ears with cement. There’s an endless stream of annoying gibberish doing the rounds nowadays on the plethora of children’s channels available on Sky.
Some of it I actually quite like; I must admit. I don’t even know why. In The Night Garden, for example, is stupid and teaches children absolutely nothing, but I find myself drawn in and compelled to watch every time it’s put on for my boy. In fact oftentimes he’s off playing and I’m sitting there watching. Judge me all you like; I’m judging myself!
The thing is that, for every one kids TV show that I find mildly entertaining, there are about ten that absolutely nosedive. I watch and wonder how the creator has even managed to sell their idea, let alone get it produced.
This particular list is not about the shows though. This space is reserved for the characters. There are some that I would happily like to erase from history and I shall take this opportunity to talk about the very worst of them and why they should just go away.
- Dora The Explorer – Is it wrong to want to punt a cartoon character? Dora is about as annoying an entity as exists on the planet today. She’s up there with politicians. The thing is that I can’t actually put my finger on exactly what it is that grates on me so much about her and that fact annoys me all the more. Her voice is irritating, but that’s not enough in itself. I think it’s perhaps her stupid problems that aren’t at all difficult to solve, but she manages to make them such a chore that a whole TV show is dedicated to her. I know that kids TV is centred on overcoming simple tasks in the main, but there’s something in the way that Dora goes about her business that makes me want to throw a shoe at the screen every time she’s on it. Then there’s the bit at the end where she asks what our favourite part of her ‘adventure’ was and goes quiet for a few seconds. My favourite part is yet to come, Dora; the part where the damned show ends!
- Upsy Daisy (In The Night Garden) – It’s the high pitched squeak and the constant repetition of her name that earns her a place on this list (other characters are guilty of the latter too, but far less annoyingly). Would it be fair of me to suggest that she comes across as a bit of a floozy too? She walks around flashing her knickers and kissing everything. If that was my daughter I’d have her in that chastity belt from Robin Hood: Men In Tights quicker than she could blink. She acts like she’s the star of the show too and that gets on my nerves. Makka Pakka is the best character. Everyone knows this. He’s just adorable, bless him. The Tombliboos are a not so close second. Their voices have me in stitches, especially when they’re falling asleep at the end. Upsy Daisy just thinks she’s the boss of the garden. I think Iggle Piggle needs to put her in her place sometimes. It’s his garden! If not for him, the garden wouldn’t exist and neither would she. Know your place, Upsy Daisy!
- Tree Fu Tom – I can’t express just how much I detest this entire cartoon, but more so its main protagonist. Annoying voices are a recurring theme throughout this blog and this little twerp is no exception. He’s supposed to be a child, but what child sounds like that? It certainly isn’t the voice of the little boy you see at the beginning and end. No way does he sound like that. Then there’s the little bit where he gets you to join in with his magic. Stupid, long and sometimes pointlessly elaborate moves that I assume are supposed to get kids active. How about a trip to the fricking park? However, the thing that annoys me the most is this…what the f**k is Tree Fu? Who came up with it? Is it like naturistic Kung Fu or something? Nothing Tom does throughout represents any sort of Kung Fu that I‘ve seen in Bruce Lee or Jet Li films. Tom needs to go away before I get Ryu from Street Fighter to Hadoken his sorry rear-end!
- Peppa Pig – I don’t actually mind the cartoon. It’s not as annoying as you might first assume. However, the little pig for whom the show is named is easily one of the most abhorrent characters in animation history. She’s a jealous, selfish and arrogant little whinge bag. She’s constantly mean to her little brother George and makes him cry (probably because she knows he’s the best character in the show). She’s forever making her dad look a fool and somehow he hasn’t backhanded her yet. She can’t stand seeing her friends happy unless it benefits her in some way. Then there’s the fact that she sounds like she has a constant cold. Somebody give that piglet a Lemsip for god’s sake! I can’t stand Peppa. She’s a little witch!
- Mr Tumble – My son absolutely loves Something Special. It’s one of few things that sees him drop everything and remain quiet for a sustained period and, for that reason, the animosity I have always felt towards Justin Fletcher is slowly abating (I still think he’s a weird bloke though). What annoys me about Mr Tumble and the Tumble fraternity is the fact that Justin plays every person and there’s only a couple of personas he assumes that make him look sort of different. Mr Tumble is Justin with a red nose tip, drawn on freckles and a daft outfit. He makes absolutely no attempt to look any different from his normal self. That is pure laziness and the main reason I don’t like Mr Tumble. Petty perhaps, but there it is. As with all others on this list, his voice offends me and some of the faces he pulls scream to be slapped off. Justin should really have dreamed up a better gimmick. The fact that the BBC even signed him up on the strength of it in the first place boggles the mind.
That concludes my top five most annoying children’s fictional characters. I could probably have raised more. The Teletubbies are exceptionally annoying, as are the Tweenies and the weird little beasts from Waybuloo (all BBC creations, which doesn’t shock me. While they can produce some mesmeric shows they are equally as guilty of creating absolute pap), but maybe I’ll delve more into full shows rather than just single characters another time.
How accurate is my list? Do these five truly rank as the most annoying characters on present day kids TV? Have I missed any or been unfairly harsh on some? I’d love to see your feedback below and, as always, I shall endeavour to get back to you as soon as I can.