Ah yes – the tree
Let’s start with the Mail piece on the parents’ outcry on how “they’ve” wrecked Waybuloo:
BBC bosses decided to overhaul the programme to try and appeal to older children – bringing in Dave Lamb, best known for his witty commentary of Channel 4 reality show Come Dine With Me, to narrate the show. The show’s executive producer Vanessa Hill had unveiled her changes in a special blog on Sunday night – announcing the new voiceover and that the episodes would be shorter.
But after just one episode of the new format was broadcast the backlash from angry parents forced the BBC to backtrack and revert to the original format. The corporation confirmed 150 had made formal complaints but more than 1,000 took to the Cbeebies website, Twitter, and parenting forums to voice their frustration. Kids have reportedly turned their noses up at the show’s new narrator Dave Lamb
One mother wrote: ‘It completely jars with the programme – just sounds like a sarcastic running commentary, just like Come Dine With Me.
Was it BBC bosses or someone else? Let’s look at Vanessa Hill. Googling her gives a porn actress. Oops. Vanessa Hill BBC gives Zodiak Rights, which Ms Hill apparently started [Zodiak?], although it appears to be part of a global conglomerate. The site has remarkably little navigation and says nothing about Ms Hill. It does say:
The Foundation has an expertise in pre-school, drama, comedy, factual and family entertainment and has produced content for a variety of broadcasters.
Uh huh. Foundation, not company. Agenda? Loved by the Beeb? A glance at the Wiki entry lists various productions:
- Faking It – Channel 4 & TLC BAFTA Best Features award 2001 & 2002
- Wife Swap – Channel 4 & ABC BAFTA Best Feature award 2003
- Hardcore Pawn – truTV
- Ladette to Lady – ITV
So populist adult-oriented material designed to also get in late teens, which is what they’ve tried to do with Waybuloo to make it more “relevant” to older kids. Days of family sit-coms well and truly over, it seems.
Does it need to be spelt out what is wrong with that idea? Do the words “lack of discretion”, “lack of any sort of judgment” or more likely “lack of brains” spring to mind here? Does the pedigree of a company producing that guff which the Beeb would lap up and Ms Hill’s decision to “spice it up” not strike anyone as being a tad inappropriate and indicate and understandable and expected lack of moral compass, let alone sense of proportion?
Does the way a company with that sort of name, using a near-anonymous website, producing that sort of material, influencing the media to buy their sort of material, getting kids to do yoga and thinking nothing of mixing age-groups really have a name in “children’s entertainment”?
Also – she appears to be a BBC programme director but I thought she was the head of a company producing films which would tender for acceptance by the Beeb? Do the Beeb’s producers get to buy films by their own companies? I must be right out of touch on how it does business these days.
I’m certain the two Vanessa Hills are not the same person. Surely to goodness. Trouble is – I can’t get any photos of the mysterious Ms Hill or much of anything really.