Waybuloo what is acceptable

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:

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.

14 comments for “Waybuloo what is acceptable

  1. Maaarrghk!
    January 12, 2012 at 10:16 am

    How on earth can waybalu have been wrecked?

    Or to put it another way, how can total shite be made worse?

    Having a 4 month old, I get to watch a lot of kids programs and this one is an insult to his intelligence.

    If you want your kids to grow up to be airy fairy new agey HALF-WITS then let them watch waybulu without you there to relentlessly take the piss out of it.

    • January 12, 2012 at 12:18 pm

      Ah, is that what it’s all about? Zodiak New Age stuff? I thought it was chav culture stuff – ladette to lady etc. Glad I don’t have a TV or buy vids or games.

    • Lord T
      January 12, 2012 at 1:40 pm

      That explains why it is so popular then.

      This country is full of quarter wits.

  2. January 12, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    I was exposed to this when staying with my sister last year. Her three year old was watching it. My brother in law really didn’t like it and would have preferred little niece didn’t watch it, but he got overruled…

    Frankly, it’s crap on stilts. Some of the most patronising garbage I’ve ever seen dished up to children and it’s up against some pretty stiff competition.

  3. Maaarrghk!
    January 12, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    What amazes me is not that complaints are being made about the addition of narration, but that complaints AREN’T being made about this garbage being on in the first place.

    I saw bits of the episode and saw the narration as a very desparate attempt at improvement. The chaps voice was definitely a bit jarring but the actual words spoken were just mildly teasing in their nature – perhaps a womans voice would have suited better.

    To my mind it was a slight improvement overall, but it is simply not possible to make this program any worse.

    I let young Saddam watch it as I believe that one needs to experience trash in order to appreciate quality.

  4. January 12, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    A lot of adults seem to be watching it – if they’re getting so many complaints.

  5. January 12, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    You cannot beat Noggin the Nog,it should be on the national curriculum

    • Mudplugger
      January 12, 2012 at 9:19 pm

      I believe the act of “Noggin’ The Nog” was made illegal around the same time as “Muffin’ The Mule” fell foul of legislation. See Sexual Offences Act (1957, ’69 etc).

    • January 13, 2012 at 5:22 am

      [Elizabeth, try the comment without the url in it. There appears to be something wrong.]

      • January 13, 2012 at 11:18 pm

        I’d better watch with the curtains closed then 😳

  6. Maaarrghk!
    January 13, 2012 at 6:01 am

    I must admit that it’s surprised me how much attention this one is getting. After all, it’s hardly Top Gear.

    Another thing was that they had also shortened the program from 20 down to 10 minutes – which meant it was immediately only half as bad as normal. Now it’s back up to 20 minutes.

  7. Revolution Harry
    January 14, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    On the subject of highly questionable kids TV programmes, what do you reckon to these?



    More on the uploader’s YouTube page.

  8. bebe
    January 23, 2012 at 6:23 am

    oh man, are those kids spaced out or what!

    • January 23, 2012 at 8:31 am

      On the new soma, Bebe.

Comments are closed.