Here is the British upper middle class in all its glory

The BBC has long invested in a brand of childhood made up of sticky-backed plastic and papier mache. The idea is that if television, like culture in general, makes us better people, the business of self-improvement should begin nice and early. But it is also reinvesting in Britishness at the precise moment when the product is starting to look suspect; with the new, forward-thinking CBBC, the kids will be seduced from the American channels, turned homewards and kept where we can see them.

We don’t like our children very much so w’ll let them be brought up by the TV – Yikes, have you seen the price of nannies these days? – but make sure they’re indoctrinated properlyu rather than watching anything by the septics.

13 comments on “Here is the British upper middle class in all its glory

  1. At least it appears they are trying to compete with American TV rather than simply banning it.

  2. Most parents’ primary objection to US TV is that their children will end up with American accents and vocabulary. Cartoon-makers are solving that problem by dubbing with English accents (usually a token Welsh and/or Scot too). It’s slightly surreal to hear an American farmer with his Amish-style barn and fields of maize, speaking with a Yorkshire accent.

  3. Andrew,

    Not as bizarre as hearing Samwise as a Yank, Christ as a Yank, A Roman Centurion drawling ‘He truly was the Son of God’ in John Wayne’s voice, or Sean Bean brilliantly cast as Boromir, all but the voice, which is an accent that we Brits know could never be acquired by an aristocrat.

    Indeed, who knew that Dwarves spoke in Scottish accents – well some of them.

    And as for cultural references, when Leonardo Di Caprio tells us that the Titanic was designed and built in Ireland, crewed by Irish folk and carrying mainly Irish passengers, wasn’t it obvious to a Brit that the feckin’ thing wouldn’t turn out well? I didn’t need to see any more of the film. Only a Septic wouldn’t make the connection.

  4. The left= the BBC –have no interest in “British” values and wiosh only to begin pro-greenfreak/RoP –and paradoxically-pro-sexfreak conditioning propaganda early.

  5. “the business of self-improvement should begin nice and early.”

    If it is self-improvement why does it need another party, i.e. the BBC?

  6. The Americans are now just as bad as the BBC for making anodyne, politically-correct kids’ shows that no kid wants to watch.

    (There are exceptions, eg. ‘Operation Ouch’, which is good.)

  7. Indeed, who knew that Dwarves spoke in Scottish accents – well some of them.

    The dwarf in LOTR was Welsh, and pretty representative of native Welshmen if you ask me. He was by far the most accurately portrayed character.

  8. This is an area in which I owe so much to the fine discrimination exercised by upper lower middle class parents: Top Cat was admired, Yogi Bear tolerated, and Scooby Doo tutted at; only Hong Kong Phooey was peremptorily switched off.

  9. Do kids these days watch TV? How quaint!
    My previous default mode of attracting attention, shouting, doesn’t work any more.
    So I have to get off my arse and go look for them.
    Ear buds in with some crap music, porn on the ipad, grand theft auto on the computer and doing their homework.
    They explain that it’s multitasking, in the patient way you’d communicate with a dinosaur.
    I’ve tried to explain the theory of evolution, that me as dinosaur is a metaphor not a biological fact. They look unconvinced.

  10. This stuff is going to make no difference at all.

    The BBC is dying and the last people who you can attract are the young. My old dad might sit in front of the TV watching stuff out of habit, but kids with phones, laptops, tablets and chromecasts?

    How much is £34m going to be once the bureaucracy has taken its cut? How much fun is it going to be once the bureaucracy has sapped all the life out of it so that’s right on?

    “Upload your creations to Blue Peter”? Well, that’s cute. There are kids out there making their own videos on YouTube with almost no filter. There are kids already getting “how to make” stuff from YouTube.

    Honestly, you think you have a prayer against the world of gaming, Auntie?

    BBC and ITV are being squeezed down to just that tacky “live shared experience” stuff like The Great British Bake Off, X-Factor and Strictly Come Dancing. You tune into Netflix for the quality drama and comedy and YouTube for the science/cooking/movie review stuff (YouTube does real cookery shows, not lifestyle shows).

  11. @Alan Peakall, July 9, 2017 at 11:55 am

    This is an area in which I owe so much to the fine discrimination exercised by upper lower middle class parents: Top Cat was admired…

    Top Cat – the cartoon version of Bilko

  12. For some strange reason, I taught myself to draw all the cats from Top Cat. I still leave the odd TC on the inside of toilet doors, if I’ve a felt tip about me.. The speech bubbles can be quite fun, as well.

  13. Pcar: I can’t remember how old I was before I saw an episode of The Phil Silvers Show and thought, “fuck me it’s Top Cat!” Ten or so, I suppose.

    We love to think there was a golden age of children’s TV but in reality for every Box of Delights or Phoenix and the Carpet there were twenty Hanna-Barbara cartoons.

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