This letter to the BBC channel CBeebies was penned by Matt Coyne, author of the hilarious book, ‘Man vs Toddler – The Trials and Triumphs of Toddlerdom ‘ in which the letter is featured. Thanks Matt for allowing DCR to share it here.
The letter contains a good smattering of unparliamentary language so if you arrived here by searching for CBeebies and are expecting little cuddly characters, this would be a good place to stop. This is about children, not for them.
I am writing to complain about ‘Bedtime Hour’.
Since becoming a parent I have very much enjoyed your programming. I love almost everything about it; from Hey Duggee to Andy’s Prehistoric Adventures.
Yes, Abney & Teal’s a bit shit, Bing’s a whiny dick and the Tumble family can be a bit unsettling (I’m just going to say it: Mr Tumble, Grandpa Tumble, Polly Tumble, there’s not a single member of that family that doesn’t look like they keep body parts in the freezer), but generally speaking CBeebies is pretty awesome.
That said, ‘Bedtime Hour’…
…6 o’ f**king clock!?
In what parallel universe does CBeebies exist that kids are settling down for bed at 6 o’ Clock!!?? Most kids are still crayoning cocks on the radiators at half 7!? And that’s the really well-behaved ones.
Have you ever tried to get a kid anywhere near their bed between 6 and 7? … they’ll have your bloody eyes out. It’s like trying to get a pissed and f**ked off badger2 into a carrier bag. (It doesn’t want to go and someone’s gonna get hurt).
Far from being bedtime.. Between 6 and 7 is the time when most kids piss-taking3 abilities are at their most powerful. For them, it is the perfect time to go ‘berzerker’.. full William Wallace…4 smash the place up, face-plant off the settee, get out every toy they’ve ever owned and stick a plastic light-sabre up the dog’s arse.5
6-7pm is go f**king nuts time.
It’s not just in our house, I’ve done extensive research on this and I can categorically say that 6 o’clock is not bedtime hour in anyone’s house with young kids in it.
In fact, if you’re interested, the hours preceding bedtime are actually as follows:
6-7pm – ‘Negotiation’ Hour
7-8pm – ‘For F**ks Sake’ Hour
8-9pm – “No, how many more times, you’re not watching The bloody Incredibles, its bedtime!?”.’ Hour
9-10pm – ‘”It was your idea to have kids in the first place”‘ Hour
10-11pm – ‘Losing the last dying embers of your will to live.. Kill Me. Kill Me ‘ Hour
11-12pm – ‘Bedtime’ Hour
12-? – ‘How are you up again? What are you.. a f**king vampire!?’ Hour.
With all due respect, I know it must seem like you’ve got ‘bedtime hour’ correct – because it gets massive viewing figures – but that’s only because Tom Hardy sometimes does the bedtime story and half the mums in the UK are licking the screen.
In truth, four hours after you lot have knocked off – to go on the piss with Dr Ranj, Mister Maker and the cast of Biggleton – most parents are still negotiating with their mini terrorists to find out what they want in return for just going upstairs.
And the worst thing is that, without CBeebies, parents are then forced to stumble over to Nickelodeon Jr to endure American cartoons about talking cars and ‘being buddies’6 and an endless cycle of adverts for plastic unicorns and dolls that piss and shit themselves.
Look, I’m sure there’s a Topsy and Tim type family somewhere in the Home Counties7 where the kids adhere to this 6-7 bedtime hour. I’m sure these kids are tucked up beneath hemp blankets, that mommy weaved just that morning, gently dozing as daddy plays ‘Let it be’ on an acoustic guitar. But not in our house where if we can get our child to bed without a major fire or anybody dying that’s a pretty good evening.
So, please. For the sake of the threadlike sanity that every parent in this nation clings to at the end of each day – do the right thing. Move bedtime hour to.. let’s say…reality.
P.S. Oh, and not to be an arse, but to make matters worse you lot don’t start the programmes again until 6 in the morning. This morning my son got up at 4am. He couldn’t have got up any earlier if he’d invented time travel.. I was that tired I couldn’t feel my face.. and where were you.. nowhere!?
If I hadn’t had a couple of Go Jetters stacked up on the Sky Planner I’d have thrown myself under the bin lorry8 at 8.
P.P.S and thanks for The Stick Song by the way, you utter barstards.9
P.P.P.S… love you really.
For American readers: CBeebies is one of two dedicated children’s television channels broadcast by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The other is CBBC which is aimed at larger children who consider themselves as adults. CBeebies is for smaller children who are still at the ‘plain terrifying’ stage ↩
For American readers: A badger is a common, nocturnal European mammal about the size of a medium sized dog. I has a black and white snout and coarse grey fur on its body and is similar to an American badger but is bigger, with shorter legs and a longer snout. They hate being put in carrier bags. I mean really hate ↩
For American readers: To take the piss is a British English expression meaning to jerk someone around ↩
For American readers: Think Mel Gibson with a blue face and a skirt. Him ↩
For American readers: Arse is the British English equivalent of Ass (or Butt, or Fanny) ↩
For American readers: Not that there’s anything wrong with talking cars and being buddies ↩
For American readers: The Home Counties are the wealthier parts of southern England where lots of nice people live ↩
For American readers: Trash Truck ↩
For American readers: The Stick Song is an utterly puerile song that children adore. Once you hear it, you cannot get it our of your head without extensive counselling or electro-convulsive therapy ↩