Thanks to Katyboo, who linked to a hilarious article by Caitlin Moran about which children's TV characters she'd shag, I was inspired to write my own kids' TV hitlist. And by hitlist, I mean a list of characters who I'd readily pay good money to have a contract killer put on their case. Here they are:
1. The Tweenies.
All of them. Particularly Jake. The faux baby voice sets my teeth on edge, not to mention his ridiculous yellow mohican. Honestly, if the Tweenies come on, the channel is flicked immediately. No hesitation. Do not pass go or collect £200. And my children cheer me on. They hate them too. Why on earth would anyone go watch the live Tweenies show? Are they gluttons for punishment?
2. Jelly and Jackson from the Storymakers
They should by rights be in joint first place with the Tweenies. I can't actually believe that somewhere in the world there is a grown up person who is able to speak in those inane voices. How can their partner (or indeed anyone) possibly take them seriously? And I really, really hope they never decide to talk dirty to each other using their story maker voices because that would just be skin-crawl-tastic.
3. Thomas the Tank Engine
I have nothing against the series. Think the stories are fab and the theme tune is a toe tapper, but good grief Thomas is an obnoxious little twat. Pompous, full of his own self importance, a complete twit most of the time churning milk into butter and chuffing off sidings. Now Percy, he's a REALLY USEFUL ENGINE. So Thomas, get over yourself. Just because the show's named after you doesn't make you the bees the knees.
4. The Little Princess
Firstly, your parents own a friggin castle. Get them to spend a bit of dough on your teeth. Secondly, you may be a princess but you are a brat of the highest order and if you came to stay at our house my new found inner peace parenting skills would be lobbed out of the window in favour of corporal punishment. So be warned and stay away.
5. Underground Ernie
Not his fault poor lad, but his cartoonists suck. He looks like an android who is likely to shoot tentacles out of his mouth at any moment and beam you back to planet zurg. Given where he works, it's quite possible it might happen too.
6. Makka Pakka from the Nightgarden
Is he (is it a he?) meant to be a maggot? Because that's what he looks like. An elderly maggot. A maggot with alzheimers. It's just not good. And why does that show have a hot air balloon that farts continually?
There are others too of course, like most of the presenters on Tikkabilla, all of the Fimbles cast (particularly that frog who must have been the inspiration for that annoying laughing frog mobile phone ringtone) and Rupert the Bear (he's just insipid and needs a bit of tough love).
In fact, I will be very glad when we can progress from Cbeebies to CBBC. But I fear there may be worse to come. Feel free to let me know which annoying characters you'd like to have put away and I'll put in a word to my contract killer.