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29th November 2011

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What would happen if the Teletubbies were eating sugary amphetamines instead of their usual Tubby custard? My conclusion? Yo Gabba Gabba would be the result.

The coolest kids show around, it aired on Nick JR in August 2007 , and has since allowed me to spend many a morning in my pants, eating cereal and re-living childhood.

DJ Lance Rock and his crew of monsters strut on-screen, dancing and leaping around to some seriously phat beats, all the while giving out messages of healthy eating and being nice to people around you. Breakdancing in a zipped up, neon jumpsuit, DJ Lance and co lead the way through this TV induced acid trip - leaving you feel thoroughly funky, like the coolest kid on the block.

Unlike anything I have seen in recent years, this programme is smart and savvy, with all the right messages to give kids.

The dirty beats DJ Rock spins are even attracting the Hollywood A-list. Elijah Wood, Sean Kingston, Tony Hawk and Jack Black have made an appearance, dancing along with the monster gang, like loons. The quality of guests shows that this programme is on the up, and just getting better. Dare I utter these words, but, I feel this is the show to finally rival old favourite Sesame Street.

With these shows coming from across the pond, it certainly makes one question what’s going on with kids TV in the UK. The funkiest thing I have seen on TV at 3pm lately is David Dickinson’s face turning a more worrying shade of orange each episode of ‘Real Deal’. What happened to quality kids programming at 3.15pm?

I have fond memories of the dithery but endearing animation on repeats of the Clangers, the ‘cool’ plots of Doug and Hey! Arnold and of course, the same storyline being guffed out by Power Rangers every week. I couldn’t get enough of it. My childhood was moulded by these programmes.

They fed into my imagination, became my friends. Okay, mainly because I was such a freaky little kid I didn’t actually have any friends of my own but that’s beside the point. Bar a few exceptions,there hasn’t been much to trumpet about in terms of television for little winklets.

Step in BBC’s Rastamouse.  A crime fighting gang of mice who are (you guessed it) Rastas. At the centre is Rastamouse (voiced by Radio One DJ Reggie Yates), a positive role models for young kids. It shows the group tackling crime- hammering home the message that crime doesn’t pay. All done with the backing of a  funky beat or two (these little gits know how to bang the drums and shake them maracas) it’s must see TV. 

The animation is clearly inspired by the stop-motion of yesteryear (think Bagpuss), and you can see why this appeals to adults as well as kids. I’m a fan. I’m hooked, I gotta say. So find me in my bedroom pretending I’m a kid again eating cereal in my bra and pants.

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