So it seems the resolve of North Korea’s iron-fisted ruling clique is set to face its stiffest test yet. Among a raft of British programming being considered for sale to the totalitarian state’s government-controlled TV channels is Teletubbies.
Can Dipsy and co succeed where decades of international diplomatic pressure has failed and bring the planet’s most isolated nation in from the cold?
You wouldn’t bet against it. Teletubbies started a trend in blockbusting and unerringly brilliant British children’s television which has seen one success after another create a genre that far transcends what was served up to me 30 odd years ago.
Now don’t misunderstand me, I was as big a fan of Play School as there was to be found. The shape of the window we were about to go through had me gripped on a daily basis and while Humpty seemed like a jolly chap, it was Jemima who really caught my eye. But even I have to admit that those shows don’t hold a candle to the multi-layered fare today’s youngsters are served up. CBBC and its younger sibling, Cbeebies, deliver show after show which educate and entertain sublimely. And yet, somewhere in the back of every parent’s mind there’s the thought that allowing your children to watch too much TV is to derelict your duties and ultimately do them a disservice. Research shows that the one-way relationship we have with our TVs – isn’t good for development at all. However good and wholesome the content may be, the way it’s delivered and imbibed doesn’t stimulate half as much as it may seem it should. In fact, the much more interactive experience of game playing, it’s been suggested, is actually more nourishing for growing minds. Good news for the millions of parents who daily have to wrestle iPads and smartphones off children who not only know the pass code, but seemingly know how to change it too.
For now though North Korea need only brace itself for an initial attack of the Po’s followed by a sustained barrage of Mr Tumble – if anyone can break down ideological, military and socio-political barriers it’s that pair.