Bob the Builder was the highest profile casualty this week as children’s TV channel Cbeebies responded to the demands of its aggressively guilt-ridden parent viewers to ditch the glamorisation of working- to lower-middle class jobs in favour of animated characters pursuing careers ‘that make risking negative equity to get in the right school’s catchment area worthwhile’. As part of a new commitment to quality the BBC has cancelled all shows starring members of the construction industry, postal workers, or ‘any job where there’s a chance their children could be unionised’.
Bob’s time on the nation’s screens is set to end this week in the first episode of ‘Bernard the Senior Partner in a Mid-Sized Provisional Insolvency Practitioners’, which sees Dizzy, Lofty, and Bob’s other mechanical friends sold for scrap with the proceeds paid to debtors at 2p in the pound, while Bernard arranges a £180 per hour fee for his time.
Parental response to the decision has been overwhelmingly positive. ‘It’s about time children’s TV caught up with what parents want these days — and that’s not for their offspring to be wandering around in dress-up costumes suggesting they want to be working for the railways or non-professional grade emergency services,’ explained Jan Reeves of West Sussex, ‘I mean OK, Mr Reeves has been known to pop on a firemen’s uniform around the house from time to time, but he’s already a well-established finance director and local magistrate. If I wanted the same thing for young Joshua it would be a big step back for my family. And a bit icky’.
‘I’m delighted to see the new shows’, confirmed Francis Whitley an investment banker with 20 years experience who is currently spending a lot more time at home, ‘to see my little Timmy’s face when I told him that I was on enforced gardening leave ahead of an opportunity to join a rival bank, just like his hero ‘Sebastian the Securities Trader’, well his eyes lit up at the stories he could tell his playschool pals’.
Manual and emergency service workers are not expected to entirely leave the world of children’s television however, with news filtering through that Channel Five has commissioned a new series of ‘Pawel the Plasterer’. The new show is garnering plaudits for encouraging kids to become bi-lingual, and is being made for a fraction of the cost of shows featuring British tradesmen.