Children’s TV classic The Clangers, which is set to return to screens after an absence of over forty years, will be a metaphor for the deep-seated malaise of modern society and a scathing attack on the greed and inequality at the diseased heart of David Cameron’s Britain, according to the show’s chief writer.
‘Just as we now know that the original 1970s Clangers series foresaw the fall of communism and the unchecked influence of the military-industrial complex so will the new series launch a no-holds-barred assault on free-market capitalism’ says writer Fenton Barnes.
‘When we left the Clangers they were living in harmony on their small hollow planet, surviving on plentiful supplies of green soup but in the new series the Soup Dragon has set up a Starbucks-style chain selling overpriced soups which the Clangers can’t afford. The Soup Dragon herself is now living as a non-dom in order to avoid paying tax. The pitfalls of free enterprise are exposed in episode one when the Clangers visit a local foodbank and are set upon by a right-wing mob calling them scroungers and benefit junkies.’
Each episode will follow a different family member as they seek to overcome setbacks and personal problems. In episode two Granny Clanger becomes bed-ridden after waiting twelve months for a hip replacement while in episode three Major Clanger loses his zero-hours contract job at the Blue String Pudding packaging plant and turns to the black market economy to try and support his family. ‘It’s like Yosser’s story but with more whistling and fewer head-butts’ says Barnes.
However, the most controversial story-line involves Small Clanger who is forced to give up his dream of going to university due to excessive tuition fees. Facing up to life on a small, hollow planet with no prospects Small Clanger comes under the influence of drug dealer the Iron Chicken and quickly descends into a seedy world of petty theft and prostitution to fund his crack habit.
However, some politicians are not happy with children’s television being used to carry overtly political messages. UKIP leader Nigel Farage has criticised the BBC for what he calls ‘lefty propaganda’ and has urged the broadcaster to drop the show. ‘We’re not going to do that’ says a defiant Barnes, ‘although to be fair to Farage he does speak from experience. I can’t think of anyone who’s dropped more clangers than him’.