The Wiggles give kids giggles
Having kids is the greatest thing on Earth, right? Of course, as any parent will tell you. Apart from the many bad bits, such as finding out the reason that the video hasn’t worked in over a month is due to a piece of toast that your 3-year-old has pushed into it, jam side down.
Or having that slow-dawning realisation that the chair you’ve just plonked yourself into (wearing your brand new and expensive suit, naturally) is wet where your potty-training two-year-old has had an accident.
Or when Murray, Greg, Anthony and Jeff appear on your TV and start singing.
Yes, you’ve guessed it, kid’s TV. I remember being a youngster and having programmes on one or maybe two channels during the day, and even these were segmented between bouts of boring international news and poor Australian soap operas.
Nowadays my kids have their own channels that they like to watch. That’s right, when I was little I had to ask if I was allowed to watch my favourite half an hour programme. Today, I am told that my kids want CBeebies on, or Nick Junior. I thank my stars that both channels have finished by 8 pm!
However, although many programmes on these two channels can bore me senseless and irritate me, there are one or two that stand out as being quite catchy and inventive, and the Wiggles is one of these programmes.
The Wiggles are a group of four men, Murray, Greg, Anthony and Jeff, who live together in the Wiggle house and generally spend all day singing. Along with their friends, Dorothy The Dinosaur, Captain Feathersword, Wags the Dog and Henry The Octopus, they find ways to amuse themselves in what can only be described as a kid’s TV kind of way!
Each programme is around 25 minutes long and focuses on the four main characters. Each character wears black shoes and trousers, and a separate colour top (Red, Yellow, Blue and Purple seeing as no doubt you’re interested!).
Set in their house, which is full of brightly coloured objects that are all exaggerated in one way or another, it’s obvious that the whole set and characters have not just been thrown together, but cleverly aligned and designed to appeal to children, in much the same way as the Teletubbies were.
We’ve all heard of manufactured pop bands, but we never seem to give a thought to manufactured kid’s programmes!
Despite seeming to be a producer’s dream, the four Wiggles actually got together, formed a group and approached the TV company themselves, not the other way around. It seemed to work. Not only were they given an album deal, and then this television show, but they are now in their thirteenth year.
It seems that they are absolutely huge in their native Australia and have been featured on screens in the UK for a few years, primarily through exposure on GMTV and The Discovery (Kids) Channel. They are now reaching a new set of fans thanks to their show being shown every weekday on Nick Junior.
Through various adventures in each episode, we follow the Wiggles as they sing and dance their way through each programme. Catchy and inventive, the songs are the annoying type that will have you singing at work all day. Trust me, when you get caught singing: “Fruit salad, yummy yummy.”, you deserve any stick you get from colleagues!
The songs, as I said, are distinctive with strong Australian accents running through them (which is no surprise). Thankfully, most songs actively encourage something positive, such as healthy eating and kindness to animals. I can honestly say that I’ve never heard a nursery rhyme on the programme either, which makes it refreshing in some ways, compared to the likes of the Tweenies.
Overall, although I can say with my hand on my heart that the Wiggles have a tendency to drive me mad, I can also say that I don’t mind them too much. Trust me when I say that’s as close to a compliment as I am likely to get with anything that appears on Nick Jr!
Bright colours, big smiles, fun set and good songs are the standard these days for any kind of children’s entertainment. The Wiggles tackle boredom with these ingredients and pull off a great result. I may not admit to liking them, but I will admit to not turning the TV over when they come on. Shame that I keep getting caught out with the songs, though.
All together now: “Fruit salad, yummy yummy…”
The Wiggles official website is thewiggles.com.
Disclaimer: This post first appeared on Ciao. All content written by myself.